Expensive Gas May Drain Holiday Budgets
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Aired 11/2/11 on KPBS News.
A new survey finds record high gas prices have the state's drivers thinking about spending less on gifts during the upcoming holidays. The average price is holding steady at about $3.84 a gallon.
Dwane Brown has more on Thursday's show.
Evening Edition airs weekdays at 5 PM and 6:30 PM on KPBS TV.
SAN DIEGO Gasoline prices historically fall during the final three months of the year, but not this year. The American Automobile Club of Southern California says gas prices are running about 75 cents a gallon more than at this time last year. That may impact the holiday shopping season.
A new survey by the club finds nearly 40 percent of respondents blame high gas prices for plans to scale back spending on holiday gifts. The Club's Marie Montgomery says pump prices have already reached a tipping point for many drivers, according to the survey, and those motorists are changing behaviors to spend less on fuel.
"The majority of people say that we've already reached that point. $3.50 a gallon or $4.00 a gallon," said Montgomery
The survey also showed that people plan to do more on line shopping this year and that may also be linked to higher fuel prices.
The poll finds nealy 40 percent of those polled planned to spend less money this year on holiday shopping when compared to how much they spent last year. 35 percent say higher gas prices are the reason why. Gas prices have never been this high in November. The average price is about $3.84 a gallon. Prices usually fall during the last three months of the year.
"It just really hasn't materialized to give us any kind of relief," said Montgomery.
The AAA survey also found more people are planning to do online shopping this year. The organization surveyed 557 members during the first two weeks of October.