Sliding Gasoline Prices Could Be Boon for Consumers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 15: Gas is pumped into a vehicle September 15, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Gasoline prices rose nearly 5 cents a gallon Monday, bringing the total increase in the three days since Hurricane Ike slammed into Texas to almost 17 cents, according to a nationwide survey. The average price of unleaded regular rose 4.7 cents to $3.842 a gallon, according to the survey released by motorist group AAA. That followed increases of 5.8 cents Saturday and 6.2 cents Sunday, which was the biggest one-day spike since after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 . (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    The nearly 20 percent slide in wholesale gasoline prices is starting to be reflected in prices at the pump.

    The national average for regular gasoline has fallen more than a nickel in the past week to $2.83/gallon, according to AAA/OPIS. Tom Kloza, an analyst with OPIS, expects retail gasoline prices to fall to $2.75 by next weekend.

     

    That savings may be a boon for consumers. Kloza says "if you were to project retail prices from current numbers, you would come up with a June/July/August consumer expense in 2010 that would be about $53-billion below what was paid in June/July/August 2008" for gasoline. 

    So "consumers should have plenty of additional money to spend," Kloza says. "And I suppose you can count that money as energizing other retail segments."