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Information bulletin
(June 1951)

Cefaratti, A. J.
Output, exports set records,   pp. 55-57 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 57

increase, was accelerated particularly in the three major
agricultural-refugee states. By the end' of March, these
states had still not recovered much of their loss in
building employment. Already in April estimated em-
ployment in building and construction had almost reached
the June 1950 level. Employment also rose in trade and
commerce and in agriculture.
Registered unemployment in the Feideral Republic has
shown a Psiteady downward movement since mid-January,
with a sharp drop of 120,000 during April reducing the
total to 1,446,000. In terms of the wage and salary earn
ing labor force, unemployment dropped to 9.1 percent
from 9.9 percent in March 1951.
An amended version of the Federal Government bill
concerning labor participation (co-determination) in the
management of the mining industry and the severed
iron and steel-producing companies was enacted in April
by the Federal Parliament. Pa~sgsage of the measure was
hailed cas a great success on the road toward social
harmony" by the executive council of the Western Gelr-
man Trade Union Feideration (DGB).
Organized labor continued the general wage drive as
new collective agreements were negotiated without any
major work stoppages. Approximately 1,000,000 building
trades workers in the Federal Republic (excluding Ba-
varia, which is subject to a special agreement) were
granted a pay increase of 9.5 percent effective April 25
with another boost of 3.5 percent due on July 15. The
wage dispute was settled by arbitration, as has been
customary in this industry since 1949.
Wage increases were also obtained in the Wuerttem-
berg-Baden metal industry, for Bremen shipyard workers,
in the entire clothing industry, for farm labor in several
states and in the Bavarian woodworking and the Hesse
chemicals industries. The Mining Union announced that
it will seek a 14 percent pay raise for wage earners and
salaried employees in the hard coal mining industry.
The current pay agreement expired on April 30.
Prices
During March the three major price indexes continued
to rise, and at a more accelerated rate than in February.
Even more spectacular was the increase of the three
indexes during the first quarter of 1951, an increase which
was greater for each index than during the last quarter
of 1950 and, except for the basic materials price index,
greater also than during the third quarter of 1950.
In March the. index of industrial producer prices rose
by 2.8 percent to 218 percent of 1938. The index of basic
materials prices increased by 2.4 percent to 251 percent
of 1938; the agricultural component rose by 1.6 percent
and the industrial component by 6.3 percent. The index
of consumer prices, which climbed by three percent to
reach 161 percent of 1938 - the largest month-to-month
gain since October 1948 - showed the highest jumps in
food (up 5.1 percent); household goods (up 3.1 percent)
and clothing (up 2.7 percent). Consumer prices are still
rising although at a slower pace, anid a one percent rise
was expected in the April index.
Food and Agriculture
Since the new Federal measures to increase the bread-
grain supply have been in effect only a short time, it
is difficult to estimate any immediate results. Preliminary
information indicates, however, that measures taken to
encourage domestic deliveries and continue. US ship-
inents will achieve favorable results. Although bread
J UNE 1951
rationing will not be necessary, the year end (June 30,
1951) stocks of breadglrains will be substantially below
last year's stock level. DuringApril, theFederal Govern-
ment took additional steps to conserve grain supplies,
and is also considering new legislation to force increased
farm deliveries which would prevent the use of bread-
grains as fodder and prohibit the creation of large farm
stocks for speculation.
During April, the edible faitis and oils supply position
continued to deteriorate. Stocks had fallen, and largely
as a result of the: EPU payment crisis, trade-agreement
imports in March declined from ithel monthly average of
approximately 50,000 tons to 29,000 tons. To stretch
available stocks, the oil and margarine industries aagireed
to make a substantial cut in production in April by
19,000 metric tons, and -a reduction in May of 10,000
metric tons, was planned. The Bank Deutscher Laenider
agreed to release by the end of April $25,000,000 for
food purchases, $12,000,000 of which will be used in an,
''emergency program" for purchasing edible oils, mainly
low-priced whale and fish oil from Norway.
Despite theise measures, however, by June 30, 1951
stocks may be dangerously low -probably no higher
than 40,000 tons. To reduce consumption somewhat and
to enable importers to purchase higher-priceid fats and
oils from various trade agreement sources, the Federal
Government is considering an immediate increase in the.
price of margarine.
Berlin
The value of deliveries of West Berlin industry (ex-
cluding construction and energy production) reached
DM 208,500,000 ($49,623,000) in March, a post-blockade
record. February total delivery value amounted to
DM 186,000,000 ($44,268,000). The electrical, machinery
and clothing industry branches registered the lar!gest
gains. A part of the increase was probably due to price
rises. No reliable general price index exists for the city,
but a new cost of living index (1938 = 100) increased
from 154.1 in February to 158.1 in March. This may give
some indication of general price trends.
The index of industrial production (1936  100; ex-
cludes construction, energy production, ianid food and
stimulants) reached a new postwar record level as it
rose from 46 to 50, the producers goods section from
45 to 49, and the consumer goods section from 50 to 56.
These averages, based on deliveries, rather thanphysical
output, have not been corrected for recent price increases.
Receipts of iron, steel and non-ferrous metal products,
timber, paper and cardboard, and certain other categories
of industrial raw materials continue to lag behind re-
quirements. Altholugh specific instances of shortages af-
fecting plant output have been reported, the general
situation appears to be no worse than in Western
Germany.
Employment showed little net change during the first
half of April. Unsubsidized employment increased by
approximately 2,000 from March 31 to April 15. However,
5,000 fewer persons were given work under the GARIOA
work relief program. As a result, total reported employ-
ment stood at 882,000, a decrease of jusit under 3,000 as
compared with the end of March. The registered labor
force also increased somewhat, so that total unemploy-
ment rose by approximately 6,500 during the first half
of the month. Data on industrial employment are not yet
available for April, but a slight increase was reported
during March.                                +END
INFORMATION BULLETIN
57


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