65% of Consumers Are Worried About Rising Gas Prices

A survey finds that over three-quarters of respondents think inflation will increase in the next few months.

May 31, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Fifty-nine percent of consumers have a high level of concern regarding the economy, according to Numerator’s monthly consumer sentiment study. The reading is slightly down from April. Inflation slid slightly in April to 4.9% year over year. April’s consumer price index reading was down over March’s 5% reading, and although inflation has fallen 10 straight months, it remains historically high.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • More than two-thirds (67%) of consumers feel as though the country is in an economic recession, and 68% believe it will worsen in the next few months.
  • 78% of consumers think inflation will increase in the next few months.
  • Over the next few months, 38% of consumers say their primary concern will most likely be personal finances.
  • 76% of consumers say rising prices on essential goods and services is their main economic concern, followed by rising prices on gas and fuel (65%).
  • 30% of consumers are concerned about housing market stability and affordability.
  • Consumers’ spending discomfort for splurging on premium or luxury items and taking money out of personal savings or retirement accounts increased in May, to 75% and 73%, respectively.
  • Consumers are making spending cuts in response to rising prices. Forty-two percent anticipate cutting back on dining out, 38% plan to cut back on electronics, and 38% anticipate cutting back on travel in the next few months.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “A slowdown in business investment and a weak housing market, both influenced by interest rates, have contributed to a broader economic cooling this year.”