"louisville gas prices"
Economic Briefs Week of April 18, 2008 Sales/Consumption Stores See Slight Improvement In Sales http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/14/news/economy/march_retailsales/index.htm?postversion=2008041409 Retail sales were slightly better than expected in March, although high gas prices and a slowing economy continued to erode demand for products. The Commerce Department reported that total retail sales rose 0.2 percent, compared to a revised 0.4 percent decrease in February. In February, overall sales were originally reported to have decreased 0.6 percent. Stripping out volatile auto sales, sales rose 0.1 percent compared to a 0.2 percent gain in February, but the increase was boosted by a 1.1 percent jump in gasoline station purchases. Excluding both auto and gasoline sales, core retail sales showed an anemic 0.1 percent gain. US Consumer Confidence Lowest Since Oct 1993 http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN1520211220080415 A weekly gauge of U.S. consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since October, 1993 as rising gasoline prices added to fears over an escalating housing and credit crisis. The ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index fell to -39 in the week ended April 13, from -34 the previous week. The index ranges from -100 to +100. The three components of the index fell: positive views on the buying climate were down one percentage point at 24 percent; views on the national economy were off two percentage points at 15 percent; and views on personal finances lost 4 percentage points to 53 percent. Consumer Prices Edge Higher http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/16/news/economy/cpi/index.htm?postversion=2008041609 Consumers paid slightly more for goods and services in March, as they were hit by rising energy prices, but the overall gain in inflation was in line with Wall Street expectations. The Consumer Price Index, the government's key inflation measure, rose 0.3 percent, compared to February, when prices were unchanged. The gain matched the forecasts of economists surveyed by Briefing.com. The price of energy jumped 1.9 percent in the month. The even more closely watched core CPI reading, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, was up 0.2 percent in March, after being unchanged in February as well. That also matched economists' forecasts. Manufacturing/Output Key Economic Index Rebounds http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/17/news/economy/LEI_march.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008041710 A private business groups says that its index of leading economic indicators rose Friday, reversing five months of decline. The New York-based Conference Board says its forecast of future economic activity rose 0.1 percent in March, less than the 0.2 percent increase expected by Wall Street economists. That compares to a 0.3 percent decline in February. US March Industrial Production Rises 0.3 Percent http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2008/04/16/afx4896589.html US industrial production in March managed to rise despite predictions of a small decline, although production in the first quarter of 2008 fell compared with the prior quarter. The Federal Reserve reported that the output of US factories, mines and utilities rose an unexpected 0.3 percent in March. That followed a 0.7 percent output decline in February, which was the biggest drop in 30 months and was downwardly revised from the 0.5 percent drop the Fed originally reported. Despite February's large output decline, US industrial production is still up 1.6 percent in March compared with March 2007. But for the first quarter of 2008, industrial production fell 0.5 percent -- the first quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2006. Industrial production decreased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Wholesale Prices Soar In March http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/15/news/economy/ppi_march.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008041508 Inflation at the wholesale level soared in March at nearly triple the rate that had been expected as the costs of energy and food both climbed rapidly. The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices rose by 1.1 percent last month. That was the second biggest increase in the past 33 years. Analysts had been expecting a much more moderate 0.4 percent rise in wholesale prices. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was more moderate last month, rising by just 0.2 percent, down from a worrisome 0.5 percent rise in February. Housing Majority Not Buying Homes, Poll Shows http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/14/real_estate/housing_crisis.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008041411 A growing majority say they won't buy a home anytime soon, the latest sign of increasing pessimism about the nation's housing crisis. In a vivid sketch of how the sputtering real estate market is causing distress throughout the country, the Associated Press-AOL Money & Finance poll found that more than a quarter of homeowners worry their home will lose value over the next two years. Fully one in seven mortgage holders fear they won't be able to make their monthly payments on time over the next six months. Sixty percent said they definitely won't buy a home in the next two years, up from 53 percent who said so in an AP- AOL poll in September 2006. At the same time, just 11 percent are certain or very likely to buy soon, down from 15 percent two years ago. Foreclosures Jump 57 percent In March http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/15/real_estate/foreclosures_march/index.htm?postversion=2008041509 Foreclosure filings jumped 57 percent in March compared with the same month last year and rose 5 percent versus February, as the nation's housing market continues to deteriorate. RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosure properties, said Tuesday that 234,685 homes were hit with foreclosure filings last month, which include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. Of those, 51,393 homes were lost to foreclosure - a 10 percent increase over the number of homes lost in February. New Home Construction At 17-Year Low http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/16/news/economy/housing_starts_march/index.htm?postversion=2008041609 Initial construction of U.S. homes fell to a 17-year low in March, a much steeper-than-expected drop. Privately owned housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted 947,000 annual rate in March, according to the Commerce Department. The rate was down 11.9 percent from February's revised reading of 1.07 million and 36 percent lower than March of 2007. New construction of single-family homes, considered the core of the housing market, were at a rate of 680,000, or 5.7 percent below last month's number. Single-family housing starts have not been this low since May 1980. Applications for building permits, considered a reliable sign of future construction activity, fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 927,000 in March. That's 5.8 percent below the revised 984,000 rate in February. Economists were expecting permit applications to fall to 970,000. Gas/Oil Oil, Gas Prices Soar To New Highs http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/16/markets/oil.