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Briefs

AccuTemp expanding, to hire 14

AccuTemp Products Inc. plans to create up to 14 new jobs in the next three years as it invests $765,660 to equip two Fort Wayne plants, state officials announced Monday. The locations are 8415 N. Clinton Park Drive and 5021 Investment Drive.

The Fort Wayne company, which now employs 50 full time, has already starting hiring sales associates. AccuTemp develops commercial food service equipment, including steamers, griddles and skillets. Customers include restaurants, schools, hospitals, hotels, prisons and the military.

New equipment – including special tooling, testing machines and computers – will allow the company to upgrade its production line.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered AccuTemp up to $150,000 in training grants, based on the manufacturer’s hiring plans. The city of Fort Wayne approved additional incentives.

February borrowing surges $16.5 billion

Consumers increased their borrowing in February on autos and student loans by the largest amount in a year. But for a second straight month, they cut back on their credit card use.

Consumer borrowing climbed $16.5 billion in February, up from a $13.5 billion gain in January, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.

The category that includes credit cards fell $2.4 billion after a $241 million drop in January. But this decline was offset by an $18.9 billion increase in borrowing in the category that covers autos and student loans, the biggest one-month gain since February 2013.

The overall increase in consumer debt pushed total borrowing to a record $3.13 trillion.

Gains in borrowing are seen as an encouraging sign that people are more confident and willing to take on debt.

Boeing retiring C-17 earlier than planned

Boeing Co. announced plans to stop production of C-17 cargo jets at the company’s sprawling Long Beach, Calif., plant three months earlier than it previously anticipated.

The aerospace giant said Monday it will shutter the 1.1 million-square-foot complex in mid-2015 because of “current market trends and the timing of expected orders.” The plane maker had initially said that production would come to an end in late 2015.

The company said it expects to record $50 million in accounting charges in the first quarter as a result of Monday’s announcement.

Boeing announced plans to close the plant in September, just a week after it delivered its 223rd and final C-17 to the Air Force.

Cement-makers plan to form conglomerate

Two of the world’s largest suppliers of building materials announced plans for a “merger of equals” Monday that would create an industry giant with a combined $44 billion in annual revenue.

Swiss-based Holcim and its French counterpart, Lafarge, said the new company would be named LafargeHolcim and be headquartered in Switzerland. They said the merger would create the most advanced group in the building materials industry – the two companies are already global leaders in the supply of cement, crushed stone, sand and gravel.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, subject to regulatory approval.

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