GAS PRICES ARE UP A DIME
The national average for a gallon of gasoline is now $3.46, a full dime over its price a week ago, according to AAA. The association said the jump could be "short-lived," given that global oil costs have declined recently, and overall demand is falling as well. “Less expensive oil and fewer people fueling usually combine to lower pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “However, there is some upward pricing pressure at the moment due to the switch to summer blend gasoline, which may add about five to ten cents per gallon. But if demand and oil costs remain low, this recent price bounce may fade.”The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said gas demand declined from 9.11 million to 8.56 million b/d last week.
MORTGAGE RATES CONTINUE RISE
Mortgage rates rose for the fifth consecutive week, inching closer to an eye-watering 7 percent, according to the latest data from Freddie Mac. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate is now 6.73 percent, up from 6.65 percent the week before. The rate in 2022 hit a high of 7.08 percent, but then began to decline as expectations the Federal Reserve would moderate increased. More recent comments from the Fed suggest more rate hikes are coming. “Mortgage rates continue their upward trajectory as the Federal Reserve signals a more aggressive stance on monetary policy,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
The Allied Pilots Association is planning to vote in April on whether to give the green light to a strike by its members. The group is in the middle of tense negotiations over a new labor contract, and come days after American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said the company was prepared to match compensation with rival Delta Air Lines. Delta pilots, notably, are getting 34 percent raises in a new four-year deal, after approving a strike authorization in the fall.