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For Release In MORNING Newspapers of Wednesday, % 0 M
SECURITIES AND E X C H A N G E C O M M I S S I O N
Philadelphia
^
STATISTICAL SERIES
Release No. 690

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;

In response to a growing demand as a result of the war program for detailed
data on the volume and composition of saving by Individuals in the United States
the Securities and Exchange Commission today made public an analysis of individuals' saving for the f j g u r ^
This compilation shows the aggregate volume of indivduals 1 saving, i.e., the increase in their assets less the
increase in their liabilities, exclusive of gains or losses from revaluation of
assets. Shown also for the first time are the components contributing to this
total, such as bank balances and currency holdings, insurance, securities, consumers 1 indebtedness, an,3 rronsumers1 durable goods•
Individuals' saving in all forms In the fourth quarter amounted to 6.8 bil~
lions. Their saving exclusive of durable goods totaled 3,8 billions. This was
the highest quarterly volume of saving on record and is explained in large part
by th<r h5 n * level of their income. Individuals f savin# thus far apparently has
:
not 11.<creased Markedly out of proportion to their total income, according to th>s
indications of these data. In other words, there is little evidence as yet of
any unusual diversion from consumption into saving.
Federal government securities accounted for 1 . 9 billions, or 27 percent of
individuals 1 gross saving in tha fourtn quarter, compared with 8 percent in the
third quarter of 1941. and not much over 1 ^percent in the last quarter of 3 c,40*
Ihe analysis indicates that a considerable part of saving in Federal government
securities was financed by the curtailment of current saving in ether forms rati
er than by curtailment of consumption. In reflection of this tendency, current
saving by individuals in the form of cash and deposits dropped off in absolute
terms and decreased markedly relative to total saving; these items totaled only
17 percent of individuals' saving in the fourth quarter as compared with 26 percent in the preceding quarter and 3 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 19.,v.
In addition to showing the diversion of saving from currency and bank deposits into government securities, the figures for the last quarter show that
expenditure on automobiles and other durable consumers' goods was 2.4 billions,
an amount almost identical with that in the fourth quarter of 1940.
Individuals
expenditure on homes amounted to 0,6 billions, also about the level of the last
thiee months oi 1940.
In spite of anticipated shortages and price rises, purchases 01 durable goods during the last quarter of 19.41 were not disproportionate in relation to the amount of disposable income in individuals' hands remaining in line with the average relationship which had prevailed in sarlier
years * A slight reduction of individuals' debt which had been incurred in the
purchase of automobiles and other durable consumers' goods was recorded, indicating that consumers were not making net additions to their indebtedness for
the purpose of stocking up on consumers' durable goods, though such net addition;
to debt have been typical of earlier periods of increased income.
Of the remaining components of individuals' saving in the fourth quarter,
the host important was the growth in their equity in insurance and pension reserves. This increase was in line with the higher level of income payments.
Finally, there was, as in each of the preceding quarters in 1941, a small decline in individuals' equity in corporate securities. The primary reason for
this change was a net shift in the ownership of outstanding corporate bonds
from
 individuals to non-individuals. lantelM life insurance companies.


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2

s - 690

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SAVING OP INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES l/
1940 - 1941
(Billions of dollars)

1 1940
I. Gross Saving
II. Depreciation
III. Net after Depreciation
I. Gross Saving by Type
A, Currency and bank deposits
B. Savings and loan associations
Insurance and pension reserves
1. Private insurance
2. Government insurance funds
3.
Total
Securities
D.
1. Corporate
2. Municipal
3. Federal
4.
Total
E. Non-farm dwellings 2/
1. Expenditures
2. Change in debt
3. Saving (l minus 2)
F. Automobiles
1. Expenditures
2. Change in debt
3„ Saving (1 minus 2)
Other durable consumers' goods
H. Liquidation of debt, not
elsewhere classified £/
II. Depreciation by Type
Ao Non-farm dwellings
B« Automobiles
C. Other durable consumers' goods

'15.42

7.86

1941

Jan* — Apr.-(July- Oct, —
Mar. June (Sept. Dec. Total
5*98

4.87

2.02

23.01

8.60

2. 28

2.20

2.11

t 7.56

+2.84 +3.25 +3-78 +4.53 +14.40

+ 3.70
+ .25

+1 .34 +1 .34 4-1.58 +1 . 18 + 5.44
+ .06 + .08 + .08 + .08 + .31

+ 1.70
+ 1.24
+ 2.94

+ .52 + .46 4 • 49 4 .57 + 2.04
+ .46 + 1.76
+ -31 + .46 4 .53
.03 + 3-80
+ .83 + .92 41 .02 + 1

.35
.19
.58
.16

.06
. 06
+ .30
+ . 13

+ 2.30

. 64
. 25 —
.13
, 22
.05 . 06 - .05
.06 + 3-11
-.51 4 .45 4*1
,25 + .27 4-1.55 + 2.25
.20

+ • 54

+

-

+
+

+
.74 4 .82 + .64 + 2.74
*
.20 + .29 4 . 26 4 .25 + 1.01
.33 + .45 4 .56 + .39 + 1.73

+

• 90
+ 1.40

+
+

+ 2.70
+ .46
+ 2.24
+ 5-55

+ • 93 +1 . 21 4 • 55 4 .55 + 3.24
. 28 + . 22
.01
+ .13 4 .3*7
~
.84 + .56 4 .83 + 3.02
+ .79
+1 .30 +1 .82 +1 • 99 +1 .81 + 6.92
+

•

.08

.51

+ .02

1.48
2.09
4. 29

-

.37
.58

.38

.38

.6l

.38
,64

1 .07

1 .12

1 .17

1 .22

-

,34

-

.07

-

.67

-

. 46
1.52
2,50
4.59

saving.
2/ One to four family non-farm houses.
5/ Includes liquidation of debt attributable to purchases of consumption goods as
well as other durable consumers' goods.
Note; Figures are rounded to tens of millions and will not necessarily add to
totals.
The foregoing data have been compiled by the Commission from many different
sources and are the result of a long period of research in this field.
.the interest of the Commission in data on the total volume and components ot saving
has developed as a result of its concern with corporate financing and tne capital
markets.
Information of this type, however, has acquired increased importance
due to the war effort, since current observation of the various forms oi saving
-md forecasts of the probable volume and distribution of saving in the immediate
future are essential in the determination of monetary and fiscal policy.
It is
planned, therefore, to develop these saving studies in the future in such directions as the financial aspects of the war effort dictate. Because of the nature
of the figures, current data necessarily are in the nature of estimates znd, \
therefore, are subject to revision. However, improvements in methods of compila
tion are continually being devised to increase their accuracy.