Low gas prices could boost economy - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Low gas prices could boost economy

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(KYTX) - You've probably noticed the sharp drop in gas prices over the last month or so. East Texans are welcoming the low prices at the pump.

And, economists say if the prices continue to fall, they could also give our economy a boost. Economists say the money people save on gas could go toward eating out, entertainment and more.

Consumer spending is especially important now as sequestration spending cuts kick in across the country. Some economists believe an increase in spending could actually balance out the sequester dollar for dollar.

"Oh, it's great, honey!"

East Texans like Barbara Teasley are loving the low prices at the pump.

"We save a little bit of money!" she says.

That's money that could be spent on plenty of other activities.

"Yes, in fact, I'm going to spend some June the 1st to see George Strait.

She says those tickets don't come cheap.

But, a drop in gas prices allows a little more room in her budget.

"And, after George Straight, I think we're going to drive on down to Kingsville."

Those with Capital Economics say if the prices stay low, the savings for drivers over the course of a year could top $80 billion- about as much as the sequester itself.

"It's almost $100 to fill this up, so yeah, that's a lot of money." says Kim Stout.

She says that kind of savings for a family of five goes a long way.

"It allows us to eat out more if we want to and, you know, just have the extra money to do whatever we need to do."

Economists say if people keep on buying, economic growth might not be as bad as we initially feared with the sequester spending cuts.

Gas prices have fallen about 30 cents per gallon since hitting a high of nearly $3.80 per gallon earlier this year.

Economists say the drop is mostly because of a decline in oil prices.

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