Business Briefs: 05/16/14

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U.S. Steel resumes production near Detroit

U.S. Steel is resuming production at its Great Lakes Works near Detroit, which has been idled since March 27 when a large pipe fell and damaged the roof covering one of its steel-making furnaces. Production has also been crimped at the steelmaker’s largest plant in Gary, Ind., where icy conditions on the Great Lakes curbed deliveries of iron ore pellets from U.S. Steel’s Minnesota mines. President and CEO Mario Longhi has said the production problems will result in a second quarter operating loss for the company’s North American flat-roll steel unit.

ExOne shares slide to lowest in months

Shares of the ExOne Company slid to their lowest level in 15 months Thursday, crushed by the North Huntingdon 3-D printing company’s bigger than expected first quarter loss, reported after the market closed Wednesday. Revenue also fell short of analyst forecasts. ExOne shares finished at $25.50, down $5.33, or 17 percent. The last time they closed that low was Feb. 15 of last year, six trading days after the stock debuted at $18 per share.

Consumer prices increase 0.3 percent in April

Higher food and gas costs pushed up consumer prices in April by the most in 10 months. The consumer price index rose 0.3 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March, the Labor Department said Thursday. Over the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent. Core prices rose 0.2 percent in April and have risen 1.8 percent in the past 12 months.

Fee to build phantom nuke waste site ends

Something could be missing from your next electric bill: a fee that electric customers have been paying for 31 years to fund a federal nuclear waste site that doesn’t exist. The Energy Department will stop charging the fee by court order on Friday. A typical residential customer pays $2 a year into the fund.

Summer air travel expected to hit highest level in 6 years

About 210 million passengers — or 2.28 million a day— are expected to fly on U.S. carriers between June 1 and Aug. 31, the highest level in six years, the trade and lobbying group, Airlines for America, said Thursday. The forecast includes 29.9 million travelers — or 325,000 a day — flying U.S. airlines to international destinations, an all-time high.

Confidence among homebuilders declines

Homebuilders are feeling less confident in their near-term sales prospects, but optimistic that sales will perk up later this year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday fell to 45. That’s down one point from a revised reading of 46 in April and the lowest level in 12 months.

Factory output retreats after 2 strong months

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that factory production fell 0.4 percent from the previous month after rising a revised 0.7 percent in March and 1.5 percent in February. Manufacturing output has risen a solid 2.9 percent over the past year.

From staff and wire reports

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