Thursday, March 28, 2013

Total personal income in Colorado increases during 2012's fourth quarter

The yesterday released the latest quarterly personal income information. This does not include per capita personal income like the annual data does. It only includes total personal income which is the total of all income sources for all Coloradans during a given period.

In this case, we're looking at the fourth quarter of 2012, which shows that total personal income in Colorado was up 5.1 percent over the fourth quarter of

The first graph shows the year over year change in total personal income for Colorado and the US. By this measure, growth in Colorado is outpacing that of the nation overall. Colorado was up 5.1 percent year over year for the fourth quarter, and the US was up 4.9 percent.

We know, however, that some of the growth in total personal income in Colorado is being spurred by an increasing population. We know that during 2012, at least, according to the BEA, that population growth in Colorado outpaced that of the nation. Since this measure of personal income is a total of all income, an increase in population will generally lead to an increase in income measured.

The second graph shows that total personal income is above the old peak levels - indeed the Colorado level is now up 9.6 percent above peak levels and the US is now above 8.7 percent above peak levels. The peak occurred during the second quarter of 2008.

Historically, the year over year growth was very moderate when compared to the past two decades.

Since 1980, the average growth rate in Colorado is 6.8 percent. Clearly, the growth rates over the past year (ranging from 3.2 percent to 5.1 percent) have been well below that, and compared to other non-recessionary periods, the growth rate is quite moderate right now.

This was the ninth quarter in a row in which in which there was a year-over-year increase. The last time there was  a year-over-year decline in either the US or Colo was the 4th Q of 2009