Measuring Americans’ Expectations Following the 2016 Election

While consumer confidence as measured by various surveys has increased sharply since the national election, the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) has shown little notable change in expectations. In this post, we show that the difference may partly reflect systematic compositional changes whereby respondents who answer a survey after the election differ in important ways from those answering the survey before the election—something which the SCE largely avoids. We also show that the flat average aggregate outlook in the SCE masks substantial regional/partisan heterogeneity in shifts in expectations.