Yesterdays release of real income data has received much commentary from blogger. Many ways of looking at the data and many excuses for the data have been proposed. Often I read comments about how the use of household and/or family data biased the data. And there are some validity to the comments that different ways of looking at the data generate certain problems.
Perhaps the simplest way of looking at the data is to use the most basic unit and look at the growth in real per capital income. With this series at least there are no change in the composition of the unit that could bias the data.
As this chart shows growth in real per capita income growth is showing a long run trend of slower growth and in recent years the growth has been especially slow. Out of the past seven years real per capita income fell in five years.
If you do a seven year moving average it shows that since George Bush took office real per capita income growth has been negative. It is the worse economic performance in the modern era.