Federal Reserve Survey: Expectations for Household Finances Improve

The monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations also shows an improved outlook on making debt payments.

3/15/2019 6:30 AM

Federal Reserve Survey: Expectations for Household Finances Improve

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data recently released its February 2019 Survey of Consumer Expectations highlighting consumers’ outlook on access to credit, housing and education prices and more.

According to a news release on the survey, key findings on household finances include:

  • The median expected household income declined from 2.8 percent in January to 2.5 percent in February. The decline was driven by lower educated (high school degree or less) respondents. However, the survey shows consumers’ median household spending growth expectations increased from 3 percent in January to 3.1 percent in February, after a significant decline last month.
  • Perceptions of credit access compared to a year ago indicated smaller dispersion. The proportion of respondents who reported experiencing more difficulties accessing credit declined from 31.5 percent to 29.8 percent, while the proportion of those reporting easier access also declined from 24.5 percent to 22.6 percent. Meanwhile, expectations for year-ahead credit availability improved somewhat in February. The proportion expecting improving conditions in credit access increased from 18.1 percent to 19 percent while the proportion expecting worsening conditions in credit access declined from 36.1 percent to 32.5 percent.
  • The average perceived probability of missing a minimum debt payment over the next three months decreased from 12 percent in January to 10.9 percent in February, its lowest reading since March 2018.
  • One-year ahead expectations as well as perceptions about households’ current financial situations improved in February, with slightly higher proportions of respondents expecting to be and feeling better off financially.

 See more results from the survey on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York website.

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