Business: France Bids Adieu to Controls

Taking some price rises today to temper inflation tomorrow

In the 21 months since he became France's Premier, former Economics Professor Raymond Barre has earned a reputation as a formidable inflation fighter. His success in keeping prices down was crucial in helping President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's center-right coalition win last March's bitter elections. Yet the professor's record is beginning to tarnish. Since December, when consumer prices rose at an annual rate of only 3.7%, inflation has worsened every month, to an alarming rate of 14% during April.

Barre is taking the news in stride.

"A high index is not necessarily a bad index," he...

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