CANADA: Harder on the Fiscal Brake

With rare political courage and good economic sense, Canada has been fighting inflation with fiscal measures first. Last fall, mild credit restrictions were imposed on most consumer goods. They were not enough. The cost-of-living index climbed from 172.5 to 175.2 in January.

In the House of Commons last week, Finance Minister Douglas Abbott announced a further fiscal tightening up. Chief items: 1) a hike in the minimum down payment on most consumer goods from one-fifth to one-third, on automobiles from one-third to one-half; and 2) a cut in the maximum credit period for installment buying from 18 to twelve months....

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