Business: Upturn in Steel

There were hopeful signs last week that the depressed steel industry has reached bottom. For the fourth straight week, steel production edged upward, to 54.9% of rated capacity, the best pace since January. "April." said U.S. Steel Chairman Roger M. Blough, "may have represented the low point."

The remarkable fact is that steel companies have been able to continue making money at such low rates. Only ten years ago, 77-80% of capacity was considered a break-even point for most companies. But since that time the industry has sunk nearly $10 billion into new plants and processes, closed obsolescent mills. Companies are...

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