Price and Cost Changes in Manufacturing Industries of the United States, 1923-1929
ALTERATIONS in quoted prices of the type cited in the last chapter are the outward manifestations of a great variety of changes in the conditions of supply and of demand, most of which are not open to definite measurement. Within one important industrial area, that which includes the manufacturing industries of the United States, it is possible to press more deeply into the complex of conditions which, on the supply side, lie back of observable market changes.
Certain of the statistics to be utilized in the study of price and cost changes are summarized in Table 151, on the following page. The statistics there given relate to selected industries for which comparable data on physical output and on aggregate values and costs are available. The entries in column (7) define the values of the products entering into the index of physical volume of production, described in Chapter VI. The entries in column (2) give the values of the products to which the entries in columns (3) to (6) relate. The ratios in column (8) serve as a measure of the degree of comparability of the original data relating to physical output, on the one hand, and to number of establishments, number of wage-earners, aggregate value of product and aggregate costs, on the other. It appears that the quantity data employed in constructing the physical volume index relate to approximately 90 per cent, by value, of the goods represented by the data in columns (2) to (6), a relation sufficiently high to justify confidence in the measurements to be derived from a comparison of these various series. As has been explained in detail in a preceding section1 a correction based upon____________________