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Household Spending Growth Expectations Plunge; Recession Already Started?

Every month the Fed does a Survey of Consumer Expectations for inflation, earnings growth, income growth, and consumer spending growth.

In the microeconomic data overview, the Fed provided charts for the first three sets of expectations. I downloaded the data and created my own chart of spending expectations.

First let's consider some details from the report. Emphasis mine.

The results from the April 2015 Survey of Consumer Expectations indicate that one-year ahead inflation expectations fell while three-year ahead inflation expectation increased. The median one-year and three-year ahead expected rates of inflation now stand at 2.7% and 3.0%, respectively. While earnings and household income growth expectations were largely unchanged, median household spending growth expectations retreated significantly from the last month.


Inflation Expectations

Inflation Expectations


Earnings Expectations

Earnings Expectations


Income Expectations

Income Expectations


Household Spending Expectations

Household Spending Expectations


Spending Analysis

In spite of rising earnings and income estimates, "median household spending growth expectations retreated significantly from the last month" in the Fed's words.

In general, I do not place much faith in these estimates, especially inflation expectations. That said, the spending estimates do ring true with weak economic data that we have seen for six months.

Should these spending projections prove to be correct, a US recession that few if any economists see coming, has already started.

 

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