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%)

Real Income 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

On a per capita basis, income has stagnated.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-7

They are probably putting Bitcoin on their credit cards


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.


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.


"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!!


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.