Inside Report (7)

The big question: When will the US economy begin to turn up?

Hints are already in the air. The index of leading indicators has just turned positive for the first time since last summer. It could mean the worst of the current recession is over; the bottom is near.

This doesn't mean there will be more jobs immediately. Some of the hardest hit industries -- like autos and housing -- may improve only slowly. But economists see better times ahead - probably starting in early summer.

That's good news for President Reagan. It's only a little over nine months until the midterm elections for Congress. His program needs to show results by then -- or Republicans could be hurt.

Here's how the economy is seen now in Washington and elsewhere.

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