Consumer confidence unchanged as gas worries ease, index says

A USA Petroleum station on May 15, 2013. A USA Petroleum station on May 15, 2013. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

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Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area was unchanged last month compared with March as worry about gasoline prices eased.

The Siena College Research Institute on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence index for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs was 77.5 points in April, the same as in the prior month.

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Index readings above 76 points indicate the number of people who are optimistic about their immediate financial future is greater than those who are pessimistic.

Concern about the cost of gasoline dropped in April. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed in the metropolitan area said pump prices were either a serious or very serious problem compared with 53 percent who said so in March.

Grocery prices were a worry for 69 percent of poll respondents last month, unchanged from April. However, Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom said "food concerns . . . appear poised to move even higher as news of potential increases in beef and citrus pricing spreads."

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