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Survey: Hurricane-boosted gas prices hurt consumer confidence

A survey on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, shows

A survey on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, shows that the drop in consumer confidence last month was partly due to worries about increased gasoline prices in the wake of recent hurricanes. Above, gas prices are displayed at Speedway in Hauppauge on Aug. 31, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Consumer confidence in the metropolitan area dipped last month after hitting a 10-year high during the summer, according to a new survey.

The Siena College Research Institute reported Wednesday that its Index of Consumer Sentiment was 91.4 points in September for Long Island, New York City and its northern suburbs.

The index was 93.3 in June, matching the reading in February 2007 before the region and country officially fell into recession. A year ago, the index was 91.1.

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

Siena pollster Douglas Lonnstrom said Wednesday that the drop in confidence last month was partially due to worries about increased gasoline prices in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which disrupted fuel production in the South.

“Concern about gas prices increased sharply . . . due no doubt to rising prices after hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico,” he said.

In the metro area, 29 percent of the residents surveyed said pump prices were either a very or somewhat serious problem, up from 26 percent in June.

Siena, based in upstate Loudonville, near Albany, polled 804 adults in New York State between Sept. 11 and 26. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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