Consumer confidence hits 16-year high in New York

Apr 5, 2017
Originally published on April 5, 2017 11:51 am

New Yorkers are feeling better about the economy than they have in over 16 years, and one economist says you can thank President Trump for that, at least in part.

"His announcements about jobs coming back and investments coming back to this country...people are buying into that message and you gotta give Trump credit for that," said Doug Lonnstrom, Ph.D., founding director of the Siena College Research Institute.

Upstate residents are even more positive about the economy than people in New York City, which had a quicker recovery from the recession.

SCRI’s index of consumer sentiment in March stands at 94.1 statewide and 96.7 for upstate.  Anything over 76 on the index indicates optimism.

"About one in five people are planning on buying a car in the next six months,” Lonnstrom said. “That's a pretty high figure, and it's the highest in two years. Home buying is pretty strong.  One out of ten is planning on buying a home in the next six months. You never get a lot of people saying they're going to buy a home in the next six months, so one in ten is pretty strong."

Lonnstrom, who teaches finances and statistics at Siena College, says continued economic growth and optimism will depend on whether the President’s promises come to fruition.  

"I think the big thing is, if Trump delivers on bringing jobs and investments back to the United States...if those things materialize, I think we could see this grow even more. If it turns out that it's all hype and it doesn't happen, then I think people will turn sour."

As for their biggest economic concerns, 59 percent of New Yorkers mention the amount of money they spend on groceries.  Thirty-four percent said gas prices are having a very or somewhat serious impact on their finances.