11:48 am
Mon June 27, 2011

Report: Federal Officials Fear Fracking Industry Bubble

An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.
Photo by Eddie Seal, Texas Tribune

President Obama has praised the potential of American natural gas as “enormous," saying exploration for the energy source was something both Democrats and Republicans could support.

But internal documents from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), obtained by the New York Times, indicate some administration officials fear the natural gas industry is experiencing an investment bubble that “may be set up for failure.”

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11:34 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Austin Will Be Test Market For Mobile Phone Payments

The three largest cellular carriers in the United States are going to pilot near-field mobile phone technology in Austin next year, according to a statement released yesterday. The review aggregator posted the promotional video above, which offers a decent explanation of the technology.

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4:44 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

Gas Prices Drop 7 Cents In A Week

Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News

Gasoline prices in the Austin metropolitan area are down seven cents from last Thursday, according to a report from AAA Texas. A gallon of regular unleaded is selling for $3.583. Last week, it was $3.654. However, that’s still up substantially from a year ago, when the price was $2.625.

Last week, we talked to an oil analyst who said he expects gas prices to drop by as much as 35 cents this summer.

OPEC, however, may have different plans. The oil cartel signaled yesterday that it would not boost oil production. That sent prices for crude oil back above $100 per barrel.

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3:54 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Oil Analyst Says Gas Prices May Drop By 35 Cents This Summer

Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News

Average gas prices in the Austin-area are down by nine cents from last week. And you should expect them to drop further, according to Tom Kloza. He is the chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, New Jersey. We reached him this afternoon by telephone.

KUT News: What’s your forecast for gasoline prices over the next few weeks?

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1:47 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Austin Gains Jobs in April, Led By Leisure and Hospitality

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Unemployment in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area dropped to 6.5 percent in April from 6.8 percent in March.

Most of the gains in the last month were in service industries.

“Austin gained 2,200 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities [sector], reflecting that statewide increase,”  Texas Workforce Commission spokesman Lisa Givens told KUT News, “As well as leisure and hospitality, which saw 2,500 jobs added over the month in Austin.”

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5:00 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Dell Profit Almost Triples In First Quarter

Dell's corporate headquarters in Round Rock

Round Rock-based Dell Incorporated, which employs about 16,000 people in Central Texas, reported first quarter profit of $945 million today.  That compares to $341 million in the same period last year, an increase of 177 percent.

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1:39 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Local Matchmaker Gets No Love From Better Business Bureau

Screen shot of the eLove website.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

A company that provides dating services in Austin is coming under fire from the local Better Business Bureau. eLove says on its website that it was voted the #1 matchmaker at an industry conference for two years in a row, but the local BBB says it has received 37 complaints against the business.

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12:40 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

People In Central Texas Are Spending More Money

People shopping at the Domain in Austin. New state numbers suggest people are spending more money not just in Central Texas, but also across the state.
Photo by Adam Knight

Even though Central Texas avoided the most severe blows of the national recession, we still experienced our own economic downturn. New data from the state shows we are continuing to bounce back.

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10:33 am
Fri May 6, 2011

AT&T Launching Wi-Fi Along Sixth Street From Congress To I-35

AT&T is launching Wi-Fi along E. 6th St. from Congress Ave. to the Interstate.
Photo by Broken Piggy Bank

AT&T customers trying to upload smartphone video or pictures from E. 6th St. could face much less frustration in the near future. The wireless carrier has announced it is launching a Wi-Fi hotzone that stretches down E. 6th St. from Congress Ave. to Interstate 35.

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4:55 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Standard & Poor's Bets Texas Economy Will Recover Quickly

Texas has a long road ahead before a complete economic recovery, but Standard & Poor's thinks the state will rebound faster than most.
Photo courtesy

The financial services company Standard & Poor's (S&P) is showing some love for the Texas economy today by granting the state's government bonds an AA+ rating.

In a press release, S&P analyst Horacio Aldrete-Sanchez said it was because the Texas economy is large, diversifying, and growing faster than the country's as a whole.

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2:20 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Report: Austin Rents Will Rise Four Percent in 2011

The Cambridge Towers, a high-rise apartment building on Lavaca St. An Encino, California based real estate analysis firm says apartment rents will rise 4 percent this year in Austin.
Photo by Matthew Rutledge

Slowing construction and rising employment will push average Austin rent prices four percent higher this year, according to real estate analyst Marcus and Millichap.

In its 2011 annual apartment forecast, the firm says only 1,000 rental units will be constructed across the entire metro area this year, compared to 2,900 units in 2010. At the same time, the company predicts local employers will add 21,000 positions this year, up from the 14,400 jobs created last year.

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2:56 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Facebook Chooses Austin To Launch Daily Deals Service

Facebook has selected Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, San Diego and San Francisco to launch its own version of daily deals coupon sites like Groupon, Living Social, Localiter, and dozens of others.

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1:20 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Fewer Homes Sold Last Month, But Median Price Was Up

The median price of a home in Austin rose two percent in March.
Photo by KUT News

Ten percent fewer Austin homes were sold in March 2011 compared to March of last year, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report issued today by the Austin Board of Realtors. But the median price was up two percent to $185,260.

An $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers that expired in 2010 is still making it harder to compare numbers now with numbers then, according to Austin Board of Realtors chair Judith Bundschuh.

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Tax Day
1:31 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

Dollars, Taxes

Photo by KUT News.

The extra time is running out.  Your income tax return has to be postmarked or electronically received by the Internal Revenue Service by midnight tonight.

Normally, the deadline is April 15.  This year, however, the normal date coincided with Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.  The IRS announce in January that they were moving things ahead to April 18 for this year.

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11:11 am
Wed April 13, 2011

Grocery Prices on the Rise

The Texas Farm Bureau finds some increase in grocery prices.
Photo by KUT News

A survey by the Texas Farm Bureau's "Grocery Price Watch" found that Texans are paying more for some food staple items.

The report shows an increase in prices for pork chops, lettuce and tomatoes between Q4 2010 and Q1 2011. According to Gene Hall, director of public relations for the Texas Farm Bureau, a hard freeze in Mexico earlier in the year was part of the cause, but only a part.

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