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Fed Data Offers Conflicting Forecasts of Individuals’ Financial Expectations

In yet another sign that individuals tend to be both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, more people expect to miss a debt payment in the next three months while fewer people expect to be in a worse financial situation a year from now, according to data released yesterday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Survey of Consumer Expectations offers insight into what individuals think of the economy and their own personal financial situations, and can help companies in the credit and collection space plan and strategize for the future. The report also includes data on job separation and job finding expectations and how much more or less individuals expect to earn in the coming year.

After hitting an all-time low in June, the number of individuals who expect to miss a debt payment in the next three months increased to 11.71%, from 10.62% in June. The figure was at 11.84% in July 2018. There was a marked jump among individuals under the age of 40 who expect to miss a payment, increasing to 17.61% from 13.28% in June. More individuals in the West, Midwest and South expect to miss a payment, and only in the Northeast do fewer people think they will do so in the next three months.

When asked if they expect their financial situation to be better or worse off a year from now, 44.11% said they expect it to be “much better off” or “somewhat better off” in July, compared with 44.17% in June. Those who said they expect their situation to be “much worse off” or “somewhat worse off” decreased to 11.05%, from 12.24% in June.

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