National average price of gas to average under $3 for 2015, 13 percent drop from 2014

Energy Associated Press

The Energy Department now predicts the average price of gasoline will be below $3 a gallon in 2015. The dramatically lower estimate will save U.S. consumers and the economy more than $60 billion if it holds true.

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The department's Energy Information Administration predicts in its most recent short-term energy outlook, released Wednesday, that drivers will pay $2.94 per gallon on average in 2015, 45 cents lower than this year.

Based on current gasoline consumption, that's a savings of $61.1 billion.

Economists say lower gasoline prices acts like a tax cut, leaving more money for people to spend on other things. Consumer spending is 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

EIA administrator Adam Sieminski attributed the lower pump prices to lower prices for crude oil and weak fuel demand.