Vending and amusement route operators can continue to cheer. Gas prices have dipped below $2 a gallon for the first time in seven years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the nationwide price is now $1.996 per gallon. The last time prices descended through the $2-a-gallon floor was March 23, 2009.
Unfortunately, if you happen to live or work on the West Coast, the price at the pump is remaining stubbornly high, averaging $2.63 per gallon. This is due to the region's relative isolation from other gasoline markets, along with taxes and recent refinery outages.
For the rest of the county, the news is nothing but good. Economists are predicting that the extra cash in consumers' pockets will boost spending while reducing overhead for businesses -- which should have a positive impact on vending and amusement receipts.
Since recent drops in the price of crude oil on the world's commodity market have yet to be fully felt, the EIA is predicting that prices might fall even lower, bottoming out at about $1.90 a gallon in February. But these record low prices will likely not last. According to the agency, prices will rise to just over $2 a gallon for most of 2016.
In the meantime, let the radials and the good times roll.