By Jack Walsworth, Crain News Service
DETROIT (March 6, 2015) — Gas prices in the U.S. may be down, but consumers don't expect the lower prices to last.
The Consumer Federation of America's (CFA) latest national survey revealed Feb. 19 that consumers believe two years from today, gas prices will be $3.20; and they will be $3.90 five years from now. That would be a 50-percent and 80-percent increase, respectively.
“Not only do these consumer expectations match the last major dip and rise in gas prices (2009-14), but they show that consumers understand when gas goes down, it inevitably goes back up,” said Mark Cooper, director of research at CFA.
The CFA also analyzed the last dip and rise in gas prices.
In January 2009, the monthly average price of gas was $1.84 a gallon. Five years later, the monthly average was $3.36.
When gas prices were low in 2009, more consumers bought lower mileage vehicles.
Those purchases would prove to be costly, as consumers who bought a 15 mpg vehicle would spend $6,400 more on gas over the course of five years than had they bought a 25 mpg vehicle.