Please consider the New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations for September 2018.

In the September survey, one-year- and three-year-ahead inflation expectations held at 3.0 percent. Respondents’ expectations at both horizons have been virtually unchanged since April 2018. Results also showed that median one-year ahead earnings growth expectations increased 0.3 percentage points in September to 2.8 percent, an all-time high for the series.

Study Methodology

The SCE is a nationally representative, Internet-based survey of a rotating panel of approximately 1,300 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 enables us to observe the changes in expectations and behavior of the same individuals over time.

One can download the survey data and create better-looking charts. Here are a few charts I created.

One Year Ahead Household Income Projections

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One Year Ahead Household Inflation Projections

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One Year Ahead Household Spending Projections

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Income Synopsis

25 Percent Level: 0.75% Income Increase vs. 0.92% last month.

Median: 2.52 Income Increase vs. 2.81% last month.

75 Percent Level: 5.41% Income Increase vs. 5.88% last month.

Inflation Synopsis

  • 25 Percent Level: 1.30% Inflation Increase vs 1.28% last month
  • Median: 3.00% Inflation Increase vs. 3.00% last month
  • 75 Percent Level: 5.02% Inflation Increase vs. 5.08% last month

Spending Synopsis

25 Percent Level: 0.46% Spending Increase vs. 0.69% last month

Median: 2.94% Spending Increase vs. 3.15% last month

75 Percent Level: 6.82% Spending Increase vs. 8.28% last month

Assumptions

  1. The 25% level on inflation expectations may not be the same set of people as the 25% level on spending and income.
  2. The spending and income levels are highly likely to be better correlated.

Conclusions

  • Spending projections remain in a downtrend
  • The median household expects to spend more than they take in, but very near the median inflation expectation as well.
  • There is a marked turn down in both income and spending expectations this month while inflation expectations held steady.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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