Profits: New Peaks

For four years, quarter after quarter, businessmen have watched with astonishment as corporate profits climbed in an almost unbroken arc. No one really believed the climb could last.that long, and both businessmen and economists several times prematurely blew the whistle on further advances. This year, in particular, many started out by predicting a halt to the gains. Last week, early reports for the third quarter indicated that profits rose to a new postwar peak of close to $45 billion after taxes. In addition, the return on investment in manufacturing reached its highest level (13.8%) since the Korean War.

Nearly every...

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