You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Business Digest: Austin-area gas prices rise 4 cents this week


FUEL

Austin-area gas prices rise 4 cents this week

Austin-area gas prices continued their climb this week, according to auto club AAA Texas.

The average local price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 4 cents to $2.20, according to AAA Texas. That comes after the average price per gallon rose 7 cents the previous week.

The price this week is 37 cents more than the same week last year, when the average price per gallon was $1.83, according to AAA Texas data.

The recent price increases are driven in part by the industry’s annual switch over to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and increased driving demand.

For Texas as a whole, the average price rose 6 cents to $2.25 per gallon this week, according to AAA Texas. The national average rose by 3 cents to $2.40 per gallon, according to AAA data.

RETAIL

J.C. Penney delays closing of 138 stores

J.C. Penney says it is delaying the closure of 138 stores by several weeks to take advantage of better-than-expected sales at those locations.

The company said Friday that more shoppers have visited the stores after it announced last month which locations were closing. J.C. Penney spokesman Joey Thomas says that’s common, and cited reasons including “curiosity, nostalgia and the lure of lower prices.”

The stores will now shut down on July 31 instead of in mid-June. Liquidation sales will start at those stores on May 22 instead of April 17.

The closures are part of Penney’s plan to focus on its best-performing stores. J.C. Penney Co., based in the Dallas suburb of Plano, will still have about 900 stores after the closures.

ECONOMY

Consumer prices down 0.3 percent in March

WASHINGTON — Consumer prices fell in March by the largest amount in more than two years, pushed lower by another sharp decline in the price of gasoline and other energy products.

Consumer prices dropped 0.3 percent in March following a tiny 0.1 percent rise in February, the Labor Department reported Friday. It was the first monthly decline in 13 months and the biggest drop since prices fell 0.6 percent in January 2015. In addition to a big 6.2 percent fall in gasoline prices, the cost of cell phone plans, new and used cars and clothing were all lower last month.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, dropped 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, inflation is up a moderate 2.4 percent while core prices have risen 2 percent. The Federal Reserve seeks to manage the economy to produce annual increases in inflation around 2 percent.

For March, energy prices dropped 3.2 percent, led by the big 6.2 percent plunge in gasoline prices. Even with the decline, gasoline prices are 19.9 percent higher than a year ago.

Food costs edged up 0.3 percent last month but remain only 0.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Outside of energy and food, the prices of car insurance, medical care and airline fares were all up in March.

PRODUCT RECALL

Teething tablets recalled over levels of toxic herb

Hyland’s teething tablets are being recalled nationwide due to inconsistent levels of toxic belladonna, which U.S. regulators say makes them a serious health hazard to young children.

The manufacturer, Standard Homeopathic Co., said that it stopped making and shipping the tablets last October. The recall covers Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets, meant to relieve gum discomfort from emerging teeth.

Belladonna, also called nightshade, is a poisonous herb that nonetheless has been used as a homeopathic medicine for centuries.

The Food and Drug Administration said that Standard Homeopathic of Los Angeles agreed to the recall. An FDA investigation found some tablets had much higher belladonna levels than listed on the products.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Are the robots eating our lunch?

I was leaving my dry cleaner’s when I saw her — our local meter maid writing a parking ticket. She smiled. I grimaced. Had she hit my car too? I instinctively drew my cellphone and checked my Park Boston app. Relief. My car was good for another half-hour. No longer worried about me, I started worrying about her. Would she still be working...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

BACK IN AUSTIN Uber, Lyft say they are coming back to Austin: National ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft say they will return to Austin on Monday. Drivers who have worked for Lyft in the past were notified of the company’s return in a text message sent this past Thursday, while an Uber spokesman confirmed his company’s return in an email...
Business Digest: Texas official leads trade trip to China

TEXAS ECONOMY Texas official leads trade trip to China Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos was in China this week, leading a group of Texans at the 2017 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai to promote opportunities in the state for foreign investors. “China is a growing partner in elevating the Lone Star State’s continued...
Task force: Raise hotel tax to pay for convention center expansion
Task force: Raise hotel tax to pay for convention center expansion

A city task force is recommending that the Austin City Council vote to expand the convention center downtown and pay for the $609 million addition with a 2-cent hike in the city’s hotel occupancy tax, the group’s chairman said. The 2-cent increase would create about $24 million a year, said James Russell, who led the Visitor Impact Task...
Ride-hailing services Lyft, Uber return to Austin on Monday
Ride-hailing services Lyft, Uber return to Austin on Monday

Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft say they will return to Austin on Monday. Drivers who have worked for Lyft in the past were notified of the company’s return in a text message sent Thursday morning, while an Uber spokesman confirmed his company’s return in an email to the American-Statesman. Lyft and Uber pulled out of Austin a year...
More Stories