Business: Prepping for Stage Two

A tough call coming up for Carter on inflation

A bittersweet flavor laced the economic news last week. On the good side, the consumer price index, after racing ahead at an average annual rate of 10.8% in the three months ending in June, slowed down a lot in July, chiefly because of a drop in food prices. On an annual basis, the index rose only 6%, the smallest increase since December. Unemployment also dipped, falling to 5.9% in August from 6.2% the month before. The bad news was that after months of steady improvement the nation's trade deficit in July came in...

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