State of Business: Automation's Dividends

Last week's flow of strong earnings reports would probably not drown out the U.S. businessman's perennial plaint about "the profits squeeze," but it did show that well-managed companies can do very nicely even in a non-boom year. Since 1960, with its second-half sag, was no boom year either, some gains in 1961 profits were predictable. But, in fact, substantial increases over 1960 profits were common in oil, chemicals, business machines, electrical equipment and even railroads. Pre-tax profits for U.S. business as a whole increased from $45 billion in 1960 to $46.1...

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