THE ECONOMY: Muted Cheer

What the Department of Commerce saw in its May report on domestic business last week looked good. In May, most industries were still producing at a high rate. Manufacturing employment was off, but overall unemployment was down to 2,000,000, lowest since last fall. Retail sales were steady; there was no important break in the price structure. Average weekly pay, up 3% over April, was at a new peak of $48.86 in manufacturing industries.

Encouraged, the Department thought it might put out a statement that there was still no recession in sight. Then another group of Department economists brought in a second...

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