USA – What has happened on households’ consumption?

Households’ consumption has been particularly weak during the first five months of this year. I have already written on this issue (here, here and there) but the real question is to better understand consumption behavior. It is important for the US business cycle but also for the global economic momentum.
The observation is that during the first three-month of 2014, personal consumption expenditures were up by a mere 1% (annual rate) and that for the second quarter the carryover growth was just at 1.2% at the end of May. This is clearly weaker than what was seen in 2012 and 2013 (see the first chart here)
The four charts below show the level of Personal Consumption Expenditures and its quarterly average (carryover for Q2 2014) and its decomposition by types of expenditures. Continue reading