Steel: Price Rise

Because the economy is so finely balanced, the Administration has been keeping an especially sharp eye out for any price hike that might signal—or set off—a trend toward inflation. Last week Bethlehem Steel Corp., the nation's second biggest steel producer (after U.S. Steel), increased by $5 a ton (to $119) the price of its steel structural shapes and piling. The price hike covered only 5% of all Bethlehem's production, was for a specialty steel that is used mostly in construction and does not appear in such consumer goods as autos and refrigerators.

Despite the limited nature of the...

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