Median Household Income In April 2019

Posted: Jun 04, 2019 10:27 AM

Median household income in the United States rose to a new nominal record high of $64,016 in April 2019, a 0.9% increase from Sentier Research's March 2019 estimate of $63,425.

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

The year-over-year growth rate for median household income in the U.S. showed a small rebound in April 2019, rising to 4.1% from 3.4% in the previous month in nominal terms, which is shown as the red line in the following chart. After adjusting for inflation, that change corresponds to an increase to 2.1% from March 2019's 1.7% "real" growth rate.

Overall, the positive acceleration in median household income in April 2019 reverses what had been a trend of deceleration that began in late 2018, as the U.S. economy seemed to hit a speed bump during the last quarter of that year.

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 $63,949 for April 2019, which is within 0.1% of Sentier Research's estimate for the month.

More significantly however, the BEA has posted a significant revision of its aggregate personal income data going back to October 2018, which captures the downdraft Sentier Research's survey-based estimates have been signalling. The following chart shows how aggregate received wage and salary dispersements changed from what the BEA previously reported on 29 April 2019 to what it just reported on 30 May 2019.

The 30 May 2019 revision is one of the largest we've seen since we began tracking this data last year, where it comparable in magnitude with what we've seen in larger scale annual revisions. The next annual revision to this data series will be published sometime in July-August 2019.