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No. 430. NATIONAL REPRODUCIBLE TANGIBLE ASSETS AND NET FOREIGN ASSETS, IN CONSTANT DOLLARS: 1900 TO 1958

[In billions of dollars. Excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Data should be regarded as approximative only. Consult source for methods and sources used to derive these estimates. See text, p. 303. See also Historical Statistics, Colonial Times to 1957, series F 222-246. Figures for 1945 differ slightly from those in Historical Statistics... because of later revisions]

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14.9

14.0

15.0

14.9

48.8

58.2

52.9

49.2

44.5

81.6

89.5

REPRODUCIBLE TANGIBLE ASSETS-Continued

103. 3

114.3

Private

Livestock Crop Nonfarm

Structures 1

2.6

3.0

3.2

3.6

4.1

0.8

1. 1

1.5

2.0

3. 1

Inventories &

3.3

2.8

3.0

3.4

3.9

3.8

4.3

4. 1

4.7

5.2

7.9

7.9

8.4

11.3

14.2

19.2

22.2

9.2

9.3

11.2

13. 1

21.5

25.9

28.2

21.6

27.2

30.8

6.8

7.9

8.9

10.2

12. 1

47.8

62.0

74.4

75.4

12.2

12.3

10.8

10.4

10. 1

22.2

24.8

27.4

28. 2

Public

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.4

2.0

2.1

3.6

2.5

8.5

8.9

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1958.

137.3

159.7

10.7

1 Estimates derived by "perpetual inventory" method which is intended to reflect reproduction cost of different types of assets. Estimates are obtained by: (1) Reducing each year's gross capital expenditures in current prices to 1929 (or 1947-49) price level by means of appropriate construction cost or wholesale price indices; (2) depreciating gross capital expenditures in accordance with an assumed length of life for different types of assets, thus obtaining net capital expenditures for each year in 1929 (or 1947-49) prices; (3) cumulating net capital expendi tures for as many years backwards as corresponds to the assumed length of life of the type of asset involved.

11945 estimates differ from one another not only because of changes in base period (1929 vs. 1947-49) of deflator used but also because of minor changes in sources of data and methods of estimation used.

Estimates reflect book values reduced by means of wholesale price indices.

Source: For 1900 to 1945 (1929 prices), R. W. Goldsmith, A Study of Saving in the United States, Princeton University Press, 1956, Vol. III, table W-1; for 1945 (1947-49 prices) to 1958, National Bureau of Economic Research, preliminary estimates by Raymond W. Goldsmith.

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FIG. XX. WHOLESALE PRICE INDEXES: 1926 To 1959
[1947-49-100. Prices in primary markets. See tables 431 and 433]

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1925 Source of figs. XX and XXI: Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Section 12

Prices

This section presents indexes of wholesale, retail, and consumer prices. Average prices are also shown for selected commodities. The primary sources of these data are the publications of the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which include: Monthly Labor Review; Handbook of Labor Statistics; Consumer Price Index (monthly); Retail Food Prices by Cities (monthly); Retail Prices and Indexes of Fuels and Electricity (monthly); Wholesale (Primary Market) Price Index (monthly); and Wholesale Prices (annually). The Agricultural Marketing Service prepares indexes of prices received and prices paid by farmers (see text, p. 614).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics prepares weekly and monthly indexes of wholesale prices, a daily index based on spot market prices of 22 commodities; and indexes of consumer prices for urban wage-earner and clerical-worker families for the United States, based on 46 cities, and individually for 20 large cities, as well as component indexes for food and other groups.

Wholesale price index.—This index, dating from 1890, is the oldest continuous statistical series published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is designed to measure average changes in prices of commodities sold in primary markets in the United States.

The index has undergone 4 major revisions. The latest revised index (see Monthly Labor Review, February 1952), based on 1947–49-100, is the official index for January 1952 and all subsequent months. The index beginning with data for 1947 is based on nearly 2,000 commodity price series instead of the 900 included in the earlier index. Prices used in constructing the index are collected directly from sellers, if possible, and apply as nearly as practicable to the first large-volume commercial transaction for each commodity-i. e., the manufactuer'rs or other producer's selling price, the importer's selling price, the selling price on an organized exchange or at a central market. Respondents are asked to report prices f. o. b. point of production if possible.

For the 1947–54 period, the weights used in the index represent the total net selling value including the value of sales for export, f. o. b. production point, less interplant transfers, but plus the value of imports for consumption, for the producing and processing sector of the economy in the United States (conterminous area) for the year 1947 (adjusted for price change to the average of 1947-49). For the years 1955–1957, the weights used are based on data for the average of the years 1952 and 1953, and beginning in January 1958, on data for 1954.

The all-commodities wholesale price index series on a base 1947–49–100 has been extended back to 1890. Monthly indexes on the same base are available for most of the major groups of commodities from January 1926. They are available on a 1926 = 100 base by groups from January 1890 and by subgroups beginning with 1913. The index 1926–100 is the official index for December 1951 and all earlier dates.

Consumer price index.—This index measures the average change in prices of goods and services purchased by city wage-earner and clerical-worker families. The weights used in calculating the index are based on studies of actual expenditures by families of wage earners and clerical workers. The quantities and qualities of the items in the "market basket” remain the same between consecutive pricing periods, so that the index measures the effect of price change only on the cost of living of these families. The indes does not measure changes in the total amount families spend for living; city indexes do not measure relative differences in prices or living costs between cities.

