Home > Consumer Behavior & Trends, Economy, InsightCenters, Monthly Consumer Survey > Pain at the Pump: At Least Gas Prices Aren’t $5/Gallon… Yet

Pain at the Pump: At Least Gas Prices Aren’t $5/Gallon… Yet

With gas prices like this, who needs really needs a vehicle? A question I’m sure a lot of us have been asking ourselves lately

Unfortunately, public transportation isn’t always an option and I know the 20 mile bicycle ride to work doesn’t sound like fun to me. (Maybe I’ll change my mind if prices hit the scary expectations for the summer.) So what other changes are consumers making as prices continue to creep upward?

Taking fewer trips, shopping for sales more often, shopping closer to home, and using coupons more are the most recent top responses from consumers when asked what they are doing as a result of fluctuating gas prices. While taking fewer trips, shopping for sales, and shopping closer to home haven’t quite reached the summer of ’08 levels (yet), using coupons more often has certainly remained a popular response, peaking at 42.1% in September 2011.

As a result of fluctuating gas prices, are you doing any of the following?

The dark blue line in the chart shows the actual average gas prices for the first week of each month according to the Energy Information Association.

When comparing these responses to actual gas prices, there is one obvious visual trend to make note of. When gas prices dropped from an average of $3.54/gallon in October 2008 to below $2/gallon in December 2008, the percentage of consumers who were taking fewer shopping trips, shopping for sales more often, shopping closer to home, and using coupons more did NOT take a drastic decline like the prices at the pump did. Instead, after just being slapped in the face by the realities of the recession, consumers began to adjust to the “new normal.”

What will these numbers look like at $5/gallon? Stay tuned and we just might find out (eek!).

To learn more about how consumers are being impacted at the pump and other economic indicators, check out the Consumer Vital Signs InsightCenter™ at www.ConsumerVitalSigns.com.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – MAR-07 – FEB-12 (FEB-12: N = 8716, 2/1 – 2/8/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

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