STATE OF BUSINESS: A Change in the Weather

Buoyed up by the approach of Easter and an easing of the nation's worst weather in years, retail sales are riding high across the U.S. Department store sales for the last week reported were 22% above the corresponding week a year ago. Adjusted to fit the pre-Easter sales pattern (Easter this year is three weeks later than last), the figure is still 8% above the comparable 1959 week.

"I am never very comfortable having recourse to weather as an explanation" said Raymond Saulnier, chief of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. "So I had our...

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