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Upstate consumer confidence achieves 5-year high

Rochester Business Journal
July 5, 2013

Confidence among upstate consumers reached its highest point in more than five years, a monthly survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.

Overall confidence—which includes current and future confidence—improved to 76.9 in June from 73.9 in May and 69.2 a year ago. Current confidence was 81.5 last month, compared with 80 in May and 74.3 in June 2012. Future confidence rose to 74 from 70.1 in May and 65.9 a year ago.

Statewide, overall confidence increased to 78.7 last month from 77.2 in May and 74.5 a year ago. Current confidence was 80.7, up from 78.8 in May and 73.5 in June 2012. Future confidence was 77.4, compared with 76.1 in May and 75.2 a year ago.

Nationally, overall confidence fell slightly to 84.1 from 84.5 in May, but was up from 73.2 a year ago. Current confidence fell to 93.8 from 98 in May, but rose from 81.5 in June 2012. Future confidence was 77.8 last month, compared with 75.8 in May and 67.8 a year ago.

“National confidence slowed this month but in New York consumers took another sure footed step up the staircase of economic recovery,” SRI founding director Doug Lonnstrom said. “The overall index as well as both the current and future outlooks were up over the breakeven point, indicating more optimism than pessimism for the second straight month.”

Those in the higher income bracket reported the highest overall confidence last month, while Republicans reported the lowest confidence.

Some 68 percent of upstate consumers said gas prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition, relatively flat from 69 percent in May. Sixty-nine percent said food prices are having a serious impact on their finances, compared with 71 percent in May.

Buying plans were up in all major categories last month, including vehicles, computers, furniture, homes and major home improvements.

The SRI consumer sentiment index was based on calls to more than 800 residents statewide last month.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.
 


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