Business & Finance: Omens

As unavoidable as Christmas crowds are the year-end sound-offs of industrial leaders and soothsayers. Among the few whose remarks are taken seriously is Colonel Leonard Porter Ayres, vice president of Cleveland Trust Co. Last week Colonel Ayres was not impressed by a 50¢ rise in scrap prices and the first rise since August in the New York Times business index. Like some M.Ps. in Britain (see p. 14), he predicted mainly gloomy things for the U. S.:

"It seems probable that the bottom of the present slump in industrial production will be reached...

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