STATE OF BUSINESS: Faint Praise

Businessmen talking through their hats often make extravagant predictions for a new year. No hat prophecy, but a bareheaded appraisal of 1940's building prospects appears in the January ARCHITECTURAL FORUM. There are gathered the considered opinions of economists, several big statistical organizations, 130 bankers, contractors, city and FHA officials, realtors, architects, engineers, from 21 cities. Their composite conclusion: 1940 is likely to be the U. S. building industry's best year in a decade (damnation by faint praise), a $6,558,000,000 year, up only 4% from 1939 (1920-29 average: $8,972,000,000).

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