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Economic news: Consumer sentiment up, gas prices down

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In economic news, a couple of new surveys issued Monday indicate gas prices continue to fall while consumer sentiment is on the rise.

A new poll by the Siena Research Institute finds consumer sentiment at its highest level in New York State since early 2007. The state index is up 5.2 points to an even 84.0.

The poll indicates New Yorkers are spending more on cars, trucks, electronics, furniture and homes but less on major home improvements. The poll also indicates that 69% of New Yorkers say the amount of money spent on groceries is having a serious impact on their finances; that compares with 41% indicating spending on gasoline is seriously impacting their financial condition.

Meanwhile, the latest "GasBuddy"  survey finds the average retail price of a gallon of gasoline in Buffalo has fallen by 25.2 cents over the past month to an average $3.16 a gallon.  The national price of a gallon of gasoline averages out to $2.69 according to GasBuddy.com.