Data released in the Nov. 2021 Survey of Consumer Expectations balanced expectations as short-term inflation increased but medium-term inflation declined. The three-year-ahead inflation expectation decreased from 4.2% to 4.0%, marking the first decline of 2021 and only the second such decline since Oct. 2020.
The more concerning data showed that mean unemployment expectations – the probability that the unemployment rate will be higher one year from now – increased by 0.6% to 36.1%.
The mean perceived probability of losing a job in the next 12 months also rose sharply from 11% to 13% – still below the pre-pandemic level of 13.8% but a concerning indicator nonetheless.
November’s job data showed the nation struggling to add new workers after a healthy and robust October.
After adding 531,000 jobs and dropping the unemployment to 4.6%, November saw only 210,000 out of an expected 550,000 jobs added, marking the worst month for job creation so far this year.
The omicron variant may provide another stumbling block as some jobs have started to encourage workers to remain at home for the remainder of the year. The city has seen the positivity rate double over the past week, according to the NYC Department of Health.
Morgan Stanley’s New York brokers will work remotely until Jan. 3 and "limit business get-togethers." Citigroup and UBS have meanwhile encouraged workers to remain at home for the foreseeable future.
"We may have to take a step back," said one JPMorgan executive.
The survey analyzed data gathered from an internet-based survey of around 1,300 households.