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INVESTMENT EXPERT SAYS CONSUMER BORROWING, SPENDING TO RISE SOON

 INVESTMENT EXPERT SAYS CONSUMER BORROWING, SPENDING TO RISE SOON
 CHICAGO, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers are in a position to start borrowing again, which should lead to improved sales and contribute to more hiring, a leading portfolio manager said.
 In his most recent investment outlook report, Robert D. Milne, president of Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co., points out that consumer debt as a percentage of disposable income has been declining since 1989.
 "In general, consumers weathered the recession well and they are in a position to start borrowing again," he said in his report. "Quite a number of homeowners are enjoying the benefits from refinancing their mortgages at lower interest rates. These homeowners are now in a position to take on more installment debt."
 On the corporate side, major companies are maintaining a conservative approach to capital spending despite increased earnings so far this year and expected increases in 1993. "The restructurings of the past 18 months are starting to be reflected in increased productivity and higher profits," Milne said. "With encouragement from higher sales, corporations will need to add workers and capacity.
 "The main constraining force is that corporate debt levels remain high. Yet, the current uptrend in internally generated funds should enable a much stronger advance in capital spending. Low interest rates are also a strong encouragement."
 Milne cited other signs of economic improvement, including July increases in industrial production and factory orders and the continuing decline in consumer credit.
 While this economic recovery has been weaker than most, "With time and adequate monetary support, the economy should advance at a more normal recovery pace," Milne said.
 Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co., headquartered in Cleveland, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Duff & Phelps Corp.
 -0- 8/18/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Milne, 216-771-3450, or Jacqueline Bitowt, 312-630-4624, both of Duff & Phelps/ CO: Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ECO


SM -- NY034 -- 0898 08/18/92 11:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 18, 1992
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