Growing Share of Americans See Risk of Highest Inflation in Years
Traffic passes the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Erin Scott/Bloomberg)

Growing Share of Americans See Risk of Highest Inflation in Years

Even as U.S. policy makers play down an expected increase in the inflation rate over the coming months, a growing number of consumers see it rising to the highest levels in years.

The contingent of U.S. consumers who see inflation exceeding 4% in the year ahead rose to 44% last month -- the most since September 2013 -- according to results of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations published Monday.

Growing Share of Americans See Risk of Highest Inflation in Years

Consumer expectations for home, gas, and rent price changes all rose in March to the highest levels on record in data going back to 2013, the survey results showed.

Growing Share of Americans See Risk of Highest Inflation in Years

Many consumers -- in particular those over the age of 60 and those with annual incomes over $100,000 -- said they expected to increase household spending over the next 12 months by the most in several years, a prospect Fed officials have warned could add to temporary price pressures as the coronavirus pandemic recedes and the U.S. economy reopens. Older Americans saw large wealth gains in 2020 as the stock market and real estate values soared.

Growing Share of Americans See Risk of Highest Inflation in Years

Overall, the median expectation was that inflation would be 3.2% over the coming year, up from 3.1% in the February survey.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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