.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Business/Economy

  • Summertime blues for drivers: Gas at August record

    You may pay more than ever for a late-summer drive.

    U.S. drivers paid an average of $3.72 per gallon on Monday. That's the highest price ever on this date, according to auto club AAA, a shade above the $3.717 average on Aug. 20, 2008. A year ago, the average was $3.578.

    More daily records are likely over the next few weeks. The national average could increase to $3.75 per gallon by Labor Day, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. By comparison, gas prices stayed below $3.70 in late August and early September in both 2008 and 2011.

    Retail gasoline prices have gone up about 39 cents per gallon, or 12 percent, since hitting a low of $3.326 on July 2, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express. Kloza estimates that U.S. drivers are paying $149 million more each day for gas than in early July. That isn't what the sluggish economy needs, since any extra money that goes to fill gas tanks doesn't get spent at movie theaters or restaurants.

  • US economic recovery is weakest since World War II

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression.

    Since World War II, 10 U.S. recessions have been followed by a recovery that lasted at least three years. An Associated Press analysis shows that by just about any measure, the one that began in June 2009 is the weakest.

    The ugliness goes well beyond unemployment, which at 8.3 percent is the highest this long after a recession ended.

    Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower.

    More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation.

    Many economists say the agonizing recovery from the Great Recession, which began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, is the predictable consequence of a housing bust and a grave financial crisis.

  • New Mexico's chile harvest underway

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The chile harvest has begun as grocery stores in Las Cruces are starting to roll out roasters in preparation for green chile sales.

    The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that this year's crop is being sold at roadside stands in the Hatch area.

    A U.S. Department of Agriculture report says that last week the New Mexico chile harvest was 11 percent complete.

    Retailers and canneries this year are subject to a new law that prevents falsely advertising that chile is New Mexico-grown, if it's from elsewhere.

    Katie Goetz, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, says inspectors have already found some violators and will be on the lookout as the season continues.

  • Delay in scientific ghost town stirs skepticism

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Pegasus Global Holdings' surprise announcement that it was pulling out of plans to build a $1 billion scientific ghost town in eastern New Mexico is stirring skepticism of the private firm's grandiose plans for transforming 15 square miles of this largely rural state into a next-generation research center.

    Lea County had been working closely with the company after winning the bid to house the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation. But "when we started pressing for details, that's when they decided to look elsewhere," county manager Mike Gallagher said.

  • US economy adds 163K jobs, rate rises to 8.3 pct.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July, a sign that the economy and hiring remains sluggish.

    The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

    July's hiring was the best since February. Still, the economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs a month this year — enough to keep up with population growth but not enough to drive down the unemployment rate.

  • Fed: No New Steps Despite Slowing Economy
  • So Long, Shamrock

    Work has begun on converting the former Shamrock gas station into a Smith’s fuel center. “Construction is starting from the ground up. They’re removing everything and starting over from scratch,” said Smith’s Food and Drugs Manager John Roberts. The fuel station is expected to open sometime in October.

  • Tax holiday slated for Aug. 3-5

    It is that time of year again for the New Mexico Annual Tax Holiday.
    The dates are Aug. 3-5 and it is a good time to purchase school supplies and clothing without paying tax.
    The New Mexico Legislature established a deduction from gross receipts tax for retail sales of tangible personal property in 2005 and has continued it each year the first weekend in August.
    This is possible because the retailers can deduct the gross receipts tax during this period and therefore can pass the savings onto you for a weekend of tax-free shopping.
    The tax rate for Los Alamos is 7.3125 percent while Santa Fe City has a tax rate of 8.1875 percent.

  • US economic growth slows to 1.5 pct. rate in Q2

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.5 percent from April through June, as Americans cut back sharply on spending. The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling three years after the recession ended.

    The Commerce Department also said Friday that the economy grew a little better than previously thought in the January-March quarter. It raised its estimate to a 2 percent rate, up from 1.9 percent.

  • Troubled NM finance authority plans to scale back loans

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Cities, counties and other local governments could find it harder to get low-cost loans from the New Mexico Finance Authority during the next several months because of fallout from a scandal over a fake audit of the agency's finances.

    The authority's governing board reviewed a proposal Thursday for limiting a loan program that finances projects such as sewers, roads and other infrastructure in communities.