CEO Morning Brief

US Inflation, Home Price Expectations Pick Up in NY Fed Survey

Publish date: Wed, 15 May 2024, 10:44 PM
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(May 14): US consumer expectations for inflation and home prices rose in April while perceptions of the labour market weakened, underscoring an uneasy backdrop for household finances and the cost of living.

Consumers expect prices will climb at an annual rate of 3.3% over the next year after hovering around 3% for the past four months, a Federal Reserve (Fed) Bank of New York survey showed. That marked the highest reading since November. Anticipated home price growth rose at a similar pace — the fastest advance since July 2022.

The data follow a string of reports that have indicated sticky inflation and a relentless run-up in home prices. Data out this week is projected to show US consumer prices still rose at stubborn pace last month, and shelter has been consistently responsible for boosting measures of inflation.

The New York Fed’s survey mirrors recent findings from the University of Michigan’s poll of consumers, which showed year-ahead inflation expectations in early May rose to a six-month high. Longer-term inflation outlooks in both surveys also picked up.

Many Fed officials have indicated they want to see more evidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward the central bank’s 2% goal before cutting interest rates. Investors expect the central bank will reduce rates once or twice by the end of the year, futures markets show.

Consumers also anticipated faster price growth for gasoline, food, medical care, a college education and rents, according to the New York Fed survey.

Meantime, views of the labour market worsened, with earnings growth expectations decreasing and the probability of higher unemployment rising. Respondents were also less confident in their ability to find a new job if they lost their current one, falling to the lowest reading in three years.

That’s taking a hit on household finances. The share of consumers that expect they’ll miss a minimum debt payment over the next three months is at the highest since the onset of the pandemic.

Source: TheEdge - 15 May 2024

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