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New car sales continue hot streak

The brisk pace of new car and truck sales continued in early June as consumers lured by sweet lease deals, cash rebates and high trade-in values kept showrooms hopping.

Combined car and truck sales in the June 1-10 period were up 15.5 percent compared with the same period last year, domestic automakers reported Tuesday. Overall domestic vehicle sales are running 8.6 percent ahead of last year.

TRADE DEFICIT SHRINKS. An increase in foreign customers for U.S. services like banking and travel helped shrink the overall U.S. trade deficit by 11.7 percent from January through March, the government said Tuesday.

PART-TIME BENEFITS TO BE REVIEWED. The Clinton administration will conduct an extensive review of labor laws and policies to see if traditional protections and benefits can be extended to part-time workers, a Department of Labor official told Congress on Tuesday.

KODAK TO SPIN OFF BUSINESS. Eastman Kodak Co. took a major step in its restructuring Tuesday by announcing the spinoff of its 73-year-old chemical business to shareholders. The move will shed about $2-billion of Kodak's $9.4-billion debt, but more work is planned to improve the company's balance sheet and profitability, chairman Kay Whitmore said. He also promised Kodak will have a new operating and financial plan ready by September.

COMPANIES SETTLE CASE. Two manufacturers and a distributor of agricultural chemicals have agreed to pay a combined $1.07-million in civil penalties to settle a price-fixing case, Florida officials said Tuesday. Griffin Corp. of Valdosta, Ga., Helen Chemical Co. of Memphis, Tenn., and FMC Corp. of Chicago agreed to the settlements without admitting wrongdoing, Attorney General Bob Butterworth said.

MINORITY AGENCY GETS CONTRACT. The Gothard Group, a Miami-based minority-owned public relations and advertising agency, has won Florida's tourism advertising account for the African-American market, it was announced Tuesday. The Gothard Group received unanimous approval from a panel of tourism industry leaders from across the state.

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