PRICES: The Hardy Steel Myth

Contrary to many expectations, the 6% price increases that all major steelmakers posted on about 40% of their shipments in early December seem to be sticking, despite heavy political flak. Mill executives say that the real test of whether the boosts will last in the market will not come until January. But the increases have survived criticism by President Ford's Council on Wage and Price Stability and publicly voiced "concern" by President-elect Jimmy Carter.

The flap illustrates a hardy truism: steel-price increases arouse more political excitement than increases in the price of...

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