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Consumer Confidence Drops in New York Last Month

By Mark Scott

Loudonville, NY – Consumer confidence in New York declined in December after posting gains the previous two months.

The drop in consumer confidence in December was fueled mainly by the New York City area. A survey by the Siena College Research Institute found the index falling 2.6 percent from the previous month.

Institute Director Douglas Lonnstrom says residents of New York City may be realizing it's going to take longer for the city to recover from September 11th. But upstate, Lonnstrom said, consumer confidence actually increased last month.

"One of the questions in our survey asks if this is a good time to buy. Clearly, people think it is," Lonnstrom said. "There getting zero percent financing on cars. There getting good deals. They're not having to make payments for months. So, I think that buying attitude spilled over and inflated the consumer confidence index."

Lonnstrom says strong car sales during the final months of 2001 may have come at the expense of the normally-strong spring season. He says that could lead to reduced confidence in the months ahead.

On Monday, the Siena Research Institute released its first report on consumer confidence in the Buffalo area for the last three months of 2001. It shows the index for this region stood at 82.4 percent in the October through December period.

When asked if they were better or worse off than a year ago, a higher number of those survey in Buffalo believed things were better for them.

But the Buffalo survey found more people thought business conditions will be difficult during the next 12 months.