Memorial Day gas prices close to 3-year average

The average price of gasoline in Missouri stands at $3.42 per gallon, and prices statewide range from $3.99 in Poplar Bluff to $3.17 in Joplin.

The price of gasoline should look familiar to many drivers this Memorial Day. For the third year in a row, the national average will be within a penny or two of $3.64 per gallon.

In Missouri, the average price is $3.42 per gallon. The highest price per gallon on Thursday was found in Poplar Bluff, at $3.99 per gallon; the lowest was in Joplin, at $3.17.

Steady gasoline prices are largely the result of crude oil prices that have remained steady too, as rising output in the U.S. and elsewhere have offset declining production in OPEC countries such as Iran and Libya.

The national average masks big price changes in some regions, though. Drivers in the middle of the country are paying far less than they were last year, while drivers on the coasts are paying more.

Analysts expect the national average price to slide lower through the beginning of the summer.

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