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Citigroup poll finds optimism in N.E.

By Bonnie Kavoussi
Globe Correspondent / June 8, 2010

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According to a study by Citigroup, consumers in the Northeast have a more positive economic outlook than those in the country as a whole.

That’s not to say they are optimistic: 43 percent of respondents in the Northeast said the economy has already hit bottom — in contrast to 36 percent of all respondents — and 53 percent said the economy still is far from the bottom — in contrast to 59 percent of all those surveyed.

The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates in March, questioned 2,002 adults, including 429 in the Northeast.

Higher consumer confidence in the Northeast “bodes well for a recovery,’’ said Citibank executive vice president Ken Kavanagh. A Harvard economics professor, James H. Stock, said the results make sense because New England did not experience a large housing construction boom, and was not hit as hard by the real estate decline. And New England depends on industries that are more “cyclically stable,’’ like health care and education.