European firms start ventureWith Europe and the United...


April 08, 1994

European firms start venture

With Europe and the United States jockeying for leadership in efforts to build a new supersonic passenger aircraft, top French and British aerospace companies said yesterday that they would link up with their German counterpart to step up development of a successor to the Concorde.

British Aerospace and Aerospatiale of France, which built the Concorde together and which have been studying the possibility of a new supersonic plane for the last four years, said they would now be joined in that effort by Deutsche Aerospace, their partner the Airbus consortium.

Yesterday's announcement was seen by some within the industry as an attempt to present a united front to the governments of Europe in the quest for more financial aid.

In the United States, Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corp. both have programs going, as do major engine manufacturers GE Co. and the Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies.

Consumer credit up $3.5 billion

Consumer credit rose $3.5 billion in February -- the ninth straight increase -- but at a much slower pace than many analysts expected.

Borrowing climbed at a 5.3 percent annual rate, the Federal Reserve said yesterday, the smallest increase since a 3.4-percent advance last June.

GM fined for safety violations

General Motors Corp. must pay a record $1.945 million fine for safety violations that was imposed after the 1991 death of a worker at its Oklahoma City assembly plant, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said yesterday.

OSHA Administrative Law Judge Stanley Schwartz upheld the 43 separate penalties, resulting in the biggest fine the U.S. Labor Department agency has won in court to date.

OSHA began investigating the Oklahoma plant April 4, 1991, the day a worker died after being struck by a conveyor lift while he was repairing it.

Sales up along Mexican border

Retail sales growth this year along the U.S.-Mexican border may be the first discernible sign that the North American Free Trade Agreement is benefiting U.S. border cities, Standard & Poor's Corp. said yesterday.

According to the Wall Street firm, as a "direct result" of the controversial free-trade agreement's passage, retail spending along the border has surged, with sales by Mexican shoppers in some border cities up by over 50 percent.

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