Business: Glum but Hopeful

The glummest businessmen in the U.S. last week seemed to be U.S. home builders, frustrated and disappointed at the sag in one of the key U.S. industries. From the Commerce Department came word that February housing starts, which normally rise over January, fell 8% to a rate of 1,115,000 units on a seasonally adjusted basis. Even worse than the hard facts was the uncertainty about where the industry was going. Some housing experts, such as Federal Housing Administrator Norman P. Mason, still expect a 1.2 million year, which would make a good if not...

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