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Americans under 35 are almost twice as likely as those above that age to report driving more because of the $1-a-gallon drop in prices at the pump over the past year.
With fuel costs plummeting alongside the collapse in crude oil, more Americans feel they’re getting a fair price at the gasoline pump now than at any time since late 2011.
The 33 percent slide at U.S. pumps, combined with an improving job market, touched off a national spending spree on sport utility vehicles, vacations and Christmas presents.
According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans spent 21 percent less on gasoline, electricity and gas services in January than at the same time last year.
Two batches of bad fuel produced at Exxon Mobil in mid-March 2014 caused some Baton Rouge area drivers to experience problems with their intake and valve systems.
The agency’s staff is recommending reducing the excise tax rate from 18 cents to 10.5 cents.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs note that the longer gas prices stay low, the more consumers like to spend.
Gasoline at the pump is at the lowest since April 2009, when prices were $2.0549 a gallon.
Behind the early fall was news that inventories at the oil trading hub of Cushing, Oklahoma rose by nearly 2 million barrels, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data for the week ending Dec. 26.
Analysts expect gasoline prices to remain low for much of 2015, too.