Harris Poll finds 51% of Americans have cut back on products and services because of high gas prices
Half of Americans who own a vehicle (51%) say they have cut back on products and/or services in order to pay the increased price of gasoline, according to a new Harris Poll of 2,184 adults surveyed online between May 9 and 16, 2011 by Harris Interactive.
Those with lower household income are more impacted. Almost two-thirds (65%) of those with a household income of less than $35,000 a year have cut back on products or services because of higher gas prices compared to 38% of those who have household income of $100,000 or more.
Almost three in ten of those cutting back (28%) have cut back on dining out while one-quarter have cut back on groceries (24%). One in five say they have cut back on entertainment (18%), while others have reduced driving or are staying home more (11%) and cut back on clothing purchases (10%). Some other things people have cut back on include personal grooming such as hair cuts or manicures (6%), auto repairs and upkeep (5%) and movies (5%) while 5% say they have cut back on everything to pay for the increased price of gasoline.
Blame. Just under one-quarter of Americans (24%) say US oil and natural gas industry profits have had the greatest influence on rising gasoline prices while 22% believe it is the world crude oil prices and 21% believe it’s due to instability in oil producing areas.
One-third of Americans (34%) say the oil and gas industry can best stop rising prices, while three in ten (28%) believe the federal government can best stop rising gasoline prices. One in five (19%) believe consumers can stop rising gas prices while 4% say state and local governments, 3% say the automotive industry and 12% are not sure.
Auto industry. Looking specifically at the automotive industry, half of US adults (53%) say American automotive companies are not moving as quickly as they should to build cars that consume less gasoline, while 22% believe that are and 23% say they are not at all sure. This is a large change from 2006 when three-quarters of US adults (74%) said American car companies weren't moving fast enough and only 9% thought they were. In May of 1979, one-third of Americans (35%) felt the US auto companies were moving as quickly as they could to build cars that consume less gasoline while 60% felt they were not.
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 9 to 16, 2011 among 2,184 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 1,882 own a vehicle. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.