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Stock Slump Provides Bridge to Cheaper Gas

Posted by on October 10, 2008

[This post was originally written for my employer’s blog, Show-Me Daily.]

The stock market troubles that have made the front page of CNN’s website almost every day for the last two weeks (at least) are fairly generally accepted to be part of a national economic slowdown, which is almost certainly much older than the recent turmoil.

Two results of the slump from USA Today: Missouri is one of the states having to cut back on spending (namely, on Lambert airport renovations and bridge repairs), and has seen dropping gas prices (Missouri is one of the three states in which average prices dropped to less than $3 per gallon).

There is an interesting coincidence here. Reduced gas prices will almost certainly mean increased gas consumption (depending on the relative effect that other aspects of these hard times have on Missouri residents’ incomes and expectations), so the federal highway trust fund may well prove to provide more than anticipated to fix those bridges, which would alleviate the need for additional highway funding from the general fund.

Lastly, I feel I would be remiss if I did not link to our policy study from February about Missouri’s transportation future.

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