Consumer-confidence drop persistsConsumer confidence...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 28, 1993

Consumer-confidence drop persists

Consumer confidence slipped for the third consecutive month in July, amid poor employment prospects and slow-rising wages.

The Conference Board's consumer-confidence index declined to 57.7 this month, from a revised reading of 58.6 during June, originally reported as 58.9. With the July report, the index stands more than 20 points below the high of 78.1 it reached in December after Bill Clinton's election to the White House.

Southern Hotel gets extension

The owners of the vacant Southern Hotel on Light Street received a guarantee from the city zoning board yesterday that they had until 1997 to start construction at the site.

Zoning board members extended the variance, which is needed to build the $180 million, 44-story tower, after an agent for the owners said that a four-year guarantee from the city was crucial to attracting tenants in a soft market.

Doner closes in on state contract

W. B. Doner & Co. of Baltimore is the apparent winner of a three-year, $9 million advertising and public relations contract from the state's Department of Economic and Employment Development, a DEED spokeswoman said yesterday.

Doner was chosen by the department's selection committee, but the decision requires approval of the Board of Public Works.

The Doner contract includes two option years at $3 million each.

U.S. wages rose 3.6% in fiscal '93

Americans' wages, salaries and benefits rose a modest 3.6 percent in the year that ended June 30, a pace unchanged from a year earlier and the latest evidence that inflation is being held in check.

Continental, Air France sign accord

Continental Airlines and Air France signed an agreement to coordinate schedules and share passenger check-ins, allowing greater convenience for passengers flying across the Atlantic.

Washington Post Co. earnings drop

The Washington Post Co. said second-quarter earnings dropped 17 percent as advertising worsened at the flagship newspaper and Newsweek magazine.

A weak Washington economy held down results at the Post, which provides up roughly half of the company's revenue.

Net income in the quarter declined to $38 million, or $3.23 a share, from $45.8 million, or $3.87, in the year-ago period. Revenue was $376.7 million, compared with $376.9 million.

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