NACS Consumer Fuels Survey: record number of Americans say they will be driving the same or more this month

​ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Nov-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, a record 93% of Americans say they will be driving the same or more this month, and they anticipate spending more over the same time period, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.

Thanksgiving traffic could be heavy, as a record 93% of American drivers say they will be driving the same or more over the next 30 days. And they also will be shopping this month. Nearly three in four consumers (72%) say they will spend the same or more this upcoming month in stores, led by 79% of Americans age 50+ as well as 77% of those in the Midwest.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells an estimated 80% of the fuel sold in the United States, has conducted monthly surveys related to economic issues since January 2013.

Consumer confidence regarding the economy is also very high; a record 61% of consumers say they are optimistic about the economy, the same percentage as the month prior and up 11 percentage points compared to November 2015. Consumer optimism is highest in the Northeast (65%) and South (62%), though a solid majority of consumers in the Midwest (59%) and West (57%) report feeling optimistic.

Prices at the pump continue to drive consumer optimism, with three in four (75%) saying that gas prices affect their views of the economy.

“Steady gas prices and high levels of economic optimism are great signs for convenience stores heading into the holidays. Convenience stores expect strong sales for fuel, food and drinks from now through the end of the year,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed November 8-10, 2017. Summary results are available at convenience.org/fuelssurvey.

NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Source: NACS

NACS Consumer Fuels Survey: As gas prices decline, Americans more optimistic about the economy

​ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Jul-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Another decline in gas prices helped fuel Americans’ optimism about the economy to near record levels, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.

The U.S. convenience store industry sells an estimated 80% of the fuel sold in the country, and NACS has conducted monthly surveys related to economic issues since January 2013.

Drivers report a median gas price of $2.22, down 13 cents from $2.35 in June. This month’s prices are the lowest gas prices reported by consumers this year.

As gas prices decline, consumers are feeling more optimistic about the state of the economy. Three in five (60%) American drivers report feeling optimistic about the economy, a two-point increase from last month and a point off the record high recorded in March. Last July, 47% of American drivers expressed optimism related to the economy.

Historically, most consumers say that prices will increase over the next 30 days; however, that perception is changing as gas prices remain low for a sustained period. Only 41% of drivers now say that they expect prices to climb this month, the lowest percentage in 12 months.

The decline in gas price has been felt most strongly in the South, where over half (55%) of consumers say they noticed lower gas prices this month. In contrast, just under a third (29%) of consumers in the West say they noticed this month’s dip in prices. Overall, 43% say they believe gas prices are lower than 30 days ago.

Nearly one in four consumers (24%) say that they will drive more this month and nearly one in five (18%) say they will spend more.

“The cumulative effect of low gas prices over the past three summers is certainly pushing consumer optimism higher,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Low gas prices, warm summer weather and high consumer optimism are the three factors most cited by convenience stores retailers looking to grow their sales and retailers are very optimistic about summer sales.”

In fact, more than four in five convenience store retailers (83%) say they are optimistic about their business prospects for the third quarter of 2017, the highest level recorded in the past eight quarters, according to a NACS retailer optimism survey published in late June.

The NACS Consumer Fuels Survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,118 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed July 5-7, 2017. Summary results are available at convenience.org/fuelssurvey.

NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Source: NACS