By Haley Viccaro
ALBANY, NY-- After growing for the past year, consumer confidence fell in most areas of the state for the first three months of the year, according to a Siena College survey Wednesday.
Metropolitan areas including Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, the mid-Hudson, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica all experienced a decrease in consumer confidence scores in 2013 compared to last year, according to the report.
"Only New York City residents remain more optimistic than pessimistic while consumers in every other region again see more dark clouds than sunshine," said Siena Research Institute director Douglas Lonnstrom in a statement.
New York City's confidence score increased by one percent compared to last year. Binghamton's confidence also increased by one percent, but remains lower than other regions surveyed, at 66.4 points.
Utica residents surveyed were the most pessimistic about the state's economy with a score of 60.6 points for 2013. Utica's consumer confidence score last year was 68.3, which is 11 percent more than this year.
Rochester trailed Utica with a 10 percent decrease in consumer confidence for 2013. The overall consumer confidence in Rochester dropped 7.5 points compared to 2012.
"Upstate regions fell by at least two and a half points in Syracuse to over seven points in Utica and Rochester with large, you might say, scary declines in sentiment towards the future," Lonnstrom said in a statement.
The survey measured people's willingness to spend as opposed to their ability to spend. The index is on a scale of 1 to 150 points, and 75 points is the break-even threshold between pessimism and optimism.
The Siena Research Institute also surveyed the number of people throughout the state who expect to purchase items such as cars or homes this year. Individuals who plan to buy homes increased in all areas except Binghamton, the Mid Hudson and Utica.
New York City had the highest increase in residents who plan to purchase homes, up by six percent compared to last year.
Albany and Buffalo also had significant increases in the number of individuals who plan to buy homes compared to other regions in the state.
"Buying plans weakened in most areas with eighty percent of upstate plans now below their historic average rate," Lonnstrom said in a statement.
For more information on the survey, visit: www.siena.edu/SRI/CCI