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Internet-related US businesses are expected to generate more than $507 billion in revenues this year, the Austin-based Center for Research on Electronic Commerce at the University of Texas in said in a new study. The Internet businesses, whose revenues were measured at $301 billion last year, also directly account for 2.3 million jobs, according to the report.

Orders for costly US durable goods fell in September for the first time in five months , the Commerce Department said. Dragged lower by weak demand for new cars and aircraft, the value of new orders dropped 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted $204.9 billion. That was more than the 0.4 percent drop expected by Wall Street economists - and the first dip since a 2.4 percent contraction in April.

Late-arriving data have pushed up the estimate of financial losses from Taiwan's Sept. 21 earthquake to $14.1 billion, the government said. Two weeks ago, in its last previous report, the Directorate of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics put the loss at $9.2 billion. The 7.6-magnitude quake is blamed for 2,474 deaths, 11,000 injuries, and for leaving 310,000 people homeless or otherwise seriously affected.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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