The United States economy has been on the up-swing over the past year and a half, but recent data shows that economic growth is slowing and unemployment is once again creeping upward. That certainly isn't good news, but but those factors are starting to take their toll on the fuel prices... for the better.
The price of a barrel of oil dropped by $9.44 on Thursday alone, lowering the price below $100 per barrel for the first time in two months. According to the Associated Press, the per-barrel price reportedly dropped further to $97/barrel early Friday, and the trend may not reverse itself any time soon.
Some analysts feel that we may see some relief at the fuel pump, with prices dropping to an average of $3.75 per gallon by Memorial Day, and $3.50 by mid-summer. Currently, the price of a gallon of petrol rests at about $4.00 per gallon nation-wide, though many areas are paying much more.
That's great news for commuters, but the New York Times Green blog points out that the precipitous price drop was less of a trend and more of a market correction. Demand for oil in India and China, the two countries with the highest population by far, continues to grow at a substantial rate. That means any substantial drop in demand over the long term is unlikely. At any rate, the price of a gallon of gas should drop a bit in the near future, and at this point, we'll take what we can get.