OUTLOOK/BOARD OF ECONOMISTS: The Year Ahead: A Portrait in Pastels

If economists' predictions for the coming year could be symbolically represented by a painting, it would be a portrait in muted pastels—no dazzling rosy hues, no daubs of black. The recovery from the worst slump since the Great Depression will continue at a steady but unspectacular pace. Unemployment and inflation will both come down, slowly and moderately. It will be a year of transition—but will the transition be to a new period of balanced growth or a time of stagnation?

Economists are deeply divided on that question. But there is strikingly little...

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