Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to real income: Nominal income
The income of an individual, group, or country adjusted for inflation.
Personal, corporate, or national income after accounting for inflation. Comparing one's real income from year to year shows how much income has grown or shrunk after adjusting for how much the buying power of the money has been affected. Nominal income compares only raw dollar amounts and does not account for inflation. For example, if one's nominal income has grown 10% and the inflation rate is 3%, the real income growth is 7%. Real income is also known as real wages. See also: Real GDP.
Income, as of a person, group, or country, that has been adjusted for changes in the prices of goods and services. Real income measures purchasing power in the current year after an adjustment for changes in prices since a selected base year. If money income increases more than consumer prices, real income increases. If money income increases less than consumer prices, real income declines. Declines in real income are unfavorable for those suffering the declines and for firms selling goods and services to them.