Though there are no signs that crude production will slow down, the crash in prices is taking a toll on major oil-producing economies. Saudi Arabia, which depends on oil revenue for the bulk of its government spending, has slashed various domestic subsidies and announced plans to raise taxes.
For consumers, the drop in crude oil prices has brought a windfall at the gas pump.
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The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline this year was the second-lowest of the last 10 years, according to AAA, which tracks national and local pump prices. Gas is cheaper than it's been since 2009, when the Great Recession sidelined millions of workers and prompted many people to cut back on driving.
The annual average price stands at $2.40 per gallon — or about 94 cents less than 2014.
Many economists expected that savings to help boost consumer spending, but most households seem to have pocketed the savings.
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Since mid-2014, when oil prices began falling, U.S. households have saved roughly $115 billion a year, while the level of personal savings rose by $120 billion, according to Steve Murphy, an economist with Capital Economics.
That suggests "that households have saved every last dime from lower pump prices," Murphy said. Last year, "it could be argued that households were reluctant to spend their gasoline savings if they thought it was a temporary windfall. But the longer prices remain low, the harder it is to make that case."