Economic Policy Review
An Overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations
December 2017 Volume 23, Number 2
JEL classification: C81, D80, E31

Authors: Olivier Armantier, Giorgio Topa, Wilbert van der Klaauw, and Basit Zafar

The authors present an overview of the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations, a monthly online survey of a rotating panel of household heads. The survey collects timely information on respondents’ expectations and decisions on a broad variety of topics, including inflation, household finance, the labor market, and the housing market. It has three main goals: (1) measuring consumer expectations at a high frequency, (2) understanding how these expectations are formed, and (3) investigating the link between expectations and behavior. The authors discuss the origins of the survey, the questionnaire design, the implementation of the survey and the sample, and the computation of the various statistics released every month. They conclude with a discussion of how the results are disseminated and how the (micro) data may be accessed on the New York’s Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data.

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