NEW YORK - The trek to the top isn't over quite yet, but the rate in which the economy climbs to the summit will slow in 2004, according to Robert Doll, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers' president and chief investment officer.

While presenting the firm's 10 predictions for 2004, Doll said last Tuesday that despite optimism that the economy can build on progress made in 2003, he doesn't see the ability to duplicate last year's success and growth.

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