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The Economy in Perspective

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Sentimental fools? … According to the Conference Board’s Survey of Consumer Sentiment, U.S. households are now more confident about the economy’s health than at any time since 1969. This should be sobering news to those who remember what followed in the 1970s (three recessions, double-digit inflation, gasoline pump queuing, severe slumps in productivity growth and stock prices, and soaring interest rates) and in the 1980s (the less-developed-country debt crisis, soaring federal budget and trade deficits, sharp appreciation and depreciation of the U.S. dollar’s foreign exchange value, and the collapse of the thrift industry). What went wrong, and how relevant are these events today?

Suggested citation: “The Economy in Perspective,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 98-01, pp. 01, 01.01.1998.

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