The Labor Day week is a traditional indicator of business activity for the rest of the year. Last week there were signs that an expected autumn upturn had begun.

Steelmakers got up out of their summer slowdown and pushed operations to 82.7% of capacity. For the rest of the year mills are expected to pour about 85% of capacity, may well crack 1955's alltime production record of 117 million tons. Said Iron Age: "The looked-for upturn in steel is under way, and will reach a peak in late November or early December."

Department stores happily met a late-summer buying rush. Sales...

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