The Disposable Personal Income(DPI) graph counts total DPI across the whole U.S. in nominal dollars. I can transform it to per-capita nominal DPI easily enough. And there’s a CPI graph, so that’s cool. But now I want to combine the two to get DPI in current dollars. I could divide the nominal DPI by (CPI/100). The CPI equals 100 in some base year (1982-84, as it happens), so CPI/100 there would tell us how much dollars have deflated from the base year to now; if CPI = 200 today, dollars are worth half what they were in 1982-84. So then dividing DPI by CPI/100 would give us everything in 1982-1984 dollars.

I’d like to get everything in 2014 dollars. I can’t think of any obvious way to get that out of FRED. Am I just not thinking straight? If the CPI index in year x was 150, and it’s 200 now, then I want to multiply disposable income from year x by 200/150 to get everything in 2014 dollars.

I’d really like median DPI, but that doesn’t seem to be available. In fact I’d also like post-tax, post-transfer income (which should be basically DPI with Social Security, food stamps, etc. added in), but I don’t think that’s in FRED; I’ve not looked around much, but at least the CBO measures this stuff; I could probably mine their sources for the raw data.

The Census Bureau has real DPI in 2005 dollars, measured from 1980 to 2000, apparently derived “U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Survey of Current Business, April 2011, earlier reports and unpublished data”. So I’ll look there, too. And if worse comes to worst, I’ll find various people at the Census Bureau and the BEA.

This concludes your daily data-mongering.

__P.S.__: I mean, I could just grab the most recent CPI number from the CPI raw-data series, and divide by that rather than by 100. But I’d like whatever graph I form here to auto-update as new current-day CPI numbers come in.

__P.P.S.__: Ah. Disposable Personal Income: Per capita: Current dollars (A229RC0). That was easy.