Economy

Valerie Mertz, chief financial officer of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., has been named as the temporary executive director following the resignation of long-time executive director Mike Burns.

Pat Forgey
For the second year in a row, Alaska’s gross domestic product declined more than any other state's, the result of reduced North Slope oil production and much lower prices for crude. But a state economist warns that the GDP decline wouldn't necessarily translate into broader economic decline.Pat Forgey
The definition of a recession is shaky enough to begin with, and pinpointing the start of one is no simple task. Jeannette Lee Falsey
Alaskans who want to solve the fiscal challenge facing the state now have the power to balance the budget with clicks on a keyboard. Dermot Cole
Hilcorp Energy continues to grow its Alaska presence, recently inking a deal to buy the Cook Inlet assets of XTO Energy, a subsidiary of oil giant Exxon Mobil.Alex DeMarban
A robot that looks like it's straight out of a Pixar movie is helping engineers on the trans-Alaska pipeline detect wear and tear in the line before it becomes a real problem -- and saving big bucks in the process.Alex DeMarban
Ketchikan has gone back to work after a plane crash June 25 killed eight tourists, and its skies are once again buzzing with floatplanes. The crash was an off-limits topic at the many other flying services in town.Nathaniel Herz,Tegan Hanlon
Tidal Vision launched its aquatic leather line on Kickstarter, a web-based crowd-funding community that has helped bring nearly 90,000 creative ideas to life since 2009. The company reached its $17,500 funding goal in less than 24 hours and now has 764 backers who have pledged $55,664 to the project.Laine Welch
Gov. Bill Walker vetoed the $175,000 state grant given to the group that's been lobbying in vain to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, but that doesn't mean he's opposed to oil development there — only that it's time to find a new way, he said.Pat Forgey
Much has changed since July 1915, when Leon Urbach opened his one-room shop on Fourth Avenue. Of all the businesses that cropped up in Seward's early days, Urbach's is the only one still open and wholly in the hands of the same family that started it a century ago.Jeannette Lee Falsey