WASHINGTON: A measure of U.S. inflation expectations rose for a second straight month in January to its highest level since mid-2015, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey released on Monday that reinforced the view that interest rates would keep climbing. The survey of consumer expectations, an increasingly influential gauge of prices for the U.S. central bank, found that year-ahead inflation expectations increased to 3.0 percent, from 2.8 percent in December and 2.5 percent in November.
The expectation three years out was 2.9 percent, from 2.8 percent the month before. “Both increases were fairly broad-based, but largest among younger and higher-income respondents,” the New York Fed said. Both measures were last this high in June, 2015. The survey, which started three and a half years ago, hit its lowest price levels last year. The Fed has raised rates twice in the past two years, but policymakers predict more rapid hikes in 2017 as low unemployment and expected fiscal stimulus continue to boost prices. Inflation has remained below the central bank’s preferred 2 percent target for a few years, but expectations have shot up since Donald Trump won the Nov. 8 presidential election. The internet-based survey is done by a third party and taps a rotating panel of 1,200 household heads.