Personal Income Decreased 7.1 Percent in February 2021

Personal income income decreased $1,516.6 billion (7.1%) in February according to estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $1,532.3 billion (8.0%) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $149.0 billion (1.0%).

Real DPI decreased 8.2% in February and Real PCE decreased 1.2%; goods decreased 3.3% and services decreased 0.1%. The PCE price index increased 0.2%. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1%.

2020 2021
Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb.
Percent change from preceding month
Personal income:
     Current dollars -0.7 -1.2 0.5 10.1 -7.1
Disposable personal income:
     Current dollars -0.9 -1.4 0.6 11.4 -8.0
     Chained (2012) dollars -0.9 -1.4 0.2 11.1 -8.2
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE):
     Current dollars 0.3 -0.6 -0.6 3.4 -1.0
     Chained (2012) dollars 0.3 -0.6 -0.9 3.0 -1.2
Price indexes:
     PCE 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.3 0.2
     PCE, excluding food and energy 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.2 0.1
Price indexes: Percent change from month one year ago
     PCE 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6
     PCE, excluding food and energy 1.4 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.4

The decrease in personal income in February was more than accounted for by a decrease in government social benefits to persons. Within government social benefits, “other” social benefits, specifically the economic impact payments to households, decreased. The CRRSA Act authorized a round of direct economic impact payments that were mostly distributed in January.

The $149.0 billion decrease in current dollar PCE in February reflected a decrease of $155.9 billion in spending for goods and a $7.0 billion increase in spending for services. Within goods, the decreases were widespread across most categories, led by “other” nondurable goods (mainly pharmaceutical products and recreational items). Partly offsetting these decreases was an increase in gasoline and other energy goods. The increase in services primarily reflected increases in housing and utilities and in health care (mainly hospitals) that were partly offset by a decrease in spending for food services. Detailed information on monthly PCE spending can be found in Table 2.3.5U.

Personal outlays decreased $141.5 billion in February. Personal saving was $2.41 trillion in February and the personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 13.6%.

Updates to Personal Income and Outlays

Estimates have been updated for October through January. Revised and previously published changes from the preceding month for current-dollar personal income, and for current-dollar and chained (2012) dollar DPI and PCE, are shown below.