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NY Consumer Confidence Slips, Lower Gas Prices Provide Cushion

Andrew Burton, Getty Images

Loudonville, NY (WIBX) – June was a rough month for buyers, according to the Siena Research Institute’s latest consumer confidence poll.

Both the state and nation were in decline last month, with New York’s confidence falling 2.1 points to 74.5.

The nation saw a more drastic drop, sliding more than six points to 73.2, and more importantly, under the breakeven point of 75, where optimism equals pessimism.

Douglas Lonnstrom, founding director of the SRI, says though the sluggish stock market and weak job reports hurt confidence, higher gas prices could have made things worse.

“If gas prices were still up around $4, these numbers in New York State would be much worse,” Lonnstrom said. “So instead of dropping two points, we might have dropped five or six points, as well. So, I think the gas prices helped us, it just stopped us from going lower.”

Lonnstrom also says things may not be quite ready to rebound either, as the job market continues to struggle and most buying plans are down.

“Right now, the economy just seems to be going nowhere,” Lonnstrom said. “We’re just kind of drifting. A little good news, a little bad news and we just keep moving forward. But, there’s nothing really in the infrastructure that looks like it’s going to turn this around and all of a sudden we’re going to get a great upward trend over the rest of the year. I just don’t see that happening yet.”

Though the economy still hasn’t fully recovered, this year’s early summer numbers are nearly ten points higher than this time last year. In addition, the home buying market has remained constant the past couple of months, sitting at 5.6 percent and at the same level as five years ago.

To read the entire analysis, click here.

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