Discretionary holiday spending expected to go down as gas prices go up

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new FOX News survey says that for every dime of increase in gasoline prices per gallon of gas nationally, $1.3 billion comes out of discretionary spending.

The forecast for the Christmas season is that about $35 billion less will be spent on things like gifts with the rest going into people’s gas tanks.

In Kansas City’s Westport neighborhood, the price on Thursday was generally $3.15 per gallon. Some drivers said those prices are a gut-punch, especially considering where prices were at this time last year.

The prices in Kansas City, Missouri are below the national average which is $3.37 per gallon.

And some people, like Wes Grimm, owner of Grimm Tattoo, are driving vehicles that don’t necessarily stretch the dollar.

“Yeah it’s like you’re in a parade. Everybody runs to the curb and waves at you when you drive by,” Grimm said of his 1958 Apache Truck.

Grimm said he has to think a lot about the next gas station while driving his oven black car.

“I drove this to Dallas just last week for a friend of mine’s wedding. And I stopped every hundred miles just to be sure I had enough oil and everything. It only does 50 miles per hour tops,” Grimm said.

Road trips are much more expensive now than at this time last year when the national average for gas was $2.16 per gallon. Around Kansas City prices dipped below $2.

The rising costs at the pump might not change anytime soon.

“And unfortunately, I see that continuing to rise another couple of cents a gallon until we get relief in the crude oil market from more oil supplies returning. Unfortunately, this is going to be bad news for the consumer through the balance of 2021,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, said.

Grimm said he is fortunate to not have to worry about gas prices too much – even while driving a vehicle with an outdated gas efficiency.

“Twenty miles a gallon,” Grimm said. “I think it’s pretty good for a 60-year-old vehicle.”

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