The Associated Press reports that several filling stations in Oklahoma City and Texas are selling unleaded gasoline for less than $2 a gallon. ‘‘When I first saw it, I thought it was a misprint,’’ Marcus Hendricks, a student who lives in south Oklahoma City, told the AP.
He was interviewed at the OnCue Express in southeast Oklahoma City, where the price was $1.99 per gallon for gas with a 10 percent blend of ethanol. ‘‘There were so many cars it looked they were giving something away for free. They practically are.’’
On Friday, the national average for unleaded gasoline was $2.71 a gallon, almost a dollar cheaper than the peak price of $3.70 in June. It’s the cheapest that gasoline has been since 2010. And prices could fall another 10 to 20 cents per gallon by the end of December, according to AAA Oklahoma.
Of course, gas isn’t cheap everywhere. The average price is still more than $3 a gallon in New York, Alaska and Oklahoma. However, a global glut of crude oil is probably going to keep prices relatively low through the first of the year, if not longer.
Lower gasoline prices have a ripple effect throughout the economy. One place the impact is felt immediately is the auto industry. In November, U.S. auto sales reached a seasonally adjusted selling rate of 17.2 million vehicles, the highest the industry has experienced in a decade.
Automakers are now setting the stage for a huge December sales boom, according to Automotive News.
Another area that might see a boost from lower gasoline prices is travel and tourism. The national AAA hasn’t issued its holiday forecast just yet. Travel last year was nearly flat with 2012, with 95.4 million people hitting the road.
Despite the crowds you see at airports, about 90 percent of all Christmas and New Year’s travelers go by car. But if it only costs $25 or so to fill up a tank, that last-minute trip sounds a lot more attractive.