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Is The Economy's Parachute Ready To Open?


Economic Trends

IS THE ECONOMY'S PARACHUTE READY TO OPEN?

'We're hardly out of the woods yet," says economist Irwin L. Kellner of Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. "But the free-fall in the economy seems to have ended."

Kellner's evidence: Weekly jobless insurance claims have dropped by about 60,000 from their level in mid-December and appear to have stabilized, while help-wanted advertising rose slightly in December. Nondefense capital goods orders jumped in December, January saw a healthy 1.3% rise in department store sales, mortgage rates are at a four-year low, and gasoline prices in many localities are back down to pre-invasion levels and are probably headed lower.GENE KORETZ


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