Consumer confidence in NY metro area drops on global crises

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, talks with the Ukrainian troops on June 20, 2014, at a military base in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Photo Credit: AP / Mykhailo Markiv

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Consumer confidence in the metropolitan region dropped last month on worries about the economy and conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

The Siena College Research Institute reported Wednesday that its consumer confidence index for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs was 76.8 points in July, down 3.4 points from the previous month.

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The index was at its lowest point since May but remained above 76.1 points, which means the number of residents who are optimistic about their immediate financial future is larger than the number who are pessimistic. The index was 80.2 in June.

"More New Yorkers say that they are worse off financially than a year ago and continue to be mixed about the future," said Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom. "As we enter the dog days of summer, consumers remain unsure about the true temperature of the economy."

However, metro-area residents were less concerned about gasoline prices last month than at any time since April.

The number of people saying pump prices were either a very serious or somewhat serious problem was 46 percent in July, down one percentage point from the prior month.

Sixty-six percent of area consumers said grocery prices were a problem, up from 63 percent in June.

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