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Gasoline prices reach lowest level of year, what does it mean beyond the pump?

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 16, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Data from the United States Energy Information Administration shows the prices for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the midwest is the lowest it's been all year.

The average price across the region is $3.04. But AAA says the average in Missouri is $2.75 and $2.82 in Kansas. Diesel fuel prices are trending down too.

“I’m excited, I hope it’s going to get every better,” said Karen Morrison, a driver.

Many drivers wonder if the price of gasoline going down is an omen prices for other goods will also go down, but economists say it’s not that simple.

Drops in retail prices related to transportation costs usually take months to take affect and has a smaller impact than many consumers would hope.

“When we think about the price of a box of cornflakes, or a pair of jeans, or a TV, on average about 10% of that price is things like transportation, logistics, shipping. About 50% of that is the fuel being used,” said Larry Wigger, a UMKC economics professor. “A change in fuel price reduces the transportation price, which reduces the price of the product, but that takes a long time to work through.”

More immediately, the travel industry stands to benefit from lower gasoline prices which are coming at the perfect time for The Raphael Hotel, with rooms overlooking the Plaza lights.

“We are a drive market for a lot of people," said Amy Ridgeway, the hotel's general manager. "We have a lot of guests from Omaha, Springfield (and) St. Louis, so the gas prices do have an impact."

Even if gasoline prices don’t immediately impact the price of other goods, drivers are still thankful.

“It’s nice especially before the holidays,” said Juan-Carlos Chaurand, another driver. “It’s nice to get a little bit of a price reduction on something.”

KSHB 41 News tracks gas prices online so you can find the cheapest price in your area.