NEWS28 July 2009

Fed to peg impact of recession through re-interviews

North America

US— The Federal Reserve Board is planning to re-interview more than 4,000 people who took part in its 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to gauge the impact of the recession.

The 2009 SCF will cover most of the topics included in the 2007 survey, meaning that the Federal Reserve Board can see any changes to household finances over the past two years. The survey is normally carried out every three years but the Federal Reserve has bought it forward a year.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (pictured) said: “It may seem that everything that needs to be known about recent economic changes is already known. But, we would benefit from a more detailed understanding of what has happened across the broad range of types of households. For that, we need to look directly at changes for individual households.”

Fieldwork will be carried out by the National Opinion Research Centre who will begin interviewing households in 79 areas, including metropolitan and rural areas, from this month until the end of December.