Auto sales up 2.9 percent in MayU.S. sales of cars and...

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 04, 1994

Auto sales up 2.9 percent in May

U.S. sales of cars and trucks during May rose 2.9 percent over a year earlier but slipped from their torrid pace in March and April as dealers ran short of a number of popular models, automakers said yesterday.

Automakers sold a total of 1.35 million cars and trucks in the United States during May, up from 1.32 million a year earlier.

But the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for the month fell to 14.6 million units, down from 15.9 million in March and 15.3 million in April.

GE denies wrongdoing

General Electric Co. yesterday denied allegations that it suppressed test results showing 7,000 military and commercial jet engines -- including those on Air Force One -- had dangerous electrical flaws.

The government is seeking at least $100 million in damages in the lawsuit unsealed Thursday in federal court.

The Justice Department said the alleged flaws could cause fires or loss of power. No crashes were mentioned in the lawsuit.

GE denied the allegations -- which were first leveled by a whistle-blower -- and said its engines have the best safety and reliability record in the world.

$700 million spent on currency

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's top foreign exchange official said yesterday that the central bank purchased $700 million worth of U.S. currency through the sale of German marks and Japanese yen on the last day of April.

The disclosure, made during a quarterly foreign-exchange press briefing, marked the first details of exactly how much the central bank spent during that period, when it orchestrated an enormous intervention with 15 other nations to defend the dollar's value.

Comsat closes $150 million deal

Comsat Corp., a Bethesda-based satellite communications company, said yesterday that it has closed its acquisition of Radiation Systems Inc., a Sterling, Va.-based manufacturer of satellite equipment.

The $150 million deal is expected to open new opportunities for Comsat in wireless telephone technologies. RSI had sales of $121.8 million during its last fiscal year, compared with $563.6 million for Comsat.

Wal-Mart to continue expansion

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said yesterday it will continue its international expansion by opening stores in Argentina and Brazil next year.

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