Leaving 1980 on an Upbeat

Some interest rate relief, and Christmas sales end with a surge

American businessmen will close the books on 1980 this week with some relief. Record interest rates, a deep but very short recession and roaring inflation made 1980 a year best forgotten. Yet the uncertainty that was its hallmark is likely to linger into the new year.

In a fitting end to a year when economists were generally confused about what was happening to U.S. business, the Commerce Department last week reported a substantial revision of its statistics. The agency updated, and in some cases...

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