Summer Slump

Slow growth, weak currency

Last winter the U.S. dollar was rising powerfully, setting records against the French franc, the West German mark and the Italian lira. During the long, hot summer, though, the dollar has sweltered and gone limp. Main reason: fears that the U.S. economy may be stagnating. Since late February, the dollar's value has dropped 25% against the British pound, 10% against the Japanese yen and 14% against the lira. Last week the greenback lost ground in four of five trading sessions, closing Friday at its lowest level in more than a year against the German mark and the French franc.

What touched...

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