U.S.: Earnings Growth Is Caught In A Vise

A gap between labor costs and pricing power could blunt the good news

The U.S. economy is often compared to an ocean liner--a forward-moving behemoth that's hard to turn around. But a better analogy is an armada, with each sector making its way each year through calm seas or treacherous shoals. On average, the U.S. flotilla is moving faster than economists expected. But there is a widening gap between the speediest ships and the slowest, along with other growing imbalances that are likely to slow the economy at some point in 1999.

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