The most recent data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) showed that personal income decreased in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $19,839 billion. It went down 4.2% in May, after a 10.8% jump in April. This decrease in personal income largely came from the decline in government social benefits, because the majority of one-time stimulus checks have been paid in April. Pandemic unemployment insurance, at the same time, increased $825.3 billion in May, including $101.5 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, $6.3 billion in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Payments, and $691.9 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Payments.
Real disposable income (income remaining after adjusting for taxes and inflation) was down 5.0% in May after a 13.6% increase in April. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 8.2% after a historical plunge of 12.6% in April when businesses were shut down and households were complying with the ‘stay-at-home’ orders. In May, more consumers were back to shops and restaurants as the economy has gradually reopened.
In May, the rise in consumer spending and the drop in personal income draw the personal savings rate down to 23.2%, compared to a record high savings rate of 32.2% in April. Personal savings stood at $4.12 billion (SAAR) in May, still triple the amount of savings in March.