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NATIONAL REPORT -- Americans spent 13 percent of their total retail dollars at gas stations last month, a slight increase vs. early 2011. According to U.S. Commerce Department data, American consumers spent $47.85 billion at gas stations in October, or 13 percent of the total $367.56 billion spent at all retailers combined.
Although 13 cents out of every retail dollar seems like a huge number, that figure actually has not changed much over the last few years. In fact, during the first quarter of 2011, 12.5 percent -- or one out of every eight cents -- was spent at gas stations.
The modest economic recovery, continued high U.S. unemployment and higher fuel-economy standards have reduced demand for gasoline, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Those factors contributed to this October being the weakest for gasoline use since October 2000.
Superstorm Sandy was also a contributing factor for weak gasoline usage last month.