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Siena survey shows drop in consumer sentiment among New Yorkers

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The Siena College Research Institute said Friday, July 1, 2022, that its recent poll shows the New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment is down 6.3 points from the last measurement in the first quarter of 2022.

A new survey on consumer sentiment from Siena College shows a sharp drop in how New Yorkers are feeling about the economy right now.

The 2nd quarter survey shows a drop from the 1st quarter, and Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute, said that’s not a surprise, given the rapid rise in prices for a number of goods that people have to buy every day.

Gasoline is an obvious example, and Levy says that 69% of New Yorkers overall, and 74% of upstaters said that the price at the pump is having a serious impact on them.

“As bad as that is, then you look at food,” said Levy. “And this is the highest number we’ve seen in food concern since 2008. And overall, 80% of us are saying that the cost of groceries is seriously impacting our family budget.”

Levy said the 2nd quarter survey shows that the index for consumer sentiment in New York has not been this low since 2011.

But he said that consumer sentiment is kind of a mixed bag, because there is still strong demand for big ticket items like cars and houses. However a lot of people are hesitant to spend the money on those types of large purchases right now.

Levy said that how New Yorkers feel about the economy is driven in part by their income level, with New Yorkers earning at least $100,000 a year feeling relatively positive about the future.

But that sentiment is a lot different for those with lower incomes.

“And that is overwhelmingly driven by…it’s hard to just pay for groceries, pay for rent, put a little bit of gasoline in the car. New Yorkers with a $50,000 a year income or less are really struggling right now. That’s reflected in our survey,” said Levy.

One small bright spot, Levy noted, is that consumer sentiment in New York state is doing better than the nation as a whole.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.