Tags: USA Today | Gallup | Americans | Hurt | Gasoline | gas

USA Today-Gallup: 70% of Americans Hurt by Pricey Gasoline

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:26 AM

Seventy percent of Americans have been hurt by rising prices at the pump, cutting back spending in some shape or form just to fill up the car, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.

Nationally, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline averages $3.96, up 38 percent from levels a year ago.

More than half of the poll's respondents say they're making major changes to compensate for higher prices, ranging from shorter trips to cutting back on vacation travel.

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Americans are pinched by higher gasoline prices.
(Getty Images photo)
The poll finds that 21 percent feel rising fuel costs have threatened their standards of living.

It gets worse.

Only 9 percent feel prices have peaked for the year, while 27 percent expect prices will jump 75 cents or more and 54 percent say high prices are here to stay.

Some experts, however, say gasoline prices have peaked, as prices have risen to the point that consumers will buy less, which could lead to a price correction.

MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks retail gas spending, and the Energy Information Administration, which measures gas supplied to wholesale markets, say average gasoline demand has fallen for six straight weeks, the Associated Press reports.

Yet that can be bad news for the economy, as when people cut gasoline spending, it means they've already tightened their belts elsewhere beforehand.

"The American consumer is reaching a tipping point," says retail expert Howard Davidowitz, according to the Associated Press.

"They're buying cheaper cuts of meat. Instead of a big bottle of ketchup, they're buying a smaller one because it costs less money."

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Seventy percent of Americans have been hurt by rising prices at the pump, cutting back spending in some shape or form just to fill up the car, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. Nationally, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline averages $3.96, up 38 percent from levels a...
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2011-26-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:26 AM
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