October 1, 2020

Personal income decreased 2.7 percent while consumer spending increased 1.0 percent in August, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Personal Income Oct1

Personal income
The decrease in personal income in August was more than accounted for by a decline in unemployment insurance benefits, based primarily on unemployment claims data from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Notably, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program which provided a temporary weekly supplemental payment expired on July 31.

Partially offsetting the decrease in unemployment insurance benefits was an increase in compensation in August. Additional information on factors affecting monthly personal income can be found in “Effects of Selected Federal Pandemic Response Programs on Personal Income”.

Consumer spending
Current dollar consumer spending increased in August, reflecting increases in both goods and services.
  • Within goods, the leading contributor to the increase was spending for new motor vehicles, based primarily on unit sales from Ward’s Automotive Sales Report.
    Consumer Spending Oct1
  • Within services, the leading contributors to the increase were spending for food services and accommodations as well as health care. Spending for food services and accommodations was based on Census Monthly Retail Trade Survey data and Smith Travel Research data. Within health care, both hospital and outpatient services increased, based on volume data for hospital services and outpatient visits as well as credit card data.

For more information, read the full release.