Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lower Gas Prices and the Average Household

Gasoline is one of the largest household expenses. How large? According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average household spent $2,549 on gasoline in 2013. Gasoline ranks a lofty 5th among items on which the average household spends the most (after deductions for Social Security, groceries, vehicle purchases, and rent/mortgage interest).

That was then, when gasoline cost $3.49/gallon. Now, with gas prices at about $2.00/gallon, the average household is projected to spend just $1,461 on gasoline this year—a savings of more than $1,000. Gasoline will fall from 5th to 8th place in the ranking of items on which the average household spends the most—below restaurant meals, health insurance, and property taxes. No wonder Americans' Economic Confidence Index is at a record high and in positive territory for the first time since Gallup started daily tracking of this indicator in 2008.

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