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Consumers Expect Economic Improvement

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released Monday the findings of its June 2014 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE), revealing a slight uptick in economic hopes among Americans as housing expectations remained flat.

According to the New York Fed, the median earnings growth expectation among consumers polled in its June survey was 2.5 percent over the next year, up half a percentage point from May.

The increase was "driven primarily by respondents with no college education," the New York Fed reported.

Employment hopes also firmed up. The mean perceived probability of job loss fell to 14.7, matching a low first seen in June 2013. At the same time, consumers put their probability of finding a new job within three months (if they lost their current one) at an average 51.8 percent, a new high.

On the housing front, the median home price change expectation was little changed, dipping slightly to a median expected 3.9 percent over the next 12 months.

The West topped all other census regions in expected price gains, as it has since February. Prices one year out are expected to rise a median 5.3 percent in the region compared to 3.8 percent in the South, 3.6 percent in the Northeast, and 3.3 percent in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, perceptions of credit availability over the next year were essentially unchanged from May, with a combined 18.1 percent of consumers saying they believe it will be "much" or "somewhat" easier to get a loan. The majority—40.7 percent—expect it will be about as difficult to secure a loan as it is today, while nearly a third expect it will be somewhat harder.


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