HOW LONG CAN IT LAST?

DESPITE TURMOIL ABROAD, THE ECONOMY WILL LIKELY BE IN GREAT SHAPE THROUGH 1998, SAYS A TIME PANEL

Less growth. More inflation. Corporate profits rising only about half as fast.

That may sound like a dismal forecast for next year--and in another era it would be. In making these predictions, however, members of a specially convened TIME Board of Economists are bubbling with optimism. In 1998, they think, the U.S. will enjoy a stunning sixth straight year of steady growth, relatively stable prices and low unemployment. Yes, the performance will be less spectacular than this year's--but then 1997 has been a vintage year. By almost any other comparison, 1998 should be more than satisfactory.

"Fundamentally, the economy is in...

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