Maine heating oil prices averaging around $2.59

Maine’s heating oil prices remain relatively stable this summer, with the price down 2 cents per gallon in a new survey.

The Maine energy office said Monday that its weekly price survey found an average price of $2.59 per gallon.

Director John Kerry said weak economic figures from the three biggest world economies – the United States, China and Japan – helped keep oil prices below $80 a barrel.

 

Gasoline prices in Maine fall 3.1 cents to $2.74 per gallon

A price-watching group says gas prices in Maine have fallen 3.1 cents per gallon in the past week to $2.74 per gallon.

MaineGasPrices.com said that compares with the national average retail price, which has fallen 3.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.75.

Including the change in gas prices in Maine during the past week, prices Sunday were 2.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and 0.5 cent per gallon higher than a month ago.

Builders’ confidence drops to lowest since March 2009

Home-builder confidence dropped for the third straight month in August as the struggling economy and a flood of cheap foreclosed properties kept people from buying new homes.

The National Association of Home Builders said its monthly index of builders’ sentiment about the housing market fell to 13, the lowest reading since March 2009. The index is adjusted for seasonal factors.

Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment. The last time the index was above 50 was in April 2006.

Fewer people are buying new homes, even though prices have stabilized and those who have good credit can qualify for the lowest mortgage rates in decades. The market is struggling because jobs are scarce and credit is tight. And many analysts predict home prices are likely to drop again in the fall.

Another key reading of housing activity will come today when the Commerce Department releases its report on home construction in July.