Thomas Tooke

Inflation by group of products during the 1913-1920 period.

In Commodities, Inflationary Period of 1913-1920 on May 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

During the first world war period, the inflationary pressure was distributed in the following manner.

As Kemmerer wrote in 1920:


Wholesale prices, we have seen, have increased on an average 165% from 1913% to April, 1920. Government figures show that the group of food commodities increased for the same period 170%; that the commodity group of “cloths and clothing” increased only 95% per cent. The Government figures for the retail prices of 12 important articles of food show an average increase for the same period of 111%. Retail prices, as exemplified in the budgets of 12,000 laboring men´s families in 92 localities, covering food, clothing, fuel, light, and house furnishings, show an average increase from 1913 to October, 1919, of 83.1%, and to December, 1818 of 99%, as compared with a general wholesale price increase to December, 1919, of 138%, and an increase in the retail prices of food of 97%.


The place not to invest into: Utilities.


Another group of price maladjustments resulting in large part from inflation is that relating to railroads and other public utilities, the prices of railroads and other public utilities, the prices of whose services and products are prevented by government regulations from moving upward with the general price level under the stimulus of inflation, but whose costs for materials, equipment and wages, continually advance under that stimulus.





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