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Consumer confidence improves

Overall confidence among upstate consumers rebounded in September, the latest consumer confidence survey by the Siena Research Institute shows.
Overall confidence, which includes both current confidence and future confidence, in Upstate New York rose more than 5 points to 75.4 last month from 69.9 in August, and was up from 72.3 a year ago.
Current confidence was 83.4 in September, compared with 78.8 in August and 81.9 a year ago, while future confidence increased to 70.3 last month from 64.2 in August and 66.2 in September 2006.
Statewide, overall confidence was 74.4 in September, compared with 73.8 in August and 77.9 a year ago. Current confidence fell slightly to 80.3 from 80.7 in August and 83.4 a year ago. Future confidence statewide was 70.6 last month, compared with 69.3 in August and 74.4 in September 2006.
Nationally, overall confidence was unchanged in September at 83.4, but was down 2 points from 85.4 a year ago. Current confidence fell slightly to 97.9 last month from 98.4 in August, but was up from 96.6 a year ago. Future confidence was 74.1 in September, compared with 73.7 in August and 78.2 in September 2006.
“Overall, upstate consumer confidence bounced back nicely after the August collapse,” SRI director Douglas Lonnstrom said.
But hold the celebration, Lonnstrom said, noting confidence among New York City consumers fell to its lowest point since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Buying plans were up slightly for all major categories, including vehicles, furniture, computers, major home improvements and houses. However, Lonnstrom noted, despite the statewide increase in buying plans, “confidence continues to decline among the young, lower income groups, women and Republicans.”
Consumers in the higher income bracket showed the greatest overall confidence at 81, while those in the lower income bracket showed the least confidence at 65.6.

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