RETAILERS ARE SEEN IN GOOD SHAPE THROUGH '98

NEW YORK -- Americans, it would seem, have it made. The U.S. economy appears to be immune from negative effects of the devastating financial problems in Asia, as the stock market continues to reach record highs and consumer confidence soars. But can the exuberance in the United States persist through 1998?Maybe not.The question of the effect of the Asian meltdown on the U.S. economy still dogs economists

NEW YORK -- Americans, it would seem, have it made. The U.S. economy appears to be immune from negative effects of the devastating financial problems in Asia, as the stock market continues to reach record highs and consumer confidence soars. But can the exuberance in the United States persist through 1998?

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