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U.S. consumers' inflation view lowest since late 2017: NY Fed survey

Kitco News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumers’ inflation expectations deteriorated to their weakest levels since late 2017 in May, while their views on jobs and family finances grew less certain, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey published on Monday.

The weakening in inflation expectations may factor into Fed policy-makers’ decision whether to lower interest rates in the coming months to help boost U.S. price growth towards the central bank’s 2% goal.

The survey of consumer expectations, which the Fed considers along with other data on U.S. price pressures, showed consumers’ one-year inflation outlook losing 0.1 percentage point to 2.5% last month.

The survey’s three-year inflation measure also fell by 0.1 point to 2.6%.

The drop in consumers’ inflation outlook followed a disappointing payrolls report released last Friday, which showed a sharp slowdown in domestic jobs growth in May. Analysts said businesses worried about trade tensions between the United States and its trading partners are scaling back hiring.

The New York Fed survey is done by a third party that taps a rotating panel of about 1,300 household heads.

The latest New York Fed survey showed some uncertainty creeping into consumer sentiment on labor conditions and household finances, even as their expectations on wages improved a bit to 2.5% last month.

The New York Fed’s gauge on consumers’ view on unemployment rising a year from now increased by 1 point to 36.7%, but a barometer on confidence to find a job increased from 59.3% in April to 61.5%, the highest since the series began in June 2013.

Median expectations on household income growth dipped to 2.8% from 2.9% in April.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas

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