Siena survey shows consumers generally remain optimistic

Jan 8, 2019
Originally published on January 8, 2019 4:17 pm

Consumers are still quite optimistic in New York State, with a number of them planning to buy big-ticket items like homes and cars in the months ahead.

That’s according to the latest quarterly survey on consumer sentiment put out by Siena College.

Don Levy is director of the Siena College Research Institute. He says even with a stock market that has had wild swings in recent months, two-thirds of the New Yorkers surveyed say this is a good time to make major purchases, things like cars, homes and electronics.

“The stability is showing up; I think that we’re enhanced by job security, we have virtual full employment, we may not have all gotten the raises that we would like, but we have a certain stability  which has lent itself to really strong consumer sentiment , despite the stock market gyrations,” Levy told WXXI News.

Levy says the survey shows consumer sentiment is stronger in the New York City area than upstate, a trend these polls have seen for quite a while. He says that may be due in part to just more people making higher salaries downstate.

About a third of the New Yorkers surveyed still say they are worse office financially than they were a year ago, but compared to five or ten years ago, they feel their finances are in better shape.

“I’m not saying that everyone is optimistic, I’m saying that when you look at everyone and you weigh those who are optimistic , who are secure against those who are struggling , there are far more people in the state of New York, more so downstate than upstate, but still, more optimistic folks, more people who feel secure,” Levy said.

Levy says the survey shows consumer sentiment is stronger in the New York City area than upstate, a trend these polls have seen for quite a while.