CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SAGS: Consumers' confidence in the economy dropped from June to July, but less than economists expected. The University of Michigan's report on consumer sentiment for late July was 88.1, down from 92.4 in June but up from 86.5 in mid-month. Analysts had expected a final July reading of 87. "It's another indication American consumers have not thrown in the towel despite the stock market plunge and anemic employment growth," said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co.
US AIRWAYS EXECS TO TAKE PAY CUTS: Vowing to share the pain with other employees, US Airways chief executive David Siegel said he will cut his annual salary by $150,000, or 20 percent, to $600,000. Siegel, who has pressed for $950-million in annual concessions from US Airways employees as part of the company's survival plan, also will forgo pay increases and bonuses between now and 2004, the airline said. Siegel is eligible for yearly bonuses of up to $3.3-million. The airline said 43 other top officers plus board members will take substantial pay cuts. Pilots are voting on a new contract that calls for $465-million in annual cuts. Flight attendants begin balloting today on a deal with $75.8-million in cuts.
GE REORGANIZES UNIT: General Electric announced a reorganization of its financial services unit, the first big move by chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt since he succeeded Jack Welch last year. GE Capital, which generates 40 percent of the conglomerate's earnings, will become GE Commercial Finance, GE Insurance, GE Consumer Finance and GE Equipment Management as of Aug. 1. Each of the businesses will report directly to Immelt and vice chairman Dennis Dammerman, who has oversight for GE Capital. Immelt said he wants "more direct contact" with the financial services unit of GE.