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By New_Deal_democrat February 5, 2014 8:07 am
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Is the Oil choke collar releasing?
For over half a decade, the price of gas has acted like a governor, or choke collar, on the US economy.  Whenever growth accelerated, the price of gasshot up near or over $4 a gallon, causing consumers to cut back on other purchases. The economy slowed, the price of gas fell, and the cycle started again.
 
Until the last six months.  In both the third and fourth quarters of 2013, the US economy grew by more than 3%, but the price of gas fell, and remarkably, has stayed at about $3.30 a gallon or less for more than the last three months, as shown in today's updated graph by GasBuddy:
 
 
To put this in context, here is a graph of the price of gas since January 2011, with the months of November through February highlighted in red:
 
 
As you can see, in each of the prior three years, the price of gas shot up seasonally since late December, rising sharply through February.  Not so this year -- at least not so far.
 
For all I know, gas prices could start rising by 10 cents a week beginning tomorrow.  But if we do break free of the pattern this year, that will be a major boost to average wage-earners.
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