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Metro area consumer confidence hits 10-year high

President Donald Trump tours the American Center of

President Donald Trump tours the American Center of Mobility on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Ypsilanti Township, Mich., with GM CEO Mary Barra, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Ford CEO Mark Fields and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Credit: AP / Evan Vucci

Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area is at its highest level in more than 10 years because of optimism about President Donald Trump’s economic policies, according to a recent survey.

The Siena College Research Institute said yesterday that its Index of Consumer Sentiment was 92.4 points last month for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs.

The index was 93.3 in February 2007, nearly a year before the region and country officially fell into recession. A year ago, the index was 90.7 points.

“While President Trump’s approval rating is down, New Yorkers appear to have bought into his economic message, particularly Republicans,” whose sentiment is at an historic high, Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom said yesterday. “Democrats’ overall sentiment is flat.”

The confidence index had climbed to 91.1 points in September 2016, which was a 9½-month high, and then dipped to 89.5 in November.

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

The cost of gasoline was a concern for a larger number of metro area residents. Thirty-one percent said pump prices were either a very serious or somewhat serious problem, the highest rate since June 2015.

Siena surveyed 804 adults in New York State between March 1 and March 15. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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