Rising U.S. Gas Prices Halt Discretionary Spending

Rising U.S. Gas Prices Halt Discretionary Spending

High gas prices are forcing Consumers to combine shopping trips, eat out less, and stay home more, according to research released Thursday by Nielsen.

In addition, nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers are compensating for rising gas prices by reducing their spending, Nielsen found. That percentage increased by 18 points since June 2007 — and by 14 points in the last six months alone.

“While discretionary spending is likely to be a challenge for most low and middle income shoppers, even affluent consumers are looking for ways to make their dollars go further,” Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen, noted.

Nielsen’s survey was conducted during the first week of June 2008, when regular gas averaged $3.98.

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