The average price of gas in the US is below $2 a gallon for the first time in 7 years

While plummeting oil prices have been contributing to the market’s putrid start to 2016, they are also saving Americans huge amounts at the pump.

According to the US Energy Information Agency, the average national price for a gallon of gas has fallen below $2 for the first time in 7 years.

“The U.S. average retail regular gasoline price had last approached, but not gone below, the $2.00 mark in early 2015,” said the EIA in its daily online update.

“Falling gasoline prices are a result of falling crude oil prices and the seasonal slowdown in gasoline demand.”

The last reading below $2 from the EIA came on March 23, 2009. The current mark is $1.996 per gallon.

According to the post, the West Coast is the only region of the country where gas is still above $2, it sits at an average of $2.63 per gallon. The EIA explained the higher prices are not atypical.

“Gasoline prices on the West Coast tend to be higher than elsewhere in the country because of the region’s relative isolation from other gasoline markets and higher state taxes,” said the Agency. “Additionally, gasoline supply chains on the West Coast are adjusting to several refinery outages that occurred in 2015, which tightened gasoline supplies and increased prices.”

Prices may go even lower as gas prices are usually on a delay from crude oil prices since it takes some time to refine oil. And these prices may stick around since many analysts project that oil prices aren’t going up any time soon.

The question then becomes if Americans decide to spend or save the money, especially as fears that American spending is stagnating. So far since gas prices began dropping there hasn’t been a surge in spending, except perhaps in auto sales.

Additionally, the EIA predicts that gas will bottom out at $1.90 in February before averaging $2.03 per gallon for all of 2016.

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