Metro consumer confidence ticks up

Lower gas prices have helped fuel consumer confidence in the metro area.

Consumer confidence in the metro area is at its highest level in seven years, but still lags the nation as a whole, according to the latest Siena Institute economic survey.

The Siena survey pegged local consumer sentiment in December at 89.3, or 3.3 points below the United States a whole. New York State posted a score of 85.2; the upstate region was at 79.

“As we enter a new year, consumer sentiment in New York rose, driven not by a belief in a better future economy, but rather by an appreciation of today,” said Don Levy, Siena’s director. Levy attributed much of the increased confidence to lower gasoline prices.

“Declining gas prices continue to drive concerns to the lowest we’ve seen in the seven years we’ve tracked it, and gas pump savings should continue to be redirected to other consumer purchases,” he said.