STATE OF BUSINESS: From Peak to Peak

From the Federal Reserve Board last week came news that department stores started their Christmas season from the highest take-off point in history. Sales in the final pre-Thanksgiving week hit 182 on the 1947-49 index, up from 169 in 1958. Only 5% ahead of 1958 at the beginning of November, department-store sales were 6% ahead in the second week of the month, 8% ahead in the third. Other signs of a faster beat in the economy:

¶ The Pacific Northwest lumber industry, in a price recession since July, noted a turn-around in buying...

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