It might not be you
For those who missed it, there was some good news from the statistical trenches in Saturday's FT from the Undercover Economist, Tim Harford.
We are used to thinking that nearly everyone suffers financially from a recession. But he asked an economist at Bristol University to check.
Using data from the regular survey of British households that began in 1991, Lindsey MacMillan found that at the end of the last recession in 1993, more than half of households were earning more than they did in 1991.
Amazingly, one in six had seen their income rise by more than 50%, despite meagre growth in the economy as a whole. And the results during the latter recovery were much the same.
"In other words," says Harford, "the variability in individual experience completely drowned out the distinction between growth and stagnation in the underlying economy."
We all know that some industries do better in recessions - after last week's flurry of new jobs announcements from KFC and others, the fast food industry comes to mind. The same goes for Poundland and discount supermarkets.
But this new finding goes a lot deeper than that. It reminds us that even in parts of the economy that are adversely affected by recession, most people will not suffer a big decline in income as a result of this recession.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research expects British households' real disposable income to grow by 3.3% in 2009. That would be the fastest growth in years. In 2007, the peak of the boom, real incomes didn't grow at all.
It's a paradox we're getting used to. In a year of rising real living standards, households are going to save more because they are understandably fearful about the future. But back in 2007, when their income was flat, they saved less - 2.2% of their income compared to 4.2% in 2006.
But, as our undercover friend would remind me, those, too, are simply macroeconomic aggregates, far removed from the actual experience of real families and households.
People still get promoted in recessions. They still retire - not necessarily earlier than planned. And I can personally attest that they still have babies.
All of those changes can have a bigger impact on a given family's finances than the fact that the UK is in recession. That's not much consolation to households where one or both earners have recently been laid off. But it is true.