STATE OF BUSINESS: Encouraging Clues

Businessmen looking for clues to 1958 prospects closely watched pre-Christmas retail and auto sales. Both were encouraging. On the day after Thanksgiving, sales at Manhattan's Gimbel Bros, jumped nearly 8% above the post-Thanksgiving day last year. Chicago's State Street was so jammed with shoppers that the downtown police detail was doubled to 100 to control the crowd. In downtown Atlanta, retailers said sales were well ahead of last year. Los Angeles stores reported "very good" business.

From Detroit, first reports showed that the new autos are selling well enough to bolster automakers' expectations of a 6,000,000-plus car year. General Motors' Chevrolet...

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