The American consumer is feeling more optimistic than in recent months.
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 this year.
In February, this indicator was higher than at any time since last summer, with the median household expecting spending to increase by 3.99% over the next year, up from the December low of 2.86%. However, the new February number is still well below survey results from 2013 and 2014.
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.