Consumers are more fearful they will miss a payment. For the third month in a row, New York Fed survey finds increased anxiety.
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The October release of the Survey of Consumer Expectations found that Americans’ average expected probability of missing a minimum debt payment over the next three months rose to 13.4 percent, after also climbing the two previous months.
Just six months earlier, the estimated likelihood of missing a payment dropped to 11.2 percent, its second-lowest reading in the survey’s four-year history. The low-water mark came two years ago, registering at just 10.9 percent in September 2015.
The current 13.4 percent probability still falls below a recent peak in late 2016, when the reading climbed to 14.9 percent, and it sits far below the survey’s highest reading of 17.2 percent, recorded in late 2013. Still, three upward monthly ticks is signaling increasing financial pessimism among consumers.
The New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations is a nationally representative, internet-based survey of a rotating panel of approximately 1,300 heads of household who participate for about a year. Results are released monthly, with the September data announced Oct. 10.