OMG!! Consumer Sentiment Plummets; NY Down 12, U.S. Down 13

  • Empire State Current Outlook Drops by 8 Points; Future by over 14; Both Now Negative; Upstate Lowest Overall Index Since 2011, Lowest Future Since 2013
  • Gas Concerns Remain High; Food Worries Highest in 6 Years; All Buying Plans Down

Press Release     Summary Trends     Buying Plans     Gas and Food

Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment now stands at 71.9 down 11.8 points from the last measurement in the second quarter of 2021, according to the latest poll by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI). New York’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 0.9 points below the nation’s* Index of 72.8. The overall, current and future indexes for New York all decreased this quarter and are below the breakeven point at which optimism and pessimism balance. The overall, current and future national indexes also decreased. New Yorkers, while down, are more optimistic about future economic conditions than the nation as a whole.

ics summary table

“A lingering pandemic, inflation, supply chain concerns and little good news out of Washington pulled the plug on consumer sentiment as summer turned to fall. With virtually every number down, most future numbers by double digits, consumers’ willingness to spend even as the holiday season approaches, hit a statewide low since June 2020 and a low not seen since 2011 among Upstaters. Plans to purchase major consumer goods all fell with major home improvements down by ten percentage points. And as gasoline prices have left $3.00 in the rearview mirror, over half of New Yorkers are again sighing at the pump and worse yet, food prices have two-thirds, highest since 2015, crying at the grocery checkout lines ,” according to Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SCRI Founding Director.

Index for consumer sentiment
ics graph oct 21

In the third quarter of 2021, buying plans were down from the second quarter of 2021 measurement for car/truck to 19.1 percent (from 22.5 percent), consumer electronics to 45.5 percent (from 47.2 percent), furniture to 30.1 percent (from 31.8 percent), homes to 10.1 percent (from 13.4 percent), and major home improvements to 24.2 percent (from 34.5 percent).

Fifty-four percent (unchanged from last quarter) 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 (up from 63 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.

gas and food1021
gas and food chart

This Siena College Poll was conducted September 29 – October 7, 2021 by random telephone calls to 394 New York adults via landline and cell phones and 403 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel of New Yorkers. Respondent sampling via phone was initiated by asking for the youngest person in the household. The overall results has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.8 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. Telephone sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline (from ASDE Survey Sampler) and cell phone (from Dynata) telephone numbers from within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data from the telephone and web samples were blended and statistically adjusted by age, race/ethnicity, gender and party 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