U.S. households are now spending the equivalent of $5,000 a year on gasoline, up from $2,800 a year ago, according to Yardeni Research.
In March, the annual rate of gasoline spending was at $3,800, Yardeni noted. During the week of May 16, the national retail price for gasoline reached a record $4.59 per gallon, the firm said.
“No wonder that the Consumer Sentiment Index is so depressed. The wonder is that retail sales have been so surprisingly strong during April and May,” Yardeni said in a note.
Yardeni said consumers’ inflation-adjusted incomes are barely growing, but they have accumulated a lot of savings, and they are charging more on credit cards.
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