CPI may overstate inflation rateThe government is taking a...

BUSINESS DIGEST

December 29, 1993

CPI may overstate inflation rate

The government is taking a closer look at the way it tracks inflation after finding that the indicator may overstate annual price increases.

The Consumer Price Index may have overstated the nation's inflation rate by up to 0.6 percent a year, according to researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the Labor Department. But a spokeswoman for the BLS said the research will not necessarily lead to changes in the way the CPI is calculated.

GTS Duratek forms joint venture

GTS Duratek Inc. has formed a joint venture with Vitritek Holding Co. of Mercer Island, Wash., to pursue the commercialization of a technology that converts medical, asbestos and other hazardous wastes into glass for safe storage and disposal.

Under the agreement, Columbia-based Duratek has received $2 million in cash and a $750,000 note from Vitritek in exchange for 687,500 shares of Duratek stock. Each company will own 50 percent of the joint venture.

Md. insurance fraud unit's figures

The Maryland Insurance Fraud Unit filed charges in 20 cases of alleged fraud in its first year and has criminal investigations under way on 130 other complaints that were brought against individuals and companies.

A report issued Monday on the first 12 months of operation said the fraud unit received more than 350 complaints by mail and on its telephone hot line.

AT&T to raise basic phone rates

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. said yesterday that it would raise basic phone rates, effective Jan. 10, if approved by regulators. It is also establishing savings plans, which could offset the rate increases, AT&T said.

AT&T said rates for direct-dial domestic calls will rise an average of 6.3 percent. Rates for direct-dial calls to 123 countries will rise an average of 3.75 percent. It said increases in interstate calling-card and operator-assisted per-minute rates, plus service charges for some operator-handled calls, will result in an average increase of 3.35 percent.

MCI sells 25 percent stake in Infonet

MCI Communications Corp. said it sold its 25 percent stake in Infonet Services Corp., a computer data network, as part of its proposed alliance with British Telecommunications Plc.

Under an agreement announced in June, British Telecom would pay $4.3 billion for a 20 percent stake in Washington-based MCI.

MCI, in turn, would buy British Telecom's North American operations, including the Tymnet computer data network, which competes with Infonet.

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