Nation/World

Higher gas prices on the way

NEW YORK – Drivers, here’s the bad news: You’ll be paying more for gasoline in the coming weeks. The good news: You’ll likely pay less than last year. Or the year before, or the year before that.

The price of crude oil has risen 8 percent over the past month, to $100 per barrel. Analysts expect fuel supplies to begin to decline as refineries dial back production to perform maintenance and make the switch to summer fuels. Reduced production depletes supplies and causes gas prices to rise as the U.S. driving season approaches.

Gas prices are already inching up.

NEW YORK – The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, including more than 14,000 this week. That’s 5.5 percent of the 1.37 million flights scheduled during that period, according to calculations based on information provided by flight tracking site FlightAware.

It’s the highest total and highest percent of cancellations since at least the winter of 1987-88, when the Department of Transportation first started collecting cancellation data.

Europe economy growing

BRUSSELS – Europe’s economy is growing faster, raising hopes for a sustainable recovery, but that may not be enough to bring sky-high levels of unemployment down anytime soon.

The economy of the euro bloc grew 0.3 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, the Eurostat statistics office said Friday. That was slightly more than expected and up from the third quarter’s 0.1 percent.

Jos. A. Bank bids on Bauer

After months of flirting with the idea of combining with a rival, Jos. A. Bank has decided it is better suited for another men’s clothing brand.

The chain that’s known for its men’s suits and 2-for-1 sales said Friday that it struck a deal to buy the parent company of Eddie Bauer, which sells rugged outerwear. The deal was reached with Everest Topco LLC to buy Everest Holdings LLC in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $825 million.

But the acquisition, which comes as Jos. A. Bank is being pursued by Men’s Wearhouse Inc., isn’t written in stone: Jos. A. Bank said Friday that it may end the Eddie Bauer deal if it receives an acquisition offer that is superior. It would have to pay a termination fee if it accepted another offer.

The deal comes in the middle of an extended courtship between Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse Inc.



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