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Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Personal Income and Outlay Report

What it is:

The Personal Income and Outlay report is compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The report reflects personal income earned by individuals above the age of 18 working in the United States labor force.

How it works (Example):

The Personal Income and Outlays report measures income-earning patterns based on two factors: personal income and consumption. The report is divided into two categories: personal income and personal outlay.

Personal income refers to before-tax income, such as: consumer wages, salaries, rental income, interest income and dividends. Personal outlays can be defined as personal consumption or spending, including durable goods, non-durable goods, services, interest payments and mortgages.

Here is look at the Personal Income and Outlay report from January 2011:

graph courtesy of bea.gov

The Personal Income and Outlays report is published four to five weeks after the reported month.

Why it Matters:

The Personal Income and Outlay report closely tracks gross domestic product (GDP) indicator on consumer spending, inflationary pressures, the overall economy and markets. Analysis of this report can put the economy into a broader context for deeper understanding of how consumers may spend in the future.