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SCB_071956

SCB_071956

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JULY
 1956
U.
 S
DEPARTMENT
 OF
 COMMERCE
OFFICE
 OF BUSINESS ECONOMICS
 
SURVEY
 OF
 CURRENT
 BUSINESS
No. 7
JULY
 1956
t.la
 tlonat
 income
 I
 lumber
PAGE
THE
 BUSINESS SITUATION.....
 1Recent
 Price Movements 2
*
 *
 *
NATIONAL
 INCOME
 AND
 PRODUCT
OF THE
 UNITED STATES, 1954
 6
List of
 Statistical
 Tables
 7
National
 Income
 and Product Accounts 8
* * *
MONTHLY
 BUSINESS STATISTICS...
 .S-l
 to S-40
Reference
 Note
 for
 June
 1956
 Data 5
Averages
 for the
 year
 1955
 S-l to
 S-40
Statistical
 Index
 Inside
 back
 cover
Published
 by the U.
 S.
 Department
 of
 Commerce,
 SINCLAIR
 WEEKS,
Secrefafy..
 Office
 of
 Business
 Economics,
 M.
 JOSEPH
 MEEHAN,
Director. Subscription
 price,
 including
 tveekly
 statistical supplement,
 is
$3.25 a
 year;
 foreign
 $4.25.
 Single copy, 30 cents. Send remittances to
any
 Department
 of
 Commerce Field
 Office
 or to the
 Superintendent
 of
 Docu-
ments,
 United
 States Government
 Printing
 Office,
 Washington 25, D. C.
Special
 subscription arrangements, including changes
 of
 address, should
 be
made directly with
 the
 Superintendent
 of
 Documents. Make
 checks
 payable
to
 Treasurer
 of the
 United States.
DEPARTMENT
 OF
 COMMERCE
FIELD SERVICE
Albuquerque,
 N.
 Mex.
 Memphis
 3,
 Tenn.
321
 Post
 Office
 Bldg.
 22
 North Front
 St.
Atlanta
 23, Ga.
 Miami
 32,
 Fla.
50
 Seventh St. NE. 300 NE. First
 Ave.
Boston 9, Mass.
 Minneapolis
 2,
 Minn.
U. S.
 Post
 Office
 and 2d
 Ave. South
 and
Courthouse Bldg.
 3d St.
Buffalo
 3, N. Y.
 New
Orleans
 12, La.
117 Ellicott
 St.
 333
 Sti Char
,
eg
 Ayc
Charleston
 4, S. C.
Area
 2,
Sergeant
 Jasper Bldg.
New York
 17, N. Y.
110 E.
 45th
 St.
Cheyenne,
 Wyo.
 Philadelphia
7, Pa.
307
 Federal
 Office
 Bldg.
 1015
 Chestnut
 St.
Chicago
 6,
 111.
 Phoenix,
 Ariz.
226 W.
 Jackson Blvd.
 137 N.
 Second Ave.
Cincinnati
 2,
 Ohio
 Pittsburgh
 22, Pa.
442
 U. S.
 Post
 Office
 107
 Sixth
 St.
and Courthouse
Cleveland
 14,
 Ohio
1100
 Chester
 Ave.
Dallas
 2, Tex.
1114
 Commerce
 St.Portland
4,
 Oreg.
520 SW.
 Morrison
 St.
Reno, Nev.
1479
 Welle
 Ave.
Denver
 2, Colo.
 Richmond
 19, Va.
142
 New Customhouse
 1103
 East
 Main
 St.Detroit
 26,
 Mich.
 St.
 Louis
 1, Mo.
438
 Federal Bldg.
 H14
 Market
 St.
Houston 2,
 Tex.
 Salt
 Lake
 City
 1,
 Utah
430
 Lamar
 Ave.
 222 SW. Temple St.
Jacksonville
 1,
 Fla.
 San
 Francisco
 11,
 Calif.
311 W.
 Monroe
 St. 555
 Battery
 St.
Kansas
 City
 6, Mo.
 Savannah,
 Ga.
911 Walnut St.
 125-29
 Bull
 St.Los
 Angeles
 15, Calif. Seattle 4,
 Wash.
1031 S. Broadway 909 Firet Ave,
For local telephone
 listing,
 consult section
devoted
 to U. S. Government
 
