NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite the recent ups and downs of the stock market that, economists say, could continue through the fall, there are some good news for consumers.
“I’m certainly scared,” Jason Hale of Astoria told CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer. “I don’t really trust our government. You know they wait to the last minute to enact things and that creates a panic.”
“I’m really uneasy. I’m really very careful where I spend my money. Very uneasy, very uneasy feeling, can’t do what I used to do,” added Vicky Yates of East Elmhurst.
“It’s scary. It really is scary,” said Patricia Fastenau of Astoria.
Lots of people talk about the value of their 401K retirement accounts going down, but that’s just the beginning of the market impact. The silver lining is that interest rates could also drop.
“So if you’re in Queens and you’re going to a bank looking for a mortgage and they tell you 4 and a half, or they told you that yesterday, that means that in a month or two maybe that same bank is going to tell you 4 percent instead of 4 and a half percent,” economist Ken Goldstein said.
Besides the price of borrowing money to buy a home or apartment going down, the price of crude oil has dropped by as much as $10 a barrel, so relief at the pump is on the way.
“The formula is for every dollar that the price of crude oil goes down per barrel, it’s going to mean a 3-cent reduction in the retail price at the pump, so we might be looking at as much as a 20- to 30-cent drop,” said Robert Sinclair of AAA New York.
Sinclair cautioned that the drop in gasoline prices won’t be immediate, because station owners will try to hold on to the extra profits as long as possible.
Economists said lower gas prices might lead to a slight increase in back-to-school sales and also an increase in savings to cope with an economy stuck in neutral.
“This is like being stuck on Fifth Avenue in slow traffic and it’s not breaking up ahead,” Goldstein said.
So why do you think the economy is sluggish? Sound off in our comments section below…