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Personal Income and Outlays, April 2020

Summary:
Personal income increased .97 trillion (10.5 percent) in April according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased .13 trillion (12.9 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased .89 trillion (13.6 percent). Real DPI increased 13.4 percent in April and Real PCE decreased 13.2 percent (tables 5 and 7). The PCE price index decreased 0.5 percent (table 9). Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index decreased 0.4 percent. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on April 2020 Personal Income and Outlays The April estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19, as federal economic recovery payments were distributed, and governments continued

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Personal income increased $1.97 trillion (10.5 percent) in April according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $2.13 trillion (12.9 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $1.89 trillion (13.6 percent).

Real DPI increased 13.4 percent in April and Real PCE decreased 13.2 percent (tables 5 and 7). The PCE price index decreased 0.5 percent (table 9). Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index decreased 0.4 percent.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on April 2020 Personal Income and Outlays

The April estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19, as federal economic recovery payments were distributed, and governments continued with “stay-at-home” orders. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate for April because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. For more information, see the “highlights” file and the Effects of Selected Federal Pandemic Response Programs on Personal Income table.
  2019 2020
Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
Percent change from preceding month
Personal income:  
     Current dollars 0.2 0.6 0.5 -2.2  10.5
Disposable personal income:  
     Current dollars 0.2 0.6 0.5 -2.1  12.9
     Chained (2012) dollars -0.1 0.5 0.4 -1.8  13.4 
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE):  
     Current dollars 0.4 0.4 0.2 -6.9  -13.6
     Chained (2012) dollars 0.1 0.3 0.1 -6.7  -13.2
Price indexes:  
     PCE 0.3 0.1  0.1 -0.2 -0.5
     PCE, excluding food and energy 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.0 -0.4
Price indexes: Percent change from month one year ago
     PCE 1.6 1.8 1.8 1.3 0.5 
     PCE, excluding food and energy 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.7 1.0

The increase in personal income in April primarily reflected an increase in government social benefits to persons as payments were made to individuals from federal economic recovery programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (table 3). For more information, see “How are the economic impact payments for individuals authorized by the CARES Act of 2020 recorded in the NIPAs?”.

The $1,662.1 billion decrease in real PCE in April reflected a $758.3 billion decrease in spending for goods and a $943.3 billion decrease in spending for services (table 7). Within goods, decreases in all subcomponents were led by a decrease in food and beverages. Within services, the largest contributors to the decrease were spending for health care as well as food services and accommodations. Detailed information on monthly real PCE spending can be found on Table 2.3.6U.

Personal outlays decreased $1.91 trillion in April (table 3). Personal saving was $6.15 trillion in April and the personal saving rate—personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income—was 33.0 percent (table 1).

Upcoming Annual Update of the National Income and Product Accounts

BEA will release results from the 2020 annual update of the National Income and Product Accounts on July 30, 2020, in conjunction with the advance estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2020. For estimates of real GDP and its major components, the span of the update will cover the most recent five years (2015-2019) and the first quarter of 2020. Estimates of income and saving will be subject to revision from 1999 through the first quarter of 2020. More information on the 2020 annual update is included in the May Survey of Current Business article, “GDP and the Economy.”

Updates to Personal Income and Outlays

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Included in the Fourth Quarter of 2019

This release includes revised estimates of wages and salaries, personal taxes, and contributions for government social insurance for October through December 2019 (fourth quarter). These estimates reflect the incorporation of new fourth-quarter data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Estimates have been updated for October 2019 through March 2020. Revised and previously published changes from the preceding month for current-dollar personal income, and for current-dollar and chained (2012) dollar DPI and PCE, are shown below.

  Change from preceding month
February March
Previous Revised Previous Revised Previous Revised Previous Revised
(Billions of dollars) (Percent) (Billions of dollars) (Percent)
Personal income:  
     Current dollars 104.6 104.0 0.6 0.5 -382.1 -413.8 -2.0 -2.2
Disposable personal income:  
     Current dollars 87.9 88.2 0.5 0.5 -334.6 -349.0 -2.0 -2.1
     Chained (2012) dollars 66.5 68.2 0.4 0.4 -261.8 -280.9 -1.7 -1.8
Personal consumption expenditures:  
     Current dollars 26.8 31.5 0.2 0.2 -1,127.3 -1,031.7 -7.5 -6.9
     Chained (2012) dollars 12.8 18.2 0.1 0.1 -983.9 -902.7 -7.3 -6.7

Next release: June 26, 2020 at 8:30 A.M. EDT
Personal Income and Outlays: May 2020

Bureau of Economic Analysis
The BEA Advisory Committee advises the Director of BEA on matters related to the development and improvement of BEA’s national, regional, industry, and international economic accounts, especially in areas of new and rapidly growing economic activities arising from innovative and advancing technologies, and provides recommendations from the perspectives of the economics profession, business, and government.

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