Low gas prices are putting more money in consumers' pockets - just in time for the holiday season. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Visiting the gas pump these days is pumping up consumer sentiment and spurring spending momentum. Cheap gas means more dollars to spend. And looking ahead, that means it could be a very happy holiday season. IHS Global Insight's director of consumer economics Chris Christopher: SOUNDBITE: CHRIS CHRISTOPHER, DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER ECONOMICS, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Consumers are very very sensitive to pump prices. Even though they are about 3 percent of disposable income, they play a very unwarranted role, however prices are very visible and that's what makes consumers very very sightful of them. " Consumer spending on gasoline has fallen - from a $381 billion annual rate in June - the highest all year- to just $341 billion in October - a drop of more than 10 percent in just a few months. That sets consumers up for the holidays: SOUNDBITE: CHRIS CHRISTOPHER, DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER ECONOMICS, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are headed into the holiday sales season so the first thing is people are going to have to buy turkey, the turkey dinners, and all that kind of stuff. However, the sort of big ticket durable items, large screen TV's, fancy phones etc. They should do very well. " Cheaper gas will benefit the rich and the not so rich. Thomson Reuters' Director of Consumer Research Jharonne Martis: SOUNDBITE: JHARONNE MARTIS, DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, THOMSON REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Low gas prices actually gives the consumer the perception that they have more money in their pocket. However, having said this, the low end consumer is gong to be the one that is going to benefit the most out of the low gasoline prices, and they are going to be spending this money at the discount stores, to be specific at the dollar stores." Also on consumers shopping lists with the cheaper gas - big cars- with SUV's and pickup trucks expected to continue to be hot sellers.