PhotoConsumers enjoyed a nice bump in personal income in March and managed to tuck most of it away.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports incomes rose $57.4 billion, or 0.4%, with disposable personal income (DPI) -- what's left after taxes -- up $50.4 billion, or 0.4%.

Meanwhile, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inched up just 0.1%, or 12.8 billion.


Wages and salaries shot up $29.2 billion in March, after a rise of just $4.6 billion in February. Of that, private wages and salaries increased by $26.3 billion, while government wages and salaries rose $2.8 billion.

Personal spending and saving

Personal outlays, which consist of PCE, personal interest payments, and personal current transfer payments, rose $11.2 billion in March.

Personal saving -- DPI less personal outlays -- was $735.5 billion in March, versus $696.4 billion in February. The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was 5.4%, compared with 5.1% the month before.

Enough to make a difference?

"Despite a welcome rise in income, consumer spending remains tepid, boosting savings rather than topline activity with the weakest first-quarter growth rate in two years," said Stifel Fixed Income Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza.

She notes that faster wage growth has been the missing component for consumers who continue to restrict purchases, adding, "even the most recent boost to wages appears to be too little, too late after years of stagnant income growth as consumers now look at the latest bounce with skepticism."

The complete report is available on the BEA website.

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