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Gas prices may hurt sales

Hammered by rising gasoline prices, consumers are starting to feel the pinch and are getting ready to adjust their spending habits accordingly, the National Retail Federation said.

"Just as the retail landscape started to stabilize, rising prices at the pump are shifting consumers' spending habits once again," said the national retailing trade group. "Although nearly half of consumers, 43.2 percent, do not believe gas prices will have a major impact on their spending, others are choosing to scale back on vacation plans, new clothes, and even grocers," according to an NRF canvass.

Nearly one in three consumers, 31.6 percent, plan to trim or halt vacation plans due to gas prices. About 26.9 percent plan to scale back on eating out. Another 20.9 percent will spend less on clothing, and 15.9 percent will cut back on groceries, stated the NRF.

"Retailers know that when customers are forced to spend more of their disposable income on gasoline, they will scale back spending in other areas," said Tracy Mullin, NRF president and CEO.

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