Consumer confidence for the metropolitan area improved last month as residents worried less about the cost of food.
The Siena College Institute's monthly consumer confidence index reported that consumer confidence for the New York metropolitan area -- which includes New York City, its northern suburbs and Long Island -- increased to 78.4 points in August, a gain of 0.7 points.
A reading above 75 points on the index means that optimistic consumers outweigh pessimistic ones.
The gain was fueled by New York metro area residents worrying less about the cost of food. Of the individuals surveyed for the index, 63 percent said they considered the cost of food a somewhat or very serious problem -- a five percent drop from July.
Worries about gasoline continued, however, as more metro area residents said they thought gas prices were a somewhat or very serious problem in August compared to July.
The confidence index was compiled through a survey of 803 random people reached by phone.
Although the metro area saw a gain in consumer confidence, the confidence index for New York State dropped 1.5 points to 73.9 last month.
National consumer confidence, which is compiled by the University of Michigan, increased 2 points to 74.3 in August.