SOURCE: BIGresearch

May 14, 2007 11:53 ET

BIGresearch's May Survey: Consumers Expect Further Gas Price Hikes and Confidence Drops

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 14, 2007 -- Consumer expectations are for gas price increases up to $3.32 a gallon by Father's Day (June 17th), according to BIGresearch's May Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey (CIA) of over 8,300 consumers.

"The expectation of ever-increasing gas prices has seeped into consumer attitudes toward the economy as consumer confidence declined to 44.6% in May, versus April's 46.5%," said Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGresearch. "With expectations for even higher gas prices, consumers continue to look for ways to stretch their paychecks by deferring purchases," said Drenik.

The consumer market that has been keeping the economy growing may be running out of gas. The trend of spending more than is earned may have hit a wall with 33.3% saying they are worse off financially than they were a year ago. In addition, pricing sensitivity for apparel purchases increased in May, with 18% saying they only buy on sale, up from April's 16.8%.

How are consumers coping with higher gas prices?

                                          North-  Mid-
                                  All     east    west    South   West
Buying more store
 brand/generic products           22.2%   17.5%   25.7%   24.0%   20.3%
Doing more comparative
 shopping online                  16.8%   16.0%   17.6%   16.8%   16.6%
Doing more comparative shopping
 with ad circulars/newspapers     23.3%   21.4%   25.5%   24.2%   20.9%
Shopping closer to home           37.9%   33.8%   38.5%   40.7%   36.9%
Shopping for sales more often     30.7%   28.7%   33.6%   31.3%   28.6%
Shopping more online              13.3%   13.8%   12.3%   14.5%   12.4%
Taking fewer shopping trips       40.2%   34.2%   43.0%   43.0%   38.3%
Using coupons more                23.5%   22.4%   24.8%   24.8%   21.2%
Consumers in the Midwest are more pessimistic in their responses to gas price impacts and financial well being, as more Midwesterners said the following:
--  Gas prices would impact Memorial Day spending (47.1%)
--  They will be driving less (42.7%)
--  They will be taking fewer shopping trips (43%)
--  They are deferring purchases of clothing (27.2%) and dining out
    (32.7%)
--  They are decreasing overall spending (29.7%)
--  They believe the price of gas will reach $3.36 / gallon by Father's
    Day
--  They feel worse off financially than a year ago (37.4%)
    
For additional information by Census Regions and other BIGresearch samples, go to: http://www.bigresearch.com and click on Complimentary Top Line Findings.

About BIGresearch

BIGresearch is a market intelligence firm providing analysis of consumer behavior in areas of retail, financial services, automotive, and media. They conduct the Consumer Intentions & Actions (CIA) Survey which monitors the pulse of more than 7,000 consumers each month. The CIA delivers current, demand-based information on where the retail consumer is shopping and their changing behavior. The data provides intelligence on where the retail consumer is going, their intentions and actions.

BIGresearch's methodology provides the most accurate consumer information in the industry with a margin of error of +/- 1 percent.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Phil Rist
    BIGresearch
    450 West Wilson Bridge Road
    Suite 370
    Worthington, Ohio 43085
    (614) 846-0146
    Email Contact