Sunday, May 27, 2018
Business

Gasoline prices see rare decline

DALLAS — The average gasoline pump price fell last month — the first time that has happened during the month of March in 10 years, said AAA, the nation's largest motoring organization.

The national average today is $3.63 a gallon, compared with $3.92 a year earlier, AAA said. Prices fell 15 cents in March, and the average should remain cheaper than last spring's, AAA said.

In the Tampa Bay area, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Monday was $3.517, down nearly 37 cents a gallon from last April 1.

Gasoline prices have been held in check as a jump in domestic oil output has reduced crude futures prices in New York by 6.4 percent from a year ago.

"It is very unusual for gas prices to decline in early spring like we have seen this year," Avery Ash, a spokesman for AAA in Washington, said in a statement. "An increase in refinery production and lower oil prices in early March have combined to provide rare falling prices for motorists."

Prices rose 34 cents in the first quarter, less than the 65-cent increase in the same quarter a year earlier, AAA said. The average cost of gasoline has fallen 29 out of 33 days since reaching $3.79 a gallon on Feb. 27. In 2012, prices peaked at $3.94 a gallon on April 5 and April 6.

"We saw the preseason rally early this year in January and February as refiners went down for seasonal and inventories drew," said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

In other news, two economic reports were released in Washington on Monday, revealing mixed results.

Spending on U.S. construction projects rebounded in February, helped by a surge in home construction, which rose to the highest level in more than four years.

Construction spending rose 1.2 percent overall in February compared with January, when construction had dropped 2.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported.

The advance was led by a 2.2 percent rise in private residential construction, which climbed to an annual rate of $303.4 billion, the best showing since November 2008. Private nonresidential construction was up 0.4 percent, while public construction rose 0.9 percent.

Construction spending is expected to keep growing this year, fueled by more home building and broader improvement in the economy.

Meanwhile, an Institute for Supply Management survey showed that U.S. manufacturing activity expanded more slowly in March than in February, held back by weaker growth in production and new orders. But factories hired at the fastest pace in nine months, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's report on March employment.

Comments
An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

It began, as so many plane debacles seem to, with strange sounds in the bathroom.They were the noises of Jason Felix, one of the passengers on Wednesday’s American Airlines flight out of Saint Croix, according to a FBI affidavit recounting events lea...
Published: 05/26/18
Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Hope of another Stanley Cup has dissolved, and soon the ice will follow. Yet even if sorrow is the price of devotion, the true hockey fans will still buy in when the next season comes around. That concept may not be unique to Tampa Bay, but it does ...
Published: 05/26/18
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Published: 05/25/18
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Published: 05/25/18
U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

LONDON — U.S. news outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel and The Arizona Daily Star abruptly blocked access to their websites from Europe on Friday, choosing to black out readers rather than comply with a ...
Published: 05/25/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is appealing a recent citation by federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit the utility with a $76,050 fine and a "serious" violation in April following its investigation into an accident in ...
Published: 05/25/18
Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Don’t use the cruise control

Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Don’t use the cruise control

Associated PressDETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare but terrifying circumstances, drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The company is warning owners not to use cruise control until...
Published: 05/25/18
Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Associated PressFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fed’s independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system. His re...
Published: 05/25/18
Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Tim Butler’s first car was a Ford Model A pick-up truck — a pearl fawn and cherry red pick-up he got his senior year in high school from his dad, who renovates antique cars. That’s why as Butler waited for a table at the Ford’...
Published: 05/25/18
St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

TAMPA — A St. Petersburg man was fined $507,513 and permanently barred from participating in the offering of a penny stock in a case involving a scheme to manipulate the price of Aureus, a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada, officials said Fr...
Published: 05/25/18