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Poll: NY Consumer Confidence On The Rise

For complete results from the latest consumer confidence poll by the Siena Research Institute, go to the institute's web site at <a href=\"http://www.siena.edu/sri/\"target=\"_blank\">Siena.edu</a>

A recent poll shows New Yorkers are feeling more confident when it comes to spending money.

The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 2.1 points from the first quarter of 2018 to 89.2 for the second quarter, and Siena College pollster Doug Lonnstrom says the latest poll gauging consumer sentiment finds the number of residents who are optimistic about their immediate financial futures is larger than the number who are pessimistic. Lonnstrom says he's found "an interesting blend of numbers."

"A lot of turmoil going on in the world right now. New York state actually went up two points in confidence, while the nation went down three. Now that doesn't sound like a lot, but that's a five-point spread, so it's pretty significant in index numbers. However, the nation is still much higher than New York state. They're about 10 points higher in overall confidence, 20 points higher in how they feel today, but only two points higher in the future, so we're getting closer there," said Lonnstrom.

The poll brought some good news:   "The economy seems strong, jobs are good. Those are the things that matter most to people. The bad side, we got all this talk of trade wars, the immigration problem, stock market very volatile and gas prices shot up close to $3 a gallon, and that was a factor. Matter of fact upstate, almost half the people feel that gas prices are hurting their budget."

The poll numbers reveal upstate is doing better than the New York City area — at least in one measure.  "And that very seldom happens, OK, so upstate confidence went up seven points, New York City went down one, so again they moved in the opposite direction, and that's an unusual circumstance."

Mary McGuire, Massachusetts spokesperson for AAA Northeast, says that while gas prices are trending upward nationally...    "We actually have some good news when it comes to Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island this week. According to our Monday AAA survey, gasoline prices dropped slightly in all states including Massachusetts, where the price was down three cents for an average for regular unleaded of $2.83."

Lonnstrom says Republicans joined upstate New Yorkers in having higher consumer confidence than Democrats and New York City residents.   "Their confidence shot up 14 points across the board, whether it's overall, future or current, they went up 14 points, and they're much higher than the Democrats, so that's very interesting for a blue state. Part of that I think may be the Kennedy resignation from the supreme court, and the Republicans see that as a chance to change things for the next couple of generations."

Lonnstrom says the report also shows buying plans or major consumer items – cars, homes, furniture and electronics —   were all up this quarter and remain very robust.

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