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Poll finds LI consumer confidence lowest since '09

A shopper in Costco.

A shopper in Costco. Photo Credit: AP

Long Islanders were down beat about their economic future during the summer, according to a poll released Monday.

The Siena College Research Institute found consumer confidence during the July-September period was lower than at any time since early 2009 when the nationwide recession was still in full swing.

This is the second consecutive quarter where the confidence index has fallen in Nassau and Suffolk. It hit a record high in January-March.  Siena has been surveying Long Islanders since late 2008.

Gridlock in Washington, roiling stock markets and the European banking crisis combined with fears about job security to spook many residents said Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom. However, he also noted that Long Island's performance was mirrored statewide. Only Albany residents were more optimistic about their financial well-being.

Statewide, consumer confidence fell in July-September in eight of the nine regions.

The biggest drop was in the Hudson Valley followed by New York City.

Retailers closely follow the consumer confidence indexes because they often indicate the willingness of shoppers to open their wallets. Consumer spending represents about 70 percent of the nation's economic activity.

The number of Long Islanders saying they planned to purchase a home, furniture, automobile or start a major home improvement project in the next six months was down from the second quarter. The sole category that had an increase in planned purchases — computers.

The survey is based on more than 400 interviews with residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties, July to September.

Photo: A Costco shopper.

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