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NY-area consumer confidence drops in October after government shutdown
Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area dropped last month because of the federal government shutdown, experts said Friday.
The Siena College Research Institute reported its consumer confidence index for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs fell 6.4 points in October to 72.5 from the previous month.
Index readings below 76 indicate the people who are pessimistic about their financial well-being outnumber those who are optimistic. October's reading was the lowest since December 2011.
"The government shutdown threw consumer sentiment into reverse in October," said Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom.
Washington's partial closure ran from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16.
Siena Friday reported that concern about gasoline prices among metropolitan residents hit a four-month low of 46 percent in October.
However, grocery prices continue to be a worry, with 65 percent saying the cost of food was either a somewhat or very serious problem.
Retailers closely follow consumer confidence indexes because they can signal a willingness by shoppers to open their wallets.
An index decline the month before the traditional start of the holiday shopping season -- the day after Thanksgiving -- worries some shopkeepers.