THE ECONOMY: Spring Buds

Some gloomy guessers had feared that 1949 would not see the usual seasonal spring upturn in the U.S. economy. But last week, there were hesitant signs that it had started.

Unemployment, after reaching a peak of 3,221,000 in mid-February, had eased slightly. In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported, employment had increased by 479,000, mostly on farms. (Since newcomers had entered the labor force, the drop in unemployment was only 54,000.) Another bright sign came from General Motors. Demand for its cars was still so big that, with steel in better supply, G.M. last week stepped up production by...

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