Business Digest: Austin-area gas prices hold steady this week


FUEL

Austin-area gas prices hold steady this week

After rising steadily in recent weeks, Austin-area gasoline prices held steady this week, according to auto club AAA Texas.

The average local price for a gallon of regular gasoline was unchanged at $2.13 per gallon, AAA Texas said.

The average price per gallon had risen 22 cents in the previous five weeks, according to AAA Texas data. Gas prices have been moving higher following OPEC’s announcement that it planned to cut crude oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day.

For Texas as a whole, the average price also was unchanged this week, holding at $2.16 per gallon. The national average was unchanged at $2.36 per gallon, according to AAA data.

MORTGAGE INDUSTRY

Average rate on 30-year loan dips to 4.12%

WASHINGTON — Long-term US mortgage rates fell this week, the second week of declines after snapping a nine-week run of increases.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans eased to an average 4.12 percent from 4.20 percent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.92 percent.

The average for a 15-year mortgage declined to 3.37 percent from 3.44 percent last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

AUTOMAKERS

Ford adds 816,000 vehicles to air bag recall

DETROIT — Ford is adding more than 816,000 vehicles in North America to the growing Takata air bag inflator recall.

The company says the latest callback covers the 2005-2009 and 2012 Mustang and the 2006-2009 and 2012 Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln MKZ. Also included are the 2007-2009 Ford Ranger and Edge, the 2007-2009 Lincoln MKX, the 2006-2009 Mercury Milan and the 2005 and 2006 Ford GT.

All have front passenger air bag inflators made by Takata that can explode with too much force and spew metal shrapnel. At least 16 people have died worldwide from the problem and more than 180 have been hurt.

The recall is among the latest round of Takata recalls covering 5.7 million vehicles involving 17 automakers in the U.S. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.

ECONOMY

Applications for jobless aid tick higher

WASHINGTON — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but the four-week average remains low.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 247,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, slipped 1,750 to 256,500.

Applications, which are a proxy for layoffs, remain near historic lows. They have been below 300,000 for 97 straight weeks, the longest such streak since 1970. Consumer and business confidence have spiked since the presidential election, which could translate into greater spending and business investment.

AIRLINES

Delta posts better-than expected revenue

ATLANTA — Delta reported better-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter, while its adjusted profit met Wall Street’s view. The airline benefited from lower fuel costs.

For the three months through December, Delta earned $622 million, or 84 cents per share. A year earlier the Atlanta-based company earned $980 million, or $1.25 per share.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains, were 82 cents per share. Profit fell because of a new pilot contract approved in December. Fuel costs declined during the latest quarter, and the average fuel price per gallon also dropped. Revenue slipped to $9.46 billion from $9.5 billion, but that topped analysts’ expectations.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Legal challenge planned to overturn Austin’s new sick-leave ordinance
Legal challenge planned to overturn Austin’s new sick-leave ordinance

A conservative think tank and a coalition of business groups are planning to mount a legal challenge to Austin’s landmark sick leave ordinance approved by the City Council in February. The Texas Public Policy Foundation announced early Tuesday that will represent the National Federation of Independent Business, the Texas Association of Business...
Amazon working on home robot, report says
Amazon working on home robot, report says

Amazon.com Inc. may be gearing up for its next big project: a home robot. The rumor comes from a Bloomberg report published Monday in which sources familiar with the plan revealed that the company has started work on the domestic robot under the code name Vesta. >> Read more trending news  According to the sources, Vesta has...
Austin might be the ‘most difficult’ real estate market in Texas
Austin might be the ‘most difficult’ real estate market in Texas

As Austinites are in the middle of appealing-your-property-tax season, the folks over at Forbes.com would like to let you know about property investment across Texas. How did Austin do? As you might imagine, the answer is complicated. In a Forbes.com opinion piece entitled “Looking to Buy a Home in Texas? These Cities Are the Best Investments...
UPDATE: Yeti says NRA’s claims are ‘inaccurate’
UPDATE: Yeti says NRA’s claims are ‘inaccurate’

Update: Austin-based Yeti says claims made by the National Rifle Association over the weekend are “inaccurate” and that the company is “unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.” In an email to its members, the NRA claimed Yeti “suddenly, without prior...
Austin job growth stays strong, absorbs influx of new workers
Austin job growth stays strong, absorbs influx of new workers

The Austin area’s unemployment rate climbed slightly in March compared with February but remained below its level a year ago, as local businesses continued adding jobs at a pace swift enough to soak up the influx of new workers into the region. The local civilian labor force topped 1.19 million people last month, up by about 45,000 since March...
More Stories