Survey of Consumer Expectations — December 2016

Results from the December 2016 Survey of Consumer Expectations show that short-term inflation expectations rose significantly from November, while medium-term inflation expectations increased slightly. Labor market expectations generally improved, with an increase in earnings growth and job finding expectations, and a small decline in the perceived probability of losing one’s job. Household finance expectations also improved, showing increases in household income and spending growth and slight improvements in perceptions of credit availability. Expectations about increases in interest rates on savings accounts and in U.S. stock prices rose significantly.


In an effort to improve the measurement and understanding of consumer economic expectations, the Research Group has partnered with a large national polling firm to develop a new “Survey of Consumer Expectations.” The monthly survey yields a rich store of data that will be made available to both the research community and the general public. Where existing surveys look at consumer sentiment and the decisions households make, their coverage of household expectations is limited; the Survey of Consumer Expectations seeks to collect information on a wide variety of consumer expectations – including inflation, future earnings, household income, house prices, access to credit, layoff risk and reemployment prospects, and US economic conditions overall. Through a set of quarterly special surveys it also aims to focus in depth on special topics such as household finances as well as labor and housing market issues and outcomes. Each month the Survey of Consumer Expectations interviews approximately 1200 people who are part of a rolling panel, where each respondent participates in the survey for up to a year.

Associated Staff

Olivier Armantier, Andreas Fuster, Giorgio Topa, Wilbert van der Klaauw, Basit Zafar.

For more information about this project, please contact us.

The Center for
Microeconomic Data

The Center for Microeconomic Data serves to centralize the collection, acquisition, and analysis of microeconomic data at the New York Fed and act as a catalyst for microeconomic research by promoting engagement with the wide academic community. The wide-ranging data, research, and analysis produced in the Center provide insight into individual-level financial and nonfinancial economic conditions, expectations, and behavior in the U.S.
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