The average price of regular gasoline rose to a record $3.79 a gallon, the Lundberg survey of 7,000 stations nationwide reported Sunday...

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The average price of regular gasoline rose to a record $3.79 a gallon, the Lundberg survey of 7,000 stations nationwide reported Sunday.

The price climbed 17 cents on May 16 from two weeks earlier, according to oil-industry analyst Trilby Lundberg. “It is entirely higher crude-oil prices,” Lundberg said.

The highest average price for self-serve regular gasoline was $4.07 a gallon in Chicago. The lowest was $3.48 in Tucson, Ariz. On New York’s Long Island, the price was $4.01 a gallon.

AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report showed prices in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area Sunday averaged $3.873


CEO criticizes calorie-count regs

McDonald’s Chief Executive Jim Skinner took a jab Sunday at regulatory efforts to force calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Skinner was the keynote speaker Sunday at the National Restaurant Association’s annual show in Chicago, which is expected to draw 74,000.

The city of New York aiming to cut down on ballooning rates of diabetes and obesity, has been in the vanguard. A calorie ordinance survived legal challenges and took effect April 30.

A King County rule applying to large restaurant chains takes effect Dec. 31.

Skinner said such regulations are “redundant and flawed,” noting that McDonald’s has offered abundant calorie information for 30 years.

With growing regulatory mandates, a slack economy, soaring commodity costs and increasing labor-related issues, “it’s a perfect storm,” Skinner said. “I don’t have to tell you that times are tough.”

Online shopping

Web influence on decisions small

The Internet is used when making buying decisions, but its influence is small compared with offline channels such as friends and sales personnel, a study finds.

Sunday’s report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project looked at consumer behavior in purchasing music, cellphones and homes or renting apartments. It found the Internet’s role to be indirect.

“The Internet helps people eliminate irrelevant alternatives,” said John Horrigan, Pew’s associate director.

Only about 10 percent of real-estate and cellphone buyers and 7 percent of music purchasers credit the Internet with having a major impact on their decision.

And only a small portion — 22 percent of the music buyers and 12 percent of cellphone purchasers — ultimately bought their product over the Internet.

The study is based on phone interviews conducted Aug. 3 to Sept. 5, 2007, with 2,400 adults, including 1,684 Internet users.


It’s 3 iPhones per customer now

AT&T, the exclusive U.S. supplier of wireless service for Apple’s iPhone, rescinded the one-handset-per-customer policy and said buyers can once again purchase as many as three of the phones.

Apple said the iPhone had sold out at its U.S. and U.K. online stores and that some of its retail outlets were temporarily out of stock.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs may announce a new iPhone that supports faster Internet downloads when he gives the keynote speech at Apple’s developer conference June 9, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said.

Compiled from The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune and Bloomberg News