Personal incomes were hit with the biggest drop in more than a decade in January, a decrease the AP attributes to Microsoft divdends (or the lack tereof).
Personal incomes which had been bolstered by a large stock dividend payment in December plunged 2.3 percent in January, the sharpest decline in more than a decade.
The Commerce Department said Monday that the sharp January drop in incomes followed a record 3.7 percent jump in incomes in December with both months heavily influenced by a $3 per share dividend payment that computer software giant Microsoft made on Dec. 2. Without that $32 billion payment, personal incomes would have shown steadier gains of 0.6 percent in December and 0.5 percent in January.
All of this leads me to wonder just how much the U.S. economy depends on what Bill Gates and a few of his cronies stuff into their mattresses.
Oh, and it looks like Bill did not spend much in January, either.
Personal spending was unchanged in January after having risen by 0.8 percent in December. This reflected the fact that demand for autos sagged last month as dealers removed attractive incentive offers they had used to spur end-of-the-year sales.
Adding to My Bush Boom woes, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in January, the fastest rate in more than three years.