Consumers Reluctant to Boost Spending, Despite Falling Gas Prices

Eighty percent of Americans have held off increasing their discretionary spending in the first half of this year, despite falling gasoline prices. That’s according to a study by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Greg McBride is senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com.

“A lot people are still dealing with very tight household budgets. Their incomes are flat. Their other household expenses have crept higher. And as a result, even with the recent decline in gas prices, they just don’t have a whole lot of extra cash to throw around in order to ramp up their spending in other areas.”

The trend is a sharp contrast with 2011 and 2012, when nearly two-thirds of Americans cut back on non-essential spending as gas prices rose. A gallon of regular unleaded averages $3.41 in the Houston area, twenty-two cents less than at this time last year.

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