Oil prices are falling once again, and relief at the gas pump is likely on the way too.
But be careful what you wish for. Low gas prices can sometimes be more a symptom of a weakening economy, than a cure to consumers’ woes
Crude oil briefly dipped below $80 a barrel on Friday, about 30% below its peak at $113.90 in April.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices — which often fall one to two weeks after oil — were at a national average of $3.59 a gallon Friday. Gas is likely to decline to around $3.50 a gallon in the next week, estimates Chris Lafakis, economist with Moody’s Economy.com
The rule of thumb is that for every $1 decline in the price of oil, American consumers have an extra $3 billion to save, spend or pay down their debt over the course of an entire year.