Asia's economic turmoil will cut profits at individual banks in 1999 but is not expected to cause widespread problems for the U.S. banking system, a government economist said Tuesday.

"The U.S. economy will see a slowdown because of the Asian problems," said Nancy Wentzler, director of economic analysis at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "Consequently some credit problems in bank portfolios may result in reductions in bank earnings."

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