Business: Best Ever?

"Our earnings for 1959 will reach a new high, barring a steel strike or a similar calamity." So said National Steel's Chairman George M. Humphrey, former Secretary of the Treasury, as he announced last week that National's first-quarter earnings were "three or four times larger than the first quarter of last year," when they were 51¢ a share. Many a U.S. businessman echoed George Humphrey. The first wave of anxiously awaited first-quarter earnings proved higher than almost anyone had expected. The week's most general prediction for the nation's business: "The best year ever."

Shouted Down. Where the U.S. consumer reigns, the gains...

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