State of Business: The Bottom?

The recession has bottomed out, judging by the industrial production index. After six months of steady decline, the index held steady in February, announced the Federal Reserve Board, maintaining January's level of production (102% of the base year 1957 average). Other signs of improvement:

¶ Retail sales, after three months of continuous retreat, rallied in February, advanced 1% above January figures. Last week, for the fourth consecutive week, department store sales were reported to have topped year-ago levels, currently are running 2% ahead of 1960. ¶ Manufacturers of durable goods reported a 1% increase in shipments in February over...

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