WASHINGTON, D.C.: As the U.S. economy chugs through its sixth successive year of growth, economists for the top U.S. corporations are predicting that it will keep coasting smoothly along through 1997. The optimistic view of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) was bolstered by improved U.S. trade figures, which they now believe will offset slowdowns in business performance and housing construction. Their sunny outlook wasn't even dented by the rather bracing hint by Fed governor Laurence Meyer at a NABE gathering Sunday night that the Fed may raise short-term interest rates at its September 24 meeting. At most, the economists maintain that while economic activity, which grew at 4.8 percent in August, may slow a bit, it will not falter by much. The association projected that the GDP would expand by 2.3 percent overall in 1996 and continue at that pace through 1997, carried along in part by strong consumer spending.
. . . And Wall Street Picks Up Speed
NEW YORK: Unfazed by Meyer's hint, Wall Street traders drove prices upward by 73.98 points on Monday, closing within 50 points of the Dow's all-time high of 5,778. For the moment, investors seem less concerned that strong economic performance inevitably will lead to an abrupt cinching in of growth by the Fed. -->