Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 49 (July 1946)
[Highlights of policy], pp. - PDF (18.0 MB)
Since overall industrial output is to a very great extent a function of coal and steel, the economic weakness of the Zone lies in its dependence on outside sources for these basic commodities. Expressed in relation to industrial requirements, coal availability in recent months for the US Zone (including zone-produced coal and receipts from other zones) was less than one-half; in steel, the May proportion was about one-sixth. CONSEQUENCES OF WAR To put present industrial activity in the US Zone in its proper perspective, the back- ground of the economic consequences of six years of war, of complete military defeat of Germany, and the resulting economic chaos during the early months of the occupation, must be painted in. The high rate of German industrial output during the war resulted in far more than normal depreciation of industrial and trans- portation equipment. Inability of the Ger- man war economy to maintain a high level of munitions and civilian production kept consumer goods output far below- replace- ment needs - especially during 1043.44, when heavy Allied air attacks accentuaft d that need. The destruction of and damage to factories, machines railroad and rolling stock; the loss of all kinds -of-consumer goods in the bombed-out cities, from pots and pans to furniture and housig, all educed industrial capacities while6 siujtaneously increasing the demand for, tens 4;hoitusans of commodities and services.;-A Economic and especially indtistrial chaos, virtually; complete througout, emaiy'6i V-E Day, continued on a decrede ing stale for perlbaps six months id. almostal .fieldi ToJay, even where order has been &e-tab- lished, the consequences othis long herio4 of almost complete sanator stil its fest. While the. ecxtrme w-ar-iand tear r- sulting directly from war and adfet We ceased, normal depreciation H4 all d Wurable and non 'urable goods:- islf from bein replacedl by thee Zone's 'pr'et idAustrial -output. An outstandn e xap i: iaI mining machinery and equipment, replace- ment and repair of which is vital to main- tenance and increase of coal output. Thus, viewed from this perspective, the industrial economy of the US Zone is still in the initial stages of recovery. Not until in- dustrial output has tripled or quadrupled can a reasonable balance between new production and depreciation be expected. Only then will "living off capital" cease. In contrast to these fundamentally un- favorable long-term aspects of the Zone's industrial economy the short-term outlook for a continuation of the upward trend since December is encouraging. Barring unfavorable developments, the May increase of 18 percent in solid fuel loadings assures a somewhat adequate supply to industrial coal consumers through the early summer weeks. This improvement reflected a modest rise in coal output in the Ruhr and Saar and the comtinued with- drawal of hard coal from Ruhr stockpiles. These ~two factolres, plus a 113 percent per- fornm ae from the Soviet Zone, raised ful- fillment of. allocations to the US Zone to 100 percent -the best performance yet. In addition, a seasonal decline in coal require- ment s on the part of non-German consumers, made somewhat more coal available to in- dustry.' PiROGRE;SS IN STEEL INDUSTRY Perhaps- even mrF basic than the im- proved outlook for coal is the progress made in the tivou and steel industry since the middle of April, when foif blast furnaces and ~~aller migllls were re4activated. The improve- idite~nt in ingot VsfeeI production-should pro- vide within the-near future some alleviation of the shortage of steel which has held back :production of many important industrial items, notably mining spplies, farm machi-. nery, trucks-and'- spare parts. To the--extent that lack xf iron and steel has retarded over all ou tputtim the past, tuore pig iron and r 4t0teel neans stimulation of pronductio rigthe early sumAer ll anongthe lime.
As a work of the United States government, this material is in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright