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The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is out with its monthly NACS Consumer Fuels Survey, examining how gas prices affect consumer sentiment, and the August news is not good.

"Less than 4 in 10 consumers (39%) now say that they are optimistic about the economy, a sharp decline from 46% the month prior. Consumers age 50 or more were least optimistic, with barely one in three (35%) expressing optimism," NACS said. The 7-point drop overall in optimism was the largest recorded since January 2013, when the survey was launched.

"If there is any good news in the findings," NACS said, "it’s that consumers don’t expect things to necessarily get worse — at least at the gas pump. Consumers tend to be naturally pessimistic about gas prices but less than half (47%) expect prices to be higher next month, a low for 2014 and a sharp drop from July (64%)."
KC's View:
It isn't any sort of big revelation, I suppose, but this certainly serves as a reminder of how important perception is. I've read numerous stories in recent days about how gas prices have not been going up, despite all the problems in the Gulf region. In fact, they are lower than a year ago. Bug even though people may be paying less at the pump, all the headlines persuade us that we should have diminishing confidence in the economy … even though by pretty much every measurement, the economy seems to be gaining strength.