Looks like it isn’t just the job numbers that are giving President Obama some breathing room as November approaches. Gas prices have started trending downward after reaching a record high this fall amid shortages and political volatility in the Middle East. But now inventories are rising and demand is dropping, which means prices could decrease 50 cents a gallon, from the high of $3.86 seen this month, over the next few weeks, reports USA Today. Gas now averages $3.72 a gallon, which is expected to drop to $3.35 by late November.
The drop is largely seasonal as gas prices decline every fall when oil producers switch to a cheaper blend of gasoline and demand drops, points out the Christian Science Monitor. This year that usual decline has been delayed by around a month but it looks like it’s finally coming. More important than national averages for the election could be the gas prices in key swing states, where prices are mostly lower, points out Rick Newman in U.S. News & World Report.
Although gas prices are only one factor in the larger economy, they do have a way of playing “an outsized effect on consumer psyches,” points out Newman, “depressing confidence when they’re going up and boosting contentment when they’re going down.”
Meanwhile, FoxNews.com talks to economists who say President Obama’s claim during Tuesday’s debate that gas prices have increased since 2008 because of an improving economy is, at best, an exaggeration. Although it’s true, gas prices go down during a recession, other factors, such as refining costs and oil supply, play a much bigger role.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke
Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas
Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10
Mad About Modi
Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.
You Deserve a Pre-cation
The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.