Friday, September 30, 2005

Gas pains

About a third of consumers are dining out less often because of the space shot in gas prices, according to a survey from a company that sets up carpooling for companies.

The canvass of NuRide’s 7,000 members, who reside predominantly in the East, found that a staggering 98% have adjusted their household’s spending because of the climb in gas prices, which soared past $3 a gallon in early September. Some pundits think the cost will top $5 a gallon because of the damage and disrupted production caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as turmoil in the Middle East.

In a single seven-day stretch during August, pump prices climbed 18.2 cents per gallon. The following week, sales at casual-dining restaurants fell dramatically, according to Knapp-Track, a service that monitors the weekly intake of chain outlets. In analyzing the data for all of August, the service noted that drivers were paying 74.4 cents more per gallon of gas by the end of the month than they were spending on Aug. 31, 2004.

The week after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast area, per-gallon prices shot up by more than 45 cents.

Dining dollars were the most likely form of fun money to be reallocated to tanking up the car, according to the NuRide data. Fifteen percent of consumers spent less on entertainment because of gas hikes, and the same percentage throttled back on leisure travel, which typically translates into restaurant business.

No comments:

Post a Comment