Business Briefs – October 13, 2016

Gov’t Says Colder Weather Will Boost Winter Heating Bills

WASHINGTON (AP) – Expect to pay more to heat your home this winter than you spent last year, according to government analysts who sifted through forecasts for a colder winter and slightly higher energy prices.

The Energy Department said Thursday that household bills from October through March are likely to be higher for all four main heating fuels — natural gas, electricity, heating oil, and propane.

Above-normal temperatures reduced nationwide demand for heating fuel last year to the lowest level in at least 25 years. This winter is expected to be more typical.

The New Family Car: Honda Revamps Small SUV

DETROIT (AP) – America’s new family car is getting a major face-lift. The Honda CR-V is a compact SUV that for the past three months has been the top-selling vehicle in America excluding pickup trucks.

The new Honda, unveiled Thursday, is scheduled to hit showrooms this winter. The timing is perfect, as consumers in the U.S. and worldwide show a preference for smaller SUVs that are almost as fuel-efficient as cars yet have more room to haul cargo and people. The compact SUV passed the midsize car last year to become the top-selling segment of the U.S. market, and it’s showing no sign of turning back.

Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Rises To 3.47 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as the prospect of a year-end interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve grew more likely.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.47 percent from 3.42 percent last week. Rates still remain near historic lows.

The benchmark 30-year rate is down from 3.82 percent a year ago and close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, ticked up to 2.76 percent from 2.72 percent.

Delta Posts A Profit Despite Lower Airfare, Rising Expenses

NEW YORK (AP) — Lower airfares and rising salaries are putting a squeeze on Delta Air Lines. But the price of jet fuel remains cheap and the carrier was able to report a third-quarter profit of $1.26 billion, down 4 percent from the same period last year.

Summer is typically the strongest period for U.S. airlines and Delta’s earnings could signal and end of an extraordinary run of record profits for the industry.

Delta — the first major U.S. airline to report earnings — paid $1.50 for each gallon of jet fuel in the quarter, down from $1.89 during the same period last year.