NY Consumer Sentiment Falls Sharply; Lowest Since December 2011
Dem’s Still Top Rep’s but Down 15 Points from a Year Ago
Gas Price Concern Lowest in 3 Years; Homebuying only Plan up from Last Year
Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased 6.6 points in October, while the nation’s Index decreased 4.3 points, according to the latest poll by the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI). At 69.6, New York’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 3.6 points below the nation’s* Index of 73.2.
In October, buying plans were down for consumer electronics, 0.3 points to 35.5%, furniture, 1.2 points to 21.9%, homes, 0.6 points to 5.1%, and major home improvements, 0.9 points to 16.4%. Buying plans remained unchanged for cars/trucks at 12.9%.
“The government shutdown threw consumer sentiment into reverse in October,” according to Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SRI Founding Director. “Re-opening the government softened what could otherwise have been an all time one month drop in consumer sentiment. Nationally the index was down over four points and hit its lowest point in over a year while New York fell nearly seven points to a low we haven’t seen since December of 2011. Every demographic group dropped in confidence with women, older residents and those earning over 100k taking the largest hits.
“A year ago as Barack Obama was re-elected, Democrats in New York expressed soaring economic confidence and had an index 30 points higher than Republicans. With the government initially shut down and now struggling to roll out a health care website, Democrats have dropped 15 points, more than any other group. Republicans, down less than any other group, remain weaker in their outlook than the Democrats especially when they look to the future.”
“Concern among New Yorkers over the bite that gasoline is taking out of their budget fell to its lowest point in three years. When last concern was this low, the price at the pump was well under $3.00. It is now the direction that prices have headed more than the absolute cost that has residents relieved.
“Another bright spot remains homebuying plans. Down a little from last month, but at over 5 percent, homebuying is the only major buying plan up from last year at this time,” according to Dr. Lonnstrom.
Gas and Food Price Analysis
Fifty-one percent of all New Yorkers say that current gasoline prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition. Sixty-five 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-two 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 October 2013 by random telephone calls to 750 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 + 3.6 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.