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Consumer Sentiment Index Shows More Optimism by Many New Yorkers

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Consumer Sentiment Index Shows More Optimism by Many New Yorkers

A recent report on how consumers in New York state are feeling about their financial situation shows they are feeling somewhat more optimistic.

The Siena College survey for the fourth quarter of last year shows that New York’s overall index of consumer sentiment is higher than the national index. It was 4.4 points above the national index, even with that national index rising slightly.

Don Levy is Director of the Siena College Research Institute and said that improved optimism is likely related to a variety of factors, including the fact that inflation has eased somewhat.

“That’s due to coming fully out of the pandemic, it's due to the supply chain being more in shape, it is due to there being a more of a stockpile of domestic oil and gas production,” said Levy.

Levy said that part of the reason for increased optimism may be because many New Yorkers feel that food and gasoline prices aren’t hurting them quite as much as they had previously.

But other monthly expenses are also weighing down on that consumer sentiment for a number of New Yorkers, according to Levy. He said that 70% of New Yorkers say that housing costs are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their financial condition, and 59% of state residents say their utility costs are having at least a somewhat serious impact on their finances.

Levy does note that people making higher incomes are feeling somewhat more optimistic about their financial situation.

“There’s a night and day difference between, New Yorkers with an income of $100,000 a year or more, they are decidedly optimistic, positive about the present and optimistic about the future,” said Levy. “Those making $50,000 or less, are not nearly as optimistic but far more optimistic than they were over the past five to seven year period of time.”

This story was originally published on 1/17/2024 on WXXI.