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Profits Slip

8:12 AM MDT | July 20, 2012 | —Arnold Pearlman

0perating earnings of U.S. corporations fell 0.3% in the first quarter of 2012—the first drop since the recovery in earnings that began in early 2009. Profits have more than doubled since then, and the earnings share of GDP has advanced from 6.9% to a current 12.8%. The expansion in real GDP did slow from 3% in the final quarter of 2012 to 1.9% in the most recent period, but the culprit was net earnings from overseas operations: down 11.7% after dropping 9.2% in the previous quarter. The problems in Europe, coupled with a slowdown in Asia, have seriously...

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