Capital Income Is Consuming Less

One factor in the economy that I track is the percentage of Capital Income that is used for Consumption. The number is attained by using the NIPA tables and labor share.

Here is the updated data up to 1st quarter 2018.

The last 2 quarters show that capital income is spending less on consumption. The percentage is falling. This normally sets up a trend toward a recession.

What does it mean when capital income starts consuming less? Basically capital income is choosing to save its money thinking that an economic contraction is coming. The idea is to protect assets by consuming less and saving more.

Here is the percentage of capital income going to savings.

Capital income is saving more in the last two quarters. (The vertical red lines show the starts of recessions)

These trends in capital income in the last two quarters would normally signify a path toward recession.

Disclosure: None.

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Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

This is certainly a pretty accurate indicator. Add this to consumer weakness and the economy may not be doing as well as it appears.