NY Consumer Sentiment Recovers from October Slide; Up Nearly 4 Points
Future Outlook Brightens but Doesn’t Shine; Only 26% Expect to Be Better Off in a Year
38% Plan Tech Buy as Holiday Shopping Season Opens; Gas Concerns Lowest since 2010
Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment increased 3.7 points in November, while the nation’s Index increased 1.9 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 1.8 points below the nation’s* Index of 75.1.
In November, buying plans were down for furniture, 2.6 points to 19.3%, homes, 1.1 points to 4.0%, and major home improvements, 3.4 points to 13.0%. Buying plans were up for cars/trucks, 1.1 points to 14.0% and consumer electronics, 2.8 points to 38.3%.
“Sentiment recovered this month after the government shutdown frightened consumers in October,” according to Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SRI Founding Director. “Overall confidence is up almost four points with both Republicans and Democrats as well as women and New York City residents up most strongly. Driving the rise is an increase across the board in optimism in the future. Still, while optimism is up, the future index remains below the breakeven point and only one in four residents expect to be personally better off financially this time next year.
“New Yorkers are nearly evenly divided on the question of whether 2014 will yield good or bad business conditions. While this forecast is tepid, it is an improvement over last month when by forty-five to thirty-one percent, they expected a bad year. Still, when the five year window is plugged into the crystal ball, a plurality of consumers continue to project tough times through 2018.”
“As the holiday gift season moves into full swing, almost four of every ten New Yorkers, an increase of three points, plan to purchase consumer electronics. While, our holiday spending poll showed that overall holiday spending is poised to mirror last year’s rather than increase, well priced technology items – phones, tablets, gaming consoles and television – should move off the shelves and across cyperspace at a strong clip.
“Concern over gasoline prices dipped again this month and once again hit a reassuring level we haven’t seen since 2010. Welcome news as consumers face many demands during the holidays,” Dr. Lonnstrom said.
Gas and Food Price Analysis
Fifty percent of all New Yorkers say that current gasoline prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition. Sixty-six 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-three percent of state residents say that both gasoline and food prices are having either a somewhat or very serious impact on their finances.