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April 28, 2018 | Spending, Inflation, Income Expectations: Consumers Expect No Improvement

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.
A Fed study of consumer expectations projects a rise in spending but no overall economic improvement a year from now.

I produced the headline chart in Excel from a data download of the Fed’s monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations.

Spending Projections

  • 75% Percentile: 8.13%
  • Median: 3.08%
  • 25% Percentile: 0.79%

The bottom wage earners barely expect to spend more a year from now. The top percentile fluctuates more, likely with sentiment towards the stock market.

The following charts are clipped straight from the report.

Inflation Expectations

Even looking three years ahead, consumers do not see a spike in inflation.

The short- and medium-term inflation expectations remain at 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent.

Earnings Expectations

Median one-year ahead earnings growth expectations declined slightly, from 2.7% in February to 2.6% in March. The decline was driven by respondents with annual income below $50,000.

Household Income Expecations

Household Income Expectations by Age

Median expected household income growth decreased 0.1 percentage points to 2.9% in March. The decrease was most pronounced among younger (less than 40 years old) and lower income (annual income below $50,000) respondents.

No Better Off

Median Income and spending expectations match median inflation expectations.

In short, consumers do not expect to be any better of next year than they are today.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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April 28th, 2018

Posted In: Mish Talk

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