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per cent from January to November; rubber, 54.2 per cent from April to November; cottonseed oil, 34.5 per cent from September to December
Of the increases in prices within the year 1910 the most noticeable are as follows: Flaxseed advanced 28.9 per cent from January to November; potatoes, 302.4 per cent from June to August; eggs, 90.2 per cent from May to December; coffee, 61.1 per cent from June to December; mess beef, 35.2 per cent from January to October; rosin, 52.4 per cent from January to October; turpentine, 36.7 per cent from January to November; linseed oil, 25 per cent from January to Noveniber.
The following table shows, for both raw and manufactured commodities, according to the classification already explained, the per cent that prices in each month in 1910 were above or below the average prices of the year, and the per cent of increase in December above each preceding month of the year:
COMPARISON OF THE AVERAGE PRICES OF RAW AND MANUFACTURED COMMODITIES FOR EACH MONTH OF 1010 WITH THE AVERAGE PRICES FOR THE YEAR, AND OF THE AVERAGE PRICES FOR DECEMBER, 1910, WITH THE AVERAGE PRICES FOR EACH PRECEDING MONTH OF THE YEAR.
From this table it is seen that there was a greater fluctuation in the prices of raw commodities during the year than in the prices of manufactured commodities. In January, February, and March the price of raw commodities was 3.7 per cent above the average price for the year, while in November the price was 3.3 per cent below the average price for the year. In manufactured commodities the highest prices were in March, when the average was 1.1 per cent above the average price for the year, while in July, November, and December the average was 0.6 per cent below the average price for the year. Thus, January, Febrúary, and March marked the highest prices in raw commodities, and March marked the highest prices in manufactured commodities; while prices of raw commodities were the lowest in November, manufactured commodities showed lowest prices during July, November, and December. The average prices of raw commodities in December was 5.8 per cent lower than in January, February, and March. The December prices of manufactured commodities were 1.7 per cent lower than those prevailing in March. PRICES OF COMMODITIES, 1910, AND DECEMBER, 1910, COMPARED
WITH PREVIOUS YEARS BACK TO 1890.
Thus far attention has been directed to the changes that took place in wholesale prices in the year 1910 as compared with 1909 and the movement of wholesale prices month by month during the year 1910. Attention is now directed to the course of wholesale prices from year to year since 1890. The following table shows, by relative prices, the changes in the average wholesale prices of the articles for which prices were secured by years from 1890 to 1910, inclusive, and by months from January to December, 1910. The relative price used in this table is simply a percentage. The base on which the relative price is computed is not the price in any one year, but the average price for ten years, from 1890 to 1899, inclusive. The reason for adopting this base is fully explained on pages 347 and 348. Relative prices, such as are here shown, are also sometimes spoken of as relative numbers or as index numbers. For explanation of the method used in computing the relative price of all commodities, see pages 347 and 348.
To assist in comparing the average wholesale prices for the year 1910 and for December, 1910, with the prices back to 1890, two columns are given in the table, one showing the per cent of the increase in prices for 1910 over the prices for each of the preceding years, and the other showing the per cent of the increase (or decrease) in prices in December, 1910, as compared with the prices for the preceding years and months.
RELATIVE PRICES OF COMMODITIES, BY YEARS, 1890 TO 1910, AND BY MONTHS, JANUARY TO DECEMBER, 1910, AND PER CENT OF INCREASE IN PRICES FOR 1910 OVER EACH PRECEDING YEAR, AND FOR DECEMBER, 1910, OVER EACH PRECEDING MONTH OR YEAR.
The relative wholesale prices during the years 1890 to 1910 set forth in tabular form in the preceding table, are shown also in the graphic table which follows.
RELATIVE PRICES OF ALL COMMODITIES, 1890 TO 1910.
This table shows that the average wholesale prices declined each year from 1890 to 1897, or 8 years of constantly falling prices. From 1898 to 1910 has been a period of advancing prices with only 3 of the 13 years showing a decrease from the prices of the previous year. These 3 years were 1901, 1904, and 1908, the decline of the 1908 prices from those of 1907 being heavier than the decline in either 1901 or 1904. The lowest year of the 21-year period was 1897 and the highest was 1910.
As indicated by the figures on page 318, the average of wholesale prices of all commodities for 1890 was 112.9 per cent of the average of wholesale prices for the years from 1890 to 1899; in other words, the average of wholesale prices in 1890 was 12.9 per cent higher than the average for the 10-year period named.
In 1891 relative wholesale prices declined to 111.7; that is, to a point where the average wholesale price for the year was 11.7 per cent above the average price for the 10 years from 1890 to 1899.
In 1892 relative wholesale prices dropped to 106.1 and in 1893 to 105.6. In the next year, 1894, wholesale prices fell to 96.1, a point 3.9 below the average price for the 10-year base period. In each of the three succeeding years wholesale prices declined until in 1897 they reached 89.7; that is, 10.3 per cent below the average price for the 10-year period. In each of the three years next succeeding wholesale prices advanced, in 1900 reaching 110.5. In 1901 wholesale prices dropped back to 108.5. The next year, however, marked an increase, prices in 1902 being on an average a restoration of the prices in 1890, namely, 112.9. In 1903 prices advanced to 113.6. The next year, 1904, showed a slight decline, nearly back to the prices of 1890 and 1902. In 1905, 1906, and 1907 prices advanced each year. In 1908 prices declined, but advanced in 1909, and advanced again in 1910 to 131.6, thus reaching a higher level than in any other year of the 21 years covered by the investigation.
The second column of the table (p. 318) shows that the price in 1910 was 4 per cent above the price in 1909, 7.2 per cent above the price in 1908, 16.6 per cent above the price in 1890, and 46.7 per cent above the price in 1897, the year of lowest average prices within the
last 21 years.
The last column of the table shows that the price in December, 1910, was 0.9 per cent below the average price for the year 1910 and below the average price for each preceding month of the year except November, but 3.1 per cent above the price for 1909, 15.5 per cent above the price for 1890, and 45.4 per cent above the price for 1897.
The relative prices appearing in this table are based on 251 articles in 1890 and 1891, on 253 articles in 1892, on 255 articles in 1893, on 256 articles in 1894, on 257 articles in 1909 and 1910, on 258 articles from 1906 to 1908, on 259 articles in 1895, 1904, and 1905, on 260 articles in 1896 and from 1899 to 1903, and on 261 articles in 1897 and 1898.
Having shown the movement in wholesale prices for the period from 1890 to 1910 in all commodities taken as a whole, a table is given showing the movement in each of the nine groups previously referred to. This table gives for each group the relative prices and the per cent of increase or decrease of prices for the year 1910 as compared with the prices for preceding years, and for December, 1910, with each preceding month or year.