Siena Survey: consumer sentiment lags behind Wall Street surge

Posted at: 05/09/2013 5:52 PM
Updated at: 05/09/2013 5:55 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

ALBANY - Consumers are still cautious in their spending decisions.

That's according to the Siena
Research Institute, even though the stock market has seen record gains.

So why the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street?
Fter all, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 15,000 for the first time this week.

Still, this new Siena report finds consumer sentiment is languishing.

The numbers show that last month, buying plans in New York and across the nation were up slightly for homes and major home improvements, but down for cars, computers and furniture.

While there are indications that economic activity will pick up in the future, the consumer index remained virtually unchanged over the past year.

This came at the same time that Wall Street has soared, gaining 15 to 18-percent from a  year ago.

Financial analyst Hugh Johnson said it simply takes time for confidence to catch up.

"In time consumer confidence will rise in response to  the improvement in the stock market the improvement in housing prices which translates into an improvement in your and my net worth," Johnson said. "We're going to be worth more, our confidence is going to go up and we're going to spend more and that's going to be good news but it takes time."

The Siena survey found that a drop in gas prices has helped to ease concerns and that consumers appear ready to increase their spending, but remain worried about the long term economic future.