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Gas and Consumer Spending

Some consumers have found a solution to rising gas prices. They're not spending as much in other places to make up for those high prices at the pump.

Financial planners say consumers actually have fears about spending too much and as a result of increasing energy costs, various industries including retail and automotive industries are suffering.

Some say even with gas being the lowest they've seen in weeks at $1.93 a gallon, they still have to change their lifestyle. The U.S. Commerce Department says consumers aren't buying as much either. The retail industry had a decline of 1.1 percent last month.

The retail industry isn't alone. Financial Planners say rising energy costs may also be related to a dip in sales in the trucking and airline industry and in auto sales.

Amy Brice, a consumer, says, "We've thought about getting a sports utility vehicle, but with the price of gas we're just going to keep our small economy car because we can't afford the gas, honestly."

Bruce Hagan, Certified Financial Planner, says, "With the economy in a recovery right now this is a big drag on it. I think this is one of the reasons why the Federal Reserve is moving very slowly in increasing interest rates because they don't want to put a further drag on the economy."

Hagan says a stronger economy may come to be if energy costs decrease. Until then folks say they'll have to keep their priorities in check.

Sales in the retail industry actually had the biggest decline officials have seen in about 16 months.

There's actually some positive news among all of this, the financial planner says sales in the housing market are up, but there's a close on that now as well because of the possibility of increased interest rates.


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