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Impact of low gas prices

Posted: 7:14 PM, Jan 18, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-19 13:54:24Z

The gas war that drove prices down to 48-cents per gallon in Houghton Lake Sunday is over. But prices in Lansing are still incredibly low, compared to what we were paying even a year ago.

"It's nice, I mean you feel you feel like you can drive somewhere and it's not gonna cost you a lot" said Kathy Tilley.

Compared to last year's prices, Mid-Michigan drivers are saving 20-cents per gallon. The low prices has allowed drivers to use that money elsewhere.

Tilley says she's going to use the money she's saving at the pump by driving out to see family.

"I have family in Genesee County but I usually go back and forth a couple of times a week and my gas tank is getting low" Tilley said. "And I'm filling it up and so when I fill it up now, it's not as much. So I don't grumble as much, I guess."

But as prices at the pump plunge so does the stock market. The price of crude oil has dropped to its lowest level in 12 years.

"States like Texas, states like Alaska, states like Oklahoma with very large energy sectors are affected negatively in terms of the prices" said Patrick Anderson, CEO of Anderson Economic Group.

Anderson says since Michigan isn't known for producing oil, the drop in prices won't affect most retirement plans.

"If you're heavily invested in the energy sector then it may affect your investments there but for the large majority of families here in Michigan and consumers lower gases means they have more money to spend at the grocery store" Anderson said.

Anderson says the low gas price is actually helping the state.

"Right now, one of the reasons we've had a record year for automobile sales and so much excitement going into 2016, is because consumers can look at the cars that they want, the crossover, and say 'hey I can pay the gas bill for that"' said Anderson.

While Patrick Anderson says that won't hurt retirement plans, Wall Street analysts said, the falling price of oil was a big reason the stock market dove last week.