Gasoline Prices Continue to Fall, Consumer Sentiment Continues To Rise

Low global demand for oil and the strong U.S. dollar continue to depress oil prices, and refineries are coming off of their seasonal maintenance programs. The results are some of the lowest gasoline prices Americans have seen since the Great Recession. The average prices of a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $2.078 on Sunday, Nov. 22, 75 cents lower than a year ago and more than a dollar lower than this time in 2013. AAA expects prices to continue to fall during the coming month with average national prices likely to be below $2 a gallon by Christmas. And almost no one is expecting prices to rise much in 2016.

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment rose again in the mid-month reading from the University of Michigan. The Sentiment Index rose to 93.1 from 90 in the final October reading. The research group’s Expectations Index also rose to 85.6 from 82.1 in the final October survey.

Consumer confidence has been rising again since turmoil in the stock markets and weaker jobs numbers pushed it down to 87.2 in September. It reached its highest point since 2004, with a reading of 96.1 in June.

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