Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Soaring gas prices sinking consumer spending, sentiment


The average price for gasoline soared 6.9 cents over the last week to a record of $3.79 a gallon. That means the national price for regular, self-service gasoline is now up 57 cents from a year ago, according to data relased by the federal Energy Information Administration on Monday.

With personal income stagnating, consumers are finding it hard to offset the ongoing spike in gas prices.

gas-prices.jpgAccording to the latest Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, which polls consumers on their spending habits, 54 percent of consumers are cutting back on basic living expenses, like grocery shopping, to compensate for the high cost of gas. 

Nearly 55 percent are cutting back on discretionary spending, like eating out and going to the movies.