JULY
 1956
By the
 Office
 of
 Business Economics
B,
USINESS
 activity
 at
 mid-year continued
 to
 reflect
 the
stimulus
 of
 rising consumer incomes
 and
 business invest-ment.
 In the first
 half
 of
 1956,
 the
 national economyoperated
 at a
 record
 rate,
 well above
 the
 same period
 a
 yearago.
 This
 was the
 case despite lower activity
 in
 such
 linesas automobiles, and
 housing.
Consumer
 purchasing continued
 to be a
 basic supportingelement
 in the
 business picture
 as
 reflected
 in the
 strong
sales
 of
 goods
 at
 retail stores
 and a
 continued advance
 in
service
 expenditures.
 New
 construction activity
 in
 June
was at a
 seasonally adjusted rate
 of $44
 billion, which
 was
within
 the
 narrow range
 of the
 month-to-month changesshown earlier
 in the
 year.
The flow of
 income
 has
 continued
 to
 expand. Personal
income
 from
 April
 to May
 showed
 an
 increase
 of
 $1%
 billion
at a
 seasonally adjusted annual rate,
 following
 the $3
 billionadvance
 from
 March
 to
 April. Private industry wages
 and
salaries,
 which
 had
 risen sharply
 from
 March
 to
 April
 in
practically
 all
 industries, increased fractionally
 in May and
other components continued
 to
 advance.
Demand
 for labor strong
Total
 employment
 in
 June moved ahead
 to a new
 high,with more
 than
 half
 of the largely seasonal increase
 from
May
 absorbed
 by
 agriculture. Nonagricultural establish-ments increased
 the
 number
 of
 employees
 on
 their payrolls
a
 little more than usual
 to a
 seasonally adjusted total
 of
about
 51K
 million. Manufacturing employment receded
slightly on a
 seasonally adjusted basis
 as
 most industrygroups hired
 fewer
 workers than usual
 for the
 month.Despite
 the
 rather
 pervasive
 effects
 of
 the sharp
 reduction
of
 automobile output which
 has
 marked
 the first
 half
 of
this year,
 total
 factory employment
 in
 June
 was
 less than
1
 percent below the high level of last December.
Nonmanufacturing
 establishments added
 to the
 numbers
of
 their employees, seasonally adjusted,
 by
 more than enough
to
 offset
 the
 decline
 in
 factory employment.The length of the factory workweek increased less thanusual
 from
 May to
 June.
 Small declines
 on a
 seasonally
adjusted
 basis were reported
 by
 almost
 all
 industry groups.At 40.1 hours, the average workweek was
 \%
 percent shorter
than
 in
 June
 1955. Average hourly earnings of factoryworkers
 of
 $1.98
 in
 June were
 up 11
 cents
 from
 June 1955,Virtually
 all
 industries reported increases.
Retail trade active
Retail sales
 in
 June, seasonally adjusted, continued
 at the
record
 May
 rate. Total sales
 for the first
 half year were
 up
4
 percent
 from
 the
 corresponding period
 of
 last
 year.
Sales
 of durable goods stores in
 June,
 after
 seasonaladjustment, were unchanged
 from
 the
 preceding month,
The
 down trend
 from
 the
 1955 highs appears
 to
 have been
arrested
 as
 aggregate
 sales
 of
 durables have been
 firmly
maintained
 in the
 last
 few
 months.
 For the first
 half
 of the
389280—56
 1
year, durable goods stores sold about
 as
 much
 as in the first
half of
 last year with
 the
 reduced demand
 for
 automobilesbeing
 offset
 by
 increased sales
 of
 other durables.There
 has
 been little
 or no
 slackening
 in
 demand
 for
 non-durables as seasonally
 adjusted
 sales in recent months roseinto
 new
 high ground.
 All the
 major
 nondurable groupsshared
 in the
 advance
 and all
 reached
 new
 high totals.
Consumer
 purchases have been backed not only by thelarge
 flow of
 income
 but
 have also been supplemented
 by the
free
 use of
 available credit. During May, total short-
 and
intermediate-term consumer credit outstanding increased
$600
 million; much
 of the
 increase
 was of a
 seasonal nature.Installment credit extended
 in May
 totaled
 $3
 billion
 on a
seasonally
 adjusted
 basis, slightly less than
 in May
 1955
 but
the
 total
 for the
 January-May
 period
 of
 almost
 $16
 billion
was
 substantially larger than
 that
 for the
 same 1955 months.
Total
 repayments
 on
 previously contracted debt have riseneven more sharply
 from
 a
 year ago,
 so
 that
 the net
 increasein outstanding credit in the first 5 months of 1956 has beensmaller than
 in the
 corresponding period
 of
 last
 year.
Sales
inventories, orders higher
Manufacturers' sales, seasonally
 adjusted,
 increased
 2
percent
 from
 April
 to May
 with most industry groupsparticipating. Except
 for a
 decline
 in
 sales
 by
 motor-
vehicle
 producers, gains were widespread among
 the
 metal
fabricating
 industries and among the major
 soft-goods
 lines.
New
 orders, seasonally
 adjusted,
 received
 by
 manu-
facturers
 in May
 were larger
 than
 in
 April
 and 4
 percentabove
 the
 year
 ago
 total.
 The
 advance
 covered
 a
 broadindustrial
 front
 with
 the
 largest relative gains reported
 by
primary metals
 and
 machinery companies.
 Unfilled
 ordersoutstanding
 at the end of
 May, totaling $57.4 billion, wereunchanged
 from
 April
 but $9
 billion larger than
 a
 yearearlier.
Manufacturing
 and
 trade inventories
 in the
 aggregatecontinued to rise,
 after
 seasonal adjustment, during May.
Most
 of the
 increase
 was in
 stocks held
 by
 manufacturers,largely those
 in the
 durable goods industries. About two-thirds
 of the
 rise
 in the
 value
 of
 factory stocks
 was in
 pur-chased materials and goods in process inventories. Asubstantial
 part
 of the
 book value increase stemmed
 from
increases
 in the
 prices
 of
 both
 raw
 materials
 and
 manu-
factured
 products.
Steel
 operations reduced
Steel making
 facilities
 in the first 2
 weeks
 of
 July
 operated
at 13
 percent
 of
 rated capacity,
 in
 place
 as of
 January
 1,
 1956,which compares with
 93
 percent
 of
 capacity
 in
 June. Someimmediate indirect
 effects
 of the
 steel shutdown have already
been
 felt
 in
 certain related industries with scattered
 layoffs
of
 moderate proportions being reported in railroad yards,ore
 transportation, and in
 coal mines.

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