According to a survey on Monday, nearly 45% said increased gas prices has caused them to shop less while over 60% plan to postpone generous spending until next year or beyond which could mean spring would be tough for retailers. Consumer spending accounts for about 33% of the U.S. economy.
America’s Research Group president Britt Beemer said the American shopper was extremely cautious before, now, they are extremely worried. Customers will try and cut back on purchases until deciding at some point what to really give up, Beemer added.
Lundberg Survey showed that self-serve regular gasoline averaged $3.57/gallon in nearly 2,500 gas stations which is 76 cents higher from a year ago.
The U.S. economy’s biggest concern is the rising gas prices said a majority of the survey participants while 15% worry over high unemployment and government spending. There may have been a positive data relative to a dip in unemployment benefits claims and improved factory movements in the Mid-Atlantic region, the health of U.S. economy remains a concern among many Americans, not believing that the U.S. economy is back on track.
Many Americans plan to make the most of their money by favoring discount chains over department stores and specialty chains, said 753 of 1,000 survey participants.
There will be intense competition even at the lower end warned Beemer and that Wal-Mart’s new enemy are the dollar stores that offer more grocery and may win more customers.
The survey, with an error factor of plus or minus 3.8% was conducted over the telephone on March 8-15.