Thursday, October 2, 2003

Business digest

From wire reports

Manufacturing and construction improve

WASHINGTON - The Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday that for the third month in a row, activity at America's factories expanded in September. The research group's manufacturing index was 53.7 in September, compared with 54.7 in August. An index reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The Commerce Department said the total value of building projects came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $882.7 billion in August - the strongest showing since January.

GM leads as Big Three report sales

DETROIT - Among the Big Three automakers, General Motors Corp. led with a 12 percent sales increase in September sales of cars and trucks. Ford Motor Co.'s comparable volume was flat, while DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group saw sales fall 15 percent.

But Chrysler was truly back among the Big Three in September, a month after Toyota's U.S. arm outsold Chrysler for the first time in a single month.

September's tallies: 147,114 vehicles sold for Chrysler, 140,754 for Toyota.

U.S. auto makers sweeten incentives

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler unit increased incentives on most 2004 model cars and trucks.

General Motors lengthened the maximum term on no-interest loan offers to five years from three. All three increased rebates.

Emery Air parent to pay $6M fine

Emery Worldwide Airlines will pay a $6 million federal fine for violating hazardous-materials laws by failing to identify shipments properly, parent company CNF Inc. said this week.

Emery, an air cargo carrier that ceased operating in 2001, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Dayton to 12 counts of violating the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, which regulates the shipment of hazardous materials.

The violations occurred at Emery's hub in Dayton in 1998.

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