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    Falling Energy Prices ‘Good for US Economy’: White House

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    White House spokesperson said during a press briefing that falling oil and gas prices are beneficial for the US economy and middle class families.

    WASHINGTON, January 5 (Sputnik) — Falling oil and gas prices are beneficial for the US economy and middle class families, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Monday.

    "The impact of falling energy prices has been good for the US economy," Earnest said. "It certainly is good for middle class families that are being pinched when they go to the [gas] pump."

    On Monday, US crude oil prices fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since April 29, 2009, hitting a five year low. The new $50 price per barrel followed the Dow ending down over 200 points in addition to European stocks losing more than two percent.

    Earnest said that falling oil and gas prices were a "testament to the success" of the policies that the United States conceived over the last several years which have increased its domestic oil and gas production and raised fuel efficiency standards.

    In November 2014, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to not change oil output levels. This move from OPEC led to further decline in oil prices.

    OPEC's decision has been opposed by members including Iran and Venezuela, who, unlike the Gulf kingdoms, do not have significant currency reserves, which would allow them to balance their budgets in the time of crisis.

    Venezuela and Russia, the economies that depend heavily on oil exports, have experienced considerable economic problems amid falling oil prices.

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    oil prices, White House, Josh Earnest, United States
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