Corporate Profits: `Things Still Look Awfully Good'

Growth may be slower--but at this pace, it's more likely to last

America's longest-lasting postwar economic boom is beginning to look more like a marathon than a sprint. The pace may have slowed, but the race appears far from over. In the second quarter of 1997, earnings for the 900 companies on BUSINESS WEEK's Corporate Scoreboard rose 7% from a year earlier, to $89.3 billion, on an 8% sales gain, to $1.4 trillion. Eliminate a huge $1.73 billion write-down-related loss by drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co., and profits would have risen 10%.

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