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Upstate consumer sentiment on the rise.

Byline: Velvet Spicer

Confidence among upstate consumers continued its upward climb in the third quarter, a new report from Siena College Research Institute shows.

Overall confidencewhich includes current and future confidenceamong Upstate New York consumers rose to 92.3 in the third quarter, its highest since the first quarter of 2017. Current confidence remained in the triple digits at 100.4, while future confidence rose to 87.1.

Upstate consumers' confidence continued to lag their counterparts statewide and nationally. Overall confidence in New York was 93.6 in the third quarter, while current confidence was 98.5 and future confidence was 90.5.

Nationally, overall confidence was 100.1, up from 98.2 in the second quarter. Current confidence was 115.2, while future confidence was 90.5.

"New Yorkers remain bullish about the economy and their personal finances this quarter as the index rose by over four points, closed the gap between New York and the traditionally higher national number and nearly tied the recent high recorded a year and a half ago," SCRI founding director Doug Lonnstrom said in a news release. "Driving the strength of the index is increasing optimism towards future conditions enjoyed by every demographic except low income and older New Yorkers, who held steady."

Buying plans in the third quarter were up for vehicles and consumer electronics, while plans to purchase furniture, homes and major home improvements were down.

Forty-one percent of upstate consumers said gas prices were having a somewhat or very serious effect on their wallets, down from 48 percent in the second quarter. More than half said food prices were a somewhat or very serious problem.

Lonnstrom said the decline in the seriousness of gas and food prices contribute to the growing optimism statewide and should lead to an increase in consumer spending.

New Yorkers in the highest income bracket reported the highest overall confidence in the third quarter, while those in the lower income and over the age of 55 reported the lowest sentiment, SCRI reported.

vspicer@bridgetowermedia.com / 585-653-4021

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

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Publication:Rochester Business Journal
Date:Oct 8, 2018
Words:355
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