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rice, and vegetables. No change took place in the price of bread. The principal articles showing a decrease were coffee, eggs, wheat flour, corn meal, beef, sugar, and tea.
Of the 75 articles included under cloths and clothing, 66 showed an increase in price, 5 showed no change, and only 4 showed a decrease. In the group as a whole there was an average increase of 7.1 per cent in price.
In fuel and lighting, as a group, there was an increase in price of 0.5 per cent. There was an advance in the price of anthracite coal of domestic sizes, coke, and petioleum, and a decrease in candles, broken anthracite coal, and bituminous coal.
There was a greater increase in price for metals and implements than for any other group. In this group the increase for 1906 over 1905 was 10.4 per cent. Of a total of 38 articles in the group there was an increase in the prices of 29 articles, including tools, barbed wire, copper, lead, pig iron, nails, silver, tin plates, etc. Seven articles, including steel rails, did not change in price, and in only two articles, bar iron at Pittsburg and files, was there a decrease.
Twenty-four of the 27 articles included under lumber and building materials increased in price in 1906. The only 3 articles that showed a decrease were pine doors, linseed oil, and quartered oak. In the group as a whole there was an increase in price of 9.6 per cent.
The only one of the 9 groups under consideration that decreased in price to any considerable extent was that of drugs and chemicals. In this group there was a decrease of 7.2 per cent. There was an increase in the prices of both grain and wood alcohol and in that of brimstone, the price of alum remained unchanged, and the prices of glycerin, muriatic acid, opium, quinine, and sulphuric acid decreased.
House furnishing goods as a whole increased 1.7 per cent in price. More than half the articles in this group, namely, earthenware, glassware, wooden ware, and one article of cutlery, did not change in price, and one article (knives and forks) decreased in price. The increase in the general average of prices in this group was caused by the increase in the price of wooden furniture.
In the miscellaneous group there was an advance in the prices of cotton-seed oil and meal, jute, malt, proof spirits, rope, and starch. There was no change in the prices of soap and smoking tobacco, and there was a decrease in the prices of news and wrapping paper, rubber, and plug tobacco. Taken together, the group of miscellaneous articles increased in price 7.4 per cent.
The per cent of increase or decrease in the average wholesale price for 1906 of each of the several articles as compared with the price for 1905 is shown on page 265.
Many students of price statistics desire to distinguish between raw commodities and manufactured commodities, or those which have been prepared for consumption by the application of manufacturing processes and in which manufacturing labor forms a considerable part of the cost. With a view to such presentation, therefore, the commodities included in this price series have been divided into the two classes, raw and manufactured, and simple averages made for each class. Of course fixed definitions of these classes can not be made, but the commodities here designated as raw may be said to be such as are marketed in their natural state and such as have been subjected to only a preliminary manufacturing process, thus converting them into a marketable condition, but not to a suitable form for final consumption, while the commodities here designated as manufactured are such as have been subjected to more than a preliminary factory manipulation and in which the manufacturing labor cost constitutes an important element in the price. In the group designated as raw are included all farm products, beans, coffee, eggs, milk, rice, nutmegs, pepper, tea, vegetables, raw silk, wool, coal, crude petroleum, copper ingots, pig lead, pig iron, bar silver, spelter, pig tin, brimstone, jute, and rubbera total of 50 articles. All the other articles are classed as manufactured commodities.
As thus grouped it appears that the average wholesale price of raw commodities for 1906 was 3.9 per cent higher than for 1905, and that the average wholesale price of manufactured commodities for 1906 was 6.1 per cent higher than for 1905.
As has been stated, the year 1906 was one of general advance in wholesale prices, and December prices were well above the average for the year. The movement during the year in wholesale prices of commodities, considered as a whole, is clearly set forth in the following table. This table shows the per cent that the average price for each month of the year 1906 was above or below the average price for the year,
and in the last column the per cent of increase of the average December price over the average price for each preceding month.
COMPARISON OF AVERAGE PRICE FOR EACH MONTH OF 1906 WITH THAT FOR THE YEAR AND OF AVERAGE PRICE FOR DECEMBER, 1906, WITH THAT FOR EACH PRECEDING MONTI OF THE YEAR.
The average wholesale price for January, 1906, was lower than that for any other month of the year, and 1.4 per cent below the average for the year. In February and March there was a slight advance in prices, followed by a decline in April. May, June, and July were months of increasing prices. The general average of prices in July was 0.3 per cent and in August 0.2 per cent below the average price for the year. Each of the succeeding months of the year marked an increase in prices until December, 1906, when the average for the month was 4.1 per cent higher than the average for the year, and higher than in any other month of the year.
. From the figures given in the last column of the table it is seen that the average of wholesale prices in December, 1906, was 5.6 per cent higher than in January, 5.3 per cent higher than in February and March, 5.5 per cent higher than in April, etc.
The changes that took place in wholesale prices month by month during 1906 in each of the nine groups before referred to may be readily seen from the following table: COMPARISON OF AVERAGE PRICE FOR EACH MONTH OF 1906 WITH THAT FOR THE YEAR AND OF AVERAGE PRICE FOR DECEMBER, 1906, WITH THAT FOR EACH PRECEDING MONTH OF THE YEAR, BY GROUPS OF COMMODITIES.
Cloths and clothing. Per cent of price Per cent Per cent of price Per cent Per cent of price Per cent for month- of in- for month
of in- for month- of increase in crease in
ber over average average
each preprice price
ceding for year. for year.
for year. for year. month.
2.3 2.3 2.2
2.3 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.1 1.6
6.1 3.5 2.7 2.9 2.1 2.5 1.3 2.4 1.6 1.6 1.2
COMPARISON OF AVERAGE PRICE FOR EACH MONTH OF 1906 WITH THAT FOR THE YEAR AND OF AVERAGE PRICE FOR DECEMBER, 1906, WITH THAT FOR EACH PRECEDING MONTH OF THE YEAR, BY GROUPS OF COMMODITIES–Concluded.
' Drugs and chemicals.
All commodities. Per cent of Per Per cent of
Per cent of Per Per cent of Per price for price for price for
price for cent month
of in- month- of in- 1 month- of increase crease crease,
crease in Dein Dein De
in DeAbove Below
Above Below cem- Above Below cemn- Above Below
age price price
each price price
each for for pre- for for pre
for for pre
for for pre year. year. ceding year. year. ceding
year. year. ceding month.
The general average of the prices of farm products was lower in February, 1906, than in any other month of the year, the average in that month being 4 per cent below the general average for the year. In December the prices had advanced to a general level, 5.2 per cent above the average price of the year, making the December price 9.5 per cent higher than the low price of February.
Food commodities as a group reached their lowest price in May, when the average was 2.5 per cent below the average for the year. In December, however, the average price of food had advanced to a point 5 per cent higher than the general average for the year, making an increase over the May price of 7.7 per cent.
The price of cloths and clothing as a whole was below the general average for the year during the first nine months. The advance begun in September continued through each succeeding month until in December the price was 1.8 per cent above the average for the year. The advance in December over the lowest price of the year was, however, only 2.4 per cent.
Fuel and lighting began the year with the average price 1.7 per cent above the average for the year. There was a general decline in the following months and in June the average price was 2.5 per cent below the average price for the year. Each month thereafter there was an increase in prices. In December the average price was 3.6 per cent higher than the average for the year.
The advance in prices in metals and implements during the year was greater than that in any other one of the 9 groups. In January the average price was 3.1 per cent below the average for the year,
while the December price was 8.7 per cent above the average for the year, making an increase in December over January of 12.1 per cent.
The average price for lumber and building materials was 3.6 per cent below the average for the year in January and 2.3 per cent above in December, making an advance from January to December of 6.1 per cent.
Prices of drugs and chemicals took a general downward course during the year, being at their lowest in May. They advanced in December to the same average as in January, namely, 1.7 per cent above the average for the year.
The advance in prices of house furnishing goods began in July, and the December price was 3.6 per cent above the average for the year. The advance in prices in December over the prices that prevailed during the first six months of the year was 5.7 per cent.
Prices of the group of miscellaneous articles fluctuated to a considerable extent during the year, but as a whole made quite an advance, in December being 6.1 per cent higher than in January and 7 per cent higher than in April.
The following table has been prepared, showing for both raw and manufactured commodities, according to the classification already explained, the per cent that prices in each month in 1906 were above or below the average prices of the year and the per cent of increase in December over each preceding month of the year:
COMPARISON OF AVERAGE PRICES OF RAW AND MANUFACTURED COMMODITIES FOR EACH MONTH OF 1906 WITH PRICES FOR THE YEAR AND OF AVERAGE PRICES FOR DECEMBER, 1906, WITH THOSE 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 March, the price of raw commodities was 2.9 per cent below the average price for the year, while in December