retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is out with its regular survey of US consumer attitudes, concluding that "a record 60% of U.S. fuel consumers report feeling optimistic about the economy, a 1-point increase over the prior month. Younger consumers ages 18-34 (64%) and consumers in the South (also 64%) report the highest levels of optimism, which is largely consistent across all demographics."

NACS, which represents retailers that sell 80 percent of the gasoline in the US, says that "low gas prices are a major factor driving consumer optimism. Three in four drivers (78%) say that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy, including 84% of consumers age 18-34. Nationally, gas prices peaked for the year in June at $2.38 per gallon."

And, low gas prices - at least for the moment - mean that people have money in their pockets to spend on other things: " One in three (33%) say that they will be spending more money this month on non-fuels purchases, significantly higher than December 2015 (27%) December 2014 (24%). More than two in five younger consumers ages 18-34 (42%) say that they will spend more this month."
KC's View:
g these positive consumer feelings may not last. USA Today happens to have a story this morning saying that "after hitting lows earlier this year, gasoline prices are on the march upward again and are poised to approach $3 per gallon in parts of the country in early next year following multiple deals to cut oil production, analysts said.

"Oil prices have jumped well above $50 per barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and several non-member states agreed to slash oil output, pointing to higher costs for U.S. motorists."

Hope may spring eternal, but optimism, probably not so much.