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Message to the Congress Transmitting the Cost of Living Council's Quarterly Report on the Economic Stabilization Program.

April 02, 1974

To the Congress of the United States:

I herewith transmit to the Congress, in accordance with section 216 of the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970, as amended, the most recent quarterly report of the Economic Stabilization Program, covering the period October 1, 1973 through December 31, 1973.

The fourth quarter of 1973 was a period of continued although slower growth for the American economy. Our gross national product grew to $1,338 billion, an increase of $33 billion over the previous quarter. Employment increased by approximately one million workers to 85.7 million. The American dollar continued to regain strength abroad.

During the fourth quarter, inflation remained our most serious economic problem. Prices here and abroad continued to rise at an unacceptably rapid pace, due in large part to the worldwide shortages of many raw materials. The pattern of price increases also began to reflect the impact of the Arab oil embargo against the United States and higher world prices for oil.

By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the fourth phase of the Economic Stabilization Program had been fully underway. The increases anticipated after the summer freeze on prices were spread out over time with the help of the Phase IV regulatory mechanism.

Phase IV was also designed to provide an effective system of tight standards and compliance procedures that would lead to a gradual return of industry and labor to the free market. Throughout the fourth quarter, decontrol proceedings demonstrated that the public and private sectors of our economy can work cooperatively and effectively to meet common goals of price restraint. As part of the commitments under which they were removed from mandatory controls, many firms have pledged voluntary price control. More importantly for the future, many have stepped-up their capital expenditure plans to enlarge supplies--the only really effective way to halt inflation.

We are firm in our commitment to meet the challenge of inflation. The energy shortage and the problems resulting from it have significantly added to this challenge. We can, however, look with satisfaction to the efforts and sacrifices our Nation has made in response to these problems.

The Congress is presently debating the Administration's recommendation for continued stabilization authority and this Administration stands ready to work with the Congress to develop effective machinery for economic stabilization.


The White House,

April 2, 1974.

Note: The report, covering the period from October 1 through December 31, 1973, is entitled "Economic Stabilization Program Quarterly Report" (Government Printing Office, 173 pp.).

Richard Nixon, Message to the Congress Transmitting the Cost of Living Council's Quarterly Report on the Economic Stabilization Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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