During the course of 1966 the levels of economic activity in the industrial countries 1 changed markedly. For most of these countries, where output was rising rapidly in late 1965 and early 1966, there was a definite slackening in the rate of growth after the first few months. In Italy and Japan the rate of economic expansion picked up considerably during the year. In France the expansion was rapid from the second half of 1965 through the third quarter of 1966 but has continued more slowly since then.