Friday, May 27, 2011
"Today, it is Friday"
The latest and greatest star (or victim) from YouTube has some choice words for you: “Today, it is Friday. Yesterday it was Thursday.” Wow. Rebecca Black sure knows her days of the week. But she is on point about it (finally) being the weekend. Even better: it’s a 3-day Holiday weekend! Time to warm up the grills and take off those pool covers (unless your plan involves traveling in the DC metro area, in which case the only water you’ll be seeing is the Potomac River from your car window).
We deserve a nice weekend outside. We’ve been working hard, and waited patiently for the summer season to start (plus, all of our shows just ended – including Oprah *gasp* – so there’s certainly nothing on TV). Data released today shows we are right on track to make our outdoor weekend a good one: our disposable personal income (spending money) increased by 0.3% in April over March, largely due to a nice 0.4% increase in our wages and salaries. Year over year our total personal income rose by 4.4%, not too shabby. Just be careful before you run to the store – while this is good for our wallets (and stomachs, extra cheese on my burger please), we might not see the full benefit since the last year also saw an increase in the prices we pay for the stuff we want. After adjusting for these price increases, our personal income (money we have to spend – or save if you insist) still went up over the last year but only by about 1%.
Don’t worry, this hasn’t stopped us from spending money (that would be just wrong). Data released today also shows our savings were actually flat over last month (congratulations, nobody insisted). Further, year over year our spending after adjusting for prices (“real personal consumption expenditures”, or PCE) increased by about 2.7%. And we’ve been treating ourselves well. Over the last 2 years (Q1 2009 – Q1 2011) our “real” spending (after adjusting for price increases) on recreational goods increased by almost $100 billion, and our real spending on food and drinks enjoyed not at home increased by about $40 billion. Food and fun are 2 American staples, where would we be if without them? Sounds like we’re pretty prepared to go all out and enjoy the weekend. We know exactly what we need to do.
So get out there and get your base suntan on. As our friend Rebecca Black also points out: “Tomorrow it is Saturday. Sunday is the day after.” That sounds like the official start of the weekend to me! In other words, “Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun.” Happy Memorial Day!
(Bureau of Economic Analysis)