Chattanooga gas prices drop another 9 cents a gallon last week and other business news

Chattanooga prices drop at the pump

Gasoline prices in Chattanooga fell by more than 9 cents a gallon last week to an average of $3.04 per gallon, according to GasBuddy's survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga released Monday.

Prices in Chattanooga are 5.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and are nearly $1.51 a gallon lower than a year ago. Chattanooga prices, on average, were 53 cents a gallon below the U.S. average, according to

"We've seen some hefty gas price increases in several states in the Great Lakes and also in Florida," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement Monday. "With the Fed meeting this week to potentially alter interest rates again, we could see some turbulence in oil markets, potentially impacting states where gas prices were quiet this week, while the states that saw a big jump last week could see some moderate relief in the week ahead."

DeHaan said the good news has come from diesel prices, which fell again last week by another 1.6 cents a gallon.

Georgia port growing market share of imports

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said population and business trends in the Southeast should help the Savannah port continue to grow even as some shipping activity is slowing.

"The population of the U.S. Southeast is growing faster than any other region of the country, and manufacturers are flocking to the area's business-friendly states," Lynch said Monday. "Overseas, production is shifting to locations such as India and Vietnam that favor delivery via Savannah."

From 2020 to 2022, the population of the U.S. South increased by 2.3 million people, according to census data.

"As the nation's fastest-growing region, the South is seeing increased consumer demand, which translates into higher port volumes," Lynch said. "The area has also seen strong growth in manufacturing, including the recent announcement of the Hyundai Metaplant."

GPA's share of the U.S. container market has expanded from 7.8% in 2014 to a record 11.4% this year. Georgia Ports now handles nearly one out of every eight loaded 20-foot-equivalent container units in the U.S.

GM updates plant for full-size pickups

General Motors says it will spend $632 million to update its Fort Wayne, Indiana, assembly plant so it can make the next generation of full-size pickup trucks with internal combustion engines.

The investment in new conveyors and equipment in the body shop and assembly areas won't create any new jobs. But GM said Monday it will keep jobs for about 4,000 people who work at the plant.

Construction will start in 2024 at the plant, which now builds the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty pickup trucks.

GM wouldn't say when the next generation of trucks will go on sale.

Airlines granted time to unwind mergers

A federal judge who ordered American Airlines and JetBlue Airways to end their Northeast partnership is giving the airlines more time to unwind the deal.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin in Boston said in an order Monday that the injunction he ordered last month will take effect 21 days after he issues a final judgment imposing terms on the airlines. It's not clear when that will be.

The airlines had faced a deadline next weekend, just 30 days after the judge's May 19 decision in favor of the U.S. Justice Department, which sued to break up the deal.

In a post-decision filing Friday, American and JetBlue asked the judge to let them keep some parts of their Northeast Alliance, which covers flights in New York and Boston. They want to continue selling tickets on each other's flights, called code-sharing, and offering reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits.

The Justice Department opposed the airlines' request, although it said the airlines should be allowed to honor tickets they have already sold on each other's flights to avoid hurting travelers.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said last month that his Texas-based airline will appeal the May ruling. New York-based JetBlue has not indicated whether it will appeal.