No engine damage from a fiscal pothole

As the dust settles on Washington's deal, it's clear the outcome will be a moderate and useful tightening of fiscal policy. America remains decisively on the road to growth.

It seems to have passed the attention of a lot of the commentators that US fiscal policy has been significantly tightened. There are a range of tax increases and government spending cuts that came into force on January 1, 2013 and these will be ratified in the hours ahead once the US House of Representatives passes the compromise package that cleared the Senate yesterday.

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