STATE OF BUSINESS: Midyear Appraisal

With tempered optimism, the midyear forecast of the Department of Commerce concluded: "Despite some soft spots, the general industrial outlook for the balance of 1956 is favorable."

Steel production reached 63 million tons in the first half, 3,000,000 tons over the 1955 record. Second-half production will be down, but, barring a prolonged strike (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS), should still total 54 million tons, making 117 million tons, the same as last year's peak. Construction, spurred by the great expansion in commercial building, was going along at a $44.5 billion-per-year clip, ahead of the 1955 record by $1.5 billion despite the...

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