The International Air Transport Association expects travelers to see a decline in airfare next year because of the reduction in oil prices, which have fallen more than 45 percent since summer. If prices remain low, as expected, shipping companies could benefit from sinking air cargo costs.
Lower oil and gas prices could also translate to lower costs as well for food, apparel and metals producers. Analysts at Societe Generale forecast that corn prices will drop by about 3 percent, while cotton could decrease 6.5 percent. Gold, analysts with the French bank say, could slide as much as 5 percent due to the lower oil prices.
But will tumbling energy prices mean that sweater or loaf of bread will also cost less?
Jim Palmer, CEO for the National Association of Wheat Growers, says while lower fuel prices can help help curb agricultural production and harvesting costs, they're not a major factor. "We won't see the price of bread going down because of wheat prices," he tells CBS MoneyWatch. "There's only 10 cents of wheat in [the overall cost of] a loaf of bread."
Dan Neiman, a portfolio manager at Neiman Funds Management, adds that any consumer benefits from lower oil prices are likely to be short term and, at best, indirect. The drop in fuel prices means more money for the suppliers of the goods and services we need. It also allows companies that rely on transportation for their businesses, such as e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN), to cut their delivery costs.
When those companies spend less, Neiman tells CBS MoneyWatch, those savings tend to get passed on to the consumer. "Not necessarily as a drop in prices, but as more availability, more supply, which at the end of the day will drop consumer prices."