State of Business: Better & Better

Washington's April figures on business confirm that everything—or almost everything—is coming up roses: > Employment, which usually slides in March, instead climbed 900,000 to a record 68.1 million. > The industrial production index rose 2 points to a record 122.4 (1957-59 =100), showing strength in all manufacturing industries. > Private housing starts rose 7% to 1,630,000 units. > Orders for durable goods climbed 4%, while sales of durables advanced 2.5%. > The backlog of durable goods orders totaled $45.9 billion, up nearly $3 billion since January.

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