NACS Consumer Fuels Survey: consumers optimistic about the economy as gas prices fall

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Consumers have seen gas prices fall after the temporary supply disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and they say they are more optimistic about the economy, according to the latest national NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.

Americans say that they have seen gas prices fall 9 cents to $2.50 per gallon over the past month, and one in four (24%) expect prices to continue to fall this month, far higher than the number who normally say gas prices will decrease this time of the year. In October 2016, only 11% of Americans said they thought gas prices would decline that month.

This sentiment is particularly strong in the South, the region most impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. A third (34%) of Southern gas purchasers say they believe prices will drop in the next 30 days.

Lower gas prices have boosted consumer optimism over the economy. Consumer optimism shot up seven points to 61% from September’s reading of 54%, the highest level recorded since March 2017. Men are significantly more optimistic than women (68% vs. 56%) but there are no significant differences by age group. Consumer optimism is strongest in the South (64%) and Northeast (64%), and slightly weaker in the Midwest (59%) and West (58%).

Overall, three in four (76%) consumers say that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy and that is particularly true among younger consumers. Nearly nine in 10 Americans (87%) ages 18 to 34 say that gas prices affect their economic confidence. Similarly, the drop in prices also affects their spending: 37% of this age group say they will drive more this month and 24% say they will spend more this month than last month.

“Sales at convenience stores are directly tied to the economy, fuel prices and the weather. The return of consumer confidence is great news as we start the fourth quarter of 2017,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

In preparation for—and in response to—to the hurricane season (defined as June 1 to November 30), NACS continues to work with its partners at the American Red Cross to help collect donations for areas impacted by the hurricanes. NACS also has developed resources to assist retailers and others with disaster recovery and relief.

The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,103 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed October 3-6, 2017. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

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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

For media interviews/comments contact Jeff Lenard.

NACS: Economic optimism among American consumers held steady this month despite rise in gas prices

​ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Aug-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Economic optimism among American gasoline consumers held steady this month, despite a seven-cent climb in the price of gasoline, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels survey.

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

Gas consumers report a median gasoline price of $2.29 per gallon, up from $2.22 last month. This price increase has been felt most strongly in the South, with about two in five (42%) saying they noticed gas prices “much higher” or “somewhat higher” than last month. In the West, just a third (32%) of gasoline consumers noticed higher prices.

Despite the uptick in gasoline prices, Americans drivers remain optimistic about the current state of the economy. Three in five (60%) drivers say they are optimistic about the economy, the same proportion that said so last month in July 2017 and 16 points higher than last August when optimism stood at 44%. There are strong demographic variations in optimism; 64% of those age 50 or higher say they are optimistic, compared to 54% of those ages 18-34.

American gasoline consumers also expect gasoline prices to continue to rise. 42% of gasoline consumers say that they expect gasoline prices in 30 days to be higher than they are today. Another 49% say they think gasoline prices will remain about the same as today, and just one in ten (8%) say they believe gas prices will drop in the next 30 days.

Nearly one in four consumers (24%) say that they will drive more this month, the highest percentage recorded over the past five Augusts, and nearly one in five (17%) say they will spend more.

“The convenience store industry is glad to see that consumer optimism remains strong despite the slight rise in gas prices this past month,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Resilient economic optimism is good news as consumers enter the latter half of the summer driving season.”

The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,108 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed August 1-4, 2017. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/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

Fuel consumers expect gas prices to rise over the next 30 days – NACS survey

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Two in three U.S. fuel consumers (64%) say that they expect gas prices to rise over the next 30 days, an 11-point jump from a month ago and the highest percentage of Americans expecting price increases since May 2015 according to the results of a new consumer survey released today by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Nationally, consumers report that gas prices increased 20 cents per gallon last month, and 64% say that they noticed an increase in prices. Prior to March, U.S. fuel consumers had reported declining prices every single month since June 2015.

The increase in gas prices may have contributed to a decrease in economic optimism. Less than half (44%) of U.S. fuel consumers say they are optimistic about the economy, down from 50% in March 2016. As in previous months, younger fuel consumers are more optimistic about the economy than older Americans: 52% of 18-34 year olds report feeling optimistic, compared to 40% of those over age 50.

