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Luxury Shares Fly High On Sunny Outlook for ’04, But Gray Clouds Loom

Luxury firms are enjoying their best times in years, and the fervor is being reflected in share prices flying high, which, experts say, should continue.

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Lonski cautioned that the good times may not last much longer. He pointed to a lack of job creation, which affected February’s consumer confidence report. The Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. companies added a mere 21,000 jobs in the overall economy in February, which fell far short of some economists’ projections, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged in February at 5.6 percent.

“The miracle of achieving robust consumer spending amid a stagnant labor market owed in part to tax cuts that began in 2001 perhaps may come to an end in the first half of this year,” Lonski said. “Unless job growth returns in force, consumer spending is vulnerable to a slowdown to the U.S. and the world economy at large.”

— With contributions from Jennifer Weitzman and Vicki M. Young

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