Business

Business briefs

State No. 2 in second-quarter income growth

Washington state had the second-highest personal income growth in the country in the second quarter, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Total personal income in Washington grew 1.76 percent last quarter, re aching a seasonally adjusted annual level of $258 billion. Only Utah's growth rate, at 2 percent, was higher.

Although Washington's income growth was slightly lower than the 1.78 percent posted in the first quarter, the state held up much better than most states and the nation as a whole.

Nationally, personal income growth slowed to 1.19 percent in the second quarter, from 2.49 percent in the first quarter; income from bonuses skewed the first-quarter results somewhat.

Air travel

Paper tickets move closer to extinction

NEW YORK - Next summer, paper airline tickets will go the way of vinyl records and rotary-dial phones: They won't entirely disappear, but they'll be hard to find.

On June 1, the industry association that handles ticketing for most major airlines will stop issuing paper tickets. Some small regional or foreign airlines will continue issuing paper tickets, but they'll be few and far between.

Even without the International Air Transport Association's directive, the vast majority of airline tickets are already electronic. IATA says paper tickets have fallen to less than 14 percent of the 400 million tickets it processes each year.

Economy

Leading indicators point to sluggish performance

NEW YORK - Strained by a tight credit market, the nation's economy should stumble along at a slower pace in coming months, but it might find help from lower interest rates and possible employment gains.

The Conference Board said Thursday its index of leading economic indicators dropped 0.6 percent in August, slightly higher than the 0.5 percent fall analysts were expecting. The drop was offset by a revised 0.7 rise in July. While the index has jumped up and down in recent months, the cumulative change over the past six months has been a 0.5 percent rise.

Commodities

Crude oil continues climb to record heights

NEW YORK - Crude oil prices surged further into record terrain Thursday, breaching $83 a barrel as the weak dollar and some worrisome weather in the Gulf of Mexico spurred buying.

Gasoline futures jumped as well.

The weather system, which forecasters said might develop into a tropical depression, caused the temporary closure of about a quarter of the Gulf of Mexico's daily oil production on Thursday as a precaution. That lent an extra boost to the oil market's already strong record-breaking run, because traders view U.S. crude inventories as tight. Last week, crude inventories declined.

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