Unexpectedly Intriguing!
01 May 2019

After having dipped to $63,378 in February 2019, median household income in the United States rose to $63,425 in March 2019, an increase of 0.1%.

The following chart shows the nominal (red) and inflation-adjusted (blue) trends for median household income in the United States from January 2000 through March 2019. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant March 2019 U.S. dollars.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Estimates, January 2000 to March 2019

Year over year, median household income in the U.S. has risen by 3.6%, but while positive, the rate at which it is rising continues to decelerate, having peaked in October 2018.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Year Over Year Growth Rate, January 2001 to March 2019

The monthly data reported by Sentier Research is consistent with the U.S. economy having hit a speed bump during the last several months, after having seen remarkably steady and robust growth during 2018.

Analyst's Notes

Our alternate methodology for estimating median household income from data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis would put the figure at $64,002 for March 2019, which is within 1% of Sentier Research's estimate for the month. We suspect that's because the source personal income data may be showing the effects of past momentum, which may be subject to revision during the next several months.

In generating inflation-adjusted portion of the Median Household Income in the 21st Century chart and the corresponding year-over-year growth rate chart above, we've used the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to adjust the nominal median household income estimates for inflation, so that they are expressed in terms of the U.S. dollars for the month for which we're reporting the newest income data.

References

Sentier Research. Household Income Trends: January 2000 through March 2019.  [Excel Spreadsheet with Nominal Median Household Incomes for January 2000 through January 2013 courtesy of Doug Short]. [PDF Document]. Accessed 30 April 2019. [Note: We've converted all data to be in terms of current (nominal) U.S. dollars.] 

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers - (CPI-U), U.S. City Average, All Items, 1982-84=100. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 10 April 2019. Accessed: 10 April 2019.

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