Retail sales inch upRestrained retail sales and subdued...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 15, 1992

Retail sales inch up

Restrained retail sales and subdued inflation continued to characterize the U.S. economy in September, new government statistics showed yesterday.

Retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month, a smaller gain than anticipated by people in financial markets, while wholesale prices also climbed 0.3 percent, in line with expectations. The statistics could set the stage for another lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve System in an effort to boost an economy that many analysts believe needs a shove.

Signet doubles earnings

Signet Banking Corp. said yesterday that reducing real estate assets helped the thrift more than double its third-quarter earnings from the same period in 1991. Profits for the quarter ending Sept. 30 rose about 155 percent, to $28.6 million, or $1.02 a share, from $11.2 million, or 41 cents a share, for the comparable quarter last year. Signet, which has assets of $11.6 billion, operates 236 offices in Virginia, Maryland and Washington.

Brogan named to PSC

Gov. William Donald Schaefer said yesterday that he appointed Susanne Brogan to the Maryland Public Service Commission to fill a seat left vacant when William A. Badger chose not to seek a second term, which ends June 30, 1996. Ms. Brogan, who will take office Nov. 25, is now a legislative assistant to House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., D-Kent. A resident of Chestertown, she is a graduate of Washington College and the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.

Pay disclosures to be OK'd

Under pressure from lawmakers and shareholders, the Securities and Exchange Commission is to approve rules today that will require publicly traded companies to disclose how much top executives earn and will make it easier for shareholders to challenge incumbent directors.

The regulations fall short of proposals made by stockholders, lawmakers and others over the years. Nonetheless, the new rules are widely regarded by both corporate and shareholder groups as opening board rooms to greater involvement by small and large shareholders.

Ames sues acquisition adviser

Ames Department Stores Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Wertheim Schroder & Co. Inc. and the investment firm's chairman for allegedly providing shoddy investment advice to Ames regarding its acquisition of Zayre Corp.

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