Gas Prices and Holiday Spending

It's November and retailers are already stocking the shelves for the holidays. Will lower gas prices affect consumer spending?

‘Tis the season for cheaper gas. Falling gas prices can be seen all over town. Just about the same time retailers have begun putting out their holiday merchandise.

Matthew Daniels, executive team leader, comments on the shopping season.

"Definitely over the past week or two we have seen a lot more customers. I mean, guests coming through our store, especially through the lunch hours."

But are consumers taking the money they save at the pumps and putting it towards holiday shopping?

Janet Gajewski, a consumer, says, "I think having lower gas prices will help everybody have a little bit more money for holiday shopping."

Maryanne Meyers, another consumer, adds, "I don't know if it will make a difference. I will probably spend the same amount, either way."

According to some shoppers, more money in their pockets doesn't equal more room in their shopping cart.

Jeff Cotton, a consumer, says, "We haven't even gotten to Thanksgiving. We got folks putting out Christmas decorations, doing the decorations at home. They've lost the reason of the season and money ain't everything in the world."

Daniels adds, "This is definitely early, earlier compared to the last few years that I've worked in retail. Usually it's not until after the holidays, the Thanksgiving holiday."

Lower gas prices don't always reflect more holiday spending. The Associated Press reports this is the fifth straight week average gas prices have fallen. This is the first time since August that prices are averaging below $2.40 a gallon.