Before a midyear Washington conference of business leaders in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags last week, Dr. Emerson P. Schmidt, top U.S. Chamber economist, unfurled a banner prediction: "Nineteen fifty-six promises to be our best year in history in terms of production, employment and earnings. This prosperity ought to carry over into 1957."

Most businessmen at the symposium agreed with Dr. Schmidt's judgment that the year's "readjustments are, for the most part, behind us." Construction seems likely to top the record $44 billion mark forecast earlier this year by the U.S. Government. Steel production in May soared...

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