Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area rebounded slightly in June after plummeting when the coronavirus spiked in March, according to a new survey.
The Siena College Research Institute reported Wednesday its Index of Consumer Sentiment was at 72.5 points last month for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs. In March, the index stood at 64.8, an eight-year low, and in November 2019 was at 93.3.
While the latest sentiment reading represents an improvement, it’s still below the index's breakeven mark of 76 points. That means the number of residents who are pessimistic about their immediate financial future is larger than the number who are optimistic.
Siena pollster Doug Lonnstrom said, “under the coronavirus cloud, they say that they are personally worse off and that the year ahead will be a rocky one for New York State.”
In the metro area, 61% of residents said food prices were either a very serious or a somewhat serious problem last month, down from 58% in March. In June 2019, 68% of residents expressed concern.
In terms of gasoline prices, 29% of residents surveyed last month said they were either a very or somewhat serious problem, unchanged from March. In June 2019, 39% of residents were worried about prices at the pump.
Retailers and economists closely follow confidence indexes because consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity.
Siena, based in Loudonville, near Albany, polled 810 adults in New York State between June 28 and July 9. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.