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NEW YORK CITY-Prudence is paying off for the US lodging industry, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast that says cost controls implemented last year will result in black rather than red ink in 2002.

According to the report, aggregate profits will increase from an estimated $16.7 billion in 2001 to 17.2 billion this year.

The cost-cutting measures that saved the industry from what PricewaterhouseCoopers says would have been a decrease of $1.3 billion in 2002 profits includes: cutting jobs; reducing employees’ hours; limiting serving hours in restaurants and reducing the number of restaurants; cutting back on service-oriented jobs such as spa attendants, doormen and concierges; and forming employee teams to brainstorm cost-saving strategies.

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