U.S.: The Earnings Slump Isn't Going Away

To cope, companies will cut back on hiring and capital spending

Let's face it: The earnings performance of Corporate America has been dreadful since late 1997, and the reasons owe as much to homegrown conditions as to a poor foreign climate. Even though the U.S. economy grew a solid 3.4% during the past year, profits fell 4%, according to BUSINESS WEEK's third-quarter tally. Now, the economy is set to slow, perhaps sharply. Do you really believe those stock analysts' projections of 5%-to-10% earnings growth for 1999?

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