US consumers' expectations deteriorate 'sharply' in April, Fed says

Consumers' perceived probability of losing their job in next year surged to series high in April

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Americans' outlook for the job market and their personal finances deteriorated sharply in April as the coronavirus pandemic forced the U.S. economy to come to a near standstill, according to a survey released Monday by the New York Federal Reserve.

Consumers' perceived probability of losing their job in the next year surged to a series high for the second consecutive month at 20.9 percent, the Fed said in its latest Survey of Consumer Expectations.

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But the perceived probability of finding a job within the next three months plunged by 6.1 percentage points to 47 percent in April, marking the largest month-to-month decline recorded since the start of the survey in 2013.

With millions of Americans out of work due to the virus outbreak -- in the two months since the virus outbreak forced a broad shutdown of businesses, more than 33 million workers have filed for unemployment benefits -- median household income growth expectations plummeted to 1.9 percent in April, hitting a new series low.

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Nearly 22 percent of respondents anticipate that their household income will also decrease over the next year.

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About four in 10 respondents said their financial situation is worse off today than a year ago, up from 30 percent in March and 15 percent in the year-ago period.

The survey is a monthly poll based on a rotating panel of 1,300 households.

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