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COVID-19: Most New Yorkers Expect Bad Business Conditions Ahead, New Poll Says

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to bad business in New York, according to a new poll. Photo Credit: SCRI
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to bad business in New York, according to a new poll. Photo Credit: SCRI

Most New Yorkers expect poor business conditions when the state is finally on the other side of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a new poll.

The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment sits at 66.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020, down 26.6 points from the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the newest poll by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI).

In New York, the overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 22.7 points below the nation’s Index of 89.1 points. All three indexes for New York are below their breakeven points for the first time since December 2011, officials said.

The national indexes have dropped, but remain above the breakeven point.

“As the coronavirus took hold of New York, consumer sentiment fell precipitously, signaled a sudden collective feeling of pessimism and reached a low not seen since 2011," Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SCRI Founding Director said. "A large plurality of consumers now think that the state’s business conditions this year, as well as economic times over the coming five years, are in trouble."

The poll found that in the first quarter of 2020, purchasing plans were down for vehicles, electronics, furniture, homes and major home improvements.

Of those polled, 55 percent of New Yorkers said the amount of money they spend on groceries is having an impact on their finances, and 23 percent of residents said that gasoline and food prices have impacted their finances.

Lonnstrom added, ”right now, 58 percent say that it is not a good time to buy major consumer items and plans to buy cars, electronics, furniture, homes, and home improvements are down between 13 and 27 percent.

"In 20 years of tracking consumer sentiment in New York, we’ve seen more pessimism but never a drop this severe in this short of a time."

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