Originally created 06/28/02

Business briefs



Domestic product rate leaps ahead

WASHINGTON - Gross domestic product - the total output of goods and services produced in the United States - grew at a red-hot annual rate of 6.1 percent in the January-March quarter, the strongest performance in more than two years, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Economists say the GDP has slowed considerably in the current quarter, with some projecting growth at a rate of 2.5 percent or lower. The slowdown partly reflects less enthusiastic consumers, whose spending accounts for two-thirds of all economic activity in the United States, analysts said.

Motorola plans additional layoffs

CHICAGO - Motorola Inc. will cut 7,000 more jobs, or 7 percent of its work force, and incur $3.5 billion in charges in a cost-cutting move that it said completes its massive two-year restructuring, the company said Thursday.

The cellular phone and semiconductor giant said it remains on track to return to operating profitability in the second half of the year.

As part of the restructuring, the struggling company has reduced its work force from a peak of 150,000 employees in August 2000 to the roughly 100,000 people it now employs. The latest cut will reduce its work force to about 93,000, said spokesman Scott Wyman, adding that the reductions will begin in July.

Mortgage levels go slightly lower

WASHINGTON - Rates for 30-year and 15-year mortgages dipped this week, while rates on one-year adjustable rate mortgages edged up, according to a nationwide survey released Thursday.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported that the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.55 percent this week, down from 6.63 percent the previous week. A year ago this time, 30-year mortgages averaged 7.11 percent.

Delta raises costs for business fliers

NEW YORK - Delta Air Lines is raising the cost of airfare for business travelers by not allowing corporate discounts on certain reduced fares.

Delta's decision mirrors the action in November by Northwest Airlines, which no longer lets corporate clients use their discount when purchasing cheap fares aimed at leisure travelers.

Corporate travel managers who received notice of the change from Delta said Thursday that it probably would not go into effect until August. A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Delta refused to comment on the change, which was first reported by industry publication Business Travel News.