Business: Bare Shelves

After three months of the longest industry-wide steel strike in U.S. history, the shelves of industry were finally showing some bare spots. Manufacturing and trade inventories at the end of August stood at $89.4 billion, a decline of $400 million from the previous month. Commerce Department experts predicted that inventories, which had been building up at an annual rate of $9.8 billion in the second quarter, would be cut so sharply that the rate may drop by more than $10 billion in the third quarter. Chiefly because of the depletion in inventories, they expect the gross national product to skid $5...

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