Consumer confidence in the New York metropolitan area dipped in March on worries about the rising cost of gasoline.
The Siena College Research Institute Wednesday reported its consumer confidence index for Long lsland, New York City and its northern suburbs was 79.9 last month, down 2.5 points from February.
Readings above 76 indicate the number of people who are optimistic about their economic well-being exceeds those who are pessimistic.
Fifty-four percent of metro-area residents polled told Siena that the cost of gasoline was either a very serious or somewhat serious problem, up 3 percentage points from February.
There was no change, month over month, in the number of people concerned about grocery prices: 63 percent.
Retailers closely follow consumer confidence indexes because they can signal consumers' willingness to open their wallets. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.