The most recent NACS Consumer Fuels Survey, conducted in May, found that only 11% of consumers said they planned to drive less in the coming 30 days—a figure that is only a few percentage points higher than in the April survey. This is even though reported gasoline prices were 15 cents per gallon (CPG) higher than in April, and 47 CPG higher than in May 2017.
Consumers were slightly more likely to say they planned to dine out less in the May survey (34%) vs. the April survey (27%). They were also somewhat more likely to say they planned to spend less on nongasoline household purchases in the May survey (22%) vs. the April survey (16%).
Consumer optimism is also down slightly, with 60% surveyed in May saying they were optimistic about the economy, down 2 points from April. Men were more optimistic than women, at 66% vs. 55%. Consumers in the Midwest (63%) and West (62%) were the most optimistic about the economy, while those in the Northeast and South were the least (59%).
Two-thirds of consumers surveyed in May expect gasoline prices to continue to increase in the next 30 days. Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers who said gas prices influence their feelings about the economy was up 5 points from the April survey.
The NACS Consumer Fuels Survey was conducted online May 7-11 by Penn Schoen Berland with 1,501 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle at least once per month. Click here to see more results.