There’s some good news behind the discouraging headlines on the economy: Gas is getting cheaper. At least two states had stations selling gas for $2.99 on this week and it could fall below $3 in more areas over the weekend.A plunge in oil prices has knocked more than 30 cents off the price of a gallon of gas in most parts of the U.S. since early April. The national average is now $3.61. I predict further declines in the next few weeks.
If Americans spend less filling their tanks, they’ll have more money for discretionary purchases. The downside? Lower oil and gas prices are symptoms of weakening economic conditions in the U.S. and around the globe.
Last week oil plunged nearly 4 percent as a bleak report on U.S. job growth heightened worries about a slowing global economy and waning oil demand. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. Sobering economic news from China and Europe also contributed to the drop.