From the archives
Commercial History and Review of 1930
The Economist Feb 14, 1931
"Continuous but orderly deflation in security prices, commodity prices, credit outstanding and in the manufacture, distribution and sale of goods has been characteristic of the past year...Perhaps the most upsetting influence was the severe decline in prices of wheat and cotton both of which fell to the lowest level since 1915, and the reduced output and low prices of corn, tobacco and other farm products...Steel ingot production, according to the AISII was 39.6m tons, the smallest since 1924 and a drop of 27% from 1929...Motor production was estimated by the Department of Commerce at 2.5m vehicles, 38% under 19229 level. Railway freight car loadings were reported by the ARA at 45.8m, a reduction of 13.1% from 1929...Credit deflation and the decline in interest rates and loss of deposits made the year a rather indifferent one for the commercial banks...Federal Reserve Bank policy was one of consistently cheap money. The decline in the New York discount rate began in the autumn of 1929 and for reductions brought the rate down from 4 to 2 percent, the lowest in the history of the Reserve system."
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