INDUSTRY: Surge in Plant Spending

With their fingers crossed, Administration economists have been counting on a continuing boom in business spending for new plants and equipment to keep a major prop under a sliding U.S.economy this year. Their hopes now seem fully justified. After surveying the spending plans of companies large and small, the Commerce Department last week reported that businessmen plan the biggest investment increases since the early days of the Viet Nam War.

With the oil, chemical, paper, steel, aluminum and copper industries leading the way, U.S. industry now plans capital investments of $112.7 billion this year. That would mark...

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