An overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations
The authors present an overview of the New York Fed?s Survey of Consumer Expectations, a monthly online survey of a rotating panel of household heads. The survey collects timely information on respondents? expectations and decisions on a broad variety of topics, including inflation, household finance, the labor market, and the housing market. It has three main goals: (1) measuring consumer expectations at a high frequency, (2) understanding how these expectations are formed, and (3) investigating the link between expectations and behavior. The authors discuss the origins of the survey, the ...
Changes in the timing distribution of Fedwire funds transfers
The Federal Reserve's Fedwire funds transfer service - the biggest large-value payments system in the United States - has long displayed a peak of activity in the late afternoon. Theory suggests that the concentration of late-afternoon Fedwire activity reflects coordination among participating banks to reduce liquidity costs, delay costs, and credit risk; as these costs and risk change over time, payment timing most likely will be affected. This article seeks to quantify how the changing environment in which Fedwire operates has affected the timing of payment value transferred within the ...
Challenges in identifying interbank loans
Although interbank lending markets play a key role in the financial system, the lack of disaggregated data often makes the analysis of these markets difficult. To address this problem, recent academic papers focusing on unsecured loans of central bank reserves have employed an algorithm in an effort to identify individual transactions that are federal funds loans. The accuracy of the algorithm, however, is not known. The authors of this study conduct a formal test with U.S. data and find that the rate of false positives produced by one of these algorithms is on average 81 percent; the rate of ...
What Is Driving the Recent Rise in Consumer Inflation Expectations?
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers (the “Michigan Survey” hereafter) is the main source of information regarding consumers’ expectations of future inflation in the United States. The most recent release of the Michigan Survey on March 25 drew considerable attention because it showed a large spike in year-ahead expectations for inflation: as shown in the chart below, the median rose from 3.4 to 4.6 percent and the other quartiles of responses showed similar increases. What may have caused this rise in inflation expectations and what lessons should be taken ...
Inflation Expectations and Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act on Their Beliefs?
Surveys of consumers’ inflation expectations are now a key component of monetary policy. To date, however, little work has been done on 1) whether individual consumers act on their beliefs about future inflation, and 2) whether the inflation expectations elicited by these surveys are actually informative about the respondents’ beliefs. In this post, we report on a new study by Armantier, Bruine de Bruin, Topa, van der Klaauw, and Zafar (2010) that investigates these two issues by comparing consumers’ survey-based inflation expectations with their behavior in a financially incentivized ...
Is There Stigma to Discount Window Borrowing?
The Federal Reserve employs the discount window (DW) to provide funding to fundamentally solvent but illiquid banks (see the March 30 post “Why Do Central Banks Have Discount Windows?”). Historically, however, there has been a low level of DW use by banks, even when they are faced with severe liquidity shortages, raising the possibility of a stigma attached to DW borrowing. If DW stigma exists, it is likely to inhibit the Fed’s ability to act as lender of last resort and prod banks to turn to more expensive sources of financing when they can least afford it. In this post, we provide ...
Nudging Inflation Expectations: An Experiment
Managing consumers? inflation expectations is of critical importance to central banks in the conduct of monetary policy. But managing inflation expectations requires more than just monitoring expectations; it also requires an understanding of how these expectations are formed. In this post, we present results from a new study that investigates how individual consumers use selected information on food prices in forming their inflation expectations. While the provision of this information leads individuals to meaningfully revise expectations of their own-basket inflation rate, we find there is ...
A “Reference Price Auction” to Buy or Sell Different Assets Simultaneously
In finance, auctions are often conducted to buy or sell simultaneously various assets with very different characteristics. These auctions raise a number of challenges that cannot always be addressed with standard auction designs. In this post, I discuss an alternative design?the ?reference price auction??and present evidence that it may dominate other methods often implemented in practice.
Introducing the FRBNY Survey of Consumer Expectations: Measuring Price Inflation Expectations
In this second of a series of four blog postings, we discuss the data on inflationexpectationscollected in our new FRBNY Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Inflation expectations are a key consideration for monetary policy as they are believed to influence consumer behavior, thereby affecting economic activity and actual inflation. The SCE data on inflation expectations represent a major innovation as they contain information not previously collected from consumers on a regular basis. In this post, we provide some background on the survey and presentsome initial findings.
Introducing the FRBNY Survey of Consumer Expectations: Survey Goals, Design and Content
Starting in the first quarter of 2014, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) will begin reporting findings from a new national survey designed to elicit consumers? expectations for a wide range of household-level and aggregate economic and financial conditions. This week, we provide an introduction to the new survey in a series of four blog posts. In this first post, we discuss the overall objectives of the new survey, its sample design, and content. In the posts that follow, we will provide further details and present preliminary findings from the survey on three broad categories of ...