High gas prices have forced half of America to cut back
Not surprisingly, lower income households are hurt the worst. Almost two-thirds (65%) of those earning less than $35,000 total per year have cut back on products or services compared to 38% of those who have household incomes of $100,000 or more.
This information comes from The Harris Poll of 2,184 adults, surveyed online during the period May 9 to 16, 2011 by Harris Interactive.
People are cutting back on both dining out (28%) as well as grocery spending (24%). One in five admit curtailing entertainment (18%), while others are simply staying home more (11%) and or have reduced clothing expenditures (10%).
Folks are even lengthening the interval of personal grooming, such as hair cuts or manicures (6%), not to mention delaying auto repairs and maintenance, movies or everything in general, applying to five percent each.
Where to find a solution to the problem comes down to three things with what’s generally considered to have the most influence on price. Nearly 24 percent think oil industry profits have the greatest influence on rising prices while 22 percent relate it to the global price of crude oil and 21 percent believe it results from instability in oil producing nations.
One-third of those polled (34%) think only the oil and gas industry can solve the problem. The federal government must do something in the eyes of 28 percent while 19 percent believe consumers have the power to stop rising prices.
A few leave it up to state and local governments or the automotive industry itself, 12 percent haven’t got a clue.
The number of people thinking automotive manufacturers are not moving quickly enough to provide high mileage vehicles has dropped from 2006 when 74 percent held this belief to only 53 percent now. Twenty-two percent believe the auto manufacturers are doing their part and twenty three percent have no opinion.
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States among 2,184 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 1,882 own a vehicle. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.