Household inflation experiences in the U.S.: a comprehensive approach
We present new measures of household-specific inflation experiences based on comprehensive information from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX). We match households in the Interview and the Diary Surveys from the CEX to produce both complete and detailed pictures of household expenditures. The resulting household inflation measures are based on a more accurate and detailed description of household expenditures than those previously available. We find that our household-based inflation measures track aggregate measures such as the CPI-U quite well and that the addition of Diary Survey data induces small but significant differences in the measurement of household inflation. The distribution of inflation experiences across households exhibits a large amount of dispersion over the entire sample period. In addition, we uncover a significantly negative relationship between mean inflation and inflation inequality across households.
AUTHORS: Topa, Giorgio; Hobijn, Bart; Stennis, Carter; Mayer, Kristin
Challenges facing the New York metropolitan area economy
The skilled and well-educated workforce of the New York metropolitan area has played a large role in enabling the region to withstand adverse economic shocks and adapt successfully to a services economy. A further expansion of this "human capital" will enable the metro area to meet the challenges ahead: attracting new firms, maintaining immigration flows, and competing successfully with fast-growing metro areas in other parts of the country.
AUTHORS: Topa, Giorgio; Orr, James A.
Improving survey measures of household inflation expectations
Expectations about future inflation are generally thought to play an important role in households? decisions about spending and saving. They are also of great interest to central bankers, who take them into account when determining policy or assessing the effectiveness of communications with the public. To help improve existing survey measures of inflation expectations, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently joined with other institutions and academic consultants to develop a set of survey questions that will yield more reliable information on households? inflation expectations, inflation uncertainty, and expectations about future wage changes.
AUTHORS: Rich, Robert W.; Potter, Simon M.; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Topa, Giorgio; Wändi Bruine de Bruin
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 questionnaire design, the implementation of the survey and the sample, and the computation of the various statistics released every month. They conclude with a discussion of how the results are disseminated and how the (micro) data may be accessed on the New York?s Fed?s Center for Microeconomic Data.
AUTHORS: Zafar, Basit; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Armantier, Olivier; Topa, Giorgio
Urban dynamics in New York City: conference overview and summary of papers
These articles were presented at a conference organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in April 2005, "Urban Dynamics in New York City." The goal of the conference was threefold: to examine the historical transformations of the engine-of-growth industries in New York and distill the main determinants of the city's historical dominance as well as the challenges to its continued success; to study the nature and evolution of immigration flows into New York; and to analyze recent trends in a range of socioeconomic outcomes, both for the general population and recent immigrants more specifically.
AUTHORS: Groshen, Erica L.; Topa, Giorgio
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 from it? In this post, we draw upon the findings of an ongoing New York Fed research project to shed some light on the possible sources of the recent increase and to gauge its significance. While our research spans both short- and medium-term inflation expectations, this blog post discusses movements in short-term measures only and does not discuss medium-term expectations.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Topa, Giorgio; Zafar, Basit
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 experiment. We find that the decisions of survey respondents are generally consistent with their stated inflation beliefs.
AUTHORS: Zafar, Basit; Armantier, Olivier; Topa, Giorgio; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert
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 little impact on expectations of overall inflation.
AUTHORS: Zafar, Basit; Topa, Giorgio; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Nelson, Scott; Armantier, Olivier
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.
AUTHORS: Topa, Giorgio; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Zafar, Basit; Armantier, Olivier
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 expectations: those relating to inflation, the labor market, and household finance.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier; Zafar, Basit; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Topa, Giorgio