Steel: Really Rolling

In Pittsburgh last week, the optimism was as audible as the roar of the huge furnaces that poured forth white-hot metal day and night. Steel production is running ahead of last year, and orders are rolling in so fast that every week proves better than the last. First-quarter output should easily top 28 million tons —around 10 million better than hoped for. Looked at from any angle, the U.S. steel industry is off to what may be its best year ever.

One of the sick industries of the U.S. only a few years ago,...

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