Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area fell in July on heightened fears about rising costs for food and gasoline.
The Siena College Research Institute reported Monday that its confidence index for Long Island, New York City and the northern suburbs was 77.6 points last month, down 0.2 from June.
Fifty-two percent of area residents said gasoline prices were either a "somewhat or very serious problem" in July, an increase from June's 48 percent.
Concerns about grocery prices were even greater. Sixty-eight percent of metro area residents said food costs were either a "somewhat or very serious problem" in July, the highest percentage in the Siena survey since April.
Pollster Douglas Lonnstrom said, "Worry about food prices spiked among women as nationwide drought conditions start to take effect."