Current problems in the North American economy, growing out of the inflation of the 1960s, carried to excess during the 1970s. Problems include excessive debt, high real interest rates and instability created by falling commodity prices, particularly energy. Dealing with runaway inflation at the beginning of the 1980s, and recession. Changes in monetary policy, credit growth, decline in interest rates, economic recovery. Now the third year of recovery. The character of that recovery. The excesses of fiscal policy. The growing deficit and its consequences. A loss in momentum to the economic recovery. Some statistics. The most pressing objectives and some policy options. Bringing the deficit under control. Avoiding a near-term recession in the U.S. Some possible solutions. Some progress. The growing significance of the service sector. What's happening in Canada. The new information technologies as the key to long-term economic growth. Problems with that notion. Two areas requiring particular attention: the right to market access, the right of foreign firms to receive the same treatment as their domestic competitors once they enter a market. The need for broader agreements on services between Canada and the U.S.
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