Personal Income and Spending Fail to Ignite in March

Personal income and consumer spending managed to post very moderate growth in the month of March. The Commerce Department projected that personal income rose by 0.2% and spending also rose by 0.2%. Bloomberg was calling for 0.4% for personal income and 0.1% for spending. Dow Jones was also calling for 0.4% growth in personal income.

Because these are data for March, much of the spending component was already factored into a preliminary projection on Friday in the gross domestic product report, which came in much weaker than expected. Today’s report from the Commerce Department is just one more cautious or far less robust report.

We are seeing no real drag on the markets from the report, as it was likely anticipated, and the data is now almost one month old. S&P 500 futures are up 5.50 at 1,582 and DJIA futures are up 55 at 14,704 in early morning trading this Monday.

One last feature or idea that we would highlight is that the economy is still adjusting to big swings from the new payroll tax that was reintroduced. That is only two full periods old now, so these readings could be volatile and less precise as a result, at least for a few more reports.

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