Americans have to be doing better now that gas is well under $2 a gallon compared to the $4 or higher where it was sitting last summer.
By many accounts, a family with two people commuting to work could save several hundred dollars a month. That is enough to pay a mortgage or bring down credit card balances.
While lower gas costs have been viewed as a way to help the economy from falling into a terribly deep recession, their effect may be greater than most economists think–perhaps more that $350 billion a year.
According to The Detroit Free Press, "Americans are paying $1 billion less per day for gasoline now compared with mid-July, when the national average price was more than $4 per gallon." During the upcoming two-year period that the new Congress and administration plan to put $700 to $800 billion into the economy, OPEC and it friends may be contributing savings of $720 billion, if gas prices remain where they are.
The savings on gas is only a piece of the benefit. Jet fuel costs are helping airlines to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year. Trucking companies and industries that transport goods will certainly save hundreds of millions of dollars on diesel. Petrochemical firms will also see huge savings on their costs of goods.
While the new American government plans to spend tremendous sums on building infrastructure and create three million jobs, it may be useful to look at what decreasing consumer costs will do.
OPEC may be offering the US economy the largest financial bailout in history.
Douglas A. McIntyre