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Business

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Briefs

787 fire risk spurs Japan to ground it

Boeing’s troubles with its newest airplane worsened Wednesday after an emergency landing prompted Japan’s two biggest airlines to ground all their 787s for safety checks.

It was the second fire-related incident in two weeks involving the 787’s lithium-ion batteries.

All Nippon Airways said pilots noticed a burning smell and received cockpit alerts showing battery problems. They made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in western Japan, and passengers got off the plane by emergency slides.

ANA said an inspection found leaking electrolyte from the battery and burn marks around it. The lithium ion battery is below and slightly behind the cockpit, and experts have said its electrolyte is flammable.

JPMorgan’s CEO takes big pay cut

America’s best-known banker is getting a big pay cut.

JPMorgan Chase said Wednesday that it will dock the pay of CEO Jamie Dimon by more than half, to $11.5 million from $23 million.

It’s the latest fallout from an embarrassing trading loss at the bank last year, one that eventually ballooned to $6 billion. Its ripple effects have been numerous, forcing Dimon to appear contritely before Congress and putting the bank squarely in the crosshairs of regulators and lawmakers.

Peoples Bancorp earnings decline

Peoples Bancorp on Wednesday reported first fiscal quarter earnings of $677,910, or 28 cents per diluted common share, an 18 percent decline from earnings of $835,593, or 34 cents a share, posted for the same three months of the prior year.

The Auburn-based parent of Peoples Federal Savings Bank also reported total assets of almost $478 million as of Dec. 31.

Maurice Winkler, president, said the narrow margin between how much interest the bank pays on deposits compared to how much it charges on loans has affected its profits, among other challenges.

Consumer prices flat in December

Lower gasoline costs offset more expensive food and higher rents to keep a measure of U.S. consumer prices flat last month.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that food prices increased 0.2 percent in December from November. Rents and airline fares also rose. Gas prices fell a seasonally adjusted 2.3 percent.

Consumer prices rose only 1.7 percent in 2012, down from 3 percent in 2011.

Fed survey shows economic pickup

Holiday shopping, strong auto sales and a recovering housing market helped boost the U.S. economy from the middle of November through early January, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.

The Fed said 12 of its regional banking districts reported “modest or moderate” growth in the final weeks of 2012. Of those, only St. Louis said growth had slowed from the previous survey, which covered October through early November.

Factory output rises for 2nd straight month

U.S. factory production rose in December for the second straight month, buoyed by more output of autos, electronics and business equipment.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output increased 0.8 percent last month compared with November.

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