As the New Year begins in earnest, at least from a financial point of view, there’s new optimism among consumers — and a potential red flag.

A report from the Federal Reserve out Monday shows that consumers foresee inflation easing somewhat in 2023.

At the same time, consumers are increasingly expecting to spend less amid the highest prices in decades, and that could exacerbate the growing trend of layoffs in key industries.

So far, much of the layoffs have been concentrated in the tech sector. But Fox reported Monday that Goldman Sachs will this week sack as many as 3,200 employees — a sign that Wall Street is similarly retrenching.

In California, the cost of a dozen eggs now tops $7 as bird flu continues to devastate the poultry business. Millions of hens have been killed to stop the disease from spreading.

And if you think you can drown your economic sorrows in beer, think again.

The cost of brewskis rose by an average 7% in the fourth quarter of last year. For some brands, including Bud Light and Miller Light, the price hikes were as much as 10%.

This is due largely to higher ingredient and shipping costs. There might also be a little price gouging as brewers see sales starting to slip and want to shield shareholders from bad news.

Taken together, the tea leaves suggest months of interest rate increases from the Fed are starting to cool the overall economy and, hopefully, giving Mean Mr. Inflation a kick in the pants.

But the cooling economy could now usher in a wave of layoffs that may make the desired “soft landing” harder to achieve.

Which is to say, keep the Dramamine handy.

There are still lots of twists in the road ahead.