Low gas prices projected to drive $1.6 billion in holiday travel savings

Low gas prices this year will translate into $1.6 billion in savings for holiday travelers across the U.S., according to GasBuddy.com, a website that tracks retail fuel prices.

Those savings are based on a projected national average gas price of $2.02 per gallon for the period between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3.

As of Wednesday afternoon, average prices in Missouri were even lower than that projected national mark. GasBuddy pegged the current per-gallon average in the Show-Me State at $1.737, the lowest in the country.

This year’s projected national holiday average is down 12.9 percent from last year’s average of $2.32, and it marks a 38 percent slide from the 2013 mean of $3.26, GasBuddy reports.

The site says gas prices haven’t been this low since 2008, when the country was in the throes of the Great Recession.

Consumers have benefited from a 66 percent drop in the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude prices over the last 18 months, Bloomberg reports, and prices figure to remain low into 2016 due to OPEC’s continued refusal to limit oil output.

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