Gas prices are falling, and people are starting to notice

Gas prices are down over the last year, but more than half of Americans (56%) still erroneously think prices are going up, according to the Ipsos Consumer Tracker.

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab
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The Ipsos Consumer Tracker asks Americans questions about culture, the economy and the forces that shape our lives. Here's one thing we learned this week.

Chart showing how many people think prices are rising across a variety of categories

Why we asked about prices: The economy continues sending mixed signals, as strong macroeconomic indicators clash with the economic reality that, for individuals, things still cost more than they used to. So how are people feeling about prices?

What we found: One in five people (20%) say that gas prices have fallen over the last year. Which, according to Gas Buddy, they have. Prices are down a bit from a year ago, as the question asks, and are down considerably (about $0.75) since a spike in fall. So while fewer say gas prices are rising, more than half (56%) still erroneously think prices are going up. For the most part, however, results are pretty consistent from late last summer when we last asked this. High levels of people think prices are still rising on a wide variety of products and services. We also added a couple of items this wave about medications. About half (53%) think over-the-counter prices are rising. Slightly fewer (43%) think that of prescription medications.

When asked in a separate question about when prices might go back down again, 41% now say they never will.

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab

Society