No Surprise, No Joy: The Recovery Slows

It hasn't yet helped the poor much either, as food-stamp figures prove

IT HAD TO HAPPEN: THE U.S. ECONOMY'S 4.8% growth rate in last year's fourth quarter was too fast to last. Still, though a spate of reports showing a marked early-1993 slowdown was no surprise, it was no cause for joy either. January numbers showing the sharpest plunge in new-home sales in 11 years might be shrugged off, since winter housing figures are notoriously unreliable. Slow February sales by major retail chains are a pattern worsened this year by storms. Drops in January factory orders, the late-February selling pace of new cars and an increase in first-time claims for unemployment insurance were...

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