Perils of the 1980s
The start of a new decade traditionally provides a convenient point for assessments of the economic outlook for the longer-term future. Since World War II, such projections typically have been characterized by a spirit of optimism. Output usually was expected to rise steadily with accompanying increases in productivity and consumption. In early 1980, however, confident optimism is a rare commodity. Sanguine expectations of perpetual economic growth and rising living standards have given way to apprehension that the existing level of consumption cannot be maintained.