Consumer confidence dips in state, poll shows

Consumer confidence in New York dipped a fraction of a percent to 61.7 points from July to September

Consumer confidence in New York dipped a fraction of a percent to 61.7 points from July to September, according to a poll released on Wednesday from the Siena Research Institute.

“Slightly more New Yorkers now expect to lose ground financially than those that predict they will make economic progress this year and a major volunteer a negative prognosis for the patient we call ‘business conditions,’ ” said SRI founding Director Doug Lonnstrom in a press release. “While Wall Street numbers jumped and plummeted as demonstrators moved in and expressed their anger, consumers across New York continued to hang their heads and keep their wallets closed.”

Consumer confidence among New Yorkers about the future dropped a point, since July, to 60.6, which was still well above the national outlook of 49.4 points. Overall consumer confidence in the state for September was about five points higher than the near-record lows of September 2008, but more than a point below last year’s rating. Outlook for the future dropped 2 points compared to September 2010.

“It’s no surprise that the ranks and influence of both ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and the tea party are growing,” Lonnstrom said.

There wasn’t much movement in buying plans for New Yorkers, who were asked about purchasing computers, furniture, homes, major home improvements and a motor vehicle. Only 3 percent of those polled said they were planning on buying a home, which was only .4 percentage points below September of 2008, indicating that the demand for housing still hasn’t returned.

Additionally, the poll suggested that paying for gas and food are an issue for a slim majority of New Yorkers. Taking each item separately, over 60 percent of people polled said they were a serious impact on their financial condition. All three of these numbers have been decreasing recently, but are still at 2008 levels.

“Both numbers are trending lower this month and over the last five months. Still, when you step back and look at consumer confidence, we see no signs of recovery but rather a prolonged and deepening period of lowered personal expectations,” Lonnstrom said. “So far, New Yorkers are hanging on but expressing little hope that relief is anywhere in sight.”

The poll surveyed 804 random New Yorkers during the month of Septembers. Margin of error doesn’t apply to the consumer confidence, but the buying plans have a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Reach Gazette reporter David Lombardo at 395-3134 or [email protected]

Categories: Business

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