More Arms in the FRB Index

The Federal Reserve Board last week revised the best-known U.S. business barometer, its own monthly Index of Industrial Production. Its ingredients were reshuffled in order to give more weight to armament production. Result: a slightly higher level of indicated production, averaging three points a month since the beginning of 1941.

Greatest innovation was the inclusion of production data (in terms of man-hours) in U.S.-owned arsenals, quartermaster depots, shipyards. Government production has never before been included in a business index. Because of the amazing increase in electric steel output (1929: 1,066,000 tons; estimate 1941: 3,000,000) and its importance to defense, it too...

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