INFLATION: Scary Spending Avalanche

BUOYED by a rising tide of prosperity, consumers have gone on a damn-the-expense, damn-the-high-cost-of-living buying spree. The sustained burst of personal spending, especially in the first three months of 1973, is propelling retail sales and corporate profits to new peaks. It is also raising nightmarish prospects for Administration policymakers charged with the tricky task of keeping the economy moving briskly while avoiding a destructive price spiral. Their efforts to check inflation could well prove futile unless the blistering pace of consumer buying is somehow slowed in the months ahead.

Retail sales during the first quarter of 1973...

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