STATE OF BUSINESS: Springtime for Bears?

Out of hibernation last week came the first hungry bears of 1940 business. For three months these grizzly animals have growled to each other in their lairs that production could not be kept at or even near 1929 levels if: 1) capital goods production stagnated; 2) war exports lagged; 3) the boom rate of production rapidly ate up industry's backlogs of orders. Last week the bears were smirking.

They did not smirk because Sears, Roebuck (1939 sales: about 23% over 1938) and Montgomery Ward (1939 sales: about 15% over 1938) were reported holding nearly the same margin over 1939, although...

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