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New economic features

Today the Monitor launches three new features to help readers deal with today's world of soaring interest rates and a shrinking dollar. Harry B. Ellis, the Monitor's senior economics correspondent in Washington, will write a weekly column, "Trend of the economy." Mr. Ellis will draw on his years of experience in the capital to look for turning points in an economy which has been buffeted by oil shocks, record inflation, and new competition from abroad.

Once a month, the Ellis column will be supplemented by another feature -- like the one above on variable rate mortgages --the family pocketbook. Later features will probe such topics as generic brands, price scanners in grocery stores, and low-cost substitutes for such newly expensive items as peanut butter and tuna fish.

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Also every month, under the heading "Where the economy is going," the Monitor will publish a number of key economic indicators which can help readers with their personal and business planning.

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