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MNI (Washington)

U.S. consumers were the most pessimistic about their ability to find another job since 2014, a view shared broadly across demographic groups, the New York Federal Reserve's consumer survey showed Monday.

The figure declined to 46.2% in December from 47.9% in November, well below the 2019 average of 59.9%. The share of people who said their job was at risk increased to 15% from 14.6%, while expected wage gains remained at 2% for a fifth straight month.

Views that the job market won't improve over the next year held in place in the report. There was a 38.9% chance, on average, that the unemployment rate will be higher a year from now, in line with the trailing 12-month average.

Respondents' views on how spending might change over the next year fell from November's 4-year peak of 3.7% to 3.4%, the New York Fed said.

Last year's exodus to bigger suburban houses may have shown up in expected housing prices, now the highest since the summer of 2018. The New York Fed said median home price change expectations increased to 3.6% from 3.0% in November. Expectations have been on an upward trend since reaching a record low of 0% in April.

Median inflation expectations over a three-year horizon increased for the second consecutive month to 3.0% from 2.8% in November, matching the highest reading in 2020 set in August. At the one-year horizon expected inflation was unchanged at 3.0%.

The survey of consumer expectations is a monthly poll conducted on a rotating panel of 1,300 households.

MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |
MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |