Prices for heating oil, propane, kerosene all down

Maine energy officials say the statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil is $3.78 per gallon, down 5 cents from last week.

The Governor’s Energy Office also says the average kerosene price fell 5 cents, to $4.25 per gallon.

Prices for propane also went down 6 cents, to $2.82 per gallon.

The latest price survey was conducted Monday.

The government’s Energy Information Administration says crude oil prices continue to be on the decline. 

Economic growth reported in regions nationwide

Strong auto sales, better hiring and a continued housing recovery helped the U.S. economy grow in January and February throughout the country, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve.

The survey noted that 10 of the Fed’s 12 banking districts reported moderate or modest growth, while the Boston and Chicago districts reported slow growth.

Consumer spending increased in most regions, although spending growth slowed in many districts and much of the gains were driven by auto sales. Many districts said consumers pulled back slightly elsewhere after seeing taxes rise and gas prices increase. 

Turnaround plan hurts Staples’ quarterly income

Costs related to Staples’ turnaround plan helped drive down the office supplier’s fourth-quarter net income by 72 percent. Its quarterly revenue and financial outlook for the year missed Wall Street’s expectations.

Its shares fell more than 6 percent in morning trading Wednesday.

Staples, which has 1,547 stores in the U.S. and 339 stores in Canada, is the largest office supply retailer, a sector hit hard by the recession and slow to recover.

Its earnings report comes two weeks after Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax said they would combine to better compete against their larger rival as well as Internet retailers.

Last year Staples launched a strategic plan that includes investing more in its online and mobile efforts, adding more products and beefing up its services business. 

Mayer gets bonus after five-plus months at Yahoo

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer received a $1.1 million bonus for her first five-and-half months running the Internet company.

The award disclosed Wednesday supplements Mayer’s annual salary of $1 million and $56 million in long-term stock compensations she received after Yahoo Inc. lured her away from Google Inc. to become its CEO last July. The amount included $14 million in stock to offset the loss of money she would have received had she stayed at Google.

Mayer, 37, is eligible for an annual bonus of up to $2 million. Yahoo adjusted last year’s bonus to reflect that Mayer spent less than half the year as CEO. The company’s stock has risen by 46 percent since Mayer became the boss.