Prices, which have been relatively stable for months, last week started to climb again. Steelmakers, as expected, raised their prices about $4 a ton to pay for their latest wage boost. Their biggest customers, the automakers, said they would absorb the increase. But General Electric announced that it would boost the prices of many of its appliances, and others were thinking of following suit.

Crude oil, whose price had not been raised since 1947, went up 25¢ a barrel (to $2.90), even though there were some signs of an oil surplus. Said President John Brice of Carter Oil,...

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