Business: Better-Buy-Now Mentality

Consumers are getting what they want and hoping to pay later

"We've bought everything we could get our hands on—buy it now and pay it back later with cheaper dollars." So says Walter Salvi, 36, a Boston public relations man. Like millions of other inflation-savvy consumers, Salvi, his wife and three children have caused wonder and befuddlement for the economics profession. Since interest rates are at their highest levels in a century, and the economy is by all accounts poised for its second slump in six years, experts have been predicting for months that...

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