AMERICAN PRICES INCREASING.
EVERYTHING GOIN(i LT. X , t\ iSppcial to "Star."i SAX FRANCISCO. September 23. Economic conditions, from the point of view of the worker in America, appear to have taken a decided turn for the worse, judging by the present cost of the necessities of life, which are showing a rapid tendency in an upward direction, and the opinion is now well , formed nationally that the coat of living will be higher this winter. This is the virtually unanimous prediction of Government officials in Washington, as well as economist?, bankers, and business men of Eastern financial ] centres, as a result of careful study of the pTic* situation and general conditions of the American Continent. However, economic experts in public »nd private service perceive in this price rise a sure indication that the country is striding back to normal once more, but it is admittedly poor consolation for the worker who is now called upon to j pay more for his upkeep and that on a ! falling wage receipt, consequent upon I. tie readjustment of wages and salaries j now occurring, in some instances as ' deep a cut as .10 per cent having been I recorded. ; Food prices are already on the in- j crease in the principal cities, the U.S. | Labour Department has anounced offi- j dally. Bradstrecfs index of wholesale prices, too, show an increase after thirteen months of steady decline. j Roger Babson. B.C. Forbes, and other j economists have noted and announced ; the same trend, and predicted its eon- j tlniiance. The encouraging feature about high prices, some of these economists say, is that it means "equilibrium and sta- j bility." They explain that prices which declined sharply are now rising to meet those which did not fall so far. No expert has yet satisfactorily explained why those which did not fall should not now go down to meet those that did. instead of the low ones coming up to meet the high ones! NO TRE-WAK PRICES. American consumers might as well abandon hope that pre-war prices will again prevail, the experts have warned; j in fact, Government figures show the. cost of living never has dropped to the i 1913 level, despite the contention of retailers in their cunningly-worded advertisements that pre-war prices are now in ! vogue. These Government statistics | issued in Washington undeniaibly mdi- ! cate that there is a bigger margin of profit to-day somewhere between the wholesaler and the consumer than there was in 1!)13. REVIVING INDUSTRIES. The publicly expressed sentiments of leaders in the Government, in finance, in industry, in transportation, are reflecting this same longing to have done with everything that savours of tearing down and to restore building up. Even America's tremendously important agricultural population, thanks to recent helpful events, are casting off pessimism and adopting a more wholesome attitude towards the future, and the will to build up is expected to shortly express itself in actually building up. The progress already made toward resuming active business is not to be overlooked, for it is becoming impressive, in the opinion of Eastern obser-1 vers. Mention might be made of only j a few developments which contain real I significance. Pig iron production last I month showed a substantial increase, i The number of idle freight cars decreased more than 23,000 during the last week of the month. In July railway net income reached 70,000,000d01., which was no less than 17,000,000d01. better than in the previous month. Wheat exports last month were four times the maximum ever exported in any pre-war August. The Government forecasts an enormous corn crop, and it is encouraging \o note that corn exports are increasing decidedly. Considerable improvement in the wool market is reported by that industry's mouthpiece. FAILURES DECREASE. Postmaster-General Hays states that postal receipts for August increased, this being the first increase recorded for many months. Commercial failures show a substantial decrease in the liabilities involved. Automobiles shipped last month showed a material gain over July, whereas a decrease is customary. 'Orders from salesmen on the road were considerably ahead of previous weeks and the corresponding period last year,'' reported Marshall, Field and Co. The secretary ■of the New Kngland Shoe and Leather Exchange stated: i "Shoe factories are following the textile j mills back to full time operation and j capacity production." Building opera- ! tions have increased nota-bly, and the conservative financial firm of Brad- I streets ends its latest summary of con- | ditions with these words: "Bummed up, it may be said that things are better— not a great deal, perhaps, but still they are better." The most recent figures show the unemployment is somewhat less than formerly. These are some of the bright features of current conditions and the outlook in America, but it must be admitted that all clouds have not yet passed.
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