PROFITS: Postwar Low for Margins

Looked at in one way, corporate profits withstood last year's recession fairly well. This week Manhattan's First National City Bank released a tabulation of 2,531 companies, showing that their total profits after taxes fell 8% last year, to $31 billion. The percentage decline was smaller than in half of the previous postwar recession years, and it would have been even less without the strike at General Motors. The auto and parts industry suffered a 52% slump in earnings, and some supplier industries were also clobbered. Steel earnings were off 38% and rubber profits 27%. Alone among the 41 industry...

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