Fluctuating gas prices are shaping consumer behavior, a public opinion poll out today shows.
A poll of 1,000 adults by Fuels America found that social or family-related activities take the biggest hit when it comes to cutting things from the family budget.
Here are the findings from research firm Research Now, which conducted interviews this month.
When gas prices rise:
-55 percent take fewer road trips to visit friends and family.
-27 percent eat out less.
-17 percent cut back on shopping for clothes.
-12 percent spend less on birthday and holiday gifts.
Fuels America, a coalition that promotes renewable fuel, also found, not surprisingly, that 59 percent of those polled blame the oil industry for high prices and that 80 percent think the U.S. should use more renewable fuel. Three in four people polled said they want more renewable fuel options at gas stations.
Gas prices have been up and down, but consumers have paid slightly less at the pump in the past month. Regular gas averaged $3.49 a gallon in Maryland on Wednesday, down from $3.51 a gallon a month ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
But prices are still higher than a year ago, when regular gas in the state averaged $3.34 a gallon.