man pumping gas

US gas prices are expected to fall over the next couple of years as fuel consumption levels off, indicating that vehicle fuel-economy gains may have positive long-term effect on everyone's wallets.

Regular fuel prices, which on average rose 2.8 percent in 2012 to $3.63 a gallon, will fall to $3.55 a gallon this year and will decline another 4.5 percent to $3.39 in 2014, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.

And while the vehicle-buying public isn't getting any smaller, fuel consumption is expected to remain basically unchanged at about 8.72 million barrels a day through 2014.

Either way, the percentage of an average household's budget spent filling up neared a 30-year high last year, so any news of a fuel-price decline is good news for consumers. So far this year, gas prices have risen more than 20 cents a gallon to about $3.55, according to American Automobile Association.

Last year, new cars sold in the US had a record-high fuel economy of 23.8 miles per gallon, up 6 percent from a year earlier, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

Check out the EIA's set of graphs and reports here.