Peculiar things have been happening in the American economy during the last few months. On the one hand, there has been a sharp slump in businesses and trades catering to consumers. This has been especially marked in the field of consumer durable goods (auto. mobiles, refrigerators, radios, television sets, and so on); but it has also characterized many other fields such as housing, many consumer nondurable goods (for example, clothing), and some service trades.
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