(Bloomberg) -- US consumers’ near-term inflation expectations dropped in November to the lowest level since April 2021, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey released Monday.
Median year-ahead inflation expectations declined for a second month to 3.4%, down from 3.6% in October. Expectations for what inflation will be at the three-year and five-year horizon held steady at 3% and 2.7%, respectively.
The pullback in consumers’ near-term inflation views reflected a number of factors. The expected price changes for gasoline slipped, and those for both rent and a college education fell to the lowest since January 2021. Inflation views among those over age 60 retreated to a nearly three-year low.
Consumers’ views about the labor market worsened somewhat. The mean perceived probability of losing one’s job in the next 12 months increased by nearly a percentage point to 13.6%. The probability of finding a job after becoming unemployed decreased to a seven-month low of 55.2%. Those in the Midwest expressed the least confidence about their chances of finding new employment.
Americans are also increasingly reluctant to move. The odds of changing one’s primary residence over the next 12 months dropped in November to the lowest in data back to mid-2013, the survey showed.
That said, several measures of household finances did improve in the month. Consumers said they were less likely to miss a minimum debt payment over the next three months, and respondents were more optimistic about their year-ahead financial situation.
The figures come just a day before the release of the US consumer price index, a closely watched measure of inflation, and the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. Economists forecast consumer prices will be unchanged in November from the prior month, helped by retreating gasoline costs.
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