LOCAL BUSINESS


OSHA fines Polymerics


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration may fine a Cuyahoga Falls polymer manufacturing company as much as $74,900 for what it says are four safety violations.


The company has the option to contest the findings or request an informal conference with OSHA officials.


OSHA said its citations against Polymerics Inc. include a willful violation for failing to ensure that a rubber-cutting shear was kept in good working order after a worker’s hand was amputated in an accident last summer.


OSHA said it began an inspection on Aug. 16 after receiving a complaint about the amputation. OSHA said in a press release that a willful violation is “one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.”


OSHA said it found a repeat violation — the first was in 2008 — for failing to conduct an annual review of lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy and two “serious” violations for failing to train employees properly.


Polymerics employs about 56 people in Cuyahoga Falls and in Kent.


Acquisition for Schulman


Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman Inc. is buying a French maker of specialty color concentrates for about $63 million.


Schulman on Monday announced it entered into an agreement to purchase Elian SAS, a French portfolio company of British Vita PLC, calling it “an excellent strategic fit.” The deal is expected to close in February, Schulman said in a news release.


Elian provides specialty formulated color concentrates for the health care, cosmetics, packaging, pipes and tubing and personal hygiene products industries.


Elian has about 100 employees and is located in France’s “Plastics Valley” in Oyonnax.


ECONOMY


Income goes up


Americans’ income rose in December by the most in nine months, the Commerce Department reported, a hopeful sign for the economy after a year of weak wage gains. But consumers didn’t spend any more than they had in November. Americans ended up saving all their additional income.


Economists noted that income rose last month largely because of strong hiring. The economy added 200,000 jobs in December. Income rose 0.5 percent from November to December, the report said. It was the sharpest increase since a similar gain in March.


The flat spending in December followed scant gains of 0.1 percent in both October and November. For all of 2011, income barely rose. And consumers tapped their savings to spend more.


After-tax income adjusted for inflation rose 0.3 percent in December. For the year, inflation-adjusted income rose 0.9 percent. That was just half the rise in 2010. Inflation-adjusted consumer spending rose just 2.2 percent last year. It was slightly better than the increase in 2010.


The government said Friday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent last year — roughly half the growth of 2010.


In December, spending on both durable and nondurable goods fell. Spending on services, a category that accounts for two-thirds of consumer spending, rose 0.2 percent.


The savings rate increased to 4 percent of after-tax incomes in December, up from 3.5 percent in November.


For the year, the savings rate dipped to 4.4 percent from 5.3 percent in 2010. The savings rate had fallen to 1.5 percent in 2005, reflecting a housing boom that made people feel like spending more and saving less.


The December report showed that prices tied to consumer spending edged up 0.1 percent in December and were up 2.4 percent compared with a year ago.


Dow closes down 6.74


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 6.74 points in Monday trading to close at 12,653.72. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3.32 points to 1,313.01. The Nasdaq composite lost 4.6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,811.94.


The euro dropped 0.5 percent against the dollar, to $1.3124 in late trading Monday from $1.3208 late Friday. It was worth almost $1.50 in May.


Treasury yields sank to their lowest level of 2012. The yield on the 10-year Treasury sank to 1.85 percent. It was trading above 2 percent last Wednesday.


DEFENSE


Lockheed gets contract


Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor with some operations in Akron, said it received $920 million in additional orders for the most advanced Patriot missile system from Taiwan and the U.S. Army. The orders received in December include the third sale of PAC-3 missiles to Taiwan, Lockheed said.


Compiled from staff and wire reports