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Consumer confidence nose-dives amid inflation and supply chain problems

money-matters-1173105.jpg Nawaz

Fears about inflation, supply chain problems, and negative news in general are eroding people's confidence in the economy.

According to a new poll from Siena College, consumer sentiment among New Yorkers dropped nearly 12 points since the second quarter.

"These are the worst results in memory, and we've been doing this since 1995," said Doug Lonnstrom, founding director of Siena's Research Institute.

He said the holidays are two months away and people are already worried.

"One, there's a report out that says Christmas is going to cost about 30% more this year, and second, you may not even be able to get anything because of the supply chain," he said. "We've got like 60 boats sitting out on the Pacific, not able to come into port."

The survey found negative economic views are widespread among all demographic groups, income groups, and political persuasions.

The poll showed 54% of New Yorkers believe gas prices are having a very serious or somewhat serious impact on their finances, and 66% indicate that the amount of money they spend on groceries is taking a toll on their wallet.

"They're worried about inflation, they're worried about jobs, they're worried about all sorts of things. world affairs," Lonnstrom said. "I've got friends who won't even look at the news, they're so afraid."

He said this is manifesting in fewer plans to buy big-ticket items like cars, furniture and homes.  

Lonnstrom said economic worries become a self-fulfilling prophecy: If people think things are going to get bad and they pull back spending, the economy will suffer.

If there's one hopeful sign, it's the fact that New Yorkers are not quite as pessimistic about the future economy as consumers are on a national level.

"It's not really great news, but it's better news than it could have been," Lonnstrom said.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 29 through Oct. 7, and it was based on random telephone calls to 394 New York adults and 403 online responses. 

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.