|A rental RV in rural Alaska. (The children are not real; they're a decal.)|
Positive Side Of Lower Gas Prices
...As Americans Save $24 Billion At The Pump
Sometimes you can't win for losing. When gas prices are high,
you hear: "It's going to kill tourism; nobody will want to come to Alaska!"
And, when gas prices are low, you hear:
"It's going to destroy our entire Alaskan economy!"
Yet, lower gas prices are apparently leading
to some pretty great news. On the whole, we Americans are finally
managing to put some money into "catching up" after all these
years of a down economy. And lower gas prices are helping.
According to a February 17th, 2015 story in "Money & Markets"
"…roughly $24.4 billion has been saved at the pump since gasoline
prices have been falling."
The #1 thing Americans are doing right now with the money we're saving
is shoring up the vehicles we've been neglecting all these lean years with high gas prices.
There was an 8.73% increase in business -- between October and January --
at motor vehicle and auto parts dealers.
Close behind are increases in spending at "Food Services & Drinking Places" -- up 8.72%.
Other big increases included "Nonstore Retailers" (up 7.47%), building,
gardens and supplies (up 7.21%), "Health & Personal Care" (up 6.1%)
and a 4% increase in money spent on sports, hobbies, books and music.
Americans are spending more on all kinds of other things, too, including furniture
and home furnishings (up 3.9%), electronics & appliances (up 3.78%) food
and beverages (up 3.35% ) clothing & accessories (up 2.92%), and general
merchandise (up 1.8%).
We're spending, on the whole 12% LESS at the pump.
--And that doesn't include money we're saving in lower heating fuel prices.
This gives us discretionary income to improve our lives,
fix our cars, go to restaurants, enjoy ourselves -- and travel.
Including -- we can very reasonably expect -- finally going on that
trip to see Alaska this summer.
--Story idea courtesy Bruce Cain, of Ahtna Inc.