November 9, 2013


As Tensions Fall in Iran, So Do Costs of Gasoline (CLIFFORD KRAUSS, 11/09/13, NY Times)

Gasoline prices are tumbling just in time for the holiday shopping season to begin.

Consumers can thank the tentative reduction in tensions in the Middle East and swelling supplies of domestic oil for their good fortune, and energy experts say prices could fall further if negotiations between the West and Iran progress.

The cost of a gallon of regular gasoline has dropped by 6 cents a gallon over the last week alone, in line with a steady swoon through the fall that has brought prices to their lowest levels in three years.

Seasonal price declines are expected this time of year, but the slide this year is particularly steep. It brings modest relief to consumers at a time when families try to scrape together disposable income for gifts, road trips and entertaining family and friends.

"From a psychology standpoint, lower prices at the pump are correlated with higher consumer confidence," said Michael Niemira, chief economist for the International Council of Shopping Centers. "Over the years Walmart has said how deeply dependent their consumers are on gasoline prices and it goes beyond Walmart."

Posted by at November 9, 2013 7:52 PM

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