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These seers see no downturn in '98

Although many forecasters see a significant slowdown in economic activity in coming months, the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) reports that its long-range gauge, designed to anticipate cyclical turns in the economy and project economic activity as much as a year ahead, skyrocketed in February to its highest reading since 1986. And its near-term gauge rebounded, as well.

The research group's indicators do point to some slowing in manufacturing and employment in the months ahead. But, says ECRI economist Anirvan Banerji, their overall strength suggests the economy will continue to post healthy growth through the end of 1998."