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Americans see slightly higher inflation, uncertainty grows: NY Fed survey

[NEW YORK] An increasingly important gauge of US inflation expectations edged higher last month but remained broadly depressed, as Americans said they were less certain about prices in the years ahead.

In what could be welcome news for the Federal Reserve, the New York Fed's April survey of consumers released on Monday found expectations for inflation one year ahead rose to 2.6 per cent, from 2.5 per cent in March, while three-year-out expectations jumped to 2.8 per cent, the highest reading in five months.

The US central bank wants to be confident that inflation is headed higher before raising interest rates for a second time, after its December "liftoff" from near zero. The New York Fed gauge is still close to its lowest levels since it was launched in mid-2013.

The monthly survey also showed median inflation uncertainty jumped sharply. The one-year-ahead measure was at its highest level in five months while the three-year measure was at its highest in six months.

The internet-based survey taps a rotating group of 1,200 households and is done by a separate organization.

REUTERS