U.S. consumer expectations for inflation fell to a record low in May, according to the University of Michigan’s survey of consumer sentiment.
“Consumers anticipated an average long-term inflation rate of just 2.2%, the lowest rate the surveys have recorded since the question was introduced forty years ago,” the survey’s chief economist, Richard Curtin, said in a statement.
This could put pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates sooner than anticipated. The Federal Reserve says it targets two percent inflation as measured by the personal consumption expenditure price index. So far this year, inflation has been consistently below the Fed’s target.
The low inflation has come despite widespread predictions that tariffs would push up consumer prices. Instead, the costs of tariffs appear to have been absorbed by U.S. businesses and, to a less extent, China.