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HUNTINGTON CHIEF ECONOMIST: ECONOMIC GROWTH POISED FOR A REBOUND

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- James W. Coons, vice president and chief economist for The Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio, says that today's announcement on second quarter economic growth is the last of the bad news.
 The Commerce Department reported this morning that the economy expanded at an annual rate of just 1.6 percent in the second quarter. That follows growth of only 0.7 in the first period and is half of what economists believe to be the economy's long run potential.
 Weakness was concentrated in inventories and home building, which together subtracted two and a half percentage points from growth. All other major areas contributed positively.
 Led by a 14 percent gain in purchases of durable goods, total consumer spending advanced at a 3.8 percent pace. Spending by businesses for equipment climbed at an annual rate of 16.5 percent, after equally sharp gains in each of the two previous quarters. Even investment in nonresidential structures -- an area of pronounced weakness for some time -- expanded by nearly 5 percent.
 "The key," according to Coons, "is that real final sales bounced back strongly in the quarter, rising at an annual rate of 3.7 percent." Final sales -- a measure of purchases rather than production -- declined in the first period after rising by 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992.
 "The solid rebound in final sales indicates that the expansion continues to build. The Huntington's economic forecast calls for continued growth of close to 4 percent in final sales for the balance of the year," said Coons.
 Four factors that are expected to support the economy in the second half are aggressive production plans at automobile factories, a modest accumulation of inventories, rebuilding from the floods, and expectations of higher tax rates in 1994.
 -0- 7/29/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Coons of The Huntington National Bank, 614-463-4467/


CO: The Huntington National Bank ST: Ohio IN: FIN SU: ECO

AR -- CL018 -- 7499 07/29/93 12:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1993
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