Survey Shows Stable Overall Inflation Expectations; Consumers Expect Lower Increase in Gasoline Prices
from the New York Fed
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released results from its October 2014 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) which provides insight into Americans’ views on inflation, prices, the labor market and household finance. Consumer inflation expectations remained unchanged from September at both the one-year ahead and the three-year ahead horizons. Median one-year ahead expected gas price growth fell to 3.9%, a new 17-month low. The mean perceived probability of the average interest rate on savings accounts being higher in one year fell to 27 percent, also a new low in this data series.
Additional results from October 2014 include:
- Median inflation expectations at both the one-year and three-year ahead horizons remained unchanged at 3.0 percent in October. Inflation uncertainty at both horizons also remained stable.
- Median home price change expectations and home price change uncertainty also were stable. At 3.7 percent, the overall median expected home price increase remains within the 3.5 - 4.0 range seen since February 2014.
- Median one-year ahead gasoline price change expectations declined to 3.9 percent, a new low in our data series. Similarly, the median expected increase in rent fell to a new low of 5.3 percent.
- Median earnings growth expectations remained stable at 2.4 percent
- The mean perceived probability of losing one’s job in the next 12 months, at 15.9 percent, remained within the tight range of14.6 to 17.9 percent seen since the data series began in June 2013.
- The mean perceived probability of leaving one’s job voluntarily and of finding a job (if current job were lost) also remained essentially unchanged.
- Median household income expectations fell from last month’s high of a median expected growth of 2.9 percent to 2.6 percent, still above its average reading since June 2013.
- Median household spending expectations increased slightly from 4.4 to 4.6 percent. The increase was driven by respondents with higher education levels and represents a reversal of last month’s decline.
- Perceptions of credit availability relative to one year ago remained stable, while expectations about year-ahead credit availability improved slightly, continuing a steady upward trend.
- The average perceived probability of a higher average year-ahead interest rate on savings accounts fell to 27 percent, the lowest value seen since the data series began in June 2013.
About the Survey of Consumer Expectations
The SCE contains information about how consumers expect overall inflation and prices for food, gas, housing and education to behave. It also provides insight into Americans’ views about job prospects and earnings growth and their expectations about future spending and access to credit. The SCE also provides measures of uncertainty in expectations for the main outcomes of interest. Expectations are also available by age, geography, income, education and numeracy.
The SCE is a nationally representative, internet-based survey of a rotating panel of approximately 1,200 household heads. Respondents participate in the panel for up to twelve months, with a roughly equal number rotating in and out of the panel each month. Unlike comparable surveys based on repeated cross-sections with a different set of respondents in each wave, our panel allows us to observe the changes in expectations and behavior of the same individuals over time.
The survey is conducted on our behalf by The Demand Institute, a non-profit organization jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The sampling frame for the SCE is based on that used for The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS). Respondents to the CCS, itself based on a representative national sample drawn from mailing addresses, are invited to join the SCE internet panel.