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008041606 Oil prices surged Wednesday (April 16) to a record high as the weakening U.S. dollar drove investors to dump money into commodities. Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose 71 cents Wednesday to $114.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, the contract had risen to $114.08. The oil increases are being influenced by severe weakness in the dollar. The dollar hit a new record low of $1.5966 versus the euro in early Wednesday trading. Federal Reserve Beige Book Reports Fourth District--Cleveland http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2008/20080416/4.htm Economic activity in the Fourth District held steady since mid-February. In general, factory output was unchanged, though shipments by steel producers and service centers were on the rise. Production at auto assembly plants increased slightly. The housing industry remains weak with little expectation of improvement in the near future. Commercial building contractors reported steady to increasing business and a rise in the number of inquiries. Sales by District retailers were flat to declining. Bankers cited a slight improvement in consumer lending and a small drop in business loans. While there has been some tightening in credit standards, credit is widely available to qualified applicants. Energy production was stable to increasing. And the demand for freight transport services was soft. Employment levels and wages were largely unchanged Districtwide. However, energy companies reported strong employment growth and some wage pressure. Staffing firms cited a slight increase in the number of job openings, persons seeking jobs, and placements. Demand was greatest in health care and professional business services. A significant rise in commodity-based input prices was reported by manufacturers, commercial contractors, and restaurateurs. Eighth District--St. Louis http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2008/20080416/8.htm Economic activity in the Eighth District has slowed slightly since our previous report. Although manufacturing activity has remained roughly flat, contacts' reports indicate continued softening in the services sector. Retail sales in February and early March declined compared with the same months in 2007. Auto sales remained largely unchanged over the same period. Home sales and residential construction continued to weaken throughout the District, but commercial real estate conditions remained favorable. Overall lending activity at a sample of small and mid-sized banks increased slightly during the first quarter of 2008. Kentucky Notes: Real Estate and Construction Home sales continued to decline throughout the Eighth District. Compared with the same period in 2007, February 2008 year-to-date home sales were down 14 percent in Louisville. Residential construction also continued to decline throughout the District. February 2008 year-to-date single-family housing permits fell in nearly all District metro areas compared with the same period in 2007. Permits declined 15 percent in Louisville. A contact in south central Kentucky reported that the commercial market in the Bowling Green area continues to grow. A contact in Louisville reported that commercial and industrial construction continues at a strong pace, although there have been delays on several large projects. Employment New Jobless Claims Surge http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/17/news/economy/initial_claims.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008041711 The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits increased last week after a big decline in the previous week. The Labor Department said that applications for unemployment benefits rose to 372,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week. The four-week average for claims was 376,000, down only slightly from 376,750, the previous week. Aside from the period in the fall of 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit, the four-week average for claims has risen to levels last seen in 2003 when the country was mired in a long jobless recovery after the 2001 recession. Kentucky State's Housing Crunch Grows http://www.kentucky.com/103/story/377639.html Foreclosures in Kentucky jumped from 476 in February to 691 in March, a 45.2 percent increase. The increase moved Kentucky to 38th place among the states, compared with 45th in February. The state also was 38th in January, when it had 572 foreclosures. And while it was an increase compared to February, Kentucky's March total was down 1.3 percent from March 2007. Lexington Gas Prices Hit Record http://www.kentucky.com/779/story/376582.html The price of gasoline jumped across Lexington yesterday (April 14) to record highs. The prevailing price around town was $3.459 for a gallon of regular unleaded and $4.099 for diesel. The record prices come without the refinery capacity issues that helped drive up prices last year. And people are actually driving less. The spike comes as records continue to be set for the price of crude oil, the most costly ingredient in a gallon of gas. But there could be other forces at work. An Ohio State University economics professor has studied cities including Lexington over parts of this area and the Midwest. Matt Lewis said he's found that service stations in these cities tend to undercut each other's prices until they're selling gas for less than their wholesale costs. And then comes the large increase -- 13 cents a gallon Monday -- to get things back to normal. Louisville Gas Prices Rise Again http://courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080414/BUSINESS/80414004 Louisville-area gas prices shot as high as $3.56 at many stations this morning (April 14). Prices posted by drivers at courier-journal.com/gas showed an average of $3.45. Prices as low as the mid $3.30 range were still available. Gas averaged $3.44 per gallon last Wednesday. Oil prices were higher this morning following reports of a temporary shutdown to repair a small leak in Shell's Capline pipeline system, which transports oil into the Midwest A weaker dollar also contributed to the rise in oil prices. Oil rose $1.02 to $111.16 a barrel in electronic trading. June Start Date Expected For Cardinal Hill Addition http://www.kentucky.com/101/story/379906.html Construction on Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital's $40 million addition should get rolling by early to mid June, with completion expected in the fall of 2009. The expansion also will generate about 248 additional jobs by the third year after completion. Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of State Budget Director Governor’s Office for Economic Analysis 502-564-3093