NEW YORK (AP) -- Consumers are cutting back on spending because of rising gas prices, according to a survey released Thursday by Nielsen Co., which tracks consumer habits.
Nearly two-thirds, or 63 percent, of consumers are cutting spending because of high gas prices, up 18 percentage points from a year ago, the survey shows.
According to the study, which queried about 50,000 consumers during the first week of June, when regular gas averaged $3.98 per gallon, 78 percent of consumers are combining shopping trips, 52 percent are eating out less and 51 percent are staying at home more.
Consumers are also clipping more coupons, doing more shopping at supercenters and buying less expensive brands, the survey found.
The survey by Nielsen, which is based in Haarlem, The Netherlands and New York, also found that about 35 percent of consumers are buying less expensive brands.
"While discretionary spending is likely to be a challenge for most low and middle income shoppers, even affluent consumers are looking for ways to make their dollars go further," said Todd Hale, senior vice president, Nielsen Co. Consumer and Shopper Insights, in a statement.