State consumer sentiment last month was up almost four points after its hitting its lowest point in three years in October, according to a Siena Research Institute Poll released Wednesday.
The state consumer sentiment poll is released each month and measures people’s willingness to spend as opposed to their ability to spend. The index is on a scale from 1 to 150 points, with 75 being the middle point for consumer sentiment, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.
“Sentiment recovered this month after the government shutdown frightened consumers in October, Siena Research Institute Director Doug Lonnstrom said in a statement. “Overall confidence is up almost four points with both Republicans and Democrats as well as women and New York City residents up most strongly.”
Democrats had the highest consumer confidence at 85.0 points and people who had an income of more than $100,000 had the second highest at 80.9 points.
People who had an income of less than $50,000 and upstate had the lowest consumer confidence at 66.8 points and 67.4 points, respectively. In upstate, the confidence level was 65.2 points.
The consumer confidence in the New York City area was 77 points, up from 72.4 in October.
Republicans had the third lowest consumer sentiment index at 68.8 points.
“Driving the rise is an increase across the board in optimism in the future. Still, while optimism is up, the future index remains below the breakeven point and only one in four residents expect to be personally better financially this time next year,” Lonnstom said in a statement.
The poll found gasoline prices and food prices are having a very serious to somewhat serious financial impact on those polled. However, concern for gasoline prices has steadily dropped from August to November, falling from 59 percent to 50 percent.
“Concern over gasoline prices dipped again this month and once again hit a reassuring level we haven’t seen since 2010. Welcome news as consumers face many demands during the holidays,” Lonnstrom said in a statement.
The holiday spending poll found that holiday spending will match last year’s, but almost four out of 10 consumers planned to buy higher priced technology gifts, such as phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and TVs this year.