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BEYOND TAMPA BAY

CONSUMER BORROWING FELL again in May, more evidence that Americans remain jittery over their finances and the durability of the economic recovery. The Federal Reserve said Thursday that borrowing dropped by $9.1 billion in May. Consumer borrowing has fallen in 15 of the past 16 months as households have struggled with uncertain job prospects and battered finances following a deep recession. Credit card borrowing has fallen for 20 straight months.

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CHRYSLER WILL MAKE the first two monthly payments on most new vehicles bought this month in a bid to boost sales after a weak June. Chrysler will pay up to $500 per month for a total of $1,000 on most vehicles. Customers also get the option of taking $3,000 to $4,000 in cash or making a "regret-free" purchase, in which they could return any new vehicle within 60 days if they're not satisfied. Other July incentives include zero-percent financing on most Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep vehicles. All the deals are set to end Aug. 2.

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MCDONALD'S OFFICIALLY INTRODUCES its first fruit smoothies in strawberry-banana and "wild berry" flavors on Sunday. The company aims to stake a big claim on fruity beverages after already doing the same in the coffee market. The smoothie segment posted steady growth from April 2004 to March 2009, and held up relatively well through the recession. Accompanying the launch, McDonald's plans to push the fruity concoctions with free samples, television commercials and billboards.

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SALES OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON PAIN RELIEVERS plunged to $20.9 million in the four-week period ended June 13 as a string of recalls appears to have made consumers wary of once-sterling brands such as Tylenol and Benadryl. An eighth recall, announced Thursday, covers 21 lots of products, including Children's Tylenol. Those were recalled because of a musty or moldy smell, extending a large Jan. 15 recall tied to a nauseating chemical on shipping pallets.

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"I'm excited to create a retail experience that is as thrilling as my first drive of the Tesla Roadster."

GEORGE BLANKENSHIP, former Microsoft and Apple real estate expert, hired as vice president of design and store development for Tesla Motors, the maker of high-end electric cars

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5

NUMBER OF FLIGHTS, four by United Airlines, the government says were stuck on the tarmac for at least three hours in May, the first month under a new rule banning lengthy tarmac delays, compared with 35 in May 2009

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THE BOTTOM LINE: Initial jobless claims fell 21,000 last week to seasonally adjusted 454,000, the Labor Department said ...Drugmaker Merck to shut down eight manufacturing plants and eight research sites globally ...Ford appoints Sprint Nextel chairman James Hance Jr. to board of directors

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