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Look For Slow Economic Growth

A reporter makes the rounds, talking sometimes in person, sometimes by telephone, with major decision-makers in Washington about the U.S. economy.

Some of them are in the White House, some of them in Congress, some in other places. Not all of them are in government, but most of them are.

From these interviews, a consensus about the economy emerged. Here it is. Everyone is nervous about Wall Street. But, the consensus is: the U.S. economy probably will continue to show growth this year - slowed growth, but growth, but growth. There'll be fluctuations, but slow, steady growth is still indicated.

Most, not all, but most of those with whom your reporter talked believe the stock market will end the year up - perhaps not by much, but hope.

A cautionary note: While these people are experts and make key decisions about the economy, when it comes to stocks, they are guessing. And they sometimes guess wrong.

The U.S. economy as a whole - that includes stocks and bonds, but also much, much more - is now being significantly impacted by Asia's economic woes and troubles elsewhere.

Elsewhere, especially, includes Russia, parts of Latin America, particularly Mexico and Brazil and South Africa. An increasing number of developing countries show definite signs of increasing stability.

Managing to keep the impact of all of this to the lowest possible minimum on the American economy is a huge task. And the task is complicated by Washington's fixation on the Monica Lewinsky case.

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