Confidence gasses up ahead of holidays


ChartOne of the reliable factors to consider when assessing consumer confidence is the price at the pump. The National Association of Convenience Stores has been reporting counterintuitive results of late in the face of a falling price per gallon, but notes that the worm has finally turned. Caveat: It’s still not all that great.

But something’s better than nothing, and better beats worse, right? Still, more consumers remain pessimistic than not.

After a three month string of falling confidence, NACS reports that in November consumers were in a better mood – and the timing couldn’t be better. It looks at consumer pessimism, measuring the percentage that are very pessimistic and somewhat pessimistic. Here’s how it’s gone since August:

Total pessimism percentages
Month: Very-Somewhat-Total
Aug: 17-41-58
Sep: 19-42-61
Oct: 23-42-65
Nov: 21-39-60So we have a five percent improvement among a populace that is still generally pessimistic, according to NACS.


Here are consumer gas price predictions during the same period
Month: Lower-Same-Higher
Aug: 10-39-51
Sep: 11-35-54
Oct: 17-38-45
Nov: 19-39-43

“Changes in gas prices clearly play a critical role in affecting consumer sentiment,” said NACS Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger.” Gas prices have decreased more than 35 cents per gallon in the past three months and we are happy to see that positive news at the pump is having a great impact on consumer optimism.”