January 24, 2022

Federal Reserve: Household Survey Shows Sustained Rise in Reported and Expected Spending Growth

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today released the December 2021 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) Household Spending Survey, which provides information on individuals’ experiences and expectations regarding household spending. The survey shows a continued rise in monthly household spending growth, with spending growth moving well above pre-pandemic levels. However, the share of households that report making a large purchase during the past four months is comparable to those reported in December 2020 and December 2019 for most spending categories, except for spending on vacations. The share reporting spending on vacations still lags behind pre-pandemic readings. Year-ahead overall household spending growth expectations continued its steady rise since an initial fall at the onset of the pandemic, reaching its highest reading since the start of the series in August 2015. Median year-ahead expected growth in essential household spending also rose to a new series high. In contrast, households report a lower likelihood of making large purchases over the next four months, which points to the likely contribution of elevated inflation expectations. Expected spending responses to an unexpected 10% increase in income show the average reported share that would be used to pay down debt is well below pre-pandemic levels, with a larger share now being saved.



Detailed results are available here.

About the SCE Household Spending Survey

The SCE Household Spending Survey, fielded as part of the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE), provides information on consumers’ experiences and expectations regarding their spending patterns. Every four months, SCE panelists are asked details about their expectations for year-ahead changes in household spending (both in the aggregate and by category), spending on essential and non-essential items, and the likelihood of making different large purchases. The SCE Household Spending Survey also solicits information on the expected spending and saving response to an unexpected increase or decline in household income. In addition to questions about large purchases and changes in total spending over the past year, respondents are asked about the month-to-month variability in their household income.

More information about the SCE survey goals, design, and content can be found at:

This post was originally published here.