Rising gas prices force North Carolinians to halt travel, spending.

Brogan & Partners 05/14/07 - 12:00 am

[Raleigh, NC] – Nearly 7 out of 10 North Carolina drivers say they have altered their travel plans in the last six months and plan to drive less this summer due to rising gas prices, according to a new survey released today by Brogan & Partners, a Raleigh-based marketing firm. The 600-person telephone survey also showed that 6 out of 10 respondents also indicated they have been forced to postpone other purchases.

North Carolinians surveyed were also decidedly split on the direction the state is heading generally, with nearly half of respondents indicating the state is heading on the “wrong track.” Most respondents with an opinion also indicated that they believe it will be harder for someone like them to find a job in North Carolina in six months.

New Survey Also Shows Negative Perceptions on State’s Economy

“Disposable income is a zero-sum game, so when high gas prices take a lot more money out of people’s pockets, they have to make adjustments elsewhere,” said Jim Tobin, partner at Brogan & Partners. “It was a bit surprising to see so many people driving less and such a large majority postponing other purchases.”

Survey participants were asked three questions related to gas prices. Highlights include:

  • 67.3% said higher gas prices have caused them to drive less in the last six months
  • 69.0% said they anticipate driving less this summer than in past summers
  • 59.0% said they have already postponed spending money on other purchases they wanted to make

Participants were also asked five questions related to the economy generally. Respondents were cautious to pessimistic about the overall economy, but generally optimistic about their personal financial prospects. Highlights include:

  • A statistical tie on right track/wrong track, with 44.7% indicating the state was on the right track, and 43.2% indicating wrong track. The Triangle was most optimistic, with 57.8% of respondents choosing right track. The Charlotte area was most pessimistic, with only 34.4% choosing right track.
  • 34.1% of respondents thought the state’s economy was weaker than the nation’s, versus 16.8% who thought it was stronger. 44.6% felt it was about the same.
  • 45.1% of respondents felt that it will be harder for someone like them to find a job in North Carolina in six months, versus 12.7% who thought it would be easier. 37.5% felt it would be about the same.
  • 25.9% felt that they personally would have higher income in six months, versus 12% who felt they would have lower income. 61.4% felt their income would be about the same.
  • 32.0% felt they would have more saved in six months, while 25.3% felt they would have less saved, while 40.3% indicating they’d have about the same amount.

“North Carolinians seem somewhat pessimistic about the general direction of the state,” Tobin said. “It’s interesting to see Charlotte, with its generally strong economy and higher incomes, being the most pessimistic about the state’s direction. In the early fall, we’ll ask the right track/wrong track questions again in North Carolina and see if people’s moods have changed.”

The Brogan Survey is a 600-sample, random digit dial North Carolina general population survey, stratified by geography, ethnicity and gender. The live telephone survey was conducted from May 3-7, 2007 and has margin of error of +/- 4.0% with a confidence level of 95%. Questions in The Brogan Survey were not commissioned by any candidate, organization or company. The survey was conducted by Brogan & Partners research affiliate The Glengariff Group, Inc., of Chicago.

Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing, established in 1984, specializes in advertising, behavior-based audience targeting, public relations, digital and diversity marketing. The firm has offices in suburban Detroit and Raleigh, service offices in Washington D.C. and Florida and an affiliate in Chicago.

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