AAA has not seen a longer streak of declining gas prices since the group started tracking prices on January 1 of the year 2000, says spokesman Michael Green.
The second longest streak -- until very recently, the longest ever -- occurred during the Great Recession, when gas prices slumped for 86 days straight. The principal difference between the two streaks is that prices fell much further last time around: by $ 2.20 per gallon, says Green, as opposed to just 95 cents per gallon this year.
The current averaged price of $2.39 per gallon is 85 cents lower than it was a year ago. Prices have not been so low since May 0f 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The change has reverberated throughout the U.S. economy, where it is expected to drive up holiday spending and increase holiday travel plans, especially when it comes to road trips. (AAA says a record 98.6 million people will travel this holiday season in the U.S.)
The streak is particularly stunning in light of world events. This country is not in a recession. Rather, the economy seems to keep improving. "What’s amazing is that we’ve had prices drop to the lowest levels in five year despite an improving U.S. economy and global turmoil, usually the types of factors that lead to higher prices," says Green.
And the streak may not be over yet. AAA expects that prices will continue to fall in coming weeks. "It wouldn’t be surprising to see 10 to 15 cents less per gallon by New Years," says Green.