posted on 14 February 2017
from the New York Fed
Results from the January 2017 Survey of Consumer Expectations show an increase in one-year and three-year ahead inflation expectations, with both returning to levels last seen in the summer of 2015.
Earnings growth expectations were stable in January, but expectations about finding and losing a job and about the future unemployment rate all improved. Household financial expectations deteriorated somewhat, showing decreases in expected household income and spending growth, and increases in the likelihood of missing a debt payment. Expectations about increases in interest rates on savings accounts and in U.S. stock prices maintained their relatively high levels seen since December.
The main findings from the January 2017 Survey are:
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.
About the SCE Credit Access Survey
The SCE Credit Access Survey, fielded as part of the SCE (Survey of Consumer Expectations), provides information on consumers' experiences and expectations regarding credit demand and credit access. Every four months, SCE panelists are asked whether they applied for credit in the past 12 months, and the resulting outcomes. They are also asked about their expectations of applying for credit over the next twelve months, and the perceived likelihood of those applications being accepted. We collect this information for five specific credit products: auto loans, credit cards, credit card limit increases, mortgages, and mortgage refinancing. Survey findings (in instances with sufficient sample sizes) are also presented separately by age and self-reported credit score subgroups.
A full set of interactive charts detailing the monthly SCE Credit Access Survey findings can be found here.
More information about the SCE survey goals, design, and content can be found here.
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