- Jackson man to cast electoral vote for Trump; others trying to dissuade him (11/29/16)51
- Man killed by vehicle had been charged with domestic assault (11/30/16)
- Former Cape council member dies, remembered as 'wonderful public servant' (11/29/16)1
- Hotel chain president: City should regulate short-term lodging (11/27/16)16
- Woman accused in three robberies disguised herself as man (11/29/16)5
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)24
- Officers: Delta man dies during domestic dispute (11/28/16)1
- Business notebook: New store shows faith in Scott City district (11/28/16)
- Missouri chamber to honor Cape's John Mehner (11/30/16)6
- Men who pulled father, son from burning car near Naylor honored by highway patrol (12/1/16)
$1.75 a gallon
When the U.S. economy began to sour last year, consumers across the nation began to cut back on one major expense they could control: gasoline.
The results have been dramatic. Pump prices topped out at over $4 a gallon in July, based on nationwide averages, and then dropped like a boulder falling off a cliff. This week, the average per-gallon price of gasoline in Missouri was $1.75, a bargain economists had predicted we would never see again.
Many motorists say the lower gas prices are a silver lining in the financial mess that has virtually brought the U.S. economy to its knees. Consumer purchasing is way down, unemployment is up and going higher and federal bailouts and economic incentives of over a trillion dollars this year don't seem to be making a dramatic difference.
Lower gas prices in the U.S. are the result of much more than a hiccup in the U.S. economy. Oil prices have crashed worldwide because demand is dropping around the globe. Oil-producing nations anticipated growing demand for petroleum products in the two most populous countries, China and India, would more than make up the slowdown in U.S. consumption. But the financial meltdown has dampened forecasts, and prices per barrel of oil continue to drop.
Until Stevie's Burgers recently took over the space on Broadway in Cape Girardeau formerly occupied by a service station, motorists regarded the signs advertising fuel for under $2 a gallon as a relic of the past that we wouldn't ever see again. Now those signs could be put up at any area service station and be right on target.
What happens next to fuel prices remains to be seen, but American consumers are continuing to use less gasoline -- fearing, perhaps, another swing back to $4 a gallon could occur just as quickly as this year's precipitous drop.