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Entries in AAA (5)

Friday
Apr272012

Cars Cost More to Operate But Keep Their Value

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans should appreciate the fact that their two-and-three-year-old cars are hardly depreciating in value.

Auto club AAA's annual report on the cost of owning and operating a vehicle finds that because the economy is still soft, people are reluctant to trade in older cars for newer models.

It should be no surprise that it costs more to own and operate cars, AAA says, up 1.9 percent from last year, with much of that due to rising gasoline prices.

For instance, if you drive an average of 15,000 miles annually, AAA figures you're paying 59.6 cents per mile or $8,946 based on depreciation, fuel, insurance, finance charges, maintenance and tires.

That's the downside of the study. The upside is that the demand for used cars is so high right now that if your vehicle was worth $15,000 in 2011, chances are it's nearly worth that much now.

Dealers normally have a good supply of two-to-three-year-old used cars on hand, but with owners less inclined to trade them in, these models are being sold at a premium.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov272011

Holiday Travel to Peak Sunday

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Holiday travel peaks Sunday with over 40 million people expected to take to the skies, roads and rails, according to a report from AAA.

Ninety percent of the estimated 42.5 million people, who will travel 50 miles or more from home between Wednesday and Sunday, will do so by car. The amount of people traveling has increased four percent from 2010, AAA reports.

Predictions from the Air Transport Association estimate that Sunday will be the busiest day for air travel.

Travelers should prepare for weather delays around Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., Cincinnati and Detroit, according to forecasts from FlightAware, a national aviation database that tracks flights and reports delays.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug242011

Fewer Americans Expected to Travel on Labor Day Weekend

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(AURORA, Ill.) -- As Labor Day weekend approaches, fewer Americans appear to be planning on hitting the road for one last trip to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.

AAA estimates that 31.5 million Americans will travel during this year's holiday weekend, which begins on Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 5.  The latest projection is down 2.4 percent from the 32.3 million who got behind the wheel in 2010.

AAA's Heather Hunter says "the decrease in expected travelers is a result of a mixed economic outlook.  We've had some recent poor economic news that has come out and also [high] gas prices."

Among those traveling, more will be doing so via automobiles.  According to AAA, 87 percent of holiday travelers -- or close to 27.3 million Americans -- will be hitting the roads, while eight percent will be opting to fly.  The remaining five percent will be reaching their destinations using other modes of transportation, like trains or watercraft.

If they do take to the road, travelers will be staying closer to home this year.  AAA says Americans will travel an average distance of 608 miles, down from 635 miles the year before.  They will, however, spend slightly more than last year despite the shorter distance -- $702 compared to $697 -- mainly due to the rise in fuel and transportation costs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug052011

US Expecting Standard & Poor's Debt Rating Downgrade

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The federal government is expecting and preparing for bond rating agency Standard & Poor's to downgrade the rating of U.S. debt from its current AAA value, a government official told ABC News.  ABC News called S&P and was told "no comment."

Official reasons given will be the political confusion surrounding the process of raising the debt ceiling and the lack of confidence that the political system will be able to agree to more deficit reduction.

It remains unclear whether the bond rating would drop to AA+ or AA.

Last month, Standard & Poor's warned that the U.S. risked a downgrade to AA status if Congress did not lift the debt ceiling and reduce the total debt by $4 trillion over the next decade. It later toned down its warning.

S&P was the last of the major ratings agencies to comment about U.S. credit rating after the Senate passed an agreement Tuesday to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default on U.S. debt, following passage in the House on Monday evening.

After the bill passed in the Senate, Moody's Investor Service affirmed its AAA rating on U.S. sovereign debt but lowered its outlook to "negative."

At stake in all this is not only interest rates the U.S. must pay on its $14.4 trillion debt, but a host of rates for consumers ranging from those on items from mortgages to car loans to credit cards.

A downgrade of U.S. debt likely will cause interest rates of all kinds to edge up and that would cost the U.S. and consumers billions of dollars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug022011

Moody's and Fitch Affirm AAA US Rating

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks continued to slide Tuesday in part on concerns about the global economy, before Moody's affirmed its AAA rating on U.S. sovereign debt but lowered its outlook to "negative." Earlier in the day, Fitch Ratings also affirmed its AAA rating. Economists are now waiting to see if Standard and Poor's will follow suit or downgrade the nation's credit rating.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 266 points, or 2.19 percent, to 11,867 at the end of the day, while the S&P 500 fell for the seventh straight day, down 2.56 percent to 1,254. It's the S&P's longest slump since 2008.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default on U.S. debt, following passage in the House on Monday evening.

"The initial increase of the debt limit by $900 billion and the commitment to raise it by a further $1.2-1.5 trillion by yearend have virtually eliminated the risk of such a default, prompting the confirmation of the rating at Aaa," Moody's stated in a report.

Moody's assigned negative outlook to its rating, saying it could downgrade the U.S. if fiscal discipline weakens in the coming year, further "fiscal consolidation" does not take place in 2013, the economic outlook "deteriorates significantly," or there is an appreciable rise in the government's spending "over and above what is currently expected."

Fitch Ratings confirmed its AAA rating for United States debt over the short-term, but warned of more tough choices coming soon.

"While the agreement is clearly a step in the right direction, the United States, as in much of Europe, must also confront tough choices on tax and spending against a weak economic back drop if the budget deficit and government debt is to be cut to safer levels over the medium term," Fitch said in a statement.

Before Moody's and Fitch's reports were released, traders were focused on a morning report which showed American consumers were spending less during June, the biggest one month drop since 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio