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Confidence among upstate consumers in May reached its highest point in 11 months, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.
Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—among upstate consumers rose to 75.4 last month from 69.1 in April and 73.9 a year ago. Current confidence was 81.1, compared with 77.3 in April and 80 in May 2013. Future confidence increased to 71.8 from 64 in April and 70.1 a year ago.
Statewide, overall confidence was 76 last month, up from 74.4 in April, but down from 77.2 a year ago. Current confidence rose to 79.6 from 77.7 in April and 78.8 in May 2013. Future confidence was 73.7, compared with 72.3 in April and 76.1 a year ago.
Nationally, overall confidence was down last month to 81.9 from 84.1 in April and 84.5 a year ago. Current confidence fell to 94.5 from 98.7 in April and 98 a year ago. Future confidence was 73.7 last month, down from 74.7 in April and 75.8 in May 2013.
“While national consumer sentiment slipped this month, New Yorkers’ attitudes towards economic conditions rose moderately,” SRI founding director Doug Lonnstrom said. “Where often New York City residents are far more bullish than upstaters, this month their views are quite similar.”
Consumers in the highest income bracket continued to report the highest overall confidence, while those in the lower income bracket of less than $50,000 reported the lowest.
Some 67 percent of upstate consumers said gasoline prices were having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition, down from 69 percent in April. Sixty-eight percent of upstate consumers reported food prices were having a serious impact on their finances, compared with 70 percent in April.
Buying plans were up for consumer electronics, furniture, homes and major home improvements, while plans to purchase vehicles were down.
The SRI consumer sentiment index was based on calls to more than 600 residents statewide in May.
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