Slipping A Punch

Asia's meltdown poses a threat, says TIME's panel, but the U.S. economy is still going strong

Numerically, the forecast for 1998, as seen by members of TIME's Board of Economists and most other predictors, looks ho-hum. Steady but moderate growth in production, profits and wages. Little change in rates of inflation, unemployment and interest. Not bad, not great. Just kind of O.K.

But when TIME's panelists analyzed the forces shaping the numbers at a special meeting in New York City, they repeatedly talked of trends and events "unprecedented for modern economic times." Those words from Allen Sinai, chief global economist of Primark Decision Economics, referred specifically to the meltdown of Asian economies. But other tendencies are at...

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