A Heat Wave Hits The Economy

All of a sudden, the tepid economy is really cooking

So much for slow and steady. At the end of 1995, forecasters looked into their crystal balls and saw a 1996 economy humming monotonously along at a 1.9% annual rate in each quarter. Then something happened that surprised just about everyone. Economic activity in the first quarter grew at a solid 2.3% clip and threatens to barrel through the second at 4%--with enough momentum from inventory rebuilding to blaze through the autumn.

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