Ships Going Down With Rising Tide (of Fuel Prices)
According to a new study for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch, 66.2% of consumers, or 145.3 million Americans, believe that fluctuating gas prices have impacted their spending habits, up from 56.8 percent in 2004. Despite a recent drop in gas prices, the report says, consumers continue to alter their spending to compensate for high numbers at the pump.
Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO, said "While shoppers seem to be getting over the initial sticker shock, gas prices have taken a long-term toll on consumers, many of whom have had to adjust their spending to compensate for the increases. Every penny spent on gasoline is a penny kept from retailers, so this is also a very real problem for our industry."
According to the NRF 2005 Gas Prices Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey survey:
- 68.5 million people (31.2% of consumers) have decreased vacation or travel plans
- 25.2% have been dining out less frequently
- 23.7% spending less on clothing
- 17.3% spending less on groceries
- 35.9 million consumers (16.4%) have delayed purchases of cars and furniture as a result of higher gas prices
- But only 5.7 percent of consumers increased carpooling
- 35.1 percent of consumers polled said that gas prices would affect their Memorial Day spending
- 69.9% of consumers with household incomes under $50,000 say they have felt an impact from rising gas prices
- 58.2% with household incomes over $50,000 have also been affected.
"High gas prices have become a way of life for consumers, and they are adjusting as much as they can," said Phil Rist, Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch.
Look for more charts here.