Insight Flash: Leverage CE data to understand how increasing fuel prices could affect consumer discretionary industries

Retail gasoline prices have been steadily rising throughout 2023, with increases accelerating since the end of July. Though prices are still below last summer’s peak, the recent jump has led to callouts from company management in industries ranging from grocery stores to airlines and home improvement chains. Leveraging CE’s U.S. transaction data and unique breakout of fuel vs. non-fuel spend, we can examine wallet share of fuel customers to highlight which industries might be most at risk if prices at the pump remain high or increase further.

Rising Fuel Prices: Fuel Brands Wallet Share


*Fuel Brands Basket: COSTCO (FUEL), CIRCLE K (FUEL), SAM’S CLUB (FUEL), 7 ELEVEN (FUEL), WAWA (FUEL), MURPHY USA (FUEL), SPEEDWAY (FUEL), KROGER (FUEL), CASEY’S GENERAL STORES (FUEL), SHEETZ (FUEL), SAFEWAY (FUEL), HOLIDAY STATIONSTORES (FUEL), WALMART (FUEL), HEB GROCERY (FUEL), BJ’S WHOLESALE CLUB (FUEL)

Focusing on subindustries that account for an outsized share of fuel customer wallet relative to the overall panel, CE data reveals that spend growth at Home Improvement, Sporting Goods and Discount Retail stores, as well as bookings growth at hotels, has underperformed the overall panel in the past two months. While there are other factors at play (e.g. pull-forward of DIY home improvement spend during COVID and high interest rates), the relative weakness of these areas suggests that pain at the pump is starting to impact discretionary spending.

Spend Growth of Subindustries Correlating with Fuel Customers’ Outsized Wallet Share

Consumer Edge is the leading provider of alternative data for consumer spending behavior, and the only provider of global revenue signals. Our data offers insights into not only rising fuel prices but hundreds of industries, subindustries, tickers, and symbols. If you’d like to benefit from using Transact US or other products for other industry data year-round to track trends and dynamics like these, reach out to insights@consumeredge.com.

Michael Gunther is the VP Head of Insights for the CEIC. Explore more of his insights here and follow him on LinkedIn.