The media is awash with reports that wages are finally rising faster than inflation.
Even political parties are pushing the line that wages are now growing faster than inflation. This is the official Lib Dem press release:
If wages had indeed stopped falling in real terms, then people would be able to afford to buy more goods.
Unfortunately, this isn't true yet. They are comparing the inflation figure for March to the wage growth figure for February.
Inflation in February was 1.7%. So February's wages are merely level with inflation. Wages are still flat-lining – for now.
It's an easy mistake to make because the Office for National Statistics published March's inflation figures this week, but has only just published the February wage figures. Wage data takes almost an extra month to come out.
In practice, the difference between 1.6% and 1.7% isn't huge, especially because the crossover point is bound to happen sooner or later.
The headline figures are also a rolling average, and the measurements themselves have a margin of error, so as always with statistics, things are nuanced. But politically, how these figures are reported will make a difference.