Metro-East News

Business briefing: Missouri gas prices fall below $2.50 a gallon

Gas prices in Missouri have recently dropped as costs have plunged much lower than the price at the pumps in the metro-east.

According to the latest numbers from online gas price tracker GasBuddy.com, as of Monday morning, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline on the Missouri side is $2.41, a drop of 27 cents within the past week.

As Missouri gas prices tend to be lower than Illinois, the current disparity is greater than average. Many metro-east stations are selling unleaded fuel at $2.79 to $2.99 a gallon as of Monday morning.

Nationwide, consumers have been enjoying cheaper gas amid falling demand and lower crude oil prices. Gas Buddy reports that the average gas prices have decreased 12.8 cents per gallon during the past month and 82.8 cents per gallon a year ago.

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Southern Co. is buying AGL Resources Inc. for approximately $7.9 billion. The deal will include 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies, serving approximately 9 million customers in nine states. Southern Co. will become the second-biggest utility company in the nation, according to the number of customers served. Read more here.

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New research suggests that consumers pay off small debts before taking on the larger ones. In a paper from Texas A&M University to be published in the Journal of Marketing Research, paying off balances that are the smallest first make consumers feel better after quickly wiping out small debts and provide encouragement to pay off others. This has been contrary to the traditional advice calling for paying debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Learn more here.

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Another study about consumers and their finances finds that some regret being too conservative with their money. Many wonder if they should be spending some of the savings they’ve accumulated. According to Wells Fargo & Co. in San Francisco, 15 percent of 1,983 affluent investors ages 30 to 75 who have at least $250,000 in assets regretted “not having enjoyed their money more.” Find out more here.

-Will Buss, BND business writer

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