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Gas prices are something just about every American sees on a daily basis. When they go up, we fret about what we’ll spend less on to make up for the higher prices, and when they fall we think about taking that road trip we’ve been wanting to do.
Over the last few years, thanks in part to fracking, oil production has dramatically gone up and gas prices have gone down.
A report from the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute finds that families have more in their pockets because of this.
Researchers examined the spending of 1 million Chase credit and debit card holder and found that middle-income households spent nearly $480 less on gas in 2015 than in 2014 when gas prices fell 25%. That’s “more than a one percent increase in annual income for 60 percent of households” and enough for a half a monthly mortgage payment.
Lower gas prices have helped lower income households proportionally more. While middle-income households saw a 1% savings, those in lower income households saw as much as 1.4% in savings.
That savings on gasoline rippled outward to other parts of the economy. The report finds that households spent over $200 of what they saved on restaurants, retail, and groceries.
Other research has found that households have also seen energy savings from fracking because of increased production of natural gas. A 2015 Harvard Business School study found that consumers saved $780 dollars in energy costs because of larger supplies of natural gas.
This is another reminder that of how fracking is making Americans’ lives better. It means more American energy, lower energy prices, and more money in families’ wallets. An all-around good thing.