Fuel Costs Hit US Consumer Spending

05 October 2005

US consumers are feeling less confident about spending - bad news for retailers in the run-up to the holiday season.

The latest Consumer Intentions and Actions survey from BIGresearch shows shoppers choosing cheaper brands, planning lower cost holidays and cutting down on car use, as a result of the rise in fuel prices.

Conversely the survey, which monitors over 8,000 consumers every month, also shows purchase intentions for cars, computers and major home improvements are on the rise.

Just one-third of American consumers are 'confident' or 'very confident' about the chances for a strong economy. This is a decrease of almost 11 points from last month, and the lowest reading since early 2003.

More than 60% of those surveyed say they are driving less because of gasoline price increases. More than a third plan to spend less on Christmas gifts than they did last year, another third plan to spend the same, while only 6.3% intend to spend more (down from 7.6% in 2004).

Data sourced from MrWeb.com (UK); additional content by WARC staff