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Upstate consumer confidence dips in Q3

By VELVET SPICER - 10/10/2012 3:46:20 PM

Overall confidence among Rochester consumers in the third quarter fell sharply, the latest quarterly consumer confidence survey by the Siena Research Institute shows, but the region was able to maintain its second-place ranking among regions statewide.

Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—was 73.9 in the last quarter, down from 78.7 in the second quarter, but up from 63.3 a year ago. Current confidence was 76.9 in the third quarter, compared with 80.3 in the second quarter and 66.7 a year ago. Future confidence was 72, down from 77.6 in the second quarter, but up from 61.1 in the third quarter last year.

Overall confidence dropped in eight of the nine metro areas surveyed from the second to third quarter, SRI reported, but was up in all of the regions from the third quarter last year.

“In a quarter where the trend changed direction, we get some mixed results,” SRI founding director Douglas Lonnstrom said. “July and August numbers weakened but September was strong as we reported in our statewide release last week. Despite a slight slowing in most areas this quarter, the tone in every area is up from the fall of 2011, which points to the likelihood of an improved holiday buying season.”

Overall confidence among Buffalo consumers was 70.8 in the third quarter, down from 72.2 in the second quarter, but up from 61.1 a year ago. Current confidence fell to 77.3 from 79.6 in the second quarter, but was up from 68.2 in the third quarter a year ago.

Syracuse area confidence was 68 in the third quarter, compared with 68.6 in the second quarter and 63.1 a year ago. Current confidence improved to 74.7 from 71.6 in the second quarter and 70.5 a year ago. Future confidence was 63.7 in the third quarter, down from 66.7 in the second quarter, but up from 58.4 in the third quarter a year ago.

Buying plans among Rochester area consumers were up for vehicles and computers, while plans to purchase furniture, homes and major home improvements fell in the third quarter.

The SRI index measures people’s willingness to spend, rather than their ability to spend.

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