STATE OF BUSINESS: New Strength in the Boom

Much to everyone's surprise, the third-quarter-earnings reports that poured out last week were far better than expected. The new surge in the great boom had boosted profits until, on the average, they were running well ahead of 1951. Aggregate profits of 386 key companies in 24 industries were 7.4% higher than in 1951's third quarter. This was the first overall increase since the post-Korean buying spree in 1951's first quarter.

Actually, the gain was not as big as it looked; some of it simply reflected bookkeeping adjustment. Last year's third-quarter profits were hit hard by Congress's big retroactive tax bite...

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