Announced this morning, Personal Income grew 0.2% in February, a bit less than expected. Additionally, Personal Spending grew just 0.1% in January, also less than expected. From an inflationary perspective, the January core Personal Consumption Expenditures (core PCE) grew 1.8% on an annual basis. In all, the data indicates the consumer is challenged, but the income and spending figures did recover from the decreases seen the previous month. The recent government shutdown is partly to blame, but with consumer spending close to 70% of GDP, income and subsequent spending are needed to guide economic growth. Meanwhile, inflation remains slightly below the stated 2% target by the Federal Reserve, supporting their patient stance on policy. In all, equity futures are higher this morning and the U.S. dollar is slightly lower heading into the market open.
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