News Release

BEA 19—06

Personal Income and Outlays, December 2018; Personal Income, January 2019

Due to the recent partial government shutdown, this report combines estimates for December 2018 and January 2019. December estimates include both income and outlays measures, while January estimates are limited to personal income. Estimates of outlays for January are unavailable due to a delay in the release of the Census Bureau’s Advance Monthly Retail Sales.

Personal Income and Outlays, December 2018

Personal income increased $179.0 billion (1.0 percent) in December according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income increased $173.1 billion (1.1 percent), and personal consumption expenditures decreased $76.6 billion (-0.5 percent).

Real DPI increased 1.0 percent in December and real PCE decreased 0.6 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.

The increase in personal income in December primarily reflected increases in personal dividend income, compensation of employees, and farm proprietors’ income (table 3). Personal dividend income increased $83.4 billion, primarily reflecting a one-time special dividend payment by VMware Incorporated. Farm proprietors’ income increased $29.2 billion, which included subsidy payments associated with the Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program.

In December, real PCE decreased $77.9 billion which reflected a decrease of $67.2 billion in spending for goods and a $18.2 billion decrease in spending for services (table 7). Within goods, recreational goods and vehicles was the leading contributor to the decrease. Within services, the largest contributor to the decrease was spending for household electricity and gas. Detailed information on monthly real PCE spending can be found in Table 2.3.6U.

Personal outlays decreased $71.3 billion in December (table 3). Personal saving rose to $1.21 trillion in December and the personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 7.6 percent (table 1)

Personal Income, January 2019

Personal income decreased $23.8 billion (-0.1 percent) in January. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $35.1 billion (-0.2 percent); Real DPI is unavailable for January.

The decrease in personal income in January primarily reflected decreases in personal dividend income, farm proprietors’ income, and personal interest income that were partially offset by increases in social security benefit payments (related to cost of living adjustments), and other government social benefits to persons, which includes the Child Tax Credit and the Affordable Care Act refundable tax credit.

  2018 2019
Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Percent change from preceding month
Personal income:  
Current dollars






Disposable personal income:  
Current dollars 0.2 0.6 0.3 1.1 -0.2
Chained (2012) dollars 0.1 0.4 0.2 1.0 ...
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE):  
Current dollars 0.1 0.7 0.6 -0.5 ...
Chained (2012) dollars 0.0 0.5 0.5 -0.6 ...
Price indexes:  
PCE 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.1 ...
PCE, excluding food and energy 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.2 ...
Price indexes: Percent change from month one year ago
PCE 2.0 2.0 1.8 1.7 ...
PCE, excluding food and energy 2.0 1.8 1.9 1.9 ...
QCEW Data Included in the Third Quarter of 2018

This news release includes revised estimates of wages and salaries, personal taxes, and contributions for government social insurance for July through September 2018 (third quarter). These estimates reflect the incorporation of newly available third-quarter wage and salary tabulations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.

2018 Personal Income and Outlays

Personal income (table 6) increased 4.5 percent in, compared with an increase of 4.4 percent in 2017. DPI increased 5.0 percent in 2018 compared with an increase of 4.4 percent in 2017. In 2018, PCE increased 4.7 percent, compared with an increase of 4.3 percent in 2017.

Real DPI increased 2.9 percent in 2018, compared with an increase of 2.6 percent in 2017. Real PCE (table 8) increased 2.6 percent, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent in 2017.

Next release:  March 29, 2019 at 8:30 A.M. EDT

Personal Income February 2019; Personal Outlays January 2019