News In Brief

Hewlett-Packard was scheduled to announce plans to launch an Internet site with start-up Ariba Technologies Inc. to sell everything from desks to paper clips to corporations. That market is projected to grow to as much as $500 billion by 2002. The world's second-largest computermaker said the announcement is part of a plan to separate into two companies: a computer-printer business and a smaller medical-devices and electronic-testing firm.

An advance look at the new budget to be proposed by the government tomorrow indicates China's fiscal 1999 deficit will swell by a record 56 percent because of heavy military and public-works spending - despite the flagging economy. News agencies in Beijing said Premier Zhu Rongji will propose issuing more government bonds to cover the deficit. His speech to the National People's Congress reportedly will offer little hope for growth in consumer spending, export income, or foreign investment. Zhu is expected to announce a growth target of 7 percent for the year. China failed to meet an 8 percent target in 1998.

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