(NEW YORK) — American motorists aren’t out of the woods just yet, but something is happening that’s putting less strain on consumers’ pockets books.
It appears that rising gasoline prices, which were turning into a major election-year issue, have started to level off.
In March, for instance, prices rose 1.7 percent from the previous month when they climbed nearly four times faster — six percent — from January.
No one’s celebrating just yet because the average price nationally for a gallon of gas is about $3.90, but that is down four cents from the week before.
Analysts say that the prospects of a crisis with Iran over oil seem to be ebbing, which helps to drive down the cost of crude oil.
The slowdown in gas costs is part of an overall trend with inflation easing across the board, giving consumers a little more money to spend, which boosts the economy.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Erin McClam, CNN