THE BASIS POINT

Mixed Fundamentals after Weak GDP. Rates Even.

Rates began the week even to slightly better after a mixed slate of Fundamentals, highlighted below.

Personal Income and Spending (March 2012)

Personal Income – Month/Month +0.4%
Consumer Spending – Month/Month +0.3%. Previous was +0.9%
Personal Income – Year/Year +3.2%
Consumer Spending – Year/Year +4.0%

Real (inflation adjusted) disposable income increased 0.2 percent in March, in contrast to a decrease of 0.1 percent in February.

Consumer Inflation
PCE Price Index – Month/Month +0.2%
Core PCE price index – Month/Month +0.2%
PCE Price Index — Year/Year change +2.1%
Core PCE price index – Year/Year +2.0 %

PCE (Personal Consumption Expense) is an inflation gauge geared to consumers.

It’s the Fed’s preferred consumer inflation measure, and inflation isn’t a threat right now.

Chicago PMI (April 2012)

– Business Barometer Index 56.2. While this indicates expansion this is lower than expectations and the lowest level since November 2009.

Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey (April 2012)

– Business Activity Index was -3.4. Previous was 10.8.

Going back to last Friday’s weak GDP. The growth in “I” (business investment and inventories) was +0.59% in 1stQ2012 contrasted with +1.81% in 4thQ2011. Business continues to cut back on spending because it overestimated the depth of the recovery.

This Friday has the BLS Employment Situation Report.
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