August 26, 2011 |
Woe is the taxi driver in China. The roads are clogged with about 40,000 new cars a day, the price of gasoline has doubled in the last five years, and passenger fares have barely budged even though everything else in the country is getting more expensive. Fed up with their shrinking profit margins, 1,500 cabbies in the eastern city of Hangzhou went on strike this month demanding higher fares. "Ten years ago, taxi drivers belonged to the high-income group. Now we have become part of the low-income group," a Hangzhou cab driver told the Oriental Daily, explaining how his pay after expenses had dropped from about $730 a month six years ago to $470 today.
May 24, 2011 |
With the summer travel season getting underway this weekend, many Southern Californians are concerned about the high cost of gasoline and airline tickets. But they are still planning to hit the road at about the same rate as last year. Dennis Lanfre, a businessman from Manhattan Beach, plans to drive to Bass Lake north of Fresno for four days of boating with his son and friends. It is an annual Memorial Day holiday event. But to save money, Lanfre said, he will fill up the boat's gas tank at a roadside station instead of paying the extra $1.50 to $2 a gallon to fill up at the lake's marina.
April 21, 2011 |
With gas prices rising nationwide, the Obama administration said it will investigate the energy markets for any evidence of manipulation of oil and gas prices. With the average price of a gallon of gas at about $3.84 nationally this week, almost a dollar higher than a year ago, the U.S. Attorney General's office formed the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to root out cases of fraud and collusion, as well as price manipulation. "We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," President Obama said Thursday at a town hall meeting in Nevada.
April 15, 2011 |
Soaring fuel prices have drivers running on empty. The Automobile Club of Southern California said nearly 16,000 members a month are making one of those mildly embarrassing "stranded, need gasoline" emergency calls. That's up 13% from the year-earlier pace and represents the biggest jump since California motorists were paying a record average of $4.61 for a gallon of regular gasoline in July 2008. "It's happening again to a lot of people," Automobile Club spokesman Jeff Spring said.
April 11, 2011 |
The laundry room of Tamara Huffman's split-level here in the Shenandoah Valley is filling up with cheese powder and freeze-dried ham, at the ready should her husband, Brian, lose his job anytime in the next 25 years. She carves a little bit out of their already tight budget every month to buy some more. This sort of stockpiling was once the purview of survivalists preparing for Armageddon. But Huffman's fear isn't the end of the world so much as the $5 basket of grape tomatoes she bypassed the other day at her local supermarket.
April 5, 2011 |
The hole that ripped through the fuselage of a Southwest Airlines Co. jet last week could have lasting repercussions: higher fares. On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration formally ordered U.S. airlines to inspect their older and most heavily used Boeing 737 jetliners for fuselage cracks. The FAA directive initially requires the inspections of 80 planes flown in the U.S. by Southwest and Alaska Airlines Inc. But that could expand to as many as 570 planes in the next few years because the FAA wants all older Boeing 737s closely inspected within five days if they've made at least 35,000 takeoffs and landings, or flight cycles.
March 5, 2011 |
California has grabbed the top spot in a painful competition for highest gasoline prices in the nation, surpassing Hawaii and Alaska, the states where fuel is almost always more expensive than anywhere else in the U.S. On Friday, California drivers paid an average of $3.845 for a gallon of regular gasoline, up more than 3 cents from the day before. With that increase, California became the state with the most costly gas, according to AAA's daily fuel-price survey, toppling Hawaii, which was close behind at an average price of $3.836.
March 3, 2011 |
Higher fuel costs and turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa have prompted a global airline trade group to project lower profits for the industry this year. The International Air Transport Assn. estimated Wednesday that the industry would earn $8.6 billion in 2011 from total revenues of $594 billion, down from the $9.1 billion in profits the trade group had estimated in December. Although demand for airline seats has continued to increase in the last few months, it will not totally offset the higher fuel costs, according to the trade group.
February 24, 2011 |
Consumers are already seeing the fallout from turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa every time they fill their gas tanks. It's what they don't see that's the bigger worry for the U.S. economy. From the farm to the factory, businesses are facing higher costs to grow the nation's food, ship goods and manufacture products at a time when they're already cautious about hiring new employees or placing big orders. The added burden of sustained fuel price increases could slow the nation's already sluggish economic growth, analysts said.
January 8, 2011 |
A key party that had defected this week from Pakistan's ruling coalition returned to the government Friday, a move that averts a major political crisis at a time when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's embattled administration is struggling to overcome mounting economic turmoil and a resilient insurgency. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement's decision to rejoin the coalition, led by Gilani's Pakistan People's Party, came just a day after Gilani told the nation he was reversing his decision to impose fuel price increases as high as 9% that had kicked in Jan. 1. The highly unpopular increases had been harshly criticized by a broad spectrum of political leaders, and MQM officials had cited them Sunday as a prime reason the party was leaving the ruling coalition and joining the opposition.