Low gas prices pump retailer profits

Low gas prices pump retailer profits

“Last year’s third-quarter [gasoline] margin was well above historical averages, which means this quarter’s margin performance was remarkable.” —J. MICHAEL SCHLOTMAN, Kroger

U.S. consumers will have an estimated $135 billion more spending money this year because of lower gas prices at the pump, and indications point to at least a portion of that extra cash winding up in supermarket tills.

“When the average fill-up is 10 to 15 gallons, and you are saving more than a buck a gallon, that’s more than a rounding error to consumers,” said Chuck Cerankosky, an analyst with Northcoast Research, Cleveland. “It’s hard to say exactly where that [savings] is goin

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