Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Brian on Twitter Follow Brian on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Bob on Twitter Follow Bob on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
  Personal Income Rose 0.4% in July
Posted Under: Data Watch • PIC
Supporting Image for Blog Post


Implications:  Consumers are doing well.  Coming off a breather in June, incomes rose a very healthy 0.4% in July.  In reality, the lack of growth in June was a quirk: Costco issued a special dividend in May, so a drop in dividends in June offset a continued rise in wages.  A focus on private-sector wages and salaries, which also led the rise in incomes in July, shows wages up at a very healthy 5.5% annual rate in the past six months.  On the spending side, personal consumption ticked up 0.3% in July.  As always, we like to take a step back and look at the trend.  While spending growth has outpaced income growth over the past year, incomes are up at a 3.5% annual rate in the past six months compared to a 3.4% pace for spending.  Some stories are claiming consumers are in trouble, but the facts suggest otherwise.  Consumer debts are at a record high in dollar terms, but so are consumer assets.  Comparing the two, debts are the lowest relative to assets since 2000 (and that's back during the internet bubble when asset values were artificially high).  Meanwhile, the financial obligations ratio - which compares debt and other recurring payments to income – is still hovering near the lowest levels of the past thirty-five years.  The US consumer is in excellent shape.  On the inflation front, the overall PCE deflator rose 0.1% in July and is up 1.4% in the past year.  By contrast, a year ago in July 2016, the 12-month change for prices was only 1.0%; in July 2015, it was up a meager 0.3%.  In other words, we think inflation is still in a long-term accelerating trend.  We expect inflation to inch towards the Fed's 2% inflation target near year end, which is consistent with the Fed starting balance sheet normalization on October 1 and raising rates one more time in December.  In other news this morning, initial jobless claims rose 1,000 to a still low 236,000, while continuing claims fell 12,000 to 1.94 million. Plugging this data into our model suggests tomorrow's payroll report will show job nonfarm gains of 194,000, which would beat the consensus expected 180,000.  In other news this morning, the Chicago PMI, which measures manufacturing sentiment in that region, was unchanged in August at a healthy 58.9.  As a result, we expect tomorrow's national ISM Manufacturing index will show a small gain from July.  

Click here for PDF version

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 10:02 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2022 All rights reserved.