NEW YORK — The economy will gradually pick up steam throughout 2008 and will not slip into a recession, thanks to stimuli from the government, the National Retail Federation predicted at a press conference here yesterday. “Interest-rate cuts and an economic stimulus package from the federal government should help things in the second half,” said Rosalind Wells, the chief economist for the NRF. She said retail sales would slow to about 3.2% growth in the first half of the year but pick up to ...

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