http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-bud...conomy-Sputter

  • Seven of 10 of those surveyed expect gas prices to be higher a year from now. Only a fifth (22 percent) said they believe prices will be the same and only one in twenty believe they will be lower.
  • An increase of less than another dollar will cause only four in ten to cut back on driving.
  • Of the people who buy gas, three out of five (59 percent) have already cut back on driving. Even more (69 percent) among those with incomes of less than $30,000 a year say they have done so.
  • Nearly one in four (23 percent) say they would not cut back, no matter the cost of gas -- and that's true of 40 percent of those who have not cut back yet.
    More than half (58 percent) say it'll take another dollar a gallon price increase before they'll cut back more on driving.
  • A quarter of Americans say they will cut back a lot on spending for other things as a result of high energy costs. More than two-thirds say they'll cut back on other spending at least a little.
  • Nearly 12 percent of Americans say they will have to borrow money to pay winter heating bills; the figure rises to 23 percent among those earning less than $30,000 a year. Nine percent say they will use their credit cards to be able to afford their heating bills.
  • Seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) say they will lower their thermostats this winter in an attempt to curb heating costs
  • Not something to panic about just yet; gasoline is still a relatively small portion of the average budget.

    However, the multiplier effect is the big question.

    Just as the actual imports from China are only $287.1B (in 2006), a reduction of spending due to gas prices increasing 2x could be considerable.

    To put this in perspective: there are over 240M vehicles in the United States.

    Average gas consumption per passenger vehicle was roughly 550 gallons (in 2002).

    Even assuming only 50% of the vehicle number above are passenger and/or active, and assuming $1.50 increase in relative gas price, the result is nearly $99B of spending potentially redirected - although of course also subject to the multiplier effect.