Industry Outlook

Strong productivity, willing consumers, and low inflation may again confound the doomsayers

The biggest question for industry in 1999 is a simple one: Can the U.S. economy beat the forecasts for a fourth year in a row? Going into 1996, 1997, and 1998, most economic forecasters expected modest growth of 2% or so. Each year, however, the actual number turned out to be much higher--hitting 3.5% or more.

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