State of Business: Mild Stimulants

STATE OF BUSINESS

"Negative psychology seems to characterize the general mood," reported New York's Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. in its latest monthly survey of business conditions, "and a peaking-out of business before the year's end is now being discussed as a distinct possibility'' ("peaking out" is a positive-psychology way of saying "recession").

A growing list of unsettling economic indicators contributed to the negative thinking. Retail sales, off 1% in May, dropped another 2% in June—partly because of an unexpected fall in auto sales. Building permits for new housing, which rose last winter to foretell this spring's burst of...

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