Chattanooga gas prices rise for second week

Chattanooga gas prices rise for second week

February 11th, 2019 by Staff and wire in Business Around the Region

Gasoline prices in Chattanooga rose for a second consecutive week last week but remained 33 cents per gallon below the average U.S. price for regular gas, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga released Monday.

The average price of regular gas in Chattanooga at the start of this week was $1.95 a gallon, up 0.8 cents a gallon from a week earlier. Gas prices are 38 cents a gallon less than a year ago at this time but still 49 cents a gallon above the all-time low for fuel at this time of the year three years ago, GasBuddy.com said.

"With oil prices sinking last week to $51 per barrel on concerns over a slowdown in trade talks with China, many states saw a respite in gas prices," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "However, as pipeline specifications begin to shift towards the first step towards summer gasoline requirements in the weeks ahead, the overhang in gasoline inventories will likely start to dry up and push gas prices higher."

 

U.S. Steel restarts Alabama facility

U.S. Steel Corp. will restart construction on an idled manufacturing facility in Alabama, and it gave some of the credit to President Donald Trump's trade policies in an announcement Monday.

Trump's "strong trade actions" are partly responsible for the resumption of work on an advanced plant near Birmingham, the Pittsburgh-based company said in a statement. The administration's tariffs have raised prices on imported steel and aluminum.

The manufacturer also cited improving market conditions, union support and government incentives for the decision.

Work will resume immediately, the company said, and the facility will have an annual capacity of 1.6 million tons (1.5 million metric tons). U.S. Steel said it also will update other equipment and plans to spend about $215 million, adding about 150 full-time workers. The furnace is expected to begin producing steel in late 2020.

The 16,000-member United Steelworkers praised the decision to resume work, which followed an agreement with the union reached last fall.

"This decision paves the way for a solid future in continuing to make steel in Alabama and the Birmingham region," Leo W. Gerard, the president of the international union, said in a statement.

 

Mexican strike hits 48 plants

A union declared total victory in a mass strike by about 25,000 workers at 48 assembly plants in a Mexican border city, but the movement spawned a storm of wildcat walkouts Monday at other businesses.

The Industrial Workers and Laborers' Union won 20 percent wage increases at all 48 "maquiladora" factories in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas. It also won a one-time bonus of about 32,000 pesos, about $1,685 at current exchange rates.

Now workers at about a dozen non-union businesses as well as factories organized by other unions have started wildcat walkouts to demand the same increases, known colloquially as "20/32."

Supermarkets, bottlers and a milk company in Matamoros were reportedly hit by walkouts.

 

Amazon to buy Wi-Fi device maker

Amazon is buying Wi-Fi device maker Eero, helping the online retailer expand its line of smart home gadgets.

Eero, founded in San Francisco five years ago, sells $200 devices that can spread Wi-Fi throughout a home. Rival Google already sells similar devices.

Seattle-based Amazon did not say how much it is paying for Eero. The deal is expected to be completed sometime in the first half of this year.

Amazon has been growing its smart home gadgets in recent years: Its voice-activated Echo devices have been a hit for the company, and last year it paid about $839 million to buy Ring, the maker of Wi-Fi-connected video doorbells.


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