STATE OF BUSINESS: The Ointment and the Fly

Last week businessmen still rubbed their eyes after looking at the general indexes of business. They wanted to make sure that they were not being misled into a false boom, as in 1937, as again in 1939. Department-store sales for the four weeks ending Aug. 3 were 6% above last year. Automobile and chain-store sales were ahead. Most cheerful note of all was struck by the Federal Reserve Board, which last week published its long-overdue revised index of production. Adding 23 important but hitherto neglected industrial series (machinery, aircraft, liquor, rayon, chemicals, etc.) to its index, revising the weightings and...

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