SOURCE: BIGresearch

April 13, 2007 11:54 ET

Gas Price Volatility Puts Halt to Consumer Confidence

BIGresearch's Monthly Survey Identifies Key Drivers of Consumer Confidence

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 13, 2007 --Consumer confidence slipped a little in April according to the latest BIGresearch Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA). 46.5% of the 7,859 consumers who participated in the survey said they were confident or very confident about chances for a strong economy over the next six months versus 46.9% in March.

"The uncertainty over the fluctuating price of gas is creating anxiety among consumers as fewer are saying it is having no impact (26.7%) in April than in March (27.4%)," said Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGresearch. "The impact of higher gas prices is being felt by all the usual expenditure suspects, as consumers say they are driving less, dining out less, decreasing vacation travel and spending less on clothing," said Drenik.

In the March survey, consumers said gas prices would hit $2.82 a gallon by Easter, while the April survey showed they believe prices will reach $3.08 by Memorial Day.

"Since 83.4% of consumers believe prices will increase by Memorial Day, any market actions which may confirm their suspicions could cause a reduction in consumer spending on apparel, dining out and even driving less heading into Memorial Day," said Drenik.

However, gas prices aren't the only issue impacting consumer confidence. When asked to rank on a scale of 1-5 from a list of 14 issues ranging from neighborhood security to financial security, consumers said the following top 5 had the greatest impact:

Top 5 Issues Impacting Consumer Confidence

Issue                                           Avg. on 1-5 Scale
-----                                           -----------------
Ability to pay bills                            4.49
Ability to save enough for future needs         4.31
Financial Security                              4.31
Ability to pay healthcare costs                 4.27
Stable energy prices                            4.24
Additional information is available in the BIGresearch Executive Briefing and may be accessed by going to: http://www.bigresearch.com/news/EBApr07.htm.

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 and 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.

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