Consumer Sentiment Falls 5 Points; Lowest Since Pandemic Panic; NYS More Optimistic than Dismal National Outlook

  • Democrats’ Index Remains Positive; Republicans Lowest EVER
  • 66% Worried About Gas Prices; Buying Plans Stay Strong Despite Inflation

Press Release     Summary Trends     Buying Plans     Gas and Food

Loudonville, NY – The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment now stands at 68.0 down 5.1 points from the last measurement in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the latest poll by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI). New York’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 8.6 points above the nation’s* Index of 59.4. Both the current and future indexes fell about 5 points resulting in New York’s decline from 73.1 last quarter to 68.0 today. The national indexes all decreased between six and nine points. Overall confidence is higher in New York than nationally with future confidence in New York below the breakeven point of optimism and pessimism but 17.5 points higher than a national low of future confidence not seen since October 2011.

“Inflation plus war equals uncertainty for New York consumers. The index has fallen to where it briefly stood when the coronavirus first slammed our economy. New York’s overall and future numbers are much higher than the national outlook owing to a partisan economic sentiment divide in which Democrats – a better than 2-1 advantage in New York – remain upbeat about the future while Republicans in this survey recorded the lowest consumer sentiment score ever recorded in a Siena survey. Gas prices and their impact is taking our collective breath away hitting Republicans, Upstaters and women the hardest. While buying plans remained strong, increasing for cars, major home improvements are nearly seven points under last year’s forecast,” according to Don Levy, SCRI’s Director.

In the first quarter of 2022, buying plans were up from the fourth quarter of 2021 measurement for cars/trucks to 20.6% (from 17.8%) and homes to 11.1% (from 10.0%). Buying plans were down for consumer electronics at 40.7% (from 47.1%), furniture to 27.1% (from 32.0%), and and major home improvements to 24.4% (from 31.1%).

Sixty-six percent (up from 61 percent last quarter) of all New Yorkers say that current gasoline prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition. Seventy-two percent (unchanged from last quarter) 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.

This Siena College Poll was conducted March 14-17, 2022 by random telephone calls to 401 New York adults via landline and cell phones and 400 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 +/- 3.7 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. Don Levy at 518-783-2901. Survey cross-tabulations and buying plans can be found at