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    High-priced Gas Will Keep July 4th Fun Close to Home: NRF Survey

    :Nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they'll light up grills at cookouts.

    Grocers should get ready to move the hot dogs, charcoal and potato salad en masse in a couple of weeks. Consumers may be rethinking their July 4th plans, according to results of a new survey in which more consumers said this year they expect gas prices to persuade them to stick closer to home for Independence Day.

    According to the National Retail Federation's 2008 Independence Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch, 59.4 percent of consumers say increased gas prices will impact their spending for the holiday, up from 42.1 percent of consumers who said so last year.
     
    Additionally, almost 200 million Americans surveyed (87.8 percent) feel the price of gas will cost more by The Fourth of July than it does now. Consumers expect that the average price of gas nationwide will be $4.39 per gallon on July 4.
     
    "Americans will continue to commemorate Independence Day this year, though higher gas prices will impact how they celebrate," said NRF president and c.e.o. Tracy Mullin. "Retailers are aware of the strain gas prices have on consumers' wallets and will be offering special promotions on food and beverages for the millions of people planning summer barbecues."
     
    "A traditional Fourth of July trip to the beach or amusement park will be more expensive than it has ever been," said Phil Rist, v.p. of strategy at BIGresearch. "Instead of making elaborate travel plans, many consumers will choose to spend the holiday closer to home with family and friends."
     
    This year, nearly two-thirds (61.2 percent) of consumers surveyed said they'll light up their grills or attend a cookout or barbecue on The Fourth. Other consumers said they will attend a fireworks celebration (40.2 percent), go to a parade (10.5 percent), and travel or take a vacation (11.2 percent).

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