Personal spending and income levels were disappointing in May which suggests annualized growth-domestic product gains will come in towards the bottom end of the 1.5%-to-2% range in the second quarter, Capital Economics economist Paul Dales said.
"The no-change in personal spending in May was as expected," he wrote. "And the small 0.1% month-over-month rise in real spending wasn't too bad either."
But he said the 0.3% month-over-month rise in real spending in April was revised down to 0.1%, and annualized real consumption growth in the second quarter may now come in around 1.7%, compared to the first quarter's 2.5%.
At the same time, jobs growth has slowed. The only positive sign is that there was a 0.2% month-over-month rise in nominal incomes in May, which is a 0.3% gain in real terms, Dales said.
"This is encouraging at a time when jobs growth has recently slowed, but some of the gloss is taken off by April’s 0.2% month-over-month rise being revised down to a 0.1% month-over-month gain," Dales said. "Looking ahead, the recent fall in gasoline prices will soon boost real consumption. But a sustained and significant acceleration in consumption growth cannot take place without faster jobs growth too."