The Economy: A Little Less Shine on the Quarter

All of a sudden, the big question for Washington's economic policymakers is not how to slow down a runaway boom, but whether the boom has already run out of gas. Demand is tapering off even more rapidly than the policymakers think is necessary to quell inflation. Second-quarter figures, released last week, show the following:

Growth is slackening. After subtracting the effects of inflation, the real rate of growth in the gross national product was only 2.6%—down steeply from more than 8% in each of the two preceding quarters. The 2.6% figure was the lowest since the final quarter of 1970, when...

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