US consumer inflation expectations hit record

16 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: The inflation outlook among Americans is at its highest level ever, while many are upbeat about their employment situation, a New York Federal Reserve survey released Monday said.

The report covering May showed one-year inflation expectations jumped 0.6 points to four percent, the seventh consecutive monthly increase, while the three-year outlook jumped to 3.6 percent from 3.1 percent, reports AFP.

The recent surge in prices as the world’s largest economy reopens following the Covid-19 pandemic has become a concern amid fears the Federal Reserve is too complacent, raising the risk prices will get out of control.

The Fed holds its policy meeting Tuesday and Wednesday and is expected to repeat its message that the current wave of price increases is driven largely by temporary factors, including supply bottlenecks caused by the pandemic’s global shutdowns.

In fact, the Fed wants to see inflation get above two percent and stay there after more than a decade of only tepid gains, and says it has the ability to bring runaway inflation under control.

The 12-month consumer price index for May spiked to five percent, while the Fed’s preferred inflation measure was up 3.6 percent in April.

The New York Fed survey also showed consumers’ views on the probability of losing a job in the coming year fell to a record low of 12.6 percent from 15 percent in April. That decrease was more pronounced among younger workers and those earning less than $50,000.

Conversely, the probability of finding a job jumped sharply, while expectations that the unemployment rate will be higher one year from now—from 5.8 percent currently—fell to a series low of 31.9 percent.