Spending Up Far More than Real Income: Per Capita Income Stagnates


Real (inflation-adjusted) income rose 0.1% in November. Expenditures rose 0.4%. Per capita, income is stagnant.

The BEA's Personal Income and Outlays report shows personal income increased $54.0 billion (0.3%) in November.

Income and Expenditures Details

  • Personal income increased $54.0 billion (0.3%)
  • Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $50.9 billion (0.4%)
  • Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $87.1 billion (0.6%)

RealIncome and Expenditures Details

  • Real DPI increased 0.1%
  • Real PCE increased 0.4%
  • The PCE price index increased 0.2%
  • Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1%

Income vs Expenditures

For November, real expenditures rose 4 times faster than real income. Economists are happy about the spending, no matter how unsustainable the trend. A wealth effect is in play.

Per Capita Income

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On a per capita basis, income has stagnated.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (6)
No. 1-6

2018 will be record charge offs,2-3 trillion will be quietly written off, papered over by fresh fed printing,powell first act will be some fresh (overt)QE.obama got away with 8 years of pretend make believe growth rates,trump tryin use the same playbook,can he rack up another 15trillion in red ink,we shall see.....


PACE lending is up exponentially. Financing home improvements by allowing lenders to collect via property tax methods, at high interest rates, is going to cost a lot of people homes before it's done.


"Economists are happy about the spending, no matter how unsustainable the trend."

Exactly. Economists just do not seem to understand that there is BIG DIFFERENCE between spending that happens due to wage growth/savings (sustainable) and that due to debt (unsustainable). The former results in prosperity in the long run and the latter ends in tears though it will offer a mirage of prosperity in the short-run. But then what would you expect from fools! Unfortunately for the common man they run the world!!


Things are even more problematic, as in today’s financialized world, more and more of what is classed as wages, and particularly wage growth, are also simply, either explicit or implicit, cuts/commissions of debt growth. Anything from loan officer income, and that of realtors, bankers, much of legal… to that of luxury retail and dining/entertainment employees, home builders, and high-end vacation resort employees, are at most one step removed from simple debt growth/printing. Ditto for wages of government employees, and, again one step removed, defense contractors etc.


No concerns. Donald Trump told us that his beautiful tax cuts will get us all a $4000 pay increase. Just a little spending ahead of the good times.


They are probably putting Bitcoin on their credit cards

Global Economics