Purchase behavior shows how gas price changes impact consumer spending.
Cardlytics measures one of the best indicators of consumer behavior: purchase behavior, including how consumer purchase behavior changes during times of high and low gas prices.
The company has insights into 70% of all American purchase activity. Cardlytics used this insight to compare consumer spending in December 2013, when gas prices were $3.25/gallon, to December 2014, with a $2.50/gallon gas price.
Data shows that when gas prices were lower in December 2014, consumers behaved differently, including buying more gas—an increase of 6% from 31 to 33 gallons. But even with the increased gas purchases, consumers actually spent an average of $18.37 less on gas in December 2014 than they did in December 2013.
So what did consumers do with the money they saved? They spent it.
In fact, Cardlytics found that consumers spent about 5% more in December 2014, across the following categories:
- Restaurants: Consumer spend increased by 9.3% ($8.81), and from $94.50 to $103.31. Most came from Fast Food/QS with an 8% growth or almost $3 per person, and Full Service with a 6.8% growth, or $5.50 per person
- E-Commerce: E-Commerce saw a 10.3% growth, totaling over $8 per person
- Home & Garden, Grocery, Auto Services and Products: Consumer spend in these categories increased by more than 5%