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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 100 (July 1947)

Upswing in production,   p. 12 PDF (653.8 KB)

Page 12

Upswing in Production
November, and for some industries
it will probably be considerably less.
INDUSTRIAL production in the US
Zone continued its upswing during
May, when the general level reached
46 percent of the 1936 average-the
best rate since the occupation began.
This figure is four percent above the
previous high attained in October
and November 1946, shortly before
the winter decline. However, the out-
look for further industrial progress
is not as favorable as the spring
gains appear to indicate, since the
coal situation, the basis of all in-
dustrial production, is not improving
as rapidly as had been hoped.
While numerous major industrial
groups, including iron and steel, ve-
hicles, ceramics, paper and pulp,
textiles, and leather, pushed into
new high ground during May, the
momentum of the advance was no-
ticeably less than in April, accord-
ing to the Reports and Statistics
Branch   of   Economics   Division,
OMGUS. The only sharp rise for the
month, amounting to almost 50 per-
cent, was for stones and earths, but
this group had lagged previously in
its recovery from the winter re-
cession. Its May output was still
only 34 percent of the 1936 rate as
compared with the October high of
42 percent.
Iron and steel, -flat glass, and paper
and pulp all advanced about 20 per-
cent during the month. In the iron
and steel industry, output of rolling
mill products rose 40 percent and
steel ingots almost as much; pig iron
production increased by about 10 per-
cent. As a result, the steel index
reached a new peak level of 53.6 per-
cent of the 1936 rate ad compared
with the previous high of 52.9 in Jan-
uary. But at best the US Zone can
satisfy only' about one-quarter of its
own steel requirements, the bulk of
which must still be supplied from
the Ruhr, where steel output remains
less than 20 percent of prewar.
Paper and pulp also reached a new
occupation high-37 percent of the
1936 rate against the October peak
of 34-attributable largely to a sharp
increase in the production of chem-
ical sulphite pulp. May's flat glass
output, at 95 percent of the 1936 rate,
was still well below the peak of 115
percent attained last June.
Gains ranging between 10 and
17 percent were scored by vehicles,
saw mills and leather. A substantial
increase in truck production brought
the vehicles group to 17 percent of
the 1936 rate-a new peak. Leather
also reached a new peak at 39 per-
cent of 1936 output as compared with
the previous high of 36. Lumber pro-
duction, despite its May increase,
was only about three-quarters of the
prewar rate which was touched last
Rubber, which fell four percent
from April, and precision instruments
and optics, in which output dropped
somewhat because of a 15 percent
decrease in camera production, were
the only industrial groups to show
a decline during the month. The other
groups made small advances. Al-
though textile production rose only
five percent as compared with April,
the index for the group advanced to
47. Last fall's high was 39. The self-
liquidating cotton imports, and the
consequent progressive improvement
in the output of cotton yarn and
cloth, were responsible for the steady
gain in this industry.
ESPITE the overall industrial pro-
gress made in May, further sub-
stantial gains in the immediate fu-
ture are unlikely.
The current output of coal in the
Ruhr basin is far short of the mini-
mum needed for sustained industrial
expansion. Although the daily rate of
output in the Ruhr mines has been
rising slowly for the past few weeks,
and crossed the 220,000 ton mark on
13 June for the first time in 10
weeks, it is still well below the post-
war peak of 238,000 tons which was
reached on 22 March.
Substantial quantities of coal must
be reserved for minimum space
heating requirements during the com-
ing winter, and, moreover, the stocks
upon which industry was able to
draw during 1946 have been ex-,
hausted. Consequently, although cur-
rent mine outputs is much higher
than last fall's average of abouit
185,000 tons daily, the amount of
coal available for industrial use in
the combined UK/US Zones is no
greater than it was in October and
THE effects of this fuel shortage
are already becoming manifest-for
example, in the inability to reacti-
vate two newly refitted blast fur-
naces in the US Zone which have
been ready for operation since April.
The   Sueddeutsche   Kalkstickstoff-
werke at Trostberg, Bavaria-the sole
producer of cyanamid fertilizer in the
US Zone, and the only important
producer in the bizonal area-closed
down on 8 June for lack of coal, but
was expected to resume operations
shortly. Unless coal output expands
sharply, such instances are certain to
multiply in the next few months as
more plants are restored to working
Transport is another adverse factor
which  may   make  itself felt in-
creasingly in the coming months.
There has been a steady decline in
the availability of freight cars in the
bizonal area. With any significant
expansion of coal output, the trans-
port bottleneck may become still
more serious. Nevertheless coal-and
as far as the bizonal area is con-
cerned, this means Ruhr coal-re-
mains the key to the whole in-
dustrial problem.
(Continued from page 6)
Women's Club
Baden. Another contest will give two
German and two American women a
chance to try out each other's recipes.
In the process of organization is a
Working Committee, which will gath-
er American clothing to be remade
into children's clothing by the club
members. These garments will be distri-
buted either through the various wel-
fare organizations or given directly
to needy children.
Letters have been received from all
parts of Germany telling how enthu-
siastically the idea of an American-
German Women's Club has been re-
ceived. Many of the German women
write of their interest in meeting
American women. Clubs based on the
same idea as the one in Stuttgart are
now being formed in other parts of
the US Zone.
7 JULY 1947

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