Since the beginning of 2011, have you cut back on nonessential spending, such as vacations or dining out, specifically due to rising gas prices?
|Households with income above $75,000 were least likely to have cut spending, at 45 percent.|
|In households earning less than $50,000, 72 percent reported cutting spending in other areas due to higher gas prices.|
|Among age groups, respondents aged 18 to 29 were most likely to have cut spending, at 65 percent, versus only 59 percent for respondents 65 and older.|
"A renewed increase in gas prices would add to inflation and be a further drag on economic growth."While 63 percent of Americans have cut back on nonessential spending due to higher gasoline prices, it is highest for households with incomes under $50,000, at 72 percent. The sensitivity to gasoline prices voiced by Americans cuts both ways. Any sustained pullback in prices would ease inflation pressures and be a boost to the economy, but a renewed increase in gas prices would add to inflation and be a further drag on economic growth -- a double-whammy as Ben Bernanke calls it.
- Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate senior financial analyst