Business: Rolling with the Punches

From the Commerce Department came some disquieting news: according to the latest figures (July), manufacturers as a group have stopped adding to inventories.

The rush to replenish inventories after the steel strike was one of the factors that got the year off to a good start, caused a hefty $900 million increase in inventories in January. But because of business caution—and better inventory controls (TIME, July 11)—many manufacturers, especially those who overstocked, have been steadily cutting down each month on what they buy for their inventories.

In July, reported the Commerce Department, inventories showed a net decline of $200 million (to $54.9 billion),...

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