Drivers in the Northeast are most likely to expect future price increases, with 72% expecting prices to increase. Not coincidentally, they are the least optimism, with only 41% expressing optimism about the economy. Drivers in the West are most optimistic about the economy (48%).

“Gas prices historically increase in April as the petroleum industry undergoes the annual transition to produce and sell summer-blend fuels, but the percentage of Americans who expect prices to increase is at its highest level for April since we initiated our monthly surveys in 2013,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “While prices are relatively low compared to previous Aprils, there is still considerable angst across the country related to further prices increases.”

With the slight increase in gas prices, average miles per dollar — a calculation that examines gas prices related to vehicle fuel efficiency — dropped to 12.15 miles per dollar in March.

Despite consumer concerns about gas prices, there may be some good news for retailers. Nearly one in four Americans (23%) say that they will spend more money shopping for items besides gas over the coming month, the highest percentage since December when consumer spending peaks for the holiday shopping season. More than two in five (42%) of consumers ages 18-34 say that they will shop more over the coming month.

The NACS Retail Fuels Report (www.nacsonline.com/gasprices) examines a variety of issues related to fueling, with more than 20 backgrounders including a report on Why Prices Historically Go Up in the Spring.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted online by 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 April 5-7, 2016. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

economic optimism vs. miles per dollar

NACS: Consumer optimism about the economy slumped 5% points over the past month

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-7-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Consumer optimism about the economy slumped five percentage points over the past month and a minority (47%) of Americans are now optimistic about the economy, according to a survey of U.S. fuel consumers conducted on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) by Penn, Schoen and Berland.

The numbers are somewhat surprising because traditionally summer is when optimism grows. Last July, optimism surged 7 percentage points to 46% at a time when gas prices were 80 cents per gallon higher than they are today.

The decline in consumer optimism may be cause for concern among retailers. More than one in four consumers (26%) say they will reduce spending on items besides gasoline this month. That is the highest reading the NACS monthly survey has recorded since the question was added in September 2014.

While a majority (57%) of younger consumers, those ages 18-34, remain optimistic about the economy, they also indicate that they may curtail spending, with 25% saying that they will spend less this month.

Gas prices increased 4 cents this month, with consumers reporting a median price of $2.79 per gallon; gas prices have remained below $3.00 since November 2014. Because of the relatively low prices, less than three in ten (28%) consumers say gas prices have a “great impact” on their feelings on the economy, compared with two in five (41%) who said so in July 2014 when gas prices were $3.65 per gallon.

Consumers also say that they would cut back on driving if gas prices climbed to $3.65 per gallon — ironically the average price per gallon last July. At that time, consumers said they would reduce their driving if prices climbed to $4.19 per gallon.

“While gas prices remain relatively low, we may be seeing consumer frustration because prices aren’t falling over the summer months. Add to the mix consumers saying they will change behavior — and feel pain — at lower price points, and we may see pessimism linger, which could affect third-quarter sales,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.

For the past three months, consumer sentiment has tracked miles per dollar, which calculates consumers’ reported fuel efficiency of their primary vehicle and the gas price in their market.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,101 gas consumers were surveyed July 1-6, 2015. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,700 stores across the country, posted $696.1 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $482.6 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

NACS survey: Nearly three in five consumers expect gas prices will go up over the next 30 days

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-6-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — A majority of consumers expect gas prices will continue to rise during June, a period in which gas prices tend to moderate or even fall after the completion of the annual spring transition to summer-blend fuel. Nearly three in five consumers (59%) expect gas prices will go up over the next 30 days, versus just 9% who expect them to fall, according to survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

On average, consumers report that gas prices rose 16 cents last month to reach $2.75 per gallon. Despite these rising gas prices, consumer optimism about the overall economy is growing. A slight majority (52%) of consumers say they feel “very” or “somewhat optimistic” about the economy, up four percentage points from the 48% who said so in May. Consumers ages 18-34 are feeling particularly hopeful, with nearly three in five (57%) saying they feel optimistic about the economy, including 20% who say they are “very optimistic.”

Nationally, gas prices remain almost a dollar per gallon cheaper than they were this time last year, leaving many consumers with extra money in their pockets. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that lower gas prices will save the average American family $675 in fuel costs over 2015.

