STATE OF BUSINESS: Reason for Optimism

Evidence of business improvement was apparent in many key areas of the economy last week:

The steel industry increased production for the sixth time in as many weeks, climbed to an average operating rate of 60.5%, the highest level this year. Part of the increase might be a hedge against a possible July price rise, and production may drop again when summer vacations start taking effect. Yet there was enough of a general pickup to convince many a steelman that he should fire up idle furnaces, rehire laid-off workers. While steel's 1958 recession has lasted for longer than the drop...

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