Despite some research and conventional wisdom to the contrary, the great majority of Americans — 82% — say that falling gas prices won’t lead to them spending much more over the holidays, according to new research released Thursday by consumer financial services company Bankrate. And in fact just 16% say they’ll spend more at all.
The group of Americans most likely to say they’ll spend more this season are millennials ages 18 to 29. Some 28% of them say they’ll spend more at the holidays, though 20% rejected lower gas prices as the reason.
The survey of 1,001 adults living in the continental United States was conducted Dec. 4-7 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
There’s a lot of chatter about how falling fuel expenses could loosen up Americans’ wallets, especially considering that the gas price dips are coming right at the holiday shopping season. Lower-income Americans are more likely to say lower gas prices will make a difference to them than higher-income Americans do.
But according to Bankrate's survey, Americans overall are remaining wary, and things aren’t shaping up that way, at least so far, when it comes to holiday spending. The one group that says they’ll spend more are younger adults, so-called millennials, who previously have given retailers fits for their supposed reluctance to spend.