Business news briefs: New ATI chief financial officer named

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New ATI chief financial officer named

Allegheny Technologies named Patrick J. DeCourcy chief financial officer. He has held the post on an interim basis since July, when CFO Dale G. Reid retired.

Alcoa signs agreement to supply Airbus

Alcoa signed a multiyear agreement valued at about $110 million to supply Airbus with titanium and aluminum forgings made at its Cleveland plant.

Area gas price decline follows U.S. trend

After a jump in prices last week, Pittsburgh-area gas prices have fallen by 0.7 cents per gallon, according to a weekly survey of local retailers by Local gas prices were $3.38 per gallon while the national average was $3.21 per gallon, down 2.4 cents from one week ago. Though this is the season when gas prices typically hit their yearly lows, senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said he is optimistic they could decline further in the next few weeks.

Nova plans Ohio-Michigan gas pipeline

Nova Chemicals Corp. signed a letter of intent with Kinder Morgan Cochin to develop a $300 million pipeline that will transport natural gas liquids from the Utica Shale region in Harrison County, Ohio, to Riga, Mich. An existing Kinder pipeline will transport the products from Michigan to end-users in Ontario. Kinder expects the pipeline to be operational by mid-2017. Nova, a plastics and chemical manufacturer based in Calgary, Alberta, has an executive operations center in Moon. Kinder Morgan is an energy company based in Houston.

Region climbs in volunteerism ranking

The Pittsburgh region ranked 22nd among 51 metro areas in the U.S. for volunteer activities, according to a report from the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C. The report found 28 percent of Pittsburgh-area residents volunteered in 2012 and contributed 45 million hours of service valued at more than $987 million. In 2011, the Pittsburgh area ranked 25th.

Wabtec inks deal with Seattle company

Wilmerding-based rail manufacturer Wabtec Corp. said Monday it has signed a $34 million contract with Sound Transit, a Seattle commuter railroad, to design, install, test and commission its Positive Train Control system.

Productivity rises at best pace in 4 years

U.S. workers boosted their productivity from July through September at the fastest pace since the end of 2009, adding to signs of stronger economic growth. The Labor Department said Monday that productivity increased at a 3 percent annual rate in the third quarter. That's up from an initial estimate of 1.9 percent and much stronger than the 1.8 percent rate from April through June. Productivity rose because economic growth was much stronger than previously estimated in the third quarter. Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work. Labor costs fell in the third quarter, evidence that inflation will remain low.

U.S. factory output rises in November

U.S. factories increased output in November for the fourth straight month, led by a surge in auto production. The gains show manufacturing is strengthening and could help boost economic growth at the end of the year. Factory production rose 0.6 percent in November after a 0.5 percent gain in October, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Production of motor vehicles and parts increased 3.4 percent, rebounding from a 1.3 percent decline in October. Factories also stepped up production of home electronics and chemical products. Overall production for the first time surpassed the pre-recession peak set in December 2007, the month the Great Recession began. Output is now 21 percent above its recession low hit in June 2009, the month the downturn ended.

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