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Gas prices continue to slide

Mark Scott

Gasoline prices continue to drop in Western New York.  The latest survey from GasBuddy.com finds motorists in the Buffalo area are paying $2.86 a gallon, a drop of 40-cents in the last month alone.

The cost of gasoline has been falling with the price of oil since summer.  And the downward trend shows no sign of letting up. 

Even though gasoline prices here remain significantly higher than the national average, University at Buffalo economist Lawrence Southwick says the impact is still significant.

"Let's suppose you drive 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year and get 20 miles to the gallon.  That's 800 to 1,000 gallons, so you've saved $800 to $1,000 roughly," Southwick said.

And that has real meaning, especially to those with low to moderate incomes.  Amy Almaguer of Rochester was visiting Buffalo with a friend.  She says the money they're saving on gasoline is being used to pay for other expenses.

"We're both students.  So, any savings are great...for food and rent.  It's good," Almaguer said.

Not every sector of the economy is benefiting from lower oil prices.  Some companies in the energy industry are starting to feel the pinch.  But economists say the net benefit to the US economy is positive.

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