STATE OF BUSINESS: Speedup

The U.S. economy was still picking up speed last week, with no signs that the recovery was leveling out. Items:

¶I Retail sales in March rose to an alltime high for any month. Particular gains were chalked up in durable goods, with sales up 18% from a year ago. Estimates for March sales: more than $17.6 billion.

¶ Steel furnaces continued operating at a record level. Last week steel production was scheduled at 93.2% of capacity.

¶Carloadings rose 14.3% over last year for the week ending April 4, but dropped slightly from the preceding...

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