March 8, 2013
3/8: More View NYS Economy as Getting Worse, Fewer See It Improving
Although a majority of New York State voters — 53% — think the state’s economy is staying about the same as it has been, there has been an uptick in the proportion of voters who think it is getting worse and a drop in the proportion who believe it is getting better. Nearly three in ten — 29% — say the state’s economy is getting worse, and 18% report it is getting better.
“The sluggish economy continues to impact New Yorkers,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “In fact, the proportion of voters who think the economy is getting better and not worse has flipped since last spring.”
When Marist last reported this question in April, nearly half — 49% — perceived the economy as status quo. 27% thought it was getting better while 23% said it was getting worse.
Among Republicans — 40% — and non-enrolled voters — 35%, there has been an increase in the proportions of those who view the state’s economy as worsening. In April, 33% of Republicans and 23% of non-enrolled voters statewide shared this view. Among Democrats, there has been little change in the proportion of those who perceive the economy as getting worse. 21% have this view now while 18% did so last spring. However, there has been an increase in the proportion of Democrats who believe the economy is about the same as it has been. 57% of Democrats currently have this view compared with 45% in April.
By region, the largest shift has occurred in the suburbs of New York City. While 35% of these voters thought the state’s economy was on an upswing last spring, 15% have this impression now. However, nearly six in ten in this region — 58% — say the economy is status quo compared with 44% in April. Upstate, 16% of registered voters think the state’s economy is getting better compared with 22% in April. A third of these voters — 33% — perceive the economy as worsening while 27% had this view last spring.
But, do New York voters think the Empire State is in a recession? More than six in ten — 61% — do while 35% do not. Four percent are unsure.
There has been a modest decrease in the proportion of voters who say the state is in a recession. In April, 67% thought New York was in a recession while 30% did not characterize the state in this way. Three percent, at that time, were unsure.
Majority Perceives Family Finances as Steady
When it comes to their own personal family finances, a majority of registered voters statewide — 56% — think their family finances will remain about the same in the coming year. One in four — 25% — say they will get better while 19% believe their financial situation will get worse.
In April, 53% of voters did not expect any change in their family finances, 31% believed they would get better while 16% said they would get worse.
Gas Prices Stretch Family Finances
Almost three in four New Yorkers who have gas expenses — 74% — experience some amount of financial strain on family finances due to the price of gas. This includes 31% who feel a great deal of financial strain and 43% who have a moderate amount of stress because of this expense. 15%, however, do not feel much economic strain while 11% feel none at all.
When Marist last reported this question in April, 78% felt, at least, a moderate amount pain at the pump. 12% didn’t experience much financial strain due to the price of gas while 10% underwent none at all.
But, are drivers adjusting their transportation choices because of the high price of gas? A slim majority — 51% — say they are. 49% are not. In April, 58% of drivers reported they changed their driving habits because of gas prices while 42% said they did not.