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e-Edge Newsletter v.18 n. 47– Released December 1, 2014

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v.18 n. 47 – Released December 1, 2014

This Week’s Headlines:

Consumer Spending Disappoints in October

Total personal income increased by 0.2% in October after rising by the same amount in September. While coming in below expectations of 0.3%, this reading is actually better than the posted headline number suggests. Extend the decimal out one more place and the increase for October becomes 0.222% versus 0.166% in September. The difference may be slight, but it makes a large difference in terms of billions of dollars.

Total wages and salaries were up by 0.3% ($20.2 billion) over the month. Wages in private goods producing industries posted a strong increase – 0.6% or $7.2 billion, while wages in the service sector rose by 0.2% ($11.6 billion). Wage and salary growth in the public sector continues to lag behind private sector industries, ticking up by just 0.1% ($1.4 billion) for the third month in a row. Government transfers (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, veterans’ benefits) fell by 0.1% in October. This was the first decline in government social benefits since last December.

Real personal consumption expenditures were also up by 0.2% in October after remaining unchanged in September (revised up from -0.2%). The personal saving rate held steady at 5.0%.

Real consumer spending on durable goods fell by 0.1% after sinking by 1.0% in September. Spending on nondurable goods increased by 0.5% following a decline of 0.3% during the previous month.

On a year-to-year basis:

  • Real disposable income was up by 2.5%
  • Real personal consumption expenditures increased by 2.2%
  • Growth in real spending on goods (3.6%) outpaced spending on services (1.5%)

Consumer prices ticked up by 0.1% over the month and over the year have exhibited little upward pressure.

This was a disappointing report. Both income and consumption growth fell short of expectations making for a slow start to the final quarter of this year. There is still time to catch up and if forecasts for holiday retail sales prove accurate, there should be a boost to consumption in November and December. (Kimberly Ritter-Martinez)

Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Events of Interest


December 4, 2014: Doing Business in China, Japan and Korea Conference

Location: Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles 90071

Pease join us at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce for our Doing Business in China, Japan and Korea conference. Our goal is to increase the amounts of food and food related products exported to these countries. We will be highlighting various trade and finance resources available to U.S. Exporters and their buyers in the Pacific Rim. This conference will feature Keynote Speaker, Ms. Holly Vineyard, International Trade Administration’s Deputy Assistance Secretary for Asia. Ms. Vineyard has an extensive history of working with U.S. companies to increase their international market share. Public and private sector speakers with many years of experience of working in not only Korea, Japan and China but the other countries throughout the Pacific Rim, will also be featured during the conference. This event is partially supported through a U.S. Department of Commerce, MDCP award.


February 18, 2015: LAEDC Economic Forecast Event Featuring Tourism and Hospitality

Location: L.A. Downtown Hotel; 333 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles 90071

LAEDC’s Economic Forecast is our region’s most established and valuable event offering intelligence about our business and jobs climate.

Join LAEDC Chief Economist, expert speakers, and hundreds of leaders as we present the 2015-2016 forecast for LA County, our region, and the U.S. This year, the event’s focus is on our regional tourism and hospitality industry cluster, the challenges and opportunities it faces and the forecast for growth in the industry. Because this industry factors into the success of so many sectors – from entertainment to arts and culture, from international trade to Foreign Direct Investment, we encourage you to sponsor and attend.

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