THE BEST OF TIMES?

WITH THE DOW SETTING AN ALL-TIME RECORD LAST WEEK, ANALYSTS ARE CLAIMING THAT THIS IS THE BEST ECONOMY EVER. IS IT? NOT SO FAST. THE NETHERLANDS, ENGLAND AND JAPAN CAN MAKE SOME STRONG CLAIMS OF ECONO

1990S U.S.: WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK?

Unemployment: Under 5% this year Growth: Modest but steady; 2% average this decade Inflation: What inflation?

ECONOMIC BACKDROP Even veteran economists are rubbing their eyes in disbelief at how well the U.S. economy has behaved this decade. For years policymakers couldn't figure out how to reduce joblessness without flaring inflation. The 1990s finally revealed the secret: end the cold war; slash military spending. Pare annual federal budget deficits. Have a central-bank chairman who can deftly apply the monetary brakes to hold inflation down without killing the expansion. Voila! The healthiest economy in recent memory.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!