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CE Still Safe From Pricey Petrol

Record-high gasoline prices haven’t yet impacted consumers’ thirst for CE products.

According to a recent survey commissioned by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), here, 59 percent of households reported that they have not reduced their spending on consumer electronics despite today’s $20 to $40 fill-ups.

Still, sky-high petrol prices are beginning to take a toll on retail, as consumers have cut back on driving and shop less frequently. ICSC says that 40 percent of consumers have reduced their driving, impacting downtown shopping areas the most and neighborhood shopping centers the least.

Not surprisingly, the affect of rising gas prices on consumer spending is impacting lower-income households proportionally more than higher-income households. More than half of consumers with household income of less than $25,000 (54 percent of those surveyed) said they were driving less, and between two-thirds and three-quarters of those respondents had cut back on the frequency of going to most shopping venues.

Fifty-seven percent of those low-income households had cut back on their discretionary purchases, ICSC reported, while only 31 percent of households with incomes of $75,000 or more have scaled back on their discretionary spending due to the jump in gas prices.