Personal savings rate climbs to 1-year high

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Americans saved a slightly larger chunk of their disposable income for a third straight month in June, pushing the personal savings rate to its highest level in a year, according to government data released Tuesday.

The Commerce Department reported that personal savings totaled $725.9 billion, or 6.4% of post-tax income, up from $713.9 billion, or 6.3%, in May. The rate was the highest since June 2009, when the reading came in at 6.7%.

"The rebound in the savings rate is encouraging," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. "It means that spending is likely to rise more in line with income whenever it grows."

In addition to lifting spending, a higher savings rate also means that households have a better cushion to pay down debt.

The report showed that personal income and spending were virtually unchanged during the month.

Income increased by $3 billion, or less than 0.1%, after a downwardly revised 0.3% rise in May. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected the figure to edge up 0.1% during the month.

Spending by individuals, a key driver of economic growth, rose $5.1 billion June, or less than 0.1%, in line with economists' estimates.

"This report definitely comes in on the weaker side, and is another indication that the economic recovery is losing momentum," Vitner said.

He added that the gap in unemployment benefits may have cut into spending activity during the month. Though August might show a boost in spending since Congress extended jobless benefits last month, Vitner said hanging hopes for the economy on unemployment checks isn't healthy.

Vitner added that he expects the private sector to grow over the next year, even as stimulus funds wind down, which will help boost personal income and spending in the future.

"The economy will have to start standing on its own. That might make for weak headline numbers, but from a fundamental standpoint, we'll start to see a more genuine recovery," he said.

Meanwhile, the core personal consumption expenditures index, a closely watched gauge for inflation that excludes food and energy, increased less than 0.1% in June, following a 0.1% increase in May.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,666.15 -214.21 -1.27%
Nasdaq 4,378.01 -84.89 -1.90%
S&P 500 1,939.39 -30.68 -1.56%
Treasuries 2.55 -0.01 -0.20%
Data as of 12:03pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Micron Technology In... 30.35 -2.18 -6.70%
Bank of America Corp... 15.34 -0.24 -1.54%
Apple Inc 95.84 -2.31 -2.35%
Facebook Inc 73.09 -1.59 -2.13%
Tyson Foods Inc 37.54 -0.66 -1.73%
Data as of 11:49am ET

Sections

World Wrestling Entertainment is known for its bone-crushing body slams, but now the company is slamming its workers. More

At an age when they should be thinking about retirement, these workers are working harder and in more jobs than ever. More

Terrell White has had a profit-sharing plan for his employees since 1981, believing that if the staff isn't happy, guests won't be either. More

The Mason family, which has been struggling to pay the $100,000 student loan bill they were left with when their daughter passed away five years ago, is now seeing an outpouring of support. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.