Americans optimistic about economy despite higher fuel prices

People in the United States still feel positive about their economy even though they need to sped more at the pump.

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Despite rising gasoline prices, three in five (61%) gasoline consumers report feeling optimistic about the state of the economy, according to the latest National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Consumer Fuels survey.

Consumer optimism is at an all-time high across the four-plus years the national survey has been conducted, surpassing the 58% economic optimism recorded in December 2016 following the presidential election.

A majority of Americans are optimistic across all demographics examined. Older Americans age 50 and older are the most optimistic age group (65% optimistic), compared to 55% of those ages 18-34 who are optimistic. There also are regional differences, with Southerners reporting the highest levels of economic optimism (64%) and Midwesterners reporting the lowest (56%).

The strong optimism may also translate into increased sales for convenience retailers: One in five consumers (22%) say they will drive more this coming month and 19% say they will shop more. More than three in four consumers (76%) say that gas prices have an impact on their optimism.

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