Never one to daydream when I could be collecting data, I always observe the prices at the Sunoco Station I pass on my running route. I thought I noticed significant declines of late, and that is what the national data show.
Regular unleaded peaked at about $4/gallon last spring, and is down about $0.50 since then. That’s a useful bit of stimulus to strapped families (rule of thumb: every penny decline in retail gas prices represents about $1 billion in savings nationally, and visa versa).
The source of the decline seems to be both weaker demand and increased supply. The former has been on the scene for a while so this recent price decline is more a function of an improvement in the supply chain, a stronger dollar, and—you’ll be glad to hear–a shift to more fuel efficient cars.
And yes, I recognize that fossil fuels are underpriced in terms of the environmental costs of global warming–much bigger, structural problem…I’m talking here about the cyclical impact of price wiggles.