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Economy & Business

Trend Of Falling Gas Prices Expected To Continue


In this country yesterday, the nationwide average price for a gallon of regular gas was just below $2.20; that's according to AAA. Some people have been paying less than $2. NPR's John Ydstie reports the falling prices are likely to continue.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Crude oil took another big slide yesterday. The price of U.S. crude fell below $50 a barrel. And with a bit of a lag, the price of gasoline will follow, says Dan Katzenberg.

DAN KATZENBERG: Gasoline prices are a bit stickier, certainly at the pump where it takes a little bit of a time to be reflected in the gas price, but it will follow ultimately.

YDSTIE: Katzenberg, who's a senior energy analyst at Robert W. Baird and Company, says he expects crude oil to fall another 10 percent, to the mid-$40-a-barrel range, during the first quarter and not recover until later in the year. That would push gasoline prices lower, too, and help consumers and the economy.

KATZENBERG: It's effectively a big tax break for U.S. consumers, and really for the globe.

YDSTIE: For U.S. consumers, every one-cent decline in the price of gasoline sustained over a year means an extra billion dollars saved. AAA figures the price decline in 2014 meant Americans spent $14 billion less filling their tanks than in 2013. That's a savings of more than $115 per household. The savings are likely to be even greater this year. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.