Also found in: Acronyms.
A survey of 5,000 households in which respondents are asked their impressions and sentiments regarding economic conditions in the coming six months. Specifically, they are asked their impressions on employment prospects, business opportunities, and, perhaps most importantly, their expected spending habits. The Expectations Index is the most important component of the Consumer Confidence Index, which businesses use to help make investment decisions. For example, if the Expectation Index shows that consumers are unlikely to spend more on luxury items in the next six months, the leisure industry will probably not build new hotels in that time period. See also: Friedman unit.