Siena poll finds New Yorkers less confident about economy

Consumer confidence continues to plummet across the state as New Yorkers cope with the cost of highe

Consumer confidence continues to plummet across the state as New Yorkers cope with the cost of higher gas and food prices, according to a poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute.

The state’s consumer confidence index reflected a 3.1-point decrease and is on par with a dip experienced nationally. However, the state’s index remains at 52.6, which is 3.8 points lower than the national average and is at the lowest level since Siena began polling in 1999.

“We’ve tracked consumer confidence in New York for nearly 10 years and never before has such a high percentage of residents felt as though economic times are worse rather than better,” said Douglas Lonnstrom, a professor at the college and the institute’s founding director. “And consequently they do not think it is the right time to spend.”

The slump detailed in the Siena poll is nothing new. Poll figures showed New York’s consumer confidence at a historic low in January.

“It may sound like a broken record, but it’s true,” Lonnstrom said. “Across every demographic, consumer confidence has hit a new record low.”

The poll found that fewer people are planning to spend on homes, furniture or major home improvements. Meanwhile, the poll concluded an increasing number of people are planning to purchase items such as vehicles or computers.

Siena conducted the survey by randomly calling 813 adult residents across the state in June.

The poll found that 72 percent of state residents felt their food and gas expenditures were having either a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their finances.

While worries appear to extend through all demographic groups, Lonnstrom said the hardest hit appear to be among those residents making less than $50,000. He said more than eight in 10 respondents from this demographic indicated the elevated costs are a problem.

Residents making more than $50,000 also reported troubling impacts. Lonnstrom said more than half the respondents from this demographic said the higher cost at the pump and the grocery store is affecting them adversely.

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