U.S. inflation expectations stabilize after steady year: NY Fed

Shoppers ride escalators at the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers ride escalators at the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles, California November 8, 2013. REUTERS/David McNew

January 14, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Inflation expectations held mostly steady in December, with one measure recovering from a brief dip, capping a remarkably stable year of responses to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey.

The survey of consumer expectations, published on Monday, is one of the Fed’s price gauges as it weighs the need for rate rises. It showed three-year ahead inflation expectations were 3 percent last month, up from 2.9 percent in November, returning to the level at which it has hovered since March.

The one-year measure was steady at 3 percent, where it has held since April.

Stable and low inflation is one of the main reasons that the U.S. central bank, having raised interest rates four times last year, is now taking a wait-and-see approach to any more tightening in 2019.

The survey also showed another rise in expectations, to 38.8 percent in December from 35.8 percent a month earlier, that U.S. unemployment would be higher one year from now. Joblessness edged up to 3.9 percent last month, from 3.7 percent in November, thanks to a jump in labor force participation.

The internet-based survey taps a rotating panel of 1,300 households.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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