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A Rousing Surge In Business Confidence Except At The Bank


Economic Trends

A ROUSING SURGE IN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE--EXCEPT AT THE BANK

Suddenly, with the advent of spring, optimism is busting out all overor nearly all over. Surveys indicate that both the public and business leaders are feeling a lot better about the economy.

So whos unhappy? Just the group that presumably has its fingers on the financial pulse. According to a new nationwide survey of banking chief executives by Grant Thornton, the manage- ment consulting firm, 52% think the U.S. economy is still caught in recession. Whats more, 46% of the 600 top bankers interviewed believe the recession will last until 1993. And though 45% say a recovery is now developing, only 7% expect the whole economy to emerge from recession before midyear.

About the only bright spots in the survey were bankers views on inflation and their own earnings. Less than a third feel inflation will accelerate this year. And 58% expect rising profits, with only 12% anticipating a decline.GENE KORETZ


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