Originally created 09/09/01

Pocket change



CREDIT CARD MONTH: September is the top month for credit-card offers in the mail, said Robert McKinley, the chief executive of CardWeb.com, an online tracker of credit-card trends.

"Most major new products, including 'smart' and 'reward' cards, have been predominantly rolled out in September," he said. "They do that because consumers are paying more attention, getting back into the grind of things. Companies want to capture as much as they can at Christmas, so the idea is to get those credit-card offers out in September."

HOME AT WORK: The proposed Ford Windstar Solutions minivan could be more than a toy for busy professionals. Try home away from home.

Plans call for a miniature washer/dryer, microwave, fridge and trash compactor.

This vehicle could reduce commuting. Its driver could camp out in the company parking lot.

VACATION VACUUM:You're probably on vacation if you ask:

How long is a one-day pass good for?

What time does the 9 o'clock ferry leave?

How many miles of undiscovered cave are there?

Does the bus tour go the same places as the boat tour?

What's Bill Kirby's address?

GOOD NEWS BEAR: Worried about the stock market? The Vanguard group of mutual funds of Valley Forge, Pa., has published a six-page bulletin, Bear Market Survival Guide, that offers some common-sense points on keeping market swings in perspective.

To order a free copy, call Vanguard at (800) 992-0855. Your request won't result in any follow-up mailings or phone calls, said Vanguard spokeswoman Rebecca Cohen.

WEBOPEDIA: Need computer terms defined in lay language? Visit http://webopedia.com for help.

MALL APPEAL: The mall still reigns as the preferred venue for back-to-school shopping among parents and adolescents, a new survey shows.

The 2001 American Express Retail Index showed that 77 percent of adolescents favor a mall as the place to shop for new clothes and school supplies. Of the parents polled, 63 percent said malls were their top choice for the annual rite.

The survey was based on a telephone canvass of 700 parents and pupils ages 12 to 17.

UP, STILL LOW: Annual pay for workers in Southeastern states averaged $29,119 in 1999, below the national average of $33,340, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Overall, Southeastern pay increased 3.7 percent from 1998, compared with a 4.4 percent nationwide gain.

The rate of pay growth in two Southeastern states, however, exceeded the national increase in 1999. Over the year, pay grew at a 4.8 percent pace in Georgia, the seventh-highest increase in the nation, and by 4.6 percent in North Carolina.