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Howdy Greg

Nice work with the blog, and well done to you and your team for the CRI reporting gong earlier this year. Some fine work being done there as usual.

I thought I'd chip in to your petrol price discussion with some info from overseas.

The Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey of over 8,500 people in the US in August highlighed that only 24% of households said high gas prices are having no impact on their spending.

The head of the research company said "While economic concerns and rising gas prices are causing consumers to exercise more judgment in their spending across the board, not all income groups are affected equally... and (the gap) is only getting wider."

Malcolm Turnbull's recent gaff emphasised this point!

81% of consumers in the under $50K group felt they are the same or worse off financially than this time last year and are making significant changes including deferring major purchases, dining out less, cutting back on travel and driving less.

Other impacts of fluctuating prices on spending were -
23% delaying major purchase such as a car, TV or furniture
37% reduced dining out
37% decreased vacation/travel
7% increased carpooling
43% are driving less
17% spending less on groceries
29% spending less on clothing

The flow on effect from the sustained higher fuel prices will have to affect the broader economy as we all get squeezed.

The positive of course has to be the resultant change in some of our unsustainable consumption and a return to buying local.

By the way, what's the monthly repayments on a Smart 4 with a Breathe Easy car loan?

All the best.

Anthony Coles

I try to cycle as much as possible to save petrol and get exercise, but sometimes its just the best way to get around. If I have several places to get to in the city, I drive to somewhere outside the CBD where I don't have to pay to park or drive to the very top of a multi-story car park! I then cycle in and get around much quicker than if I walked.I work in different places each week and can get to many of them by bike. I look at continuous streams of traffic sometimes and think they are one of the worst aspects of modern living with their noise and smell. We love to drive but hate traffic congestion which we contribute to! Cars are indispensible at times, but we do need to exercise and don't get any sitting in cars--all we get is stress. I think Councils have to do more to make cycling safer and more off-road. Adelaide city is flat and potentially ideal for cycling, but at present has no connected system of safe bike routes.
I don't think petrol is expensive--its about half the price of UK fuel , for example--but I don't think we should rely on our cars so much. We would be fitter if we didn't.

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