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Monday, 16 June 2008 12:07

4$ Gasoline May Change Habits

Situation
  • Gasoline prices shattered the $4/gal mark; almost $1 higher than 1 year ago
  • Crude oil trading at $134+/bbl, more gasoline price increases probably in pipeline
  • Federal officials reported 1st decline in miles driven on US roads since 1979
  • Nationwide, about 8% of Americans changed commuting patterns; taking public transportation
  • Energy (electricity, gasoline, heating) account for about 6.5% of average household budget
  • Estimated vehicle miles traveled on US roads for March fell 4.3%, or 11B, compared w/ March 2007
 

Significance

  • Cash-strapped Americans changing vacation plans, turning to carpools, mass transit
  • In society nurtured on cheap gasoline, high fuel prices having disparate effects
  • Business at roadside convenience stores slowed; tourism industry bracing for downturn
  • Steadily rising price of gasoline eating into money consumers have to spend
  • Fuel prices could be drag on economy already weighed down
  • MasterCard reporting 4% - 5% declines in gasoline purchases
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