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A study conducted during 1917–19 provided the weights used from 1913 to 1935. Since then, there have been three major revisions of this index, which involved bringing the "market basket” of goods and services up to date and improving the sample and methodology. From 1935 to January 1950, time-to-time changes in retail prices were weighted by 1934–36 average expenditures except for certain temporary wartime adjustments. Weights used from January 1950 to December 1952 represented estimated 1949–50 spending patterns. Beginning January 1953, the weights represent average purchases of urban wage-earner and clerical-worker families in fiscal year 1952, derived from a study of family expenditures in 1950 and estimated changes in income and prices between 1950 and fiscal 1952.

The list of items currently priced for the index includes approximately 300 goods and services. For some items, a number of different qualities are priced. The items priced are described by detailed specifications to insure that, as far as possible, the same quality is priced each time, and that differences in reported prices are measures of price change only. Sales taxes are reflected wherever applicable.

Beginning January 1953, prices are obtained in a sample of 46 cities. Foods, fuels, and a few other items are priced monthly in all cities. Prices of most other goods and services are obtained on a regular rotating cycle-monthly in the 5 largest cities and every 3 months in other cities. Rents are surveyed bimonthly in the 5 largest cities and every 3 months in other cities. Estimates are made for unpriced cities each month. Prior to January 1953, indexes were based on food prices in 56 cities monthly, and prices of other commodities in 34 cities quarterly or monthly.

Price changes for the 46 cities are combined for the United States with weights based on 1950 population of cities represented by each sample city. City indexes are compiled for the 20 largest of the 46 cities.

Retail food price index.-Retail food price indexes are computed as a subgroup of the consumer price index. Weights used at various times are consistent with those for the index as a whole. In March 1943, the weights for the food index were revised to take account of changes in food purchases due to wartime shortages and rationing. In January 1946, these wartime weight adjustments were eliminated and certain other revisions made in the calculating procedures. In January 1950 and again in January 1953 the weights were revised as described above for the total consumer price index,

The indexes were computed from prices of 54 foods for the period from January 1935 to March 1943, 61 foods for the period March 1943 to June 1947, 50 foods from June 1947 to January 1950, 60 foods from January 1950 to December 1952, and 90 foods beginning January 1953.

Comparability with other indexes.-In comparing the movement of the indexes of consumer prices and of the prices paid by farmers for commodities bought for family living (table 847), it should be noted that the consumer price index includes rents and other services and the farm index does not, and that the list of commodities included in the two indexes and their geographic coverage differ because farm family buying differs considerably from that of city families, and farm and city workers are located in different parts of the country.

Alaska and Hawaii.-For a general statement concerning the treatment of data for Alaska and Hawaii, see preface. “Conterminous area" refers to the United States excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and outlying areas.

Historical statistics.—Tabular headnotes (as "See also Historical Statistics, Colonial Times to 1957, series E 25-26") provide cross-references, where applicable, to Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957. Sec preface,

No. 431. WHOLESALE PRICE INDEXES FOR ALL COMMODITIES, AND FOR ALL Com

MODITIES OTHER THAN FARM PRODUCTS AND Foods: 1926 to 1960 (1947-49=100. Includes Alaska and Hawaii. This index is the official price index, beginning with January 1952.

See text, p. 329. See also Historical Statistics, Colonial Times to 1967, series E 25–26]

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1926.
65.0 71.5 1946.

78. 7 13478.3 1958-Con.
1927
62.0 67.2 1947
96.4 16 95. 3 October

119.0 126.4 1928

62. 9
66.4 1948

104.4 - 103. 4 November. 119.2 126.8 1929 61.9 65. 5 1949 99. 2 1 101. 3 December

119.2 127.2 1930 56.1 60.9 1950.

103. 1 S. 105. O
1959

119.5 7128. 2 1931

47.4

53. 6
1951
114.8 115.9 January

119.5 127.5 1432 42, 1 50. 2 1952.

111.6 113. 2 February.. 119.5 127.8 1933.

42.8 50.9
1953
110.1 114.0 March.

119.6 128. 1 1934. 48.7 56.0 1954.

110.3 114. 5
April.

120.0 128. 3 1935 52.0 55.7 1955.

110.7 117.0
May

119.9 128.4
1956.
114.3 122. 2 June.

119.7 128. 2 1936

52. 5
56.9 1957
117.6 2.125. 6 July

119.5 128. 4 1937 56. 1 61.0

August.

119. 1 128.4 1938 51.1 58. 4 1958

119. 2 126.0 September 119.7 128.4 1939 50.1 58.1 January 118.9 126. 1 October

119. 1 128.4 1910. 51.159. 4 February 1190 125.7 November

118.9 128. 5 March. 119.7 125.7 December

118.9 128. 6 1941 56.863.7 April.

119. 3 125.5 1942 64. 2 68.3 May

119.5 125. 3 1960:
1943
67.0 69. 3 June.

119. 2
125. 3 January.

119.3 128. 8 1944 67.6 70.4 July 119. 2 125. 6 February

119.3 128.7 1945 68.8 71.3 August

119. 1 126.1 March (prel.).. 120.0 128. 6

September. 119. 1 126. 2 Source: Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; monthly and annual reports, Wholesale Prices and Price Indexes; and Monthly Labor Review.

No. 432. PURCHASING POWER OF THE DOLLAR: 1940 to 1959 (1947–49=100. Excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Obtained by computing reciprocals of price indexes compiled by

Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; these reciprocals are expressed as percentages with average of base period 1947-49= 100)

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1945
145. 3 130.0 145. 1

1955

90.3 87.3

90.2 1946

127.1
119.9
126.6 1956.

87.5 86. 1

89.5 1947. 103. 7 104.7 104. 3 1957

85.0 83. 2

86. 7 1948

95.8 97.3
96.1 1958

83.9
81.0

83 1 1949 100.8 98. 2 100.0 1959

83. 7 80.3

84. 5 Source: Department of Commerce, Office of Business Economics; monthly data for wholesale and consumer prices published in Surrey of Current Business, and records.

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