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NYC-area consumer confidence rises in November

A customer pumps gasoline at a Gulf station

A customer pumps gasoline at a Gulf station in Ronkonkoma. A new consumer confidence survey out Dec. 4, 2013, indicates consumers are more confident as gas prices fall. Credit: Newsday, 2012 / John Paraskevas

Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area was up last month as concern about gasoline prices continued to abate.

The Siena College Research Institute reported Wednesday that its consumer confidence index for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs was 77 points in November, up 4.6 from October.

An index reading above 76 points means the number of people who are optimistic about their financial future is greater than the number of people who are pessimistic.

Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom said consumer confidence had bounced back from the slide it took in October because of the federal government shutdown on a stalemate in Congress. "Sentiment recovered this month, after the government shutdown frightened consumers," he said.

The number of metropolitan-area residents saying gasoline prices were a very serious or somewhat serious problem fell to 44 percent in November from August's 52 percent. Worry about the cost of gasoline has dropped month over month since late summer.

Still, consumers appeared cautious in their spending plans for the next six months.

Statewide, the number of residents telling Siena they planned to purchase an automobile and furniture or start a home improvement project by May was down compared with a year earlier. The number expecting to buy a house was unchanged.

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