WASHINGTON (6/26/15)--Personal income growth doubled up on April’s gains in May with a second straight 0.5% increase, according to numbers released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (Economy.com June 25).
After a tepid 0.1% increase the prior month, spending accelerated by 0.9% in May, while wage income growth rose 0.5%, the fastest pace since January.
Income growth was driven by interest, rental and proprietor income.
“Real spending growth picked up in May and the trend seems positive with two healthy gains in the last three months,” said Scott Hoyt, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “This improvement suggests consumers are beginning to spend at least some of the money they have been saving at the gasoline pump.”
Real spending, which jumped 0.6%, was fueled by spending on goods, and particularly on durable goods. Services spending growth ticked up 0.2% in real terms as well.
Consumer prices, meanwhile, climbed 0.3% in May, the fastest growth rate in more than a year, with energy goods and services driving inflation with a 4.7% increase.
On a year-over-year basis, however, prices came in 0.2% higher in May, matching the weakest rate of inflation since October 2009.
Further, the savings rate dropped to 5.1%.
“Low energy prices are saving consumers significant money, although recent increases seem to be a concern as confidence measures are off their cyclical highs,” Hoyt said. “Consumers are spending less on gasoline and other energy goods than they were a year ago, freeing cash for other purposes.”