Income Shows Consistent Growth

Real disposable income growth was 2.8 percent for the seventh consecutive month, an unusually consistent period of growth in disposable income.

In August 2018, real disposable income was $15,617 billion. As is normally the case, real disposable income set an all-time high this month, up 2.9 percent from one year ago. The rate of growth was unchanged from last month and remained just below the historical average rate of growth of 3.1 percent.

The annual rate of growth remained unchanged at 2.8 percent, as it has since February. This was the fastest rate of annual growth since May 2016, but the rate of change was abnormally flat. Even though the rate of growth has plateaued, it was still a positive sign for durable goods manufacturing.

Keep in mind that changes in real disposable income typically lead capital equipment consumption by almost 24 months.


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World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more.

Gardner Business Index

A diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.