U.S. trade deficit shrinksA drop in oil imports and...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 16, 1993

U.S. trade deficit shrinks

A drop in oil imports and increased exports of aircraft and autos helped shrink the U.S. trade deficit 6.8 percent in August, but 1993 was still expected to show the nation's worst trade performance in five years. Through August, the deficit ran at a $115.2 billion annual rate.

Also, a widely watched index of consumer sentiment, put out by the University of Michigan, showed a healthy increase to 83.1 percent in October, up from 77.9 percent in September. And output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities edged up by 0.2 percent in September, thanks to a 4.9 percent jump in car production.

Ford, UAW resolve dispute

Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers said they resolved a dispute that had blocked the signing of a three-year contract.

Separately, optimism continued that the union soon would reach a settlement with General Motors Corp. on a new three-year contract.

Bard to pay $61 million in fines

A company that makes heart catheters engaged in a conspiracy to use patients as "guinea pigs" to test new products, resulting in the death of at least one person, prosecutors said.

C. R. Bard Inc., a pioneer in catheters used for reopening damaged blood vessels, agreed in a plea bargain yesterday to pay $61 million in fines to settle a case involving 391 criminal counts.

Flight attendants OK strike call

American Airlines Inc.'s flight attendants gave union leaders permission yesterday to call a strike if the negotiators cannot agree on a new contract by the end of the month.

The 21,000-member Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the carrier have been trying to agree for nearly a year on a new contract.

Federal Armored buys company

Federal Armored Express Inc., a Baltimore-based armored car company, has bought the assets of Dunbar Armored Security Inc. of New Britain, Conn., for an undisclosed amount.

The Connecticut company was owned by Michelle S. Dunbar, the sister-in-law of James L. Dunbar Sr., chief executive of Federal Armored Express.

Satellite did not reach orbit

Program managers have concluded that the $220 million Earth observation satellite launched last week did not achieve orbit, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Data from the satellite was to be marketed worldwide by Earth Observation Satellite Co. in Lanham.

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