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Personal Income and Outlays, September 2020

Summary:
Personal income increased 0.3 billion (0.9 percent) in September according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased 0.3 billion (0.9 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 1.4 billion (1.4 percent). Real DPI increased 0.7 percent in September and Real PCE increased 1.2 percent (tables 5 and 7). The PCE price index increased 0.2 percent (table 9). Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on September 2020 Personal Income and Outlays The September estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments slowed, as pandemic-related assistance

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Personal income increased $170.3 billion (0.9 percent) in September according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $150.3 billion (0.9 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $201.4 billion (1.4 percent).

Real DPI increased 0.7 percent in September and Real PCE increased 1.2 percent (tables 5 and 7). The PCE price index increased 0.2 percent (table 9). Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.

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

The September estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments slowed, as pandemic-related assistance programs continued to wind down. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. For more information, see Effects of Selected Federal Pandemic Response Programs on Personal Income.

The increase in personal income in September reflected increases in proprietors’ income, compensation of employees, and rental income of persons that were partly offset by a decrease in government social benefits (table 3). Within compensation, government wage and salary disbursements decreased $7.4 billion in September, following an increase of $23.9 billion in August. Temporary and intermittent Census decennial workers boosted government wages and salaries by $9.3 billion in September after adding $10.8 billion in August. Within government social benefits, unemployment insurance benefits decreased while “other” social benefits increased. Within unemployment insurance, the leading contributor was a decrease in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provided weekly supplemental payments of $600 that expired on July 31. Within “other” social benefits, there was an increase in Lost Wages Supplemental Payments, a Federal Emergency Management Administration program that provides wage assistance to individuals impacted by the pandemic.

The $159.2 billion increase in real PCE in September reflected an increase of $109.9 billion in spending for goods and a $61.0 billion increase in spending for services (table 7). Within goods, clothing and footwear as well as motor vehicles and parts (led by new motor vehicles) were the leading contributors to the increase. Within services, the largest contributors to the increase were spending for health care (led by outpatient services) as well as recreation services (led by membership clubs, sports centers, parks, theaters, and museums). Detailed information on monthly real PCE spending can be found on Table 2.4.6U.

  2020
May. Jun. July. Aug. Sept.
Percent change from preceding month
Personal income:  
     Current dollars -4.2  -1.2  0.9 -2.5  0.9
Disposable personal income:  
     Current dollars -4.8  -1.5  0.9 -2.9  0.9
     Chained (2012) dollars -5.0  -2.0  0.6 -3.2  0.7
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE):  
     Current dollars 8.7 6.5 1.5 1.0 1.4
     Chained (2012) dollars 8.5 5.9 1.3 0.7 1.2
Price indexes:  
     PCE 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.2
     PCE, excluding food and energy 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2
Price indexes: Percent change from month one year ago
     PCE 0.5 0.9 1.0 1.3 1.4
     PCE, excluding food and energy 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.5

Personal outlays increased $217.5 billion in September (table 3). Personal saving was $2.51 trillion in September and the personal saving rate—personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income—was 14.3 percent (table 1).

Updates to Personal Income and Outlays

Estimates have been updated for July and August. 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
July August
Previous Revised Previous Revised Previous Revised Previous Revised
(Billions of dollars) (Percent) (Billions of dollars) (Percent)
Personal income:  
     Current dollars 91.9 185.5 0.5 0.9 -543.5  -496.0  -2.7  -2.5 
Disposable personal income:  
     Current dollars 62.3 152.8 0.3 0.9 -570.9  -525.5  -3.2  -2.9 
     Chained (2012) dollars -5.9  93.9 0.0 0.6 -562.1  -523.4  -3.5  -3.2 
Personal consumption expenditures:  
     Current dollars 213.9 214.4 1.5 1.5 141.1 147.9 1.0 1.0
     Chained (2012) dollars 143.6 158.7 1.1 1.3 86.1 91.4 0.7 0.7

Next release: November 25, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. EST
Personal Income and Outlays: October 2020

Personal Income and Outlays
Release Dates in 2021
Estimate  Release Date
December 2020 January 29, 2021
January 2021 February 26, 2021
February 2021 March 26, 2021
March 2021 April 30, 2021
April 2021 May 28, 2021
May 2021 June 25, 2021
June 2021 July 30, 2021
July 2021 August 27, 2021
August 2021 October 1, 2021
September 2021 October 29, 2021
October 2021 November 24, 2021
November 2021 December 23, 2021
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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