The Breakdown | Explaining Southern California's economy

Visual Aid: Are falling gas prices telling us bad things about the economy?

I'm all about gas prices today, having already posted on the topic here and here. The price of gas is falling nationally, but there are some unusual things about how that's happening. I got the above chart from — it shows gas-price fluctutations over the past six years. There are two big spikes: in the summer of 2008, when the price got above $4 per gallon; and...the past spring, when the price climbed over $3.87 per gallon. One big difference between then and now: in 2011, we have 9.1 national unemployment. In 2008, in was under 6 percent. 

I've highlighted a stable period between the peaks. I think you have to factor in unrest in the Middle East when you look at the price increase in late 2010 and much of 2011. But what we're seeing now is the price of gas responding to a national economic forecast that expects sluggish growth and continued high unemployment.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.