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Confidence edges up on lower gas, grocery prices

?With gas prices inching downward and overall sentiment

“With gas prices inching downward and overall sentiment strengthening, it follows that concern about both gasoline and food prices lessened slightly,” said Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom. (Credit: Handout)

Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area edged up last month compared with May, as worries about the cost of gasoline and groceries eased.

The Siena College Research Institute reported Friday its consumer confidence index for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs was 79.6 points in June, up 0.3 from a month earlier.

Readings above 76 points indicate the number of people who are optimistic about their immediate financial well-being exceeds the number who are pessimistic.

Forty-one percent of metropolitan-area residents said prices for gas and food were either a somewhat or very serious problem. That was down from 43 percent in May and the lowest since March.

“With gas prices inching downward and overall sentiment strengthening, it follows that concern about both gasoline and food prices lessened slightly,” said Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom.

Lonnstrom also said more residents statewide plan to make a big-ticket purchase between now and December.

A record 24.6 percent told Siena that they expect to buy furniture in the next six months, and 19.6 percent plan to start a major home improvement project, also a record.

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