Gas Prices Change Shopping Behavior

Jun 01, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A new study from NPD Group says consumers are beginning to get nervous enough about the cost of gasoline to the point where they are altering spending plans.

According to NPD, 28 percent of consumers say they have cut back on the amount of gasoline they’re purchasing and a “significant percentage’ are reducing personal expenditures
on everything from clothing to entertainment.

David Portalatin, NPD’s auto industry analyst said, “At some point, gasoline takes such an increased share of the wallet that consumer spending suffers in other areas. Breaking
the symbolic $2 per gallon price mark appears to have been enough to force consumers into action.”

Vera Salling, a volunteer who pays for her own gas to make deliveries for the Meals on Wheels program in Denver, told the New York Times, “If the price of gasoline keeps
going up and groceries go up, you have to give up something to be able to do something else.”

Moderator’s Comment: Are we at the point where gas prices are endangering the economic recovery? Does the rising price
of oil require some type of intervention on the part of government authorities?

This weekend’s terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia has added another dollar to the cost of a barrel of crude oil so prices will go even higher on the fear
that supplies will be reduced. Just imagine how high prices would have gone if we had an oil shortage this year. Producing nations keep pumping it out and yet the price at the
pump keeps climbing.

George Anderson – Moderator

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