Two-Way Spiral

The Administration still talked loudly about fighting inflation, but last week it quietly took a short step to combat deflation. Because retail sales and installment credit have been dropping, the Federal Reserve Board eased up on Regulation W, which restricts installment buying.

Buyers will now have 21 months (instead of 15 to 18) to pay for goods covered by the regulation. Minimum down payments were cut from 20% to 15% of the purchase price, except for automobiles (which stayed at one-third).

Retailers who had seen consumer credit dip during January, for the first...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!