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High Gas Prices May Mean Big Cutbacks for Americans

gas . / Credit: Dreamstime.com

Big lifestyle changes for consumers are on the way if gas prices continue their climb. That is the finding of a new poll which found that gas prices of $5.30 to $5.35 would be the tipping point that makes customers significantly change their way of life and cut back their spending – a move that would have a negative effect on a still-recovering economy.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge, the average price of gas around the country as of March 9 was $3.76. Although the biggest cutbacks may occur when gas reaches $5.30 a gallon, changes are much close than that for many Americans.

The poll conducted by Gallup found that 28 percent of people said that they would be forced to make changes in the way they lived their life, cutting back their spending when gas hits $4 a gallon. Close to one-third of people, 31 percent, said that significant cutbacks would come when gas hits $5 a gallon, while 30 percent of respondents said gas reaching that price would force lifestyle changes.

"The price of gas has yet to reach a level at which average Americans say they would have to change their lifestyles significantly or cut back on spending in other areas," Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, wrote in a statement announcing the news. "It appears that a price of roughly $5.30 a gallon would be the tipping point at which the cost of gas would begin to have more widespread impact on consumer behavior."

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A majority of Americans, 85 percent, said they believe that President Barack Obama and Congress should take immediate action to help ease the pain they are feeling at the pump. However, 31 percent of respondents also said that they feel the issue is largely beyond the control of politicians.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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