Retail sales forecasts are looking more upbeat heading into the holiday season, as consumer confidence reaches a seven-year high and gas prices continue to fall.
But will energy cost savings and more buoyant consumers actually translate into more business activity and sales for Main Street businesses?
Gasoline is averaging $3.01 a gallon nationally—down 8.2 percent from an average $3.28 a year ago, according to AAA figures.
By Friday, the national average should dip to $3, an important psychological level for consumers, said Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates in a statement.
Energy costs are one of the top three business expenses for 35 percent of small companies, according to a poll by the National Federation of Independent Business.
The primary energy cost for 38 percent of smaller firms is operating vehicles, followed by heating and cooling costs for about one-third. Operating equipment was the top energy cost for one-fifth of small businesses, according to the NFIB data.