STATE OF BUSINESS: No Boom, No Gloom

Few experts keep closer watch on the U.S. economy than company purchasing agents, whose job is to gauge whether prices will go up or down. Last week at their annual meeting in Atlantic City, the purchasing agents arrived at a verdict of "cautious optimism" about business. Though few saw a sharp rise ahead, even fewer saw any reason for gloom. The majority agreed with Economist Martin R. Gainsbrugh of the National Industrial Conference Board, who saw signs of a modest business upturn in the second half of 1957. Said Gainsbrugh: "Total business...

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