I like to read the Fed's monthly survey of consumers because hardly anyone else does, including the top Fed officials.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data released the January 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations on Monday.
According to the Fed, the survey shows "continued improvement in expectations about households' year-ahead financial situation and credit availability, and robust expected earnings growth. Short- and medium-term inflation expectations fell slightly."
Consumers expect to make 2% to 3% more next year than they did last year. To the Fed, this qualifies as "continued optimism" even though inflation expectations trend lower.
Robust Earnings Growth
The Fed says consumers expect "robust earnings growth".
By my calculation, consumers expect their purchasing power to decline between 3 and 59 basis points depending on whether one measures by the median point expected or the median point predicted.
The Fed might call this robust, but I believe the Fed failed to ask consumers if they agreed with the Fed's definition.