Consumer confidence hits record low, Siena survey says

In what could be a bad omen for the holiday season, New York’s consumer confidence and buying plans
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In what could be a bad omen for the holiday season, New York’s consumer confidence and buying plans fell to record lows, following Wall Street in its tail spin, according to a survey released today by the Siena Research Institute.

Overall confidence statewide last month slid 4.7 points to 51.6. That drop erased gains moods made over the summer and fell below June’s previous record low of 52.6.

Even though much of the global financial crisis has been centered on Wall Street, confidence nationwide took a bigger hit, falling 12.7 points to 57.6.

“Fewer and fewer New York consumers are ready and willing to spend money in this economy. Falling gas prices serve to soften our continuing free fall, but we’ve reached a low point in current and overall confidence that mirrors an unwillingness to buy big ticket items,” SRI Founding Director Douglas Lonnstrom said.

According to the SRI survey, the number of consumer reporting buying plans for computers fell hardest for, declining 3.1 points to 7.4 percent. Consumers with home buying plans fell 1 point to 2.4 percent and major home improvements buying plans declined 2 points to 12.6 percent.

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