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Syracuse consumer confidence tops among upstate cities

The Syracuse region now has the best consumer confidence for metropolitan regions in upstate New York, as buyers there are finally starting to feel like this year’s economy will be better than the past one.

Consumer confidence was still the highest in New York City for the past three months, according to a consumer confidence index tabulated by the Siena Research Institute.

Optimism in Syracuse jumped eight points - the largest increase of anywhere in the state. Albany buyers also passed the "breakeven point," into feeling that this year will be better.

Buffalo and Rochester saw gains of 3.3 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, to place them in the middle of the pack.

But the Binghamton region is still struggling. Confidence there had the smallest increase for upstate cities at 1.5 percent. It remains the lowest in the state.

Still, Dr. Douglas Lonnstrom, director of the Siena Research Institute, says overall, the momentum is on the positive side.

"Clearly, people are feeling much better today than they did five years ago," he says. "They’re not feeling great, but they’re feeling better than they did five years ago."

Things had to get better after the recession, Lonnstrom says, and they finally are.

A consumer confidence index measures people’s willingness to spend money.

By and large, New York’s consumer confidence index moves hand-in-hand with a national index tabulated by the University of Michigan.