The American consumer’s optimism is fading

One of the questions on the New York Fed’s monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations asks respondents how they expect their household spending to change over the next year. This has been a very jumpy indicator in the last several months, falling to a new low in December before starting an upswing early this year.

After a big spike in this indicator in February, respondents in March expected their household spending to grow just 3.39%. This is similar to survey responses in the second half of 2015, and is a lower expected growth rate than the New York Fed had found in previous years.

Consumers are a huge part of the American economy, with household consumption making up about 69% of GDP. The decisions consumers make about spending have a huge impact on the overall economy.

March 2016 survey of consumer expectations household spending

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