Business: THE PAINFUL PROCESS OF SLOWING DOWN

STEPS to restrain an overgrowing economy and control inflation never begin to take effect for at least six months. Paul McCracken, the President's chief economist, rather charitably calls that tense period of waiting and watching "the awkward months." Last week, seven months after Washington's policymakers set the anti-inflationary course of tight money and tough budgeting, there were indications that the economic slowdown is starting.

By the yardstick that is most apparent to Americans—prices—the economic situation is more alarming than ever. The Labor Department reported last week that consumer prices spurted at an annual...

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