Profits Part Company With Paychecks

Weak economy. Strong profits. It's a combination that doesn't make sense. But in the first half of the year, the economy grew at an annual rate of only 1.6% while first-quarter earnings jumped 30% from a year ago, followed by a surprisingly healthy 19% advance in the second quarter. Last quarter's 0.5% growth in real gross domestic product was the slowest in 31/2 years.

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