Inflation's Painful Slowdown

Recession brings welcome relief from a decade of surging prices

Whatever else it may be remembered for, the presidency of Ronald Reagan has already been firmly linked with one happy economic achievement: the start of the wind-down of the longest sustained inflationary surge in the nation's history. A year ago, the woozy U.S. economy was wobbling atop a seemingly endless inflationary spiral, traumatizing families everywhere with the vision of a lifetime of work and savings being eroded to nothing by the whirlwind of runaway prices.

Yet the specter of double-digit inflation is fading fast. Indeed,...

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