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ECB consumer survey: Easing inflation expectations, but waning spending optimism

In June ECB Consumer Expectations Survey, consumer concerns over inflation appear to be receding, with expectations for both short-term and three-year horizons declining. Despite steady views on income growth over the next year, there’s a palpable decrease in optimism around consumer spending. Meanwhile, the outlook for economic growth sees a marginal uptick, albeit remaining muted.

Notably, consumers seem to be less concerned about rampant inflation. Expectations for inflation over the next 12 months have retreated, with mean prediction decreasing from 5.1% to 4.7%. Median inflation outlook for the same period experienced a steeper decline, shifting from 3.9% down to 3.4%. This downward trend also extends to longer-term predictions. Mean inflation expectations for a three-year horizon have decreased from 4.0% to 3.8%, while median expectations for the same period have edged down from 2.5% to 2.3%.

Consumer views on household income for the next 12 months remained steady, with both mean and median expectations unmoved at 1.2% and 0.1% respectively. However, there’s growing pessimism concerning consumer spending. Expectations for mean household spending over the next year have slightly decreased from 3.5% to 3.4%, while median forecast has descended more markedly from 2.4% to 2.1%.

In terms of economic performance, consumers are marginally less bearish about near-term growth outlook. Mean expectation for economic growth over the next year has improved slightly from -0.7% to -0.6%, even though median remains unchanged at flat 0.0%. Interestingly, there were no alterations in consumer outlook for unemployment over the next year, with predictions holding steady.

Full ECB Consumer Expectations Survey here.

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