Upstate consumers less confident, Siena survey for June shows

By VELVET SPICER - 7/5/2012 1:18:30 PM

Taking a cue from statewide and national numbers, confidence among upstate consumers dipped in June, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.

Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—fell to 69.2 last month from 74.7 in May, but was up from 61.2 a year ago. Current confidence was 74.3, compared with 78.4 in May and 62.9 in June 2011. Future confidence fell to 65.9 in June from 72.3 in May, but was up from 60.1 a year ago.

Statewide, overall confidence fell to 74.5 in June from 76.6 in May, but improved from 64.9 a year ago. Current confidence was 73.5 last month, down from 76.2 in May, but up from 63.3 in June 2011. Future confidence was 75.2, compared with 76.9 in May and 65.9 a year ago.

Nationally, overall consumer confidence fell to 73.2 last month from 79.3 in May, but was up slightly from 71.5 in June 2011. Current confidence was 81.5, compared with 87.2 in May and 82 a year ago. Future confidence was 67.8, down from 74.3 in May, but up from 64.8 a year ago.

Democrats continued to report the highest confidence in June, while consumers in upstate reported the lowest.

“After nine consecutive months of increasing confidence, the national mood darkened and declined by over six points in June,” SRI founding director Douglas Lonnstrom said.

Lonnstrom noted the difference in confidence among New Yorkers and consumers nationwide may be in perspective.

“The nation is more satisfied with the present than are New Yorkers, while New Yorkers are far more optimistic about the future than the nation as a whole,” he said, noting confidence as the summer season starts is up nearly 10 points from a year ago and each early summer since the recession of 2007.

Some 63 percent of upstate consumers said gas prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition, down from 67 percent in May. Some 69 percent said food prices were having a serious impact on their finances, compared with 68 percent the previous month.

Buying plans were up for furniture, but down for all other categories tracked, including vehicles, computers, homes and major home improvements.

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