ECONOMY

Consumer credit in June edged up just 0.8 percent at an annual rate following a 6.1 percent gain in May. The slowing resulted in part from a 6.6 percent decline in automobile loans.

COMPANIES

MNC Financial, the parent firm of American Security, Maryland National and Equitable banks, said it will issue $180 million in MNC convertable preferred stock to its largest shareholder, Alfred Lerner. Lerner's investment will help ease a potential cash crunch at the parent firm. The agreement will give Lerner up to 23 percent of the voting stock of the company.

Vie de France completed a $6 million rights offering under which it offered 3 million common shares to its shareholders for $2 a share.

Infinity Broadcasting, which owns 17 radio stations including WJFK-FM in Fairfax, has agreed to sell $26.7 million in newly issued stock and warrants to the Merchant Banking Partnerships of Lehman Brothers, merchant banking funds headed by the Shearson Lehman Brothers brokerage.

Central Fidelity Banks Inc. of Richmond announced an extension of its 1987 stock repurchase plan that will allow it to buy 750,000 shares of its common stock, or about 5 percent of the outstanding shares.

Mazda's first sport utility vehicle rolled off the line at Ford's Louisville plant, marking the first time a vehicle built in this country by a domestic automaker will be sold by an import manufacturer through its own dealer network. Ford owns 25 percent of Mazda.

Syntro Corp. agreed to pay royalties to Upjohn for sales of a genetically engineered vaccine for swine, settling a patent dispute between the companies.

The Bank of New York will drop out of the ranks of primary dealers of U.S. government securities, in the latest exit from a business whose once-hefty profits have become badly squeezed.

Hughes Aircraft announced that Electronic Data Systems has joined its team to pursue a contract for the information system part of NASA's Earth Observing System.

Associated Dry Goods agreed to pay the state of Virginia $3.7 million in an unclaimed-property settlement. The sum represents funds the company was unable to forward to unidentified customers and employees for unredeemed gift certificates, uncashed checks, unapplied payments and the like.

ACQUISITIONS

GTE and Contel, as expected, signed an agreement to merge into a new, $25 billion communications giant. The merger is subject to approval by stockholders and regulatory agencies.

INTERNATIONAL

Campeau Corp. said Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. agreed to extend to Aug. 15 a nine-day notice period on exercising ''remedies against collateral'' stemming from Campeau's defaults on a $480 million loan.

British Airways said its first-quarter profit climbed 79 percent, boosted by interest income and asset disposals.

REGULATION

Consolidated Natural Gas of Pittsburgh won FERC approval to supply 55 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Virginia Natural Gas Inc. and Richmond's municipal gas utility.

CONTRACTS

Electronic Data Systems of Herndon signed a $116 million, five-year contract with the Army's information systems agency to provide technical support services to the information systems software center at Ft. Belvoir.

EARNINGS

Harris Corp. reported that profit for fiscal 1990 rose 513 percent. In its fiscal fourth quarter, ended June 30, earnings were $39.5 million, compared with a loss of $51.9 million for the same period a year earlier.

Emerson Electric reported third-quarter earnings rose 4 percent from the same period a year ago.

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich reported a second-quarter loss of $22.97 million, compared with a loss of $42.56 million for the same period a year ago, and a first-half loss of $94.94 million, compared with a loss of $158.65 million a year earlier.

Quaker Oats said earnings climbed 17.3 percent in its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended June 30, but plunged 16.7 percent for the year.

PEOPLE

Howard Ruff, the investment adviser who last week took over the troubled discount buying club FundAmerica, said he had been fired by associates of the company's founder, Robert Edwards, who Ruff said secretly voted to remove him as president and chief executive.

ODD LOTS

Atlantic City casinos that were in business a year ago made 14.3 percent less off of gamblers last month than they did in July 1989, New Jersey Casino Association officials said.