- The average probability assigned to an increase in housing assistance over the next twelve months continued its downward trend, falling to 35 percent in August from 37 percent in April. With this decline, the series reached its lowest value since December 2019.
- The average perceived likelihood of an increase in unemployment benefits over the next twelve months rose to 29 percent, from 26 percent in April. The series had been on a declining trend since April 2021, but continues to remain above pre-pandemic levels. The August increase was most pronounced for respondents above age 45, men, those with annual household income above $60,000, and those without a college degree.
- The average probability assigned to an increase in Social Security benefits over the next year rose sharply and reached 32 percent, the highest value since the start of the series. The average expected likelihood of an increase in Medicare benefits also rose, reaching 30 percent in August. For both series, the increase was broad-based across gender, education, age, and income groups.
- The average perceived likelihood of an increase in the average income tax rate over the next twelve months retreated to 43 percent, the lowest reading since August 2020. The expected likelihood of an increase in the income tax rate for the highest income bracket declined for the fifth consecutive time, reaching 45 percent in August. Both series, however, remain well above pre-pandemic levels.
The SCE Public Policy Survey is fielded every four months as a rotating module of the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). The data are updated online as results come in, and an annual New York Fed press release, issued following the May survey, highlights notable changes and trends.