Rising gas prices will not affect holiday shopping, poll says
Despite high gas prices, shoppers still plan to spend this holiday season, according to a new poll.
More than half of those surveyed said they plan to shell out the same amount on gifts as they did last year and 8% said they plan to spend slightly more, according to a member poll conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California, which released it Wednesday.
Still, rising gas prices weigh heavily in the back of consumers’ minds. Seventy percent of Southern California shoppers said that gas cost already has had a significant effect on their household budget.
Gas currently averages $3.82 a gallon in Southern California -– up from a steady $3.10 a gallon during the same period last year.
Months of bad economic news have shoppers concerned, but not the overly cautious that many retailers fear. Only 16 percent of local consumers said they will spend less this year. Most cited unemployment, rising housing costs and mounting bills as reasons they were tight-fisted with their money this holiday.
-- Angel Jennings
Photo: Toke Fusi posts prices at a Shell station in Menlo Park, Calif. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press