In view of the emphasis which has been placed upon construction activities in Chapter X, it need hardly be said that we give a very high barometric rating to all statistical series which give information concerning the need for and rate of construction of permanent equipment. Buildings, ships, railways, bridges, highways, and canals,--all these are capable of being overbuilt or underbuilt for years at a time and are therefore fitted to serve as the generators of cyclical movements, provided the spirit of speculation is present and is not restrained by the presence of adequate information. Therefore, information concerning these items is not merely news concerning the effects of a cyclical disturbance, it may be advance information of the operation of what, if unchecked, will prove to be a cause of such disturbance.
Statistics of the building of new railways and waterways have not been of special importance in the United States in recent years. As we have indicated, at one stage of our economic development the most important sources of cyclical disturbance were