Business: Caution on Inventories

"Last month was as good a January as we have ever had, but we are not going to be buying as much for a while. Since our supplies are easier to get now, we are going to try to get our inventory closer to normal."

So said a big buyer of steel in Chicago last week, typifying the subtle change that has come over the buying policies of U.S. industry. Cautiously, manufacturers are beginning to whittle their inventories, living off the fat they built up in booming 1956. Now they are buying closer to production time, gearing production closer to sales,...

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