INDEXES OF TRADE AND BUSINESS
Growing interest in the analysis of business conditions and a great increase in the scope and quantity of available data concerning current business have led in recent years to the development of a number of indexes of the volume of trade and of general business activity. Whether these indexes be considered alone or compared with indexes of production or of prices, they present, in summary form, information of great value to the business forecaster. In the following pages are described a number of the most useful of these indexes.
Federal Reserve Board Index of Wholesale Trade. The Federal Reserve Board computes a monthly index of wholesale trade based upon the dollar values of the sales of 700 reporting wholesale dealers in 10 Federal Reserve districts.1 These dealers represent six lines of trade: groceries, meat, dry goods, shoes, hardware, and drugs. The base taken for each line in each district is the average of the monthly sales for the year 1919. Because of the similarity of movement of the same line of trade____________________