Financial
Airfares continue to rise, up 12 percent since '09 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by SCOTT MAYEROWITZ, AP Airlines Writer   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 15:27

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of flying continues to climb, with the average domestic roundtrip ticket, including tax, reaching $363.42 last year, up more than $7 from the prior year.

The 2 percent increase outpaced inflation, which stood at 1.5 percent for the year, and represents the fourth consecutive year fliers have faced price hikes.

Airfares have risen nearly 12 percent since the recessionary low in 2009, when adjusted for inflation, according to an Associated Press analysis of fare data from the Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes ticket transactions for airlines and more than 9,400 travel agencies, including websites such as Expedia and Orbitz.

The price of flying has gone up as airlines have cut unprofitable routes, packed more passengers into planes and have merged with one another, providing travelers with fewer options.

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Treasury sells $3 billion in Ally Financial stock PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 14:22

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department announced Thursday it plans to sell 410,000 shares of Ally Financial for $3 billion as part of its ongoing effort to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout.

The shares will be offered in a private offering at $7,375 each.

After the completion of the stock sale, the department said the U.S. government will have recovered about $15.3 billion, or 89 percent of the $17.2 billion it provided to Ally during the financial crisis. The government will still hold about 37 percent of the bank holding company's stock.

Ally Financial received a total of $17.2 billion in government support during the financial crisis. Ally, based in Detroit, makes loans to GM customers and finances dealer inventories. The government first bailed out the company, then known as GMAC Inc., in late 2008 as part of the Bush administration's aid to the auto industry. The Obama administration provided additional funding in May and December 2009.

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Boehner: House won't repeal flood insurance hikes PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 14:24

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner says the GOP-controlled House won't take up legislation aimed at neutering a 2012 overhaul of the federal flood insurance program that is hitting homeowners who have long paid below-market rates with big premium hikes.

The Ohio Republican said "we're not going to do that" when the topic was broached in a hallway exchange with The Associated Press in the Capitol complex.

The bipartisan 2012 overhaul of the much-criticized flood insurance program is requiring owners of vacation homes, frequently-flooded properties, and businesses to lose their subsidized rates over time. Other homeowners can keep their subsidies but can't pass them on when selling their houses, which has caused a disruption in home sales.

The Senate will shortly take up legislation to delay major elements of the 2012 law.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
U.S. homebuilder confidence dips in January PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALEX VEIGA, AP Real Estate Writer   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 11:45

U.S. homebuilders lost a little confidence in the housing market this month but remain generally upbeat ahead of the spring home-selling next season.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday dipped to 56. That's down from December's reading of 57, which was revised one point lower from its initial estimate.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

Builders' view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each declined since December.

Even so, the overall index is nine points higher than a year ago, reflecting a stronger U.S. housing market.

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