NY Consumer Sentiment Slips; Falls to 20 Month Low
Future Outlook Down 10 Points from Fall 2012; Fewer Expect Better Days Coming
All Buying Plans Soften; Gas and Food Worries on the Rise
Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased 2.1 points in August, while the nation’s Index decreased 3.0 points, according to the latest poll by the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI). At 73.3, New York’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 8.8 points below the nation’s* Index of 82.1.
In August, buying plans were down for for cars/trucks, 1.8 points to 12.9%, consumer electronics, 1.0 points to 34.5%, furniture, 2.9 points to 18.0%, homes, 0.8 points to 3.8%, and major home improvements, 1.1 points to 16.2%.
“Overall Consumer Sentiment slipped again in August reaching its lowest level since December of 2011 as eroding Future Sentiment, down over ten points from last fall, was the prime suspect,” according to Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SRI Founding Director. “Despite housing market resurgence, jittery financial markets and possible military involvement in Syria nearly twice as many New Yorkers have a pessimistic view of our five-year economic conditions compared to those with optimistic projections. Today, nearly as many consumers expect their personal finances to deteriorate as improve over the next twelve months. Early 2013 hopes have now faded.”
“With the unsettling news in the Middle East, oil prices spiked and, as a result, concern about gas prices rose in August and, may very well, be headed higher. Concern about food prices followed suit, up two points in August overall and standing at seventy-eight percent among low income households in New York.
“While buying plans for cars and trucks, homes and home improvements are slightly higher than this time last year, plans to purchase those items as well as furniture and consumer electronics fell last month. As overall sentiment has dropped so too has consumer willingness to spend,” according to Dr. Lonnstrom.
Gas and Food Price Analysis
Fifty-nine percent of all New Yorkers say that current gasoline prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition. Sixty-seven percent of state residents indicate that the amount of money they spend on groceries is having either a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their finances. Forty-nine percent of state residents say that both gasoline and food prices are having either a somewhat or very serious impact on their finances.
The SRI Index of Consumer Sentiment was conducted in August 2013 by random telephone calls to 556 New York State residents over the age of 18. As consumer sentiment is expressed as an index number developed after statistical calculations to a series of questions, “margin of error” does not apply. Buying plans, which are shown as a percentage based on answers to specific questions, do have a margin of error of +/- 4.2 points. For more information or comments, please call Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, at 518-783-2362. Survey cross-tabulations and buying plans can be found at www.siena.edu/sri/cci. SRI is an independent, non-partisan research institute. SRI subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.