The above chart shows the percentage contribution PCEs made to to GDP for the four quarters of 1954, along with the contribution of various sub-parts of PCEs. Note the incredible strength of PCEs -- consumers are spending a lot of money on an assortment of items.
The above chart is from the Economic Report to the President, 1955. It simply highlights the incredible growth in a variety of conumer goods that were purchased by consumers during this time. As the report highlighted:
Also consider the following chart:
The above chart shows PCEs, income and sales. Notice that we don't see an increase in disposable personal income until the end of the year. This is due to the recession which lasted until July 1954. However, thanks to a well-executed policy to limit the impact of the of the slowdown, the recessions overall effect was mild (from the ERP):
The above chart highlights now consumers continued to purchase a constant amount of durable goods, but expanded their purchases of both services and non-durable goods.
Also helping this process was the consumer finance sector, as noted by the Federal Reserve:
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The Bonddad Economic History Project
At the beginning of 2012, I decided to start looking at the actual, statistical history of the US economy starting in 1950. The reason is simple: to find out what really happened. So, when you see title of a post that begins with a year such as 1957, followed by "employment" or "Fed policy: you know what it's for. You can also access the information by typing in BE for Bonddad econ and a year to find information on a particular year.
Here is a link to pages that contain links to all the posts on the years listed.