Home > News Release: Personal Income and Outlays, February 2009
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2009
BEA 09-12


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PERSONAL INCOME AND OUTLAYS
February 2009
Personal income decreased $29.1 billion, or 0.2 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI)
decreased $10.5 billion, or 0.1 percent, in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $17.2 billion, or 0.2 percent.  In January, personal
income increased $20.5 billion, or 0.2 percent, DPI increased $164.6 billion, or 1.6 percent, and PCE
increased $94.8 billion, or 1.0 percent, based on revised estimates.

Real disposable income decreased 0.4 percent in February, in contrast to an increase of 1.3 percent
in January.  Real PCE decreased 0.2 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.7 percent.  The price index
for PCE increased 0.3 percent, the same increase as in January.

                                        2008                                            2009
                                        Oct.            Nov.            Dec.            Jan.            Feb.
                                                       (Percent change from preceding month)
Personal income, current dollars       -0.1            -0.5            -0.3             0.2            -0.2
Disposable personal income:
 Current dollars                        0.0            -0.4            -0.3             1.6            -0.1
 Chained (2000) dollars                 0.4             0.7             0.2             1.3            -0.4
Personal consumption expenditures:
 Current dollars                       -1.2            -0.7            -1.1             1.0             0.2
 Chained (2000) dollars                -0.8             0.4            -0.6             0.7            -0.2

                                Compensation of employees

Private wage and salary disbursements decreased $29.9 billion in February, compared with a
decrease of $27.1 billion in January.  The January change in private wages and salaries was reduced
by an adjustment of $20.0 billion (at an annual rate) for smaller-than-usual bonus payments.  This
type of irregular payment is not accounted for in the primary monthly source data for wages and
salaries.  The adjustment to January wages was derived from state government estimates based on
tax data and from other sources.  (The negative $20.0 billion adjustment was also made to the
February estimate, and a similar adjustment will be made to March.)  Goods-producing industries'
payrolls decreased $12.6 billion, compared with a decrease of $14.3 billion; manufacturing payrolls
decreased $5.1 billion, compared with a decrease of $10.9 billion.  Services-producing industries'
payrolls decreased $17.2 billion, compared with a decrease of $12.8 billion.

Government wage and salary disbursements increased $3.9 billion, compared with an increase
of $14.3 billion.  Pay raises for federal civilian personnel added $0.6 billion to the change in
government payrolls in February; pay raises for federal civilian and military personnel had added
$9.7 billion to government payrolls in January.

Employer contributions for employee pension and insurance funds increased $4.7 billion in
February, compared with an increase of $7.1 billion in January.

Employer contributions for government social insurance decreased $2.2 billion in February, in
contrast to an increase of $2.9 billion in January.  The January change reflected an increase in the tax
rate paid by employers to state unemployment insurance funds and an increase in the social security
taxable wage base (from $102,000 to $106,800); together, these changes added $4.6 billion to the
January change.  (Changes in employer contributions for government social insurance do not affect
personal income because employer contributions for government social insurance are also included
in total contributions for government social insurance, which is a subtraction in the calculation of
personal income.)

                                Other personal income

Proprietors' income decreased $1.0 billion in February, compared with a decrease of $5.2
billion in January.  Farm proprietors' income decreased $1.5 billion, compared with a decrease of
$0.1 billion.  Nonfarm proprietors' income increased $0.5 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $5.1
billion.

Rental income of persons decreased $0.2 billion in February, compared with  decrease of $0.7
billion in January.  Personal income receipts on assets (personal interest income plus personal
dividend income) decreased $24.9 billion, compared with a decrease of $22.5 billion.

Personal current transfer receipts increased $16.2 billion in February, compared with an
increase of $56.7 billion in January.  The January change in current transfer receipts reflected 5.8-
percent cost-of-living adjustments to social security benefits and to several other federal transfer
payment programs; together, these changes added $41.1 billion to the January change.  The January
change in current transfer receipts was reduced by lump-sum social security benefits payments,
which had added $7.4 billion to December benefit payments; these benefit payments resulted from a
recalculation of the earnings base underlying the benefits for recent retirees.

