Shopper in a Freeport market.

Shopper in a Freeport market. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Nearly 8 in 10 Long Islanders have seen their financial position undermined by inflation, according to a new poll.

The Siena College Research Institute found that rising prices over the past two years have had a “very negative impact” on the finances of 51% of local residents and a “somewhat negative impact” on an additional 28%.

The poll of 96 adults living in Nassau and Suffolk counties was conducted from Feb. 20-March 5. The margin of error is plus or minus 11.1 percentage points.

The Long Island results mirrored those for the suburbs north of New York City and statewide. A total of 801 adults were surveyed across the state with a margin of error of 3.8 points.

“We hear it again and again, things just cost more,” said Siena pollster Don Levy, adding that many New Yorkers feel squeezed as pay raises haven’t keep pace with prices.

In Nassau and Suffolk, he noted that only 4 in 10 residents said their monthly household income had increased since 2021 and 3 in 10 said they have fallen behind financially.

Among weekly and monthly purchases, groceries had the most people saying they’re spending more than they did two years ago: 84%.

Transportation and housing were a close second, 76% and 73%, respectively. Transportation costs include gasoline, car payments, maintenance, insurance, mass transit and ride-sharing costs. Housing expenses include mortgage and rent payments, insurance, maintenance, property taxes and utility bills.

More than 50% said they are spending more on internet, cable, streaming services and other entertainment. 

The poll results come as the consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island hovers around 3%, year over year, or about 1 percentage point higher than the target of the Federal Reserve to start lowering interest rates.

The index rose 2.9% last month compared with February 2023. The largest recent gain, year over year, was 6.7% in June 2022.

“Inflation was quite high in 2021 and especially in 2022, raising prices substantially” compared with prior years, said John A. Rizzo, an economist and Stony Brook University professor. “So, the absolute price levels of many items remain high, even though the rate of increase in the price of those items has slowed.”

He also said the Fed’s interest rate hikes “have raised the cost of borrowing, making credit cards and housing more expensive. It will take more time for consumer sentiment to catch up to improving economic conditions.”

Nearly 8 in 10 Long Islanders have seen their financial position undermined by inflation, according to a new poll.

The Siena College Research Institute found that rising prices over the past two years have had a “very negative impact” on the finances of 51% of local residents and a “somewhat negative impact” on an additional 28%.

The poll of 96 adults living in Nassau and Suffolk counties was conducted from Feb. 20-March 5. The margin of error is plus or minus 11.1 percentage points.

The Long Island results mirrored those for the suburbs north of New York City and statewide. A total of 801 adults were surveyed across the state with a margin of error of 3.8 points.

“We hear it again and again, things just cost more,” said Siena pollster Don Levy, adding that many New Yorkers feel squeezed as pay raises haven’t keep pace with prices.

In Nassau and Suffolk, he noted that only 4 in 10 residents said their monthly household income had increased since 2021 and 3 in 10 said they have fallen behind financially.

Among weekly and monthly purchases, groceries had the most people saying they’re spending more than they did two years ago: 84%.

Transportation and housing were a close second, 76% and 73%, respectively. Transportation costs include gasoline, car payments, maintenance, insurance, mass transit and ride-sharing costs. Housing expenses include mortgage and rent payments, insurance, maintenance, property taxes and utility bills.

More than 50% said they are spending more on internet, cable, streaming services and other entertainment. 

The poll results come as the consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island hovers around 3%, year over year, or about 1 percentage point higher than the target of the Federal Reserve to start lowering interest rates.

The index rose 2.9% last month compared with February 2023. The largest recent gain, year over year, was 6.7% in June 2022.

“Inflation was quite high in 2021 and especially in 2022, raising prices substantially” compared with prior years, said John A. Rizzo, an economist and Stony Brook University professor. “So, the absolute price levels of many items remain high, even though the rate of increase in the price of those items has slowed.”

He also said the Fed’s interest rate hikes “have raised the cost of borrowing, making credit cards and housing more expensive. It will take more time for consumer sentiment to catch up to improving economic conditions.”

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