Nation: Trying to Build Confidence

Carter aims to soothe business—but will his plan win it over?

Unemployment is down, inflation up. Houses are selling fast, cars moving slowly. Consumers are spending freely, businessmen deferring plans to build plants or buy machinery.

Personal incomes and corporate profits are both rising, while the dollar totters abroad and stock prices nosedive. One survey shows consumer confidence at a five-year high; another puts it at a two-year low.

Such are the jolting contrasts that make the U.S. economy a puzzling picture at the moment—as, indeed, it has been during most of Jimmy Carter's first year in the White House. To the public at large as well as to...

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