Business news briefs for 03/08/12

March 8, 2012 12:00 am

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Ellwood City Hospital joins forces with Butler Health

The Ellwood City Hospital has signed a five-year management and collaborative initiative with Butler Health System. Butler President and CEO Ken DeFurio said the Ellwood board wanted a strategic partner and "our organizations decided that there is an excellent cultural fit" among the hospitals. Under the agreement, Ellwood City Hospital will maintain its own board of trustees and President and CEO Ray Beck will continue to have primary responsibility for the hospital as a member of Butler's executive team.

Number of FDIC 'problem institutions' drops in 4Q

The number of institutions on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s problem list fell to 813 in the fourth quarter, down from 844 the previous quarter. It was the third quarterly decline in a row and the smallest number of problem banks since the first quarter of 2010. Eighteen institutions failed in the fourth quarter, bringing the total for the year to 92. That was down from 157 failures in 2010. The FDIC does not identify which banks are on its problem list.

Shareholders approve S&T Bancorp acquisition

Indiana, Pa.-based S&T Bancorp said its pending acquisition of Mainline Bancorp in Ebensburg was approved by Mainline shareholders. The transaction is expected to close on Friday.

Worker productivity rose in last quarter of 2011

Worker productivity rose at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the October-December quarter, the Labor Department said. While that's a slight upward revision from last month's preliminary estimate, it's half the pace from the July-September quarter. Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, last year grew just 0.4 percent, the slowest pace in nearly a quarter of a century. A slowdown is bad for corporate profits, but it can be a good sign for future hiring. It may mean that employers are finding it harder to squeeze more output from their existing staff.

Consumer borrowing bested January forecasts

Consumer borrowing in the U.S. rose more than forecast in January, capping the biggest three-month gain in more than a decade. Credit increased by $17.8 billion to $2.51 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. Non-revolving debt, including educational and auto loans, increased by $20.7 billion in January, the biggest gain since November 2001. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, dropped by $2.95 billion, the first decrease since August.

Also in business...

Allegheny Technologies said executive vice president David M. Hogan will retire April 1. Mr. Hogan ends his 35-year career with the specialty metals producer as head of its Engineered Products business, which accounted for 10 percent of the company's $5.2 billion in sales last year. ... Indiana, Pa.-based First Commonwealth Financial Corp.'s board of directors appointed T. Michael Price president and CEO. Mr. Price had been interim president and CEO since December.

First Published 2012-03-07 23:13:51

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