As consumers enjoy the benefits of plunging gasoline prices this holiday season, it is still unclear how cheaper crude will impact the overall health of the U.S. economy.
One Washington think tank has estimated that, though many parts of the country will experience a slight economic stimulus in 2015, the lower oil prices will bring a significant downturn in the economic health of energy dependent states.
Unprecedented production in the United States shale plays have contributed to an increase in worldwide oil supplies, resulting in gasoline prices plummeting to their lowest level in almost five years. This has proven to be an economic boom of sorts to American families who are pocketing an additional $25-$75 per month. An additional perk will come as reduced fuel costs will eventually affect the pricing of consumer goods and services.
The economic picture is not so rosy for everyone. Energy producers and states that are heavily invested in oil production will take a hit in 2015. Some companies have announced they will slash their budgets, with many predicting cuts in their exploration efforts. This will have a ripple effect that will impact local economies and support industries as tax revenues are reduced and layoffs are inevitable.
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