Seattle – Boeing Co.’s commercial jet deliveries dropped 22 percent in August, as weaker demand for air travel forces airlines to scale back plans to add new planes.
According to figures posted online Thursday, Boeing delivered 28 planes last month, down from 36 during the same month last year. Boeing, which receives payments when planes are delivered, has gotten a number of deferral requests and some cancellations from customers.
The deliveries consisted largely of single-aisle 737s, Boeing’s strongest-selling model, as well as a smaller number of 777s.
Still, Boeing says it remains on track to deliver a projected 480 to 485 planes this year, up from 375 in 2008.
Natural gas hits seven-year low
New York – Natural gas prices tumbled again Thursday, hitting new seven-year lows as the country pares down on energy usage and more unused supply is put into storage.
That will mean huge savings for a lot of people this winter when the heating bill arrives.
On Monday, Avista Corp. said it wants to reduce natural gas prices for its Oregon customers to the lowest levels in five years. And in the Midwest, Alliant Energy Corp. and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. both predicted heating bills would drop around 20 percent.
Natural gas for October delivery gave up 20.7 cents to settle at $2.508 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices dropped as low as $2.50 per 1,000 cubic feet – the lowest since March 2002 – after the government reported that U.S. natural gas supplies grew again last week and are now nearly 18 percent above the five-year average.
Natural gas, a key energy source for power plants, has plummeted to less than a third the price it fetched last summer, and its contract on the Nymex lost nearly 23 percent in the past six trading days.
Mortgage rates near past lows
Washington – Rates for 30-year home loans edged down this week, remaining close to record lows reached over the spring.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.08 percent, down from 5.14 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday. Rates, while above the record low of 4.78 percent hit in the spring, are still at attractive levels for people looking to buy a home or refinance.
The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.54 percent, from 4.58 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.
To revive the economy, the Federal Reserve is spending $1.25 trillion on mortgage-backed securities, which has driven down rates on home loans.
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