Gov't Shutdown Could Drive Further Decline in Pump Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Many experts view the U.S. government shutdown -- currently in its third day -- as a clear negative due to the thousands of workers being furloughed and the potential risk it poses to national security. However, there could be one silver lining at least.

Gas prices -- already on the decline recently -- could slide even further, according to Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy's senior petroleum analyst.

"Many analysts fear an extended government shutdown could have a crippling impact on stock markets and the U.S. economy as federal employees remain out of work and unpaid," DeHaan told "This could in turn stifle gasoline demand around the country and slow spending, and would almost certainly mean oil and gasoline prices would drop sharply."

The analyst noted that there is precedent for this gasoline price behavior. Once the 2008 recession hit, prices dipped by more than $2 per gallon. Although DeHaan admitted the government shutdown is not nearly as crippling to the U.S. economy, he said the same effect will be felt.

On Monday, the average price of a regular gallon of gasoline was $3.40 nationwide. The average price has hovered over the $3 mark for more than 1,000 consecutive days.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds