Higher gasoline prices will not stop Americans from taking a vacation this summer, but they might affect discretionary spending, a National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Consumer Fuels Survey found.
Gasoline prices are 15 cents higher than April and 47 cents higher than last year, but only 11 percent of Americans say they will travel less than last month.
Respondents expect prices to continue to spike. Sixty-seven percent expect prices will increase in the next 30 days while 25 percent expect prices to remain steady.
â€śDespite recent gas price increases, it looks like highways will be crowded with travelers this summer,â€ť Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives, said. â€śHowever, there are concerns about how much they may spend, especially as three in four drivers, (77 percent) say that gas prices influence their feelings about the economy, a 5-point jump from just a month ago.â€ť
To compensate for rising prices, survey respondents are cutting costs. Thirty-four percent plan to eat out â€śmuch lessâ€ť or â€śsomewhat less,â€ť and 22 percent will spend â€śmuch lessâ€ť or â€śsomewhat lessâ€ť on non-gasoline household purchases than they did in April.
Consumer optimism has dropped two points since April, with 60 percent saying they are optimistic. Men were also reportedly more optimistic than women.