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Highest average cost for gas ever

Gas had dropped to $2.98 per gallon in Cedar Springs at press time Wednesday. Photo by J. Reed

Gas had dropped to $2.98 per gallon in Cedar Springs at press time Wednesday. Photo by J. Reed

With the U.S. average price of gasoline falling 20 cents per gallon in the past month, it may be easy to overreact. U.S. consumers tell GasBuddy that while it’s good news, it’s not good enough.

“Some reports have been a bit too gleeful but we’re not expecting any dancing in the streets,” says Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst, GasBuddy.com. “Even with the seasonal price decline, 2012 is going to yield the highest average price ever paid –January through December— at $3.63 per gallon.”

To gauge consumer sentiment GasBuddy asked whether gas prices and related transportation costs are forcing consumers to cut back holiday spending. In recent weeks a survey of respondents nationwide indicated that 43 percent of consumers said gas and transportation costs are forcing them to spend less; 51 percent said those issues are not impacting them and 5 percent were not sure. The survey was based on over 22,000 responses. Additionally, when asked how their Christmas / Hannukah spending compares to previous years, 32 percent of respondents said they are spending less than previous years; 51 percent said they’re spending about the same; 9 percent are spending more and 7 percent said they were not spending at all, based on 17,000 responses.

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