Good Consumer Spending News

Personal Income and Spending (February 2012)
– Personal Income, Month/Month +0.2%
– Consumer Spending, Month/Month +0.8%.
– Biggest rise in 7 months. Fifth straight monthly rise.
– Higher Consumer Spending is a positive for the economy
– Below is an income/spending chart 2000-PRESENT, plus all February 2012 stats:

Personal Consumption Expenditures Index: Consumer Inflation (February 2011)
– PCE All, Month/Month +0.3%
– PCE Core (excluding food & energy), Month/Month +0.1%
– PCE All, Year/Year +2.3%
– PCE Core (excluding food & energy), Year/Year +1.9%
– This is Fed’s preferred consumer inflation measure, and it continues to be flat

Consumer Sentiment (March 2012)
– Consumer Sentiment, a survey measure of predisposition to spend, was 76.2 up from the previous 74.3 and at its highest level since the recovery started.

Chicago PMI
– This supply side index fell from 64.0 to 62.2 in March.

The picture here is an example of the continuing frustration of trying to balance wholesale and retail. It is not indicative of anything fundamental. Ultimately it is the consumer who determines where his disposable income goes.

WSJ has a piece stating that “the euro-zone economy likely entered recession in the first quarter.”

Here in the U.S. the 1Q2012 will close tomorrow and the preliminary 1Q2012 GDP will be released in 4 weeks on Friday April 27.