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1/13/2019 4:59:00 PM
Lower energy prices could fuel the economy through 2019, some experts predict
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Ed Semmler, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer

Energy experts believe we likely will enjoy low energy prices in the coming year, and those savings could continue to add fuel to the economy.

“It makes a difference,” said Sue Morgan, while filling up her compact SUV at $2.19 per gallon in Roseland on Friday. “Lower pump prices mean I’m more likely to spend money on other things or plan a trip.”

“Families,” she added, “have a little more freedom to do things with their kids.” 

Those sentiments are why economists believe relatively low energy prices over the past few years have helped the U.S. economy to continue to grow.

GasBuddy is estimating that fuel will average about $2.70 a gallon across the United States in 2019, and that the average household will spend about $1,991 on gasoline, a slight decline compared to the $2,016 spent per household last year.

Though gas prices have gone up a bit in recent weeks, the average of $2.20 per gallon on Friday was still at about the lowest level since July 2017, according to GasBuddy.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said the decline in annual spending for fuel is even more significant compared to the early part of the decade. In 2011 and 2012, for example, the average household was spending well above $2,500 a year for fuel.

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