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Siena poll: Confidence in the economy grows


(The Center Square) – A new poll released Wednesday by the Siena College Research Institute found that New Yorkers were gaining more confidence in the economy.

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However, there were clear disagreements on the state of the economy based on age, political affiliation and geography.

The third-quarter poll for the New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment, which the institute conducted from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, also came one day after a dark day on Wall Street fueled by higher than anticipated inflation rates for August. Plus, a rail strike estimated to cost the American economy $2 billion daily looms for Friday.

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New York’s overall index of 70.8 was up 9.1 points from the second quarter figures released in June. It also was 12.6 points higher than the national average.

Still, Institute Director Don Levy said in a statement that the results show a “tale of two states” regarding perceptions about the economy.

According to survey results, the overall index for those making more than $100,000 a year, 82.1, was 12.3 points higher than those making less than $50,000. Meanwhile, people living in the New York City area had an overall index of 78.4, 19.3 points higher than upstate respondents.

Those under 55 were also far more positive about the economy. With an overall index of 78.8, that group was 22.3 points higher than people older than 55.

Among various demographic groups, Democrats were the most bullish on the economy, with an overall index rating of 87.4. Republicans were the most bearish at 49.7.

“Democrats and Republicans live in different economic sentiment realms,” Levy said.

The gap between Democrats and Republicans widens when they consider future economic conditions. New York Dems’ future index was 92.2, while the Republicans index was 51.6.

Republicans, meanwhile, led the way when it comes to concerns about the prices of food and gas. The Siena poll found that 82% of New York GOP’ers felt prices on both were serious, up from 73% in June.

Only 57% of Democrats, meanwhile, felt the same way. That was down from 58% in the last quarter.

Across all those surveyed, 63% found both gas and food prices to be a serious issue.

Index results were determined based on random calls to 388 residents on landline and mobile phones and 415 responses the institute drew from “a proprietary online panel of New Yorkers.” The Siena index has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

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