Americans saving hundreds of dollars on gas

The savings from lower gas prices is leading more people to spend money on other activities

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  Gas prices have been dropping since 2014. Lower oil prices translated into hundreds of dollars in savings on gas last year.

People are spending less on fuel. The savings from lower gas prices is leading more people to spend money on other activities, like going out to eat and shopping.

“You feel a little bit better when you go out to restaurants when you don’t feel like you’re breaking the bank,” said Kyle Hartnett of Vermont.

Retailers and restaurants are the biggest winners, both of which saw their sales increase. Greenfield businesses anticipate sales to increase even more this summer.

“It will help bring more people in downtown and increase shopping,” said Kerrie Semaski of Cleary Jewlers. “Everybody can have a little extra spending money when gas prices are a little bit lower.”

Another chunk of people’s savings was spent right back at the gas station. More people bought gas, higher quality gas, and snacks. The lower gas prices encouraged people to drive more. Miles driven by vehicles increased by 3 percent last year.
A J-P Morgan/Chase study found people spending less on public transportation.

Right now, the average price for regular gas in Western Massachusetts is $2.23. That’s fifty cents less than what we were paying one year ago.

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