Chattanooga gas prices fall below $3 a gallon and other business news

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Ben Michaels pumps gas into his car at the Speedway gas station on the corner of S. Holtzclaw Ave. and E. 3rd Street. According to, the average price of regular gas in Chattanooga fell below $3 a gallon on Sunday for the first time in nearly eight weeks.

Chattanooga gas prices drop below $3 a gallon

The average price of regular gas fell below $3 a gallon in Chattanooga over the weekend for the first time in nearly eight weeks, lowering fuel prices to nearly $1.28 a gallon less than the peak levels reached a year ago during the July Fourth holiday, according to the online gas pricing service

Average gasoline prices in Chattanooga declined by 1.3 cents per gallon in the past week to an average of $2.99 a gallon among the 170 service stations sampled by in the Chattanooga market. Gas prices in Chattanooga averaged 51 cents a gallon less than the U.S. average of $3.50 a gallon, Gasbuddy reported Monday.

"Just ahead of Independence Day, the national average has fallen to its lowest level since late April, with oil prices remaining under considerable pressure due to a cloudy outlook for the global economy," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a report Monday. "I believe we may see prices close out the second half of the year below our expectations, which would be welcome news for motorists, and the possibility exists that the national average this fall could fall under $3 per gallon."

Although gas prices in Chattanooga are down nearly 30% from a year ago, they are still up by 16 cents a gallon from where they were two years ago and are up $1.06 a gallon from the historic lows reached during the first months of the pandemic in 2020.

Tesla EV sales rise 10% in 2nd quarter

Tesla sales rose a better-than-expected 10% in the second quarter as the company led by Elon Musk benefited from government incentives and price cuts that made its electric cars less expensive than comparable gasoline models.

Tesla delivered 466,000 vehicles from April through June, up from 423,000 vehicles in the previous quarter, the company said Sunday. Compared with a year earlier, sales in the second quarter rose 83% as the company expanded production at new factories in Austin, Texas, and near Berlin.

The sales figures exceeded estimates by Wall Street analysts and showed Tesla was able to overcome the effect of higher interest rates, which raise monthly payments for people buying on credit.

Rules that took effect this year allowed buyers of Tesla vehicles to qualify for $7,500 in federal tax credits. With the credit, the least-expensive Model 3 sedan sells for less than $33,000, cheaper than similar luxury sedans sold by Mercedes-Benz and BMW that run on gasoline and in line with mass-market cars such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

Janet Yellen travels to China on Wednesday

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to China on Wednesday, a high-stakes visit that is intended to help stabilize the fraught relationship between the world's two largest economies.

The trip to China will be Yellen's first as Treasury secretary and follows Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit last month. It comes at a moment of tension between the United States and Beijing after the discovery of a Chinese spy balloon traversing America earlier this year and Chinese frustration with the Biden administration's efforts to block China from accessing certain sensitive technologies.

The trip also coincides with a moment of heightened uncertainty for the global economy, with China's post-pandemic output flagging and the United States trying to avoid a recession while containing inflation.

Despite hopes of re-establishing dialogue, the meetings are likely to cover sensitive issues that have been festering for years.

The Biden administration has been taking steps to reduce America's reliance on Chinese imports and has sought to limit China's access to semiconductors, biotechnology and sensitive technology that powers things such as robotics, artificial intelligence capabilities and high-end computing.

At the same time, China has frustrated the United States with its reluctance to renegotiate the terms of loans it is owed by poor countries facing default and has maintained close economic ties with Russia despite that country's invasion of Ukraine.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner