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Upstate, statewide consumer sentiment slip in first quarter

By Eric Reinhardt


Consumers in upstate New York and statewide became slightly less confident about the economy in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) quarterly survey report of consumer sentiment issued on Wednesday.

Consumer sentiment in upstate New York fell to 83.9 in the first quarter from 90.4 in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to SCRI.

Statewide consumer sentiment fell to 87.1 from 92.3 in the fourth quarter. The statewide figure was 14.3 points lower than the first-quarter consumer sentiment of 101.4 for the entire nation, which was up 5.5 points from the fourth-quarter measurement, as measured by the University of Michigan’s consumer-sentiment index.

This quarter’s five-point drop in New York state consumer sentiment was due to a “weakening” in New Yorkers’ confidence in the state’s economic future, Douglas Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SCRI founding director, said in the survey report.

“Overall confidence remains strong, but New Yorkers are far less secure today and optimistic about our state economy than Americans in general are towards their personal situation and the country’s future. Concerns about the future, perhaps due to recent market volatility and tariff talk is highest in Upstate and among older New Yorkers,” said Lonnstrom.

SCRI conducted its survey of consumer sentiment between March 1 and March 29 by telephone calls conducted in English to 802 New York residents. It has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Contact Reinhardt at

IMAGE CREDIT: Siena College Research Institute Twitter page

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