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Fed survey shows inflation expectations match highest on record

·Reporter
·2 min read
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U.S. households' expectations for inflation over the coming year rose to match the highest recorded level on record in May, according to new data from the New York Fed.

The NY Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Expectations released Monday showed consumers in May anticipate inflation will rise at a 6.6% rate over the next year, up from an April reading of 6.3%. May's reading tied with March's print for the highest on record, in data spanning back to June 2013.

Longer-term inflation expectations were slightly more subdued last month, with consumers looking for inflation to average 3.9% over the next three years. This expectation, however, is still well above the Fed's 2% target. These longer-term expectations were unchanged from April.

Consumer expectations for inflation next year matched the highest level since at least 2013 in May, data from the NY Fed showed Monday. (Source: New York Federal Reserve)
Consumer expectations for inflation next year matched the highest level since at least 2013 in May, data from the NY Fed showed Monday. (Source: New York Federal Reserve)

This data further complicates the job of the Federal Reserve's task to bring down rising prices and prevent expectations from becoming embedded among consumers.

The NY Fed's report comes just days after government data showed an unexpected pick-up in the pace of price increases across the U.S. economy. Friday's Consumer Price Index (CPI) registered an 8.6% annual increase, or the biggest since 1981, as prices for energy, food, shelter and a variety of other goods and services each saw further gains.

Over the weekend, gas prices at the pump jumped above $5 per gallon on average across the U.S. for the first time ever, AAA data showed, further pressuring consumers already squeezed by broad-based price rises.

And amid these rising prices, consumer sentiment has plummeted. The University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers consumer sentiment index slumped to an all-time low reading of 50.2 in the preliminary June survey, marking the lowest level recorded by the survey dating back to the mid-1970s.

The University of Michigan's latest data on consumer inflation expectations also showed an increase, mirroring the rise in the New York Fed's report.

According to the university's survey, consumers in early June anticipated inflation would rise 5.4% over the next year, matching March and April's readings and marking the highest levels since 1981. UMich data also showed long-term inflation expectations on the rise, hitting 3.3% this month, the highest since at least 2010.

Long-term inflation expectations from consumers are on the rise, data from the University of Michigan showed last week. (Source: UMich, Bank of America Global Research)
Long-term inflation expectations from consumers are on the rise, data from the University of Michigan showed last week. (Source: UMich, Bank of America Global Research)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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