Overall Consumer Sentiment in NY Skyrockets to Highest in Over 16 Years

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Overall Consumer Sentiment in NY Skyrockets to Highest in Over 16 Years
Republicans Highest since 2000; Future Sets New Record; Dem’s Overall Sentiment Flat
Car/Truck Buying Plans Highest Since Summer 2015

Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment in March stands at 94.1 up 6.0 points from the last measurement in November 2016, according to the latest poll by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI). New York’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 2.8 points below the nation’s* Index of 96.9.  All three indexes for both the nation and New York are well above their breakeven points at which optimism and pessimism balance indicating strength in the consumer driven marketplace.

“Consumer sentiment in New York hit a high-water mark not seen since November 2000, while the nation saw its highest sentiment since January 2007.  Upstate also saw large increases and now surpasses the New York City area in overall, current, and future sentiment.  While President Trump’s approval rating is down, New Yorkers appear to have bought into his economic message, particularly Republicans who have reached a sentiment level they haven’t seen since May 2000 and when looking towards the future, are recording the highest score we have ever seen for them since we started conducting this survey in January of 1999.  At the same time, Democrat future sentiment is at its lowest point since October 2013,” according to Dr. Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SCRI Founding Director.
In March, buying plans were up since the November 2016 measurement for cars/trucks, at 18.5% (from 14.6%), furniture, at 30.0% (from 24.4%), and homes, to 10.1% (from 8.8%).  Buying plans were down for consumer electronics, at 42.7% (from 46.3%), and major home improvements, to 20.8% (from 22.0%).
“Auto and furniture buying plans are robust heading into the warmer months but intended consumer electronics purchases dropped after the holiday buying season.  Home buying plans remain strong with one in ten New Yorkers planning to buy a house in the next six months,”  Lonnstrom said.

Thirty-four percent of all New Yorkers say that current gasoline prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition.  Fifty-nine 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.  Twenty-nine percent of state residents say that both gasoline and food prices are having either a somewhat or very serious impact on their finances.

“Concern about gas prices increased slightly while worry over food prices declined.  About one third of New Yorkers, well below previous levels, remain concerned about gas prices and about 6 in 10 are concerned about food prices,”  Lonnstrom said.

 This Siena College Poll was conducted March 1-15, 2017 by telephone calls conducted in English to 804 New York State residents.  Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household.  It has an overall margin of error of + 3.5 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting when applied to buying plans and/or the perceived impacts of gas and food prices.  As consumer sentiment is expressed as an index number developed after statistical calculations to a series of questions, “margin of error” does not apply to those indices. Sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample provided by Survey Sampling International of landline and cell phone telephone numbers from within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data was statistically adjusted by age, region, gender and race/ethnicity to ensure representativeness.   The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. 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/scri/cci.