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Gas prices tick up, consumer spending goes down

NEW YORK — Any hope that consumer spending will improve may be dampered by predictions of rising gas prices. 

Nielsen predicts that in the United States, Nielsen noted, households could be paying an extra $52.50 with a 50-cent increase in gas prices, $105 with a $1 increase and $210 if prices jump up $2, prompting consumers to tighten their wallets. This will mirror historic trends, which include increased trip compression, more value-conscious shopping alternatives and increased use of coupons, Nielsen said.

So what does this mean for consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers? Nielsen executives Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper insights, and Carman Allison, director shopper and industry insights, stressed that CPG manufacturers and retailers should "actively engage their consumers/shoppers. Once again, trip capture will be paramount and there are opportunities for retailers and manufacturers to convert a likely decline in out-of-home eating and entertainment into spending for at-home options," they said.