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Upstate consumer confidence rises again in January

By Rick Seltzer

Date:

Consumer confidence increased for the third straight month in upstate New York in January as consumers indicated a growing willingness to spend under current conditions.

Upstate New York’s overall consumer-confidence index climbed 3.1 points in January to 69.5, according to a monthly survey from the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI). Current confidence jumped 7.9 points to 73.9, while future confidence remained unchanged at 66.7.

Confidence increased more rapidly in New York state as a whole. Overall statewide consumer confidence spiked 7.5 points to 74.8. Current confidence in the state rose 6 points to 72, while future confidence rocketed up 8.5 points to 76.6

“I think there is an optimistic bump in January,” says Douglas Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SRI founding director. “It is a new year. People start the year with some hope.

The state’s consumer-confidence levels are nearly at the SRI survey’s break-even point of 75 — the point at which an equal number of consumers give positive answers and negative answers.

Survey results below 75 indicate more consumers gave negative answers than positive ones. Results over 75 indicate more consumers gave positive answers.

SRI conducted the survey in January by making random telephone calls to 804 New York State residents over the age of 18. Margin of error does not apply to the consumer confidence index results because they are derived from statistical calculations, according to SRI.

National consumer confidence also increased in January, according to the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index. Overall consumer confidence swelled 5.1 points to 75. Current confidence moved up 4.6 points to 84.2, and future confidence gained 5.5 points to 69.1.

Contact Seltzer at rseltzer@cnybj.com

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