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New orders for costly manufactured goods shot up in July at the fastest rate this year, as a revival in US manufacturing drove demand up across the board, the Commerce Department reported. The value of new orders increased 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted $204 billion - far ahead of Wall Street economists' forecasts of a 0.8 percent rise - after a slim 0.5 percent pickup in June. The gain in July was the largest since a 3.4 percent surge in December.

An unsolicited $1.2 billion offer that would combine Canada's two major airlines into one was made by Onex Corp., a Toronto holding company that controls in-flight catering, sugar, and other businesses. Under its terms, Air Canada and financially troubled Canadian Airlines would merge, with the likely loss of 5,000 jobs. The combined companies, which employ 37,000 workers, would be known as Air Canada and be based in Montreal. Canadian Airlines, which has been seeking new investors, is resisting a proposal currently before the federal government in Ottawa that would require it to yield its profitable international routes to Air Canada.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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