Business: A Punk Quarter

The economic recovery that began in the spring of 1975 is now almost exactly three years old, and it is showing its age and fatigue.

Consumer prices in February jumped at an annual rate of 7.4%—not as bad as January's 10%, but quite bad enough. For the third month in a row, prices rose faster than wages, and workers' purchasing power declined. The index of leading indicators, those figures that are supposed to foretell the economy's future, showed no change from January, when it had dropped 1.9%. The U.S. trade deficit in February was a startling $4.5 billion, the worst ever in...

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