Business & Finance: Current Situation: Dec. 24, 1923

The Christmas psychology has confused the business outlook. Retail prices for the largely superfluous objects which form the bulk of the holiday trade are rather high, with the suggestion of smashing bargains after New Year's. Gold pieces accumulate in the banks, ready to be drawn out, given as presents, redeposited and sent back to the Reserve vaults again.

In the basic industries, however, cheerful news is beginning to appear. Oil producers prophesy curtailment of production, and the prices of crude have been raised in some fields. Steel orders are reported in prospect....

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