What you need to know about Monday’s U.S. economic data:
PERSONAL INCOME AND SPENDING (FEBRUARY)
- Spending rose 0.1 percent for third month after January outlays revised sharply lower from previously reported 0.5 percent gain
- Inflation-adjusted spending climbed 0.2 percent after no change (previously reported up 0.4 percent)
- Personal incomes increased 0.2 percent after 0.5 percent advance
- Saving rate rose to one-year high of 5.4 percent from 5.3 percent
The Takeaway: Consumers remain stingy, taking their income gains and boosting the saving rate to its highest since February 2015. Inflation-adjusted spending on merchandise has declined in each of the last three months, the first time that’s happened in a year. The sum of all the parts: Plenty of Wall Street economists marked down estimates for first-quarter economic growth. Economists at Morgan Stanley moved their tracking estimate for gross domestic product to a 0.6 percent gain from 1 percent, while those at Macroeconomic Advisers took their forecast to 1 percent from 1.5 percent. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate was lowered 0.6 percent, down from 1.4 percent. The economy expanded an annualized 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter.