Looking at the 2010 midyear data reported to the Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank by 187 U.S.-headquartered firms in our latest survey, we can best describe the results as “shrinking toward profit growth.” We see some bad news and some good news.

During the first half of 2010, revenue was virtually flat, and demand was down slightly, compared with the same period in 2009. Inventory grew by less than 1 percent. When we consider that these results are being compared to a weak first half of 2009, we can hardly describe this as a robust rebound. At best, we may have reached a bottoming out.

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