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Cleveland Fed surveys consumers on coronavirus response, introduces new real-time Consumers and COVID-19 economic indicator

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New survey results that are being updated and charted in real time on the Cleveland Fed’s website capture how consumer beliefs and expectations have changed over time from the early days of the coronavirus outbreak to today.

The results of the survey are summarized in this Economic Commentary and in the Bank’s newest economic indicator, Consumers and COVID-19.

“Between early March and early April 2020, as COVID-19 spread across the United States, we saw a marked shift in consumers’ beliefs about the effects the virus would have on the economy,” say the authors. “Consumers came to expect that the coronavirus would have a larger negative impact on economic activity as measured by GDP than they had previously anticipated. Over the same time period, consumers expected the coronavirus would put upward pressure on inflation.”

The Consumers and COVID-19 economic indicator joins nine other indicators provided through the Cleveland Fed’s Research department and its Center for Inflation Research. The indicator is updated weekly and looks to inform policymakers and researchers about consumers’ beliefs during a time of high uncertainty and unprecedented policy responses. Watch for updates each Wednesday.

Read more: Consumers and COVID-19: A Real-Time Survey

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