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High Gas Prices Causing Americans to Cut Back Elsewhere

high cost of gas . / Credit: Gas Prices Image via Shutterstock

Increasing gas prices have resulted in several consumer spending decreases in other areas.  That’s the finding of a new poll, which looked at the spending habits of Americans in light of current gas prices. That survey found that more than half of all Americans who own a car have had to cut back on other products and services in order to pay for gas. 

This has had a ripple effect through several other industries. Notably, 75 percent of respondents reported they have cut back on dining out because of high gas prices. Additionally, more than 70 percent of people said they have combated high gas prices by driving less.  Other ways people have saved included by cutting back in areas including:

  • Entertainment (65 percent)
  • Day trips (65 percent)
  • Luxury items (62 percent)
  • Vacations (59 percent)
  • Clothing (55 percent)
  • Movies (54 percent)
  • Groceries (38 percent)
  • Personal grooming (37 percent)
  • Auto repair and upkeep (24 percent)

[9 Ways Americans are Saving Money]

Blame for high gas prices is being split among several parties, according to the poll. More than one-third of Americans believe that the majority of the blame should be placed on the shoulders of oil companies, while one-quarter of people blame unrest in the Middle East. Just fewer than 20 percent of people blame President Barack Obama for high gas prices. People also feel that the oil and gas industry, the federal government and consumers are the groups most able to fix the problem.

"Nearly nine out of ten Americans say they expect gas prices to be higher as we enter the summer months," Sarah Simmons, senior research executive at Harris Interactive, said. "The impact of this kind of price hike is nearly universal and is felt every time an individual gets behind the wheel of their car.  Many Americans are making real cuts in their budget to accommodate for the increase in the gas they need to get to work, school and run essential errands. As our national economy starts to show signs of recovery, Americans are looking to the federal government and to the oil and natural gas industry to help find workable solutions."

The information in this survey is based on the responses of 2,451 adults surveyed online. The survey was conducted by the Harris Poll and Harris Interactive.

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

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