LOUDONVILLE — When it comes to the future of the economy, New Yorkers are teetering between optimism and pessimism according to the latest poll from the Siena College Research Institute.
The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment now stands at 72.3, up 1.5 points from the third quarter of 2022. New York’s overall Index of Consumer Sentiment is 12.6 points above the nation’s Index of 59.7. The current index increased nearly 3 points to 66.7 and the future index increased nearly 1 point resulting in New York’s measure of future expectations moving from 75.2 last quarter to 75.9 today.
Both the New York and national indexes all increased between nearly 1 to just under 3 points. Overall confidence remains higher in New York than across the nation. Future confidence in New York is just above the breakeven point of balanced optimism and pessimism and 16 points higher than national future confidence.
According to SCRI Director Don Levy, a political divide appears between optimistic Democratic voters and pessimistic Republican ones. Nonetheless, Republicans are looking up since last quarter, as sentiment rose nearly 8 points among them.
“Lingering inflation, food prices, and political uncertainty may explain New York’s current sentiment measurement remaining over 20 points lower than the pre-pandemic level,” Levy said. “Still, demand for major consumer goods is high most especially for cars/trucks at over 25 percent the highest since fall of ‘19.”
In the fourth quarter of 2022, buying plans were up from the third quarter of 2022 measurement for cars/trucks to 25.5 percent (from 21.7 percent). Buying plans were down this quarter for major home improvements to 26.1 percent (from 29 percent), furniture to 28.4 percent (from 29.4 percent), consumer electronics to 44.8 percent (from 47 percent) and homes at 11.5 percent (from 14 percent).
Sixty-six percent (down from 69 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-nine percent (up slightly from 78 percent 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.