Gas prices should continue to fall

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COLUMBIA - The price of paying at the pump has been a pleasant surprise recently and the cost of filling up may still decrease. 

According to U.S. Energy and Information Administration, the national average for the price of gas is $2.78. In Columbia, a gallon of regular gasoline was as low as $2.32 Tuesday. At this time last year, gas prices in mid-Missouri were exactly one dollar more than they stand right now.

"Consumers will benefit from the lower gas prices and have more money to spend on other things," said MU agricultural economics professor Harvey James. "The timing is very good with the Christmas and holiday season here." 

James said OPEC, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is not changing its production of oil and that indicates gas prices will continue to decline.  

Lower prices has made traveling via car more attractive, as well.

"It makes driving across the country a lot easier, a lot less expensive," said Lynn Hondo.

James said the caveat is the price of gas is similar to a roller-coaster and it's a matter of time before it trends upward.

"Enjoy it while it lasts," he said. "Prices rise and prices decline, so this is nothing new."

A Petro Mart customer checks the final balance while filling up his car in Columbia, Missouri, on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. The U.S. Energy and Information Administration reported the national average for the price of gas is $2.78. (KOMU/Madeleine Ptacin)

MU Agricultural Economics Professor Harvey James discusses the decrease of gas prices in mid-Missouri in his office on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. James said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision to not change oil production procedures will lead to more decreases in gas prices. (KOMU/Madeleine Ptacin)