Less than half (44%) of Americans say they are spending this extra money, with 38% spending it on day-to-day essentials and 6% spending it on special items they wouldn’t buy otherwise. Households making less than $35,000 per year are most likely to be spending the money on day-to-day essentials (47%, vs. just 28% of those making more than $75,000 per year). In contrast, higher-earning consumers in households making over $75,000 per year are more likely to be saving the money (39%, vs. 27% of lower-earning consumers).

Overall, one in three Americans (33%) are saving the extra money in their pocket from lower gas prices. Lower-earning savers are much more likely to putting these savings toward an emergency fund (64%, vs. just 31% of higher-earning savers). Meanwhile, higher-earning savers are much more likely to be saving the money toward retirement (36%, vs. just 8% of lower-earning savers).

One in five American consumers (21%) are using the extra money to pay down debt. Among those, 71% are using it to pay down existing credit card debt.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,105 gas consumers were surveyed June 3-8, 2015. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,700 stores across the country, posted $696.1 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $482.6 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

NACS survey reveals 85% of consumers say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-5-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nearly nine in 10 consumers (85%) say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy, according to survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).  Gas prices have risen roughly 50 cents per gallon since February.

One in 10 consumers (10%) say that they will drive less over the next 30 days, a time when driving traditionally increases with the unofficial start of the summer drive season.

On average, consumers say they would reduce how much they drive if gas prices rise another $1.02, to $3.61 per gallon.  The $1.02 gap between current prices and the price at which consumers would change their behavior is the lowest recorded this year.

Consumers say that they have noticed rising gas prices. Seven in ten (70%) say gas prices today are higher than they were 30 days ago, which is nearly double the proportion that said so last month (38%). Similarly, seven in ten (72%) consumers expect gas prices to continue to rise over the next 30 days, a significant change compared to April (49%).

Nationwide, economic optimism fell from 52% to 48%. Gas prices had an even bigger impact on optimism in western states such as California where gas prices are averaging up to $1 per gallon more than the national average. Optimism in the West fell from 58% to 47% over the past month and trailed national optimism for the first time since August 2014. And consumers in the West do not expect the situation to get better soon: Nearly four in five (79%) consumers there expect prices to increase this month.

The best indicator of consumer optimism is miles per dollar, which measures consumers’ self-reported fuel efficiency and gas prices. Miles per dollar fell 10% to 8.83, the lowest level in 2015. Miles per dollar has tracked consumer optimism for six of the past seven months.

“While optimism over the economy declined, it is still significantly higher than this time last year when it was only 41%. And because the spring switchover to summer-blend fuel is nearly complete, many analysts suggest that prices will soon moderate,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Fuels retailers are certainly optimistic: 86% of our members say that they are optimistic about their business in the second quarter.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,105 gas consumers were surveyed May 5-7, 2015. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

NACS survey reveals 85 of consumers say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

NACS: six in ten consumers say gas prices will be higher in 30 days

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — After a week of rising gas prices, a majority of consumers think that the good times of falling gas prices are over. Almost six in ten consumers (58%) say gas prices will be higher in 30 days, nearly double the proportion who said so a month ago (31%).

Despite rising gas prices, a majority (54%) of consumers are optimistic about the economy, a drop from 57% in January but still the second highest level since January 2013, according to survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Men are significantly more optimistic about the economy than women (66% vs. 53%).

Nearly eight in ten (79%) consumers say that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy. Higher gas prices may affect consumer spending, beginning with travel. The percentage of consumers who say that they will drive more over the next 30 days fell from 24% to 20%. However younger consumers, ages 18-34, are still likely to drive more over the next 30 days, with one in three (33%) indicating so.

Consumers are divided whether they will spend more over the next 30 days. One in six (16%) consumers say that they will spend more on consumer goods over the next 30 days, unchanged from the month prior when gas prices bottomed out. Meanwhile, 19% say that they will spend less.

What will consumers do if gas prices continue to climb? The prolonged period of lower gas prices may have changed consumers’ perceptions about what they consider to be “high prices.” Consumers say that a gas price of $3.50 per gallon would be the level that they would consider reducing the amount that they drive. Nationwide, gas prices averaged $3.50 per gallon as recently as August 2014.