Contributions for government social insurance -- a subtraction in calculating personal income --
decreased $4.2 billion in February, in contrast to an increase of $4.9 billion in January.  The January
increase reflected increases in both employer and personal contributions for government social
insurance.  As noted above, employer contributions were boosted $4.6 billion in January by
increases in unemployment-insurance rates and in the social security taxable wage base.  The
January change in personal contributions for government social insurance reflected increases in the
monthly premium paid by participants in the supplementary medical insurance program (Medicare
part B) and in the social security taxable wage base; these changes added $2.8 billion to January
personal contributions.

                                Personal current taxes and disposable personal income

Personal current taxes decreased $18.6 billion in February, compared with a decrease of $144.1
billion in January.  Federal net nonwithheld income taxes (payments of estimated taxes plus final
settlements less refunds) had been reduced in January by $114.0 billion, based on the Office of Tax
Analysis projections of lower final settlements and higher refunds for 2009.  Indexation provisions
of current tax law reduced federal withheld income taxes by $4.0 billion in January.

Disposable personal income (DPI) -- personal income less personal current taxes -- decreased
$10.5 billion, or 0.1 percent, in February, in contrast to an increase of $164.6 billion, or 1.6 percent,
in January.

                                Personal outlays and personal saving

Personal outlays -- PCE, personal interest payments, and personal current transfer payments
increased $16.9 billion in February, compared with an increase of $94.7 billion in January.  PCE
increased $17.2 billion, compared with an increase of $94.8 billion.

Personal saving -- DPI less personal outlays -- was $450.7 billion in February, compared with
$478.1 billion in January.  Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 4.2
percent in February, compared with 4.4 percent in January.  For a comparison of personal saving in
BEA's national income and product accounts with personal saving in the Federal Reserve Board's
flow of funds accounts and data on changes in net worth, which help finance consumption, go to
www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Nipa-Frb.asp.

                                Real DPI and real PCE

Real DPI -- DPI adjusted to remove price changes -- decreased 0.4 percent in February, in contrast
to an increase of 1.3 percent in January.

Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- decreased 0.2 percent in February, in
contrast to an increase of 0.7 percent in January.  Purchases of durable goods decreased 1.5 percent,
in contrast to an increase of 3.2 percent.  Purchases of motor vehicle and parts accounted for most of
the decrease in durable goods in February and about one-half the increase in January.  Purchases of
nondurable goods decreased less than 0.1 percent in February, in contrast to an increase of 1.2
percent in January.  Purchases of services decreased less than 0.1 percent, in contrast to an increase
of 0.1 percent.

PCE prices -- The price index for PCE increased 0.3 percent in February, the same increase as
in January.  Prices, excluding food and energy, increased 0.2 percent, the same increase as in
January.

                                Revisions

Estimates have been revised for October 2008 through January 2009.  Changes in personal
income, current-dollar and chained (2000) dollar DPI, and current-dollar and chained (2000) dollar
PCE for December and January -- revised and as published in last month's release -- are shown
below.  The upward revision to January personal consumption expenditures primarily reflected a
large upward revision to the retail sales source data used to derive these estimates.

                                                                Change from preceding month
                                        December                                  January
                                        Previous   Revised   Previous   Revised   Previous   Revised   Previous   Revised
                                       (Billions of dollars)      (Percent)      (Billions of dollars)      (Percent)
Personal Income:
 Current dollars...................... -24.0      -40.5     -0.2       -0.3       44.8       20.5      0.4        0.2
Disposable personal income:
 Current dollars...................... -17.8      -32.9     -0.2       -0.3       183.0      164.6     1.7        1.6
 Chained (2000) dollars...............  30.9       17.1      0.4        0.2       133.9      113.6     1.5        1.3
Personal consumption expenditures:
 Current dollars...................... -101.2     -109.0    -1.0       -1.1       56.4       94.8      0.6        1.0
 Chained (2000) dollars............... -41.3      -48.9     -0.5       -0.6       30.4       57.5      0.4        0.7

BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.  By
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Next release -- April 30, 2009 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for Personal Income and Outlays for March.