ON SALES, PROFITS DOWNOverall expectations for first-quarter gains in sales and profits are down from the previous quarter and from the year-earlier period, according to a nationwide survey of 1,500 business executives by Dun & Bradstreet Corp.
The figures are calculated as the net percentage of executives saying they expect the forthcoming quarter to show better results than the year- earlier quarter.
On profits, the latest optimism level is 60 - derived by taking the 65 percent of respondents expecting higher profits minus the 5 percent expecting lower profits. That optimism index of 60 on profits compares with 67 at the start of 1988's fourth quarter and 63 at the start of 1988's first quarter.
The decline in optimism over forthcoming profits was steepest among retailers and among makers of durable goods.
EXPECTED FOR ECONOMY
NEW YORK - U.S. economic growth will likely moderate and inflation will edge up in 1989, Robert Forrestal, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said Tuesday.
Mr. Forrestal said he expected the economy, excluding the drought effect, to grow at a 2.5 percent to 3 percent clip this year, with inflation edging up to the 5 percent level.
He said he did not expect the jobless rate to fall much below the current 5.3 percent rate.
Inflationary pressures are the most worrisome aspect of the outlook as I see it, said Mr. Forrestal.
BOFA SAYS CALIFORNIA
WILL OUTPACE NATION
SAN FRANCISCO - For the seventh year in a row, California's economy this year will outpace the nation's, this time in spite of a slight downturn, according to a Bank of America economic forecast.
The California economy will not grow as rapidly in 1989 because a slowdown in the national economy will affect the state, according to the report released Monday.
"Higher interest rates and an increase in the inflation rate will dampen consumer enthusiasm for new homes and products," said Frederick L. Cannon, vice president and senior economist, who authored the report.