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Confidence among upstate consumers reached a five-year high in October, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.
Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—increased to 75.6 last month from 71 in September and 55.7 a year ago. That is the highest level since July 2007 when overall confidence was 76.3.
Current confidence rose to 73.9 in October from 72 in September and 56.9 a year ago. Future confidence was 76.6 last month, up from 70.3 in September and 55 in October 2011.
Statewide, overall confidence was 78.7 last month, compared with 78.2 in September and 59.1 a year ago. Current confidence rose slightly to 75.4 from 75 in September, but was up sharply from 57.6 a year ago. Future confidence was 80.8 last month, compared with 80.3 in September and 60.1 in October 2011.
Nationally, overall confidence reached a five-year high at 82.6, compared with 78.3 in September and 60.9 a year ago. Current confidence was 88.1 last month, compared with 85.7 in September and 75.1 a year ago. Future confidence rose to 79 last month from 73.5 in September and 51.8 in October 2011.
Democrats continued to report the highest overall confidence last month and Republicans reported the lowest.
“With this polling completed prior to both the election and superstorm Sandy, the national consumer mood may have foreshadowed the president’s re-election,” SRI founding director Douglas Lonnstrom said. “Sandy’s destruction, while not factored into this month’s numbers, will necessitate consumer spending as New Yorkers and New York area residents rebuild and recover from nature’s fury.”
Some 71 percent of upstate consumers said gas prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition, up from 70 percent from September. Seventy-seven percent said food prices were having a serious impact on their finances, compared with 66 percent in September.
Buying plans were up for computers and major home improvements in October, while plans to purchase vehicles, furniture and homes were down.
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