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Consumer confidence rises

Rochester Business Journal
October 3, 2012

Confidence among upstate consumers rebounded in September, and statewide confidence reached a five-year high, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.

Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—increased to 71 last month from 66.7 in August and 57.4 a year ago. Current confidence was 72 in September, unchanged from August, but up from 63.3 a year ago. Future confidence increased to 70.3 from 63.3 in August and 53.5 in September 2011.

Statewide, overall confidence was 78.2 in September, up from 73.9 in August and 61.7 a year ago. Current confidence was 75 last month, up from 73.1 in August and 63.3 a year ago. Future confidence rose to 80.3 from 74.4 in August and 60.6 a year ago.

Nationally, overall confidence rose to 78.3 in September from 74.3 in August and 59.4 a year ago. Current confidence fell to 85.7 from 88.7 in August and 74.9 in September 2011. Future confidence was 73.5 last month, up from 65.1 in August and 49.4 a year ago.

Democrats continued to report the highest confidence in September, while Republicans reported the lowest.

“Our index of consumer sentiment reached a five-year high this month and rests encouragingly two points above the all-important breakeven mark,” SRI founding director Douglas Lonnstrom said of numbers statewide. “Today a five-point plurality of New Yorkers expects business conditions to improve over the coming year.”

Lonnstrom also noted that the overall numbers are the most optimistic in recent years.

Some 70 percent of upstate consumers said gas prices are having a very or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition, unchanged from August. Two-thirds of upstate consumers said food prices were having a serious impact on their finances, compared with 71 percent in August.

Buying plans were up for vehicles and furniture in September, while plans to purchase computers, homes and major home improvements declined.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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