"Lower Oil Prices Provide Benefits to U.S. Workers"

"LEWISTON, Me. — Wall Street may be growing anxious about the negative impact of falling oil prices on energy producers, but the steep declines of recent weeks are delivering substantial benefits to American working-class families and retirees who have largely missed out on the fruits of the five-and-a-half-year economic recovery.

Just last week, the federal Energy Information Administration estimated that the typical American household would save $750 because of lower gasoline prices this year, $200 more than government experts predicted a month ago. People who depend on home heating oil and propane to warm their homes, as millions do in the Northeast and Midwest, should enjoy an additional savings of about $750 this winter.

'It may not have a huge effect on the top 10 percent of households, but if you’re earning $30,000 or $40,000 a year and drive to work, this is a big deal,' said Guy Berger, United States economist at RBS. 'Conceptually, this is the opposite of the stock market boom, which was concentrated at the top.'"

Diane Cardwell and Nelson D. Schwartz report for the New York Times January 17, 2015.

Source: NY Times, 01/19/2015