“Consumers remain upbeat about the economy, but there are some concerns for retailers over the coming months and gas prices will likely play a central role,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS’ vice president of strategic initiatives. “The recent increase in prices is clearly affecting consumer sentiment even though gas prices are now equal to what they were a month ago.”

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,102 gas consumers were surveyed February 6-8, 2015. Summary results are at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

NACS survey: Even with gas prices near six-year lows, U.S. consumers are still looking for the best gas prices

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-2-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Even with gas prices near six-year lows, U.S. consumers are still looking for the best gas prices. Three in five (63%) consumers say they would drive five minutes out of their way to save 5 cents per gallon. An even greater percentage (72%) would pay by cash if they could save five cents per gallon, according to the results of a new consumer survey released today by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Nearly three in four consumers (71%) say that the price is the most important factor in determining where they buy gas. Also, consumers are increasingly seeking out discounts for their gas purchases: Two in three (65%) say that they have taken advantage of a discount, such as using a loyalty card or paying by cash to save money buying gas.

“It doesn’t matter whether gas prices are $4.00 or $2.00 per gallon, consumers still want to find the best price possible,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Retailers are constantly fighting to attract price-sensitive drivers to their stores, especially given that 35% of gas customers say that they also go inside the store after fueling.”

While consumers continue to seek out the best price for their gas, they are driving more because of lower gas prices. Overall, 95% of consumers say that low prices make it easier for Americans to go on vacation, and one in five (20%) say that they are driving more because of lower gas prices.

They also are less likely to seek out alternatives to driving. As a reflection of lower gas prices, consumers say that gas prices would have to increase by $1.53 per gallon before they would try to reduce the amount that they drive. This is the largest gap between current prices and the price at which consumers would change driving behavior in any NACS consumer survey.

Consumers overwhelmingly say that low gas prices are good for the U.S economy (91% agree), but they expect that prices will increase, with two in three (67%) agreeing that gas prices increase in the spring. And they predict that prices will be $2.95 on January 1, 2016.

The survey results were released as part of the 2015 NACS Retail Fuels Report (www.nacsonline.com/gasprices), which examines conditions and trends that could impact gasoline prices. The online resource is annually published to help demystify the retail fueling industry by exploring, among other topics, how fuel is sold, how prices affect consumer sentiment, why prices historically increase in the spring and which new fuels are likely to gain traction in the marketplace.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,108 gas consumers were surveyed January 6-8, 2015.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

NACS Consumer Fuels Survey: More consumers think that gas prices will be lower in the next 30 days rather than higher

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-12-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — The recent decline in fuel prices has resonated with consumers, 80% of whom report that gas prices are lower than they were 30 days ago and, for the first time in two years, more consumers think that gas prices will be lower in the next 30 days (30%) rather than higher (27%), according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.

The lower prices have not had an appreciable effect on consumers’ feelings about the economy in general, however. Consistent with the prior three months, 47% of consumers are “somewhat” or “very” optimistic about the eco​nomy. Meanwhile, 77% of consumers said that gas prices are having a “great” or “some” impact on their feelings about the economy, which is the lowest percentage recorded in two years. Gas prices continue to have a greater impact on those 18-34 years of age, 88% of whom said that prices affected their feelings about the economy.

Consumers report that the average price of regular gasoline where they live is $2.70, which is 95 cents per gallon lower than the average consumer-reported price in July and marks the fourth consecutive month in which the reported price has decreased.

Lower prices also affected consumers expected expenditures in the upcoming month, with 24% saying that they will spend more than they did last month, up from 21% in November and 15% in October. Consistent with the degree to which gas prices affect their feelings about the economy, consumers ages 18–34 seem buoyed by the lower fuel price, with one-third expecting to spend more in the upcoming month.

Lower fuel prices could have a negative effect on the short-term prospects for alternative fuel vehicles and other fuel-saving measures often employed by consumers. For the first time in a year, the gas price at which consumers would try to reduce how much they drive was more than $1.00 higher than the price they are paying now and the price at which they would seek an alternative to driving neared $2.00 above current prices. This indicates that consumers are less prone to consider alternative methods of travel due to lower fuel prices.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,110 gas consumers were surveyed Dec. 9-11, 2014. Summary results are at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

GAS PRICES AND ECONOMIC OPTIMISM
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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.