NY metro area consumer confidence rises, Siena College report says

This is a shopping district in Pittsburgh on

This is a shopping district in Pittsburgh on May 14, 2014. (Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar)

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Consumer confidence in the metropolitan region increased last month as concern about the cost of gasoline ebbed as prices climbed. The Siena College Research Institute reported Thursday that its confidence index for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs was 80.2 points, a gain of 3.6 over May.

The index reading was the highest since January's 81 points.

Readings above 76 indicate the number of residents who are optimistic about their financial circumstances is larger than the number who are pessimistic.

Despite gasoline topping $4 per gallon in some parts of Long Island, the number of people in the metro area who said pump prices were either a very serious or somewhat serious problem fell to 47 percent in June, the lowest since February.

Worry about grocery prices climbed to 63 percent last month, up one percentage point from May.

"Despite publicity about gas prices jumping of late and anticipated summer price increases, in June concern over petrol prices fell," said Siena pollster Doug Lonnstrom. "But the proverbial other hand slapped consumers at the grocery store as the financial pinch of feeding the family rose."

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