Price of a Gallon of Gasoline as a % of Personal Disposable Income

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 | 06:36 AM

Interesting chart, via Mike Panzner:
click for larger chart



As the price at the pump probes new extremes, so does the size of the hole in the wallet...the trick is figuring out where the Price that gasoline really bites the consumer hard.

Speaking personally, $3 gas ($3.39 premium this weekend) hurts, but it hasn't altered my driving habits. I still drive too fast to be economical or fuel efficient, I take the high horsepower vehicle out on weekends (under 20mpg), work my way through the gears quickly off the line, and sometimes just go haulin' out for a cruise for some good clean fun. Surprising M3s has become my dirty little pleasure. 

If gas stays over $3 gallon, I'll pile everyone into the truck on Summer weekends to go out East to the beach, rather than taking 2 separate cars . . . which was hardly the model of fuel efficiency.

Has high prices changed your habits? How?

UPDATE 2: May 7, 2006   6:48 am 

Dan Gross' NYTimes column today is called "Why Prices at the Pump May Have Little Bite"

The column goes into detail about what the chart above shows: Gasoline is still only 4% of a family budget, and therefore rises (while annoying) are still absorbable by most families.


UPDATE: May 3, 2006   6:24 am

A few articles suggest that fuel prices are starting to impact purchase decisions:

Vehicle Buyers Intensify Shift to Smaller Models

U.S. Makers Facing Glut of S.U.V.'s as Gas Rises

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 | 06:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (47) | TrackBack (1) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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» Gas Prices As A Percentage of Disposable Income from The Everyday Economist
Chart via Barry Ritholtz: The share of disposable income has risen from 0.022% to just above 0.030%. While this is a substantial increase, it is still a very small number and thus has seemingly done nothing to restrict demand for gasoline. Individua... [Read More]

Tracked on May 2, 2006 10:35:29 AM


The chart doesn't tell us much since they don't break the figure down by income levels, which is where the real story is. Rich people don't need to worry about gas prices. The poor do.

Posted by: royce | May 2, 2006 7:13:38 AM

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