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Metro area consumer confidence numbers mostly the same as last year

In the report, 68 percent of consumers said

In the report, 68 percent of consumers said food prices were either a very serious or somewhat serious problem last month, up from 58 percent in March.  Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area was essentially unchanged last month compared with a year earlier, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The Siena College Research Institute reported its Index of Consumer Sentiment was at 88.3 points in June for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs. A year earlier, the index stood at 88.4. 

Consumer sentiment readings above 76 points indicate that the number of residents who are optimistic about their immediate financial future is larger than the number who are pessimistic.

The index hit a 10-year high of 97.6 points in December.

In the metro area, 39 percent of residents surveyed said gasoline prices were either a very or somewhat serious problem last month, down from 41 percent in March. A year ago, 26 percent of residents were worried about prices at the pump.

In terms of food prices, 68 percent said they were either a very serious or somewhat serious problem last month, up from 58 percent in March. A year ago, 58 percent of residents expressed concern.

Retailers and economists closely follow confidence indexes because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity.

Siena, based in Loudonville, near Albany, polled 804 adults in New York State between June 11 and 18. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

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