WEST GERMANY: Bloom Off the Boom

For a while, it almost seemed that West Germany's robust economy was immune from the crisis that is sweeping the industrial nations. Month after month, while soaring oil prices drove inflation and trade deficits skyward round the world, West Germany racked up one record surplus after another. Foreign reserves swelled, orders bulged, and the country's already low inflation rate (7.8%) actually began to decline. An enormous backlog of foreign orders, plus the magic of "Made in Germany," kept exports surging ahead.

But experts warned that it would not last, and they were...

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