The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said today personal income, disposable personal income and outlays inched higher in May. Analysts said that trend should help sustain the ongoing increase in auto sales and auto loans and leases.
“Definitely a good sign,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
He told Auto Finance News today monthly personal consumption spending for May was the strongest one-month gain since August 2009. “People may be spending the money saved by cheap gasoline,” he said.
Nationwide, personal income increased $79 billion, or 0.5% from the previous month, and disposable personal income increased $65.5 billion, or 0.5% in May, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Those increases were an improvement from the same figures a year ago, according to the BEA.
Blitzer said besides auto sales, sales of existing homes and household net worth are also positives. Earlier this month the Federal Reserve announced a new record for total U.S. household net worth of $84.9 trillion. However, Blitzer pointed out in an earlier interview consumers don’t always “feel” wealthier based on home values.
The BEA statistics on personal income and disposable personal income should help.
Meanwhile, the BEA reported earlier this month the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate for U.S. light-vehicle sales was a whopping 17.7 million in May, up from 16.7 million a year ago.
According to Autodata, May U.S. auto sales were about 1.6 million, an increase of 1.6% year to date, sales of about 7 million were up 4.5% from the same period a year ago.