Business news briefs: Pa. ranked first in facilities

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Pa. ranked first in facilities

Norcross, Ga.,-based corporate real estate publication Site Selection has ranked Pennsylvania first in the Northeast for new corporate facilities created last year. In 2013, Pennsylvania finished fourth in the nation with 348 new or expanded corporate facilities.

Ampco loses $1.5M in Q4

Ampco-Pittsburgh reported a fourth quarter loss of $1.5 million, or 14 cents per share, citing the writedown of the value of its Chinese joint venture that resulted in an aftertax charge of $4.2 million, or 40 cents per share. Sales were flat at $77.1 million. In the year-ago quarter, the Pittsburgh industrial products company earned $3.3 million, or 32 cents per share. For all of 2013, net income rose 49 percent to $12.4 million despite a 4 percent drop in sales.

GM documents demanded

U.S. safety regulators are demanding that General Motors turn over documents and other data showing what and when the company knew about a dangerous ignition problem that has been linked to 13 car-crash deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating how GM handled the problem, which triggered the global recall of 1.6 million compact cars. GM has acknowledged it knew of the ignition troubles a decade ago but didn't recall the cars until last month. GM says a heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads can cause the ignition switch in the recalled vehicles to shut off the engine and electrical power, including power-assisted brakes and steering and the front air bags.

Still writing paper checks?

In the face of more mobile and online banking options, nearly 40 percent of Americans say they never have reason to write a paper check, according to a survey by The 18-24 age group was the most likely to never write checks, while men were more likely than women to have severed all ties with checks, the survey found. Another 20 percent of respondents said they only write checks a few times a year.

Target exec resigns

The chief information officer of Target Corp., Beth M. Jacob, resigned Wednesday as the retail giant overhauls its information security and compliance operations amid investigations into a damaging network break-in late last year. The company provided a copy of Ms. Jacob's resignation letter, dated March 5, in which she wrote "this is a good time for a change."

CSX fined over derailments

The New York state Department of Transportation has fined CSX Railroad $10,000, saying it failed to report two oil train derailments within an hour of when they happened as required by state law. A Feb. 25 derailment in Kingston involved empty rail cars that had contained crude oil. A Feb. 28 derailment at the Selkirk yard near Albany involved a train loaded with crude oil. The cars remained upright and nothing spilled.

Service-sector index falls

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its service-sector index fell to 51.6 in February from 54 in January as the harsh winter took its toll. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. A measure for hiring plunged 8.9 percentage points to 47.5, raising concern that the February jobs report the government will release Friday could disappoint.

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