Confidence among upstate consumers remained relatively flat in September, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.
Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—improved slightly to 71.7 from 71.1 in August and 71 a year ago. Current confidence was 80, down from 82.2 in August, but up from 72 a year ago. Future confidence increased to 66.4 last month from 64 in August, but fell from 70.3 in September 2012.
Statewide, overall confidence was 76.2 last month, compared with 73.3 in August and 78.2 a year ago. Current confidence was 78.4, down from 78.8 in August, but up from 75 in September 2012. Future confidence rose to 74.7 from 69.8 in August, but was down from 80.3 a year ago.
Nationally, overall confidence was 77.5, compared with 82.1 in August and 78.3 a year ago. Current confidence was 92.6, down from 95.2 in August, but up from 85.7 a year ago. Future confidence fell to 67.8 from 73.7 in August and 73.5 in September 2012.
“As consumers braced in September for this week’s government shutdown, national sentiment fell by nearly five points, while in New York confidence climbed back to the breakeven point,” SRI founding director Doug Lonnstrom said.
Democrats continued to report the highest overall confidence, while Republicans reported the lowest. The only group surveyed with a decline in overall confidence last month was individuals in the higher income bracket of $50,000 or more.
Some 71 percent of upstate consumers said gasoline prices were having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial conditions, unchanged from August, while 71 percent also said food prices were having a serious impact on their finances, up from 66 percent in August.
Buying plans were up for consumer electronics, furniture, homes and major home improvements in September, while plans to purchase vehicles were unchanged.
The SRI consumer sentiment index was based on calls to more than 800 residents statewide last month.
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