The String is Broken: After Three Months of Gains, New York Takes a Big Drop
Current Outlook Much Weaker in NY than Nation
Nearly a Quarter of NY’ers Plan to Purchase Furniture in Next Six Months
Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased 5.3 points in July, while the nation’s Index
decreased 0.7 points, according to the latest poll by the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI). At 73.5, New York’s overall
Index of Consumer Sentiment is 8.3 points below the nation’s* Index of 81.8.
In July, buying plans were up for cars/trucks, 1.2 points to 13.0%, furniture, 2.4 points to 22.1%,and homes, 0.8 points to 5.1%.
Buying plans were down for consumer electronics, 1.0 points to 33.1%, and major home improvements, 6.6 points to 14.3%.
“National sentiment, down slightly, is now eight points greater than in New York as overall sentiment
slipped by over five points in the Empire State,” according to Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics
and finance at Siena College and SRI Founding Director. “Upstaters, older consumers and men fell sharply
this month as the crisis in the Middle East and unrest in the Ukraine dominated the headlines. More New
Yorkers say that they are worse off financially than a year ago and continue to be mixed about the future.
As we enter the dog days of summer, consumers remain unsure about the true temperature of the
Each month since January 1999, the SRI survey establishes an Index for Consumer Sentiment for New York State consumers. This index allows a direct
comparison of New Yorkers to all Americans (“the nation”) as surveyed by the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment. The SRI survey
measures current and future consumer sentiment, which combined provides the overall consumer sentiment. SRI also looks at confidence in New York
State by region (metro New York City and Upstate), age, income, gender and party.
“Intent to purchase furniture worth more than $500, a car, or a home were up this month. As the
temperatures rose throughout July, so did consumers’ desire to buy.
“As gas prices fell during July, so did concern over its impact on the family budget. Just over half of New
Yorkers now say that gas prices are having an impact on their finances, and a continuing two-thirds are
worried about the cost of food,” Dr. Lonnstrom said.
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-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-four percent of state residents say that
both gasoline and food prices are having either a somewhat or very serious impact on their finances.
The following chart shows the percentage of New York State residents that report a hardship from 1) gasoline prices, 2) food
prices, and 3) both gas and food prices from June 2008 through July 2014.
The SRI Index of Consumer Sentiment was conducted in July 2014 by random telephone calls to 629 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 +/- 3.9 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.