Personal Spending in Slow Motionby Tim Manni
Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), an index which measures consumer spending, remained on the positive side of the ledger for April, but was down 0.2% from March. PCE makes up about 71% of the Gross Domestic Product, and is a gauge of how well consumers fare in the economy. Excluding the unpredictable costs of food and energy, personal spending barely reported a positive reading at .1%.
In a last-ditch effort to boost personal spending, the U.S. government has and will continue to issue stimulus checks to anyone who has submitted a tax return. The last round of stimulus checks issued by Washington was in the summer and fall of 2001, when individuals were issued checks of either $300 or $600 dollars. This summer, when the last round of stimulus checks is doled out in July, 131 million households will receive $110 billion.