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Bank fined over flood violations

American Community Bank of Glen Cove has been fined for making real estate loans without making sure the borrowers had adequate flood insurance. The bank also failed to notify other borrowers when their flood insurance expired, according to an order filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. As a result of the violations, the FDIC fined the bank $5,405. Bank officials did not respond to requests for comment. American Community Bank has three branches and assets of $158.4 million. - Andrew Smith

Productivity up past estimates

The workforce was more productive in the summer than originally thought, reflecting the fact that the economy produced more goods and services than first estimated. Still, the efficiency of U.S. workers is increasing at a much slower pace than last year and economists say that could signal more hiring in the near future. Productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the July-September quarter, an improvement over an initial estimate of 1.9 percent productivity growth, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Labor costs fell at an annual rate of 0.1 percent, unchanged from the initial estimate made a month ago. - AP

Carmakers: Strong Nov. sales

All major automakers but Toyota Wednesday reported strong U.S. sales increases last month as the auto industry's slow-motion recovery continued to gain traction. Of the major automakers, Hyundai Motor Co. had the biggest increase, up 45 percent from the same month last year. Nissan Motor Co. sales were up 27 percent, followed by Honda Motor Co. at 21 and Ford Motor Co. with 20 percent. Chrysler had a 17 percent increase, while General Motors reported Sales up 11 percent from November of last year, a month marked by consumer paralysis due to high unemployment. Toyota, which has been hurt by a string of safety recalls, saw its sales dip 3 percent. - AP

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