Turning Points in Business Cycles

By Leonard P. Ayres | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
TABLE 10. PHYSICAL VOLUME OF MANUFACTURING PRODUCTION OF DURABLE AND NONDURABLE GOODS, 1899-1918.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published in the Federal Reserve Bulletin for January, 1939, two indexes for the period 1919-1938 based on a break-down of the Board's index of manufacturing production according to the durability of the product. The durable-manufactures index includes iron and steel, coke, nonferrous metals, lumber, cement, glass, automobiles, locomotives, and shipbuilding. Nondurable manufactures include textiles, leather, food, tobacco, paper and printing, petroleum refining, and rubber. These indexes were also published in the Survey of Current Business for March, 1939.

These indexes are constructed on the basis that the averages for 1923, 1924, and 1925 are equal to 100. In that base period the production of nondurable goods comprised somewhat over half, and the production of durable goods somewhat less than half, of all manufacturing output. If the data of the Federal Reserve table of durable manufactures are multiplied throughout by .463, and if those of the Federal Reserve table of nondurable manufactures are multiplied throughout by .537, the sums of the figures of the two tables will be the figures of the Federal Reserve index of manufacturing production based on the average of 1923, 1924, and 1925 being equal to 100.

The Federal Reserve index of manufacturing production has been carried backward in annual figures through 1899 by Dr. Woodlief Thomas and that index was published in the Federal Reserve Bulletin of January, 1931. The data of Table 10 show by months the amounts of the Thomas index as divided between durable and nondurable goods. The tables have been constructed as a part of this work. The data are continuous with those of the Federal Reserve index after the Federal Reserve figures for durable goods have been multiplied by .463 and those for nondurable goods have been multiplied by .537 as explained in the preceding paragraph. For further material about these data see Chapters IX and X. The data are seasonally adjusted.

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