While it seems the price of crude oil is at its lowest since 2003, the economy seems to be thriving a bit, but not without some hiccups in the economic standards for the consumer. Oil companies are large corporations that have provided thousands and thousands of jobs, and now with the drop in price, their majestic powerhouse companies, are now facing layoffs, cut backs and less drilling. Towns with drilling companies will hurt economically as companies pull out, but the usual swing in the economy will have them back to their norms in the next few years.
From what I understand, the cheap oil is something that will not only effect the economy in the long run, but it will also hurt those who want to receive retirement or disability benefits at the federal level. It's great to finally have cheaper gas than that which was nearly $3 in the past. I do think it might have an adverse effect on our economy.
When the price of oil goes down, people are more inclined to fill up their tanks and drive more. Just like many other products, lower prices tend to increase sales. If the price of oil is low, one will likely be more inclined to continue filling up their gas tank regularly before the prices jump back up. In addition, oil is a product that most people rely on regularly. Even if the price of oil goes down, sales will remain steady and most likely increase.
Initially, there may be a drop, but once things levelled out it would be a boost. The general population would have to pay less money for gas, meaning that they could travel more and have more money to spend on goods and services. This would translate to more money moving throughout more spheres of the economy instead of being so focused in gas.