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Byline: Michael E. Kanell
Nov. 17--Suddenly sliding oil prices have raised the chances that Americans will see 75 cents-a-gallon gasoline by year's end, good news for both consumers and a sluggish economy.
Economists warned that the energy discounts are not enough themselves to rescue an economy mired in recession. Still, most are glad to embrace any price break, particularly the kind that is likely to be spent immediately.
"This is a positive catalyst," said Brian Belski, fundamental market strategist for US Bancorp Piper Jaffrey. "It will put more money in consumers' pockets. It will benefit companies that are powered by energy and oil, and it will benefit the overall economy."
It could also lower the price of heating oil just as much of the nation reaches for the thermostat.
Americans have already seen sizable …