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Upstate consumer sentiment rebounds in November

Rochester Business Journal
December 4, 2013

Confidence among upstate consumers rebounded in November but continued to trail both statewide and nationwide confidence, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.

Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—increased to 67.4 last month from 65.2 in October, but was down from 73.6 a year ago. In October confidence among upstate consumers had dipped to its lowest point in nearly two years, SRI reported.

Current confidence in upstate improved to 74.3 last month from 73.1 in October, but fell from 77.7 in November 2012. Future confidence was 63 in November, compared with 60.1 in October and 71 a year ago.

Statewide, overall confidence was 73.3 last month, up from 69.6 in October, but down from 79.4 a year ago. Current confidence increased to 74.3 from 73.5 in October, but fell from 78.4 in November 2012. Future confidence statewide was 72.7 last month, compared with 67.2 in October and 80 a year ago.

Nationally, overall confidence was 75.1 last month, compared with 73.2 in October and 82.7 a year ago. Current confidence fell to 88 in November from 89.9 in October and 90.7 a year ago. Future confidence was 66.8 last month, up from 62.5 in October, but down from 77.6 in November 2012.

“Sentiment recovered this month after the government shutdown frightened consumers in October, SRI founding director Doug Lonnstrom said. “Driving the rise is an increase across the board in optimism in the future. Still, while optimism is up, the future index remains below the breakeven point and only one in four residents expect to be personally better off financially this time next year.”

Democrats continued to report the highest overall confidence in November, while those in the lower income bracket report the lowest overall confidence.

Some 60 percent of upstate consumers said gasoline prices were having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial conditions, up from 59 percent in October, while 67 percent said food prices were having a serious impact on their finances, unchanged from October.

Buying plans were down last month for furniture, homes and major home improvements, while plans to purchase vehicles and consumer electronics were up.

The SRI consumer sentiment index was based on calls to more than 620 residents statewide last month.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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