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Household organic income continues to show weak growth [ClearOnMoney]
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Household organic income continues to show weak growth

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Commentary

Household organic income continues to show weak growth

7 May 2013 by Jim Fickett.

Last week the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported household income and spending through March. The month-to-month changes are very noisy and it is a waste of time to analyze them. The trend does not hold any great surprises. While the compound annual growth rate in organic income (that is, income less government transfers) since 1990 has been about 2.2%, the latest year-over-year growth rate is a much weaker 1.3%. This is, then, yet another piece of evidence that the recovery continues but is quite weak.

Note also that, despite all the talk of the payroll tax rise, starting in January, hurting household income, the gap between tax (from households to government) and transfers (from government to households), remains very wide compared to the historical average.

The latest year-over-year change in spending is 2.2%. Spending has grown faster than income for some time. This cannot continue for the long term, but it is impossible to know when it will stop. For now, this is yet one more piece of evidence that the recovery is on an uncertain footing.

For source, background and past commentary see the Reference page NIPA personal income.