STATE OF BUSINESS: Up from the Bottom

The U.S. housing industry, over which many tears have been shed this year, had some surprising news for its mourners. For the first time this year, new house starts in August hit a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,010,000. Prophetic of things to come, applications to FHA for commitments to guarantee loans on future house starts reached 22,300—21% over July, and the highest level since 24,884 in March 1956. The month's applications compared with 7,749 last December. Economist George Cline Smith, vice president of the construction-wise F. W. Dodge Corp., foresaw further modest increases in 1958 and sharper increases thereafter....