US disposable personal income rose 0.2% in December over November, personal consumption expenditures fell 0.6%; increase in personal income reflected increase in compensation, partly offset by decrease in proprietors' income: Dept. of Commerce

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WASHINGTON , January 28, 2022 (press release) –

Personal income increased $70.7 billion (0.3 percent) in December according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $39.9 billion (0.2 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $95.2 billion (0.6 percent).

Real DPI decreased 0.2 percent in December and Real PCE decreased 1.0 percent; goods decreased 3.1 percent and services increased 0.1 percent (tables 5 and 7). The PCE price index increased 0.4 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.5 percent (table 9).

Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Percent change from preceding month
Personal income:  
     Current dollars 0.3 -1.0 0.6 0.5 0.3 
Disposable personal income:  
     Current dollars 0.3 -1.3 0.5 0.4 0.2
     Chained (2012) dollars -0.1 -1.6 -0.2 -0.2 -0.2
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE):  
     Current dollars 1.1 0.6 1.5 0.4 -0.6
     Chained (2012) dollars 0.7 0.3 0.9 -0.2  -1.0 
Price indexes:  
     PCE 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.4
     PCE, excluding food and energy 0.3 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.5
Price indexes: Percent change from month one year ago
     PCE 4.2 4.4 5.1 5.7 5.8
     PCE, excluding food and energy 3.6 3.7 4.2 4.7 4.9


COVID-19 Impact on December 2021 Personal Income and Outlays
The estimate for December personal income and outlays reflected the continued economic recovery and government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, COVID-19 cases resulted in continued restrictions and disruptions in the operations of establishments in some parts of the country. Government social benefits decreased, primarily reflecting the winding down of pandemic-related assistance programs. 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 December primarily reflected an increase in compensation that was partly offset by a decrease in proprietors' income. Within compensation, the increase reflected increases in both private and government wages and salaries. Within proprietors' income, both nonfarm and farm income decreased (table 3). Government social benefits decreased slightly, reflecting the winding down of pandemic-related assistance programs.

The $95.2 billion decrease in current-dollar PCE in December reflected a decrease of $147.2 billion in spending for goods that was partly offset by a $52.0 billion increase in spending for services (table 3). Within goods, decreases were widespread across most components and were led by recreational goods and vehicles, "other" nondurable goods (which includes newspapers, household supplies, and games and toys), and furnishings and durable household equipment. Within services, the largest contributor to the increase was spending for health care. Detailed information on monthly PCE spending can be found on Table 2.3.5U.

Personal outlays decreased $93.5 billion in December (table 3). Personal saving was $1.44 trillion in December and the personal saving rate—personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income—was 7.9 percent (table 1).

The PCE price index for December increased 5.8 percent from one year ago, reflecting increases in both goods and services (table 11). Energy prices increased 29.9 percent while food prices increased 5.7 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index for December increased 4.9 percent from one year ago.

Updates to Personal Income and Outlays

Estimates have been updated for October and November. 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 provided below.

  Change from preceding month
October November
Previous Revised Previous Revised Previous Revised Previous Revised
(Billions of dollars) (Percent) (Billions of dollars) (Percent)
Personal income:  
     Current dollars 93.2 124.3 0.5 0.6 90.4 107.5 0.4 0.5
Disposable personal income:  
     Current dollars 63.3 87.7 0.4 0.5 70.4 78.2 0.4 0.4
     Chained (2012) dollars -50.3 -25.4 -0.3 -0.2 -33.8 -30.1 -0.2 -0.2
Personal consumption expenditures:  
     Current dollars 229.7 246.8 1.4 1.5 104.7 65.8 0.6 0.4
     Chained (2012) dollars 102.5 120.9 0.7 0.9 4.4 -31.1  0.0 -0.2 


Annual Update of the National Economic Accounts
BEA will release results from the 2022 annual update of the National Economic Accounts, which includes the National Income and Product Accounts as well as the Industry Economic Accounts, on September 29, 2022. This update will present revised statistics for GDP, GDP by Industry, and gross domestic income and will cover the first quarter of 2017 through the first quarter of 2022. More information on the 2022 annual update will be included on BEA’s website as well as in a forthcoming Survey of Current Business article, “GDP and the Economy.”


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