Sliding Gasoline Prices Could Be Boon for Consumers

By Sharon Epperson
|  Friday, May 21, 2010  |  Updated 9:45 PM EDT
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Sliding Gasoline Prices Could Be Boon for Consumers

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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)

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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."

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