(Photo Credit: http://www.siena.edu/sri)
A poll released today shows US and specifically New York State consumer confidence has remained the same from February to March. The Siena College Research Institute found New York’s consumer confidence decrease .1% while the nation didn’t change at all.
Founding Director of the Research Institute Dr. Douglas Lonnstrom says he was surprised March figures were almost identical to February.
“That was a little disappointing because March had some good economic news,” he said.
“The main reason is the employment picture: people are still worried about their jobs, or they’re under employed or they’re unemployed. So until we start getting hiring again, I don’t think you’re going to see the employment picture or the consumer confidence picture move up much.”
The Research Institute surveys around 800 people a month. Recently, consumers are buying more home improvement items like furniture, while the amount of cars and computers bought is decreasing.
When asked what he expects for the April poll, Dr. Lonnstrom laughed.
“We’ve got gas prices getting up close to $3 a gallon again, and two years ago it was around $4 a gallon. And when gas was at $4 a gallon, 78 percent of New Yorkers felt that was hurting the family budget badly.”
Dr. Lonnstrom says consumer confidence won’t go up unless conditions change.
“If we can see some good news in employment and if we can see gas prices start to go back down a little bit, I think we’ll see a good spurt in April.”