The Economy: A Foot in the Icebox, A Hand on the Stove

Has the straining U.S. economy, so close of late to perilous inflation, reached a subtle turning point toward slower expansion? Last week not only Washington's economic wiggle watchers but also bankers in such pressure-sensitive spots as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles caught a few signs of such change. Said Chairman Ransom Cook of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank: "I can see some small slowing down in prosperity."

The symptoms were partly psychological, partly fiscal—and wholly welcome. Among moneymen, panicky talk of a threatening crisis in the financial markets had disappeared as bond prices improved and business reacted to high-interest rates...

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