Metro-East News

Business Briefing: Gas drops below $2 a gallon in metro-east

Pump prices have fallen below $2 at a number of metro-east gas stations.
Pump prices have fallen below $2 at a number of metro-east gas stations. BND / Illustration

Some metro-east area gas stations are selling regular unleaded fuel for less than $2 a gallon Friday.

The prices at local pumps ranged as low as $1.98 a gallon to as high as $2.06 a gallon Friday morning.

According to online gas tracker GasBuddy.com, four Belleville gas stations have dropped their prices to $1.99 a gallon and another in town was at $1.98 per gallon.

AAA has listed an average cost of $2.12 for regular unleaded gas across the metro-east. That is a 4-cent drop from Thursday and 79 cents a gallon cheaper than this time last year.

AAA-St. Louis spokesman Mike Right said a glut of crude oil supply and continuing decrease in demand is driving local gas prices down. He said metro-east consumers can expect gas prices to remain low for a while.

“I think it’s large quantity of crude oil and the decrease in demand at this time of year, especially the low price of crude oil,” Right said. “Crude oil is currently selling for $40 a barrel, down from more than $100 in early spring. It’s a tremendous swing, and it does not look like it will be swinging back that way for a long, long time. We should enjoy these kinds of prices, at least for the near future.”

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Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs. Campbell Soup is recalling 355,000 cans of ring-shaped pasta after pieces of red plastic from the cans’ lining were found in some of the 14.2-ounce cans. The company received complaints and issued the recall, although the plastic is food grade and not harmful if swallowed. Read more here.

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Retailers have witnessed sharp declines in early trading Friday leading investors to worry about this year’s holiday sales. One of the largest drops was reported by department store chain Nordstrom, whose stock has plunged by 17 percent and missed earnings estimates. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 33 points early Friday to 17,414. Learn more here.

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Ford is testing driverless vehicles in a simulated city. The 32-acre site is located at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The auto maker says it is the first to test these vehicles in such an environment. Find out more here.

-Will Buss, BND business writer

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