As Stocks Plunge, Consumers Get a Break on Gas Prices

"HOUSTON — The growing gloom about the economy has pushed down oil and gasoline prices, along with the prices of an array of other commodities. And while that could mean more spending power for consumers, perhaps tempering any possible downturn, the steep drop in energy prices reflects worries that economic activity is headed in the wrong direction."

"Since April, the price of the American benchmark crude oil has fallen by roughly $30 a barrel, with more than half the drop occurring in just the last two weeks. On Monday, oil closed at $81.31 a barrel, down more than 6 percent. The decline in recent months is the most rapid in nearly three years, when oil and gasoline prices collapsed in response to the financial crisis.

As a result, drivers could see a gallon of regular gasoline selling for a national average of as little as $3.25 next month, a drop of more than 40 cents from current levels, according to economists."

Clifford Krauss reports for the New York Times August 8, 2011.

Source: NY Times, 08/09/2011