State gas prices rise; Tucson's dip again

Arizona's 10-week string of weekly gas price declines ended this week, but prices in Tucson continued to decline.

The statewide average price rose about a penny, to $3.44 per gallon of regular on Thursday, says AAA Arizona.

Tucson has the state's lowest average gas price, at $3.18 per gallon of regular on Thursday, down about 2 cents from last week. Flagstaff has the highest average price at $3.68.

The nationwide average price Thursday was $3.60, up about a nickel from last week.

Economic forecast for state is lukewarm

PHOENIX - Some of Arizona's top business experts say jobs and home prices are slowly rebounding, but the state has a long way to go and federal budget cuts aren't helping.

Experts from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University delivered their latest forecasts Thursday. They say Arizona has gained back nearly 40 percent of the 314,000 jobs that were lost during the recession, but that pace is well behind the nation as a whole.

While the state will have to wait a couple of more years for full recovery, the forecasts show Arizona is doing better than most states.

Economics professor Dennis Hoffman says decisions that have yet to be made on possible Medicaid expansion, the loss of the temporary sales tax and potential taxing of online sales could affect Arizona's economy.


American favors fliers without roller bags

American Airlines is letting passengers board sooner if they travel lightly.

People carrying just a personal item that fits under the seat - no rolling suitcases - will be allowed to board before most other passengers, the airline said Thursday.

Passengers may check a carry-on bag at the gate at no charge.

Staff and wire reports