Spring is coming! Consumer Reports tests scooters and motorcycles for the first time since 1981. [Consumer Reports]
Exxon has set another record for profitability, with $45.2 billion in 2008, up from $40.6 billion in 2007. As prices fell in the fourth quarter, however, Exxon’s income fell 33 percent. [NYT]
President Obama has ordered the EPA to allow states set their own fuel-efficiency standards (fourteen states had begun the process when President Bush put a stop to it a couple of years ago.) He’s also asked the DOT to “develop higher fuel-efficiency standards automakers would have to follow.” [USA Today]
Justin Wolfers, from the Freakonomics blog, has noticed something troubling on US Airways. The clothes hangers are gone from First Class.
Even though real incomes are dropping and people are worrying about their jobs — a drop in gas prices has lead to a push in retail spending, says the New York Times.
Oil prices have fallen below $40 a barrel, a 4 year low, despite OPEC announcing that it would cut production by 2.2 million barrels a day.
Oil is now nearing a 4-year low as the world’s economic crisis keeps on truckin’, says the Wall Street Journal. Light, sweet crude (don’t you just love that term?) is now trading at 44.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. “The price was the lowest since January 2005 and more than $100 below oil’s record close July 3,” says the WSJ. So, what does that mean for travelers?
The crappy economy is taking its toll on airfares. Demand is sinking taking airfares with it, says USAToday.
And let’s not forget the exorbitant booking fee for using miles for one of our tickets. The actual FLIGHT was only $280 round trip per ticket, but with the booking fee TO USE THE MILES TO PURCHASE A TICKET, we wound up paying over $500.
AAA says that gas prices have fallen for 51 straight days — and that the current average price is $2.31 per gallon. The current price is the lowest the nation has seen since February of 2007, and is 43.8% lower than the record high of $4.11 set during July of this year.
The AP says that the new mergeriffic Delta will be adding a $15 fee for the first checked bag and $25 for the second checked bag when traveling domestically, which is consistent with Northwest’s existing policies.
You, dear consumer, have abruptly stopped purchasing automobiles. GM’s sales are down 45%. Ford has sunk by 30% and Toyota, yes, that Toyota is down 23%.
Here’s an interesting situation. When babies fly domestically, they fly for free — but international flights require a ticket and, apparently, a huge fuel surcharge.
The price of jet fuel is down, but those fuel surcharges? Nope. They’re up. [USAToday] (Thanks, J!)
Heating oil prices got you down? Thinking of burning some wood to stay warm this winter? You’re not the only one. In fact, Consumer Reports says that firewood prices are through the roof this fall. It’s gotten so bad that people are actually stealing wood.
Consumer spending, the engine that powers our economy, is probably going to shrink for the first time in nearly two decades, says the NYT — a move that will “all but guarantee” that the current economic crisis will deepen.
After the failure of the nation’s largest Chevy dealerships brought the plight of the car dealer to everyone’s attention, the bleeding hasn’t stopped. The California New Car Dealers Association says dozens of dealerships in CA have also closed.