Gas Prices Not Everyone's Nemesis

by , Aug 28, 2006, 3:00 AM
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Gas Prices Not Everyone's Nemesis

According to the BIGresearch August Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey of over 8,500 consumers, only 24% of households said high gas prices are having no impact on their spending. But when broken into income groups, 30% of those making more than $50K per year reported no major impact, compared to only 22% of consumers making less than $50K per year.

Joe Pilotta, VP of Research for BIGresearch, said "While economic concerns and rising gas prices are causing consumers to exercise more judgment in their spending across the board, not all income groups are affected equally... and (the gap) is only getting wider."

81% of consumers in the under $50K group felt they are the same or worse off financially than this time last year, and are making significant changes, including deferring major purchases, dining out less, cutting back on travel and driving less. 78%, though, who make over $50K+ felt they were the same or better off financially than last year.

Impact of Fluctuating Prices on Spending (multiple response OK)

<$50K

$50K+

All Respondents

Delayed major purchase such

as a car, TV or furniture

27%

21%

23%

Reduced dining out

43%

34%

37%

Decreased vacation/travel

42%

36%

37%

Increased carpooling

7%

7%

7%

I will be driving less

49%

42%

43%

Spending less on groceries

23%

12%

17%

Spending less on clothing

34%

25%

29%

Other

8%

7%

7%

No major impact

22%

30%

24%

Source: BIGresearch

"... it's clear that deferred spending is taking a harder toll on consumers making less than $50K per year," said Pilotta. "This should be a defining moment for retailers who depend on this customer base. Success hinges on paying attention to what types of purchases are being deferred, because the gaps... could become gulfs very rapidly."

For additional information, please visit BIGresearch here.

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