State of Business: The Noble Consumer

Economists carefully measure the behavior of the consumer, and with good reason: consumer spending soaks up two-thirds of the nation's entire output. In 1963 the consumer is even more important than usual. Capital spending by business, one of the prime necessities of an economic upturn, has yet to increase significantly beyond its 1957 level. Government spending will probably be held down by the sharp political reaction to the threat of a large federal deficit. Industrial production has slid off the peak it reached last September, and in January just managed to equal December's performance. Any strong economic...

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