4:41pm

Thu May 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

Consumer confidence down in New York last month

High gas prices, poor home buying, and low job reports sent consumer confidence down in New York last month.

The latest Consumer Confidence Index released by Siena College shows New York dropped about 2 points.

Confidence among upstate New Yorkers actually ticked up, but the number was brought down by a drop among New York City residents.

Siena Research founding director Doug Lonnstrom says slow job growth is a major hurdle.

"We still do not have really robust job growth in the nation and in New York. Particularly in education, school districts are under financial strain right now and people are being laid off on the local level and certainly the consumer feels that," Lonnstrom said.

Lonnstrom also cites the housing market and gas prices as potential hurdles to more confidence among New Yorkers.

"The housing market is still in the dumps and I think that’s going to be a long time before this bounces back. Of course we’re getting all the bad news out of Europe. But I think the overwhelming factor this month was gas prices and that did surprise me because gas prices generally have a bigger effect upstate than they do down in the city," Lonnstrom said.

Despite all of this, the outlook on the future was positive. Lonnstrom says those polled signaled they’re planning on buying cars and homes.

If gas prices continue to decrease, Lonnstrom says the confidence could increase.

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