File - A view taken on December 6, 2013 shows Paris Las Vegas, a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/John Gurzinski
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Charles and Cheryl Saul are reaping a timely windfall: an extra $500 a month thanks to cheap gasoline.Millions of Americans are benefiting from the collapse in gas prices, which Goldman Sachs Group Inc. equates to a tax cut worth as much as $125 billion. Americans are starting to travel more, eat out and hit the mall.Still, even with gasoline selling for less than $2 a gallon in much of the U.S., the economic boost will take time to work its way through a $17.8 trillion economy.That means retailers should start to get a real boost in July, a year after gas prices started falling.In November, Americans drove 241 billion miles, the most for that month since 2007, the government said.On average, Americans save a paltry 5 or 6 percent of their incomes so about 95 cents of every dollar of gasoline savings will be spent, according to Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Plc.It's middle-class Americans feeling better about their prospects because low gas prices are providing a tailwind to an already improving economy.Some Americans wonder how long it will be before gas prices reverse course and are spending the windfall now while the getting is good.
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