Contact: Sarah Katz, Media Relations

For immediate release

Philadelphia, PA – The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Consumer Finance Institute (CFI) has launched the Labor, Income, Finances, and Expectations (LIFE) Survey and today published the first report in the quarterly series, which summarizes the latest survey results.

Frequency and flexibility were top of mind when CFI designed the survey, which gathers data every quarter from a large cross section of U.S. consumers.

As the name suggests, the LIFE Survey asks consumers about their financial lives, including employment status, impediments to working, past income, expectations of income for the current year, recent financial health and stability, concerns about future challenges, and changes in personal outlook.

The LIFE Survey is designed to be agile, so that CFI can gather timely information from consumers even when there are sudden, rapid, or unusual shifts in the economy, said Bob Hunt, senior vice president and associate director of CFI.

These survey data will help CFI in its mission to better understand how people earn, spend, save, and invest, as well as how credit markets and payment systems affect the economy.

According to the first report of data from January 2024:

  • Respondents were more positive about their income prospects compared with one year earlier. One-third believed their income will increase, compared with 29 percent in January 2023.

  • Nearly 70 percent of respondents reported using a financial coping strategy in the last 12 months to help make monthly bill payments. Cutting discretionary expenses was the most common response.

  • About one in three employed respondents of working age were concerned in the next 30 days about exposure to illness at work.

  • Slightly more than one-third of respondents are concerned about making ends meet in the next six months, including nearly one-quarter of respondents who can currently pay all of their bills.

CFI will publish a new survey report and data tables each quarter. A detailed description of the survey background, structure, and data can be found here.

About the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia helps formulate and implement monetary policy; supervises state member banks, bank holding companies, and savings and loan holding companies; and provides financial services to depository institutions and the federal government. It is one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia serves eastern and central Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.