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NY State Consumer Sentiment Up, New Siena Poll Shows

New York consumers have higher confidence in the future of the economy, but food and gasoline prices continue to take a toll on household finances, according to a new poll. Photo Credit: File
Consumer sentiment in New York has risen to its highest level since March 2017, according to a new poll, and people said they are more likely to spend money on cars, trucks and new electronics. Photo Credit: File photo

Are you ready to shop until you drop?

Do you feel optimistic about the economy?
Final Results Voting Closed

Do you feel optimistic about the economy?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

Are you worrying less about finances?

What do state residents think about food and gasoline prices?

According to a new Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) public opinion poll, consumer sentiment is up by more than four percentage points this year through September. That's the highest level measured in consumer confidence since March 2017, according to Siena.

The new poll also found:

  • Rising confidence numbers are driven by "iIncreasing future optimism."
  • New Yorkers nearly match the rest of the nation with "strong expectations" about improving personal and business conditions.
  • Consumer plans to buy cars/trucks are rising.
According to SCRI, the state Index of Consumer Sentiment in the third quarter of 2018 stands at 93.6 -- up by 4.4 percentage points from the poll's last measurement through the end of June.

New York state’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment remains 6.5 percentage points below the nationwide Index of 100.1. But all three indexes for both the nation and New York are well above their breakeven points at which optimism and pessimism balance -- indicating strength in the consumer-driven marketplace.

Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SCRI founding director, said: “New Yorkers remain bullish about the economy and their personal finances this quarter as the index rose by over four points, closed the gap between New York and the traditionally higher national number, and nearly tied the recent high recorded a year and a half ago."

"Driving the strength of the index is increasing optimism towards future conditions enjoyed by every demographic except low income and older New Yorkers who held steady. Especially up were New York City residents, Democrats, young residents and those with high incomes," according to Lonnstrom.

The poll also found state consumer buying plans for cars and trucks as well as for new electronics are up -- but plans to buy homes, furniture and home improvements fell slightly in the third quarter of 2018.

Despite overall optimism about future food and gasoline prices, Lonnstrom said the latest poll found that 35 percent of all New Yorkers say current gasoline prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition. More than half of New York residents reported that how much money they spend on groceries is having either a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their household budget. And about 27 percent of state residents said that both gasoline and food prices are having either a somewhat or very serious impact on their finances.

This Siena College poll was conducted Sept. 8 through Sept. 17 by telephone to 802 New York residents. It has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

For complete SCRI poll results, click here.

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