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Consumers Keep Feeling Better About Their Financial Situation, Except in Northeast and Midwest: Fed Report

The percentage of consumers who feel they are better off now compared with a year ago is at its highest point since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York started tracking the metric five years ago, the institution announced yesterday.

As of February, about 40.2% of respondents to the bank’s Survey of Consumer Expectations said they feel they are in a better financial position now than they were a year ago, compared with 38.5% who said the same in January.

Looking ahead, those who expect to be in a worse financial position a year from now also declined, to 10.2% in February, from 12.5% in January.

For the ARM industry, however, the key question of the survey is: do you expect to to be able to not make a minimum debt payment a year from now? In February, that figure was at 11.56%, down from 12.33% in January and 12.07% in February 2017. That figure has fallen steadily on a monthly basis for the past six months, according to the survey.

When breaking that data point out across several demographics, the number generally fell, except when looking at regional responses. In the Midwest and the Northeast, the number of people who expect to not to be able to make a minimum debt payment a year from now increased from January to February. In the Northeast, the number climbed to 12.47% from 11.72%, and in the Midwest, the number rose to 11.47% from 10.8%. That figure declined in the West and Southeast, according to the survey.

Survey respondents indicated that they expect median incomes to rise 2.97% in the coming year.

 

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