LINTHICUM, MD. -- A new report indicates the Baltimore-Washington Common Market is leading all other major U.S. markets in median household effective buying income.

Figures compiled by the Washington-Baltimore Regional Association indicate the area's median household effective buying income rose from $31,700 in 1985 to $33,400 in 1986, the association reported last week.

The figure is about 36 percent higher than the national average of $24,632.

The median household EBI is defined as personal income less personal taxes and nontax payments.

"The increase in EBI reflects the strength and stability of the Baltimore-Washington region's economy, and the professional nature of its work force," said Wesley Foster Jr., chairman of the regional association.

Foster added the region's strong showing indicates its upscale spending habits and availability of disposable income.

"The region's continued leadership in median household EBI is a major impetus in attracting new retailers to the region, while encouraging existing retailers to expand or remodel their stores," said Warren Harris, chairman of the board of Hecht's. "This, in turn, has helped to establish the market as a headquarters for shopping."

Retail sales in the region have jumped from $39.1 billion in 1985 to $41.3 billion in 1986.

The Baltimore-Washington region currently is the fifth largest retail market in the U.S., exceeded only by the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco markets, the regional association reported.

In effective buying income, the Maryland-D.C. region is followed by the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose region, which had an EBI of $32,892.