Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics estimates that U.S. consumers could find an extra $100 billion in their wallets this year.
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says the plunge in gas prices will translate largely into spending rather than savings, because the greatest benefit will go to lower-income families. Those families, which often live paycheck to paycheck, "have a higher tendency to spend any additional real income."
Falling gas prices will free up billions of dollars for consumers to spend next year, with the middle class seeing most of the benefits.
One study estimates that for every 1-cent drop in the retail price of gasoline for a year, American consumers save $1.2 billion.