"People seem to have no more fear of the recession. Those who 60 days ago were thinking of buying $150 television sets now are talking in terms of $225 or even $250 sets." Thus spoke an executive of New Orleans' Barnett Appliance & Furniture Co. last week, reflecting the experience of many a store across the nation as retail sales showed a sharp upsurge. While department store sales still slightly trailed last year's, the Federal Reserve Board last week reported that sales in September topped the same month in 1957, for the third month-to-month gain in a row.

The pickup...

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