« PreviousContinue »
expansion in entering new product lines; and (7) advertising to value of shipments ratios by product class.
The Federal Home Loan Bank Board provides data on the operations of the Federal Home Loan Banks, savings and loan associations, and general information on the mortgage market.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides monthly data on originations of mortgage and construction loans, purchases and sales of loans for residential and nonresidential properties, commitments for mortgage loans, and quarterly information on gross flows of mortgage loans.
Publication of data for individual companies will not be made available for at least 5 years after the data year. The Federal Trade Commission believes that this lag is adequate to prevent disclosure of proprietary information that could benefit rival companies.
The principal use of the corporate patterns data will be to assist the Federal Trade Commission in its enforcement efforts, economic studies and policy planning activities. Due to the lack of consistent and comprehensive published data, there has been no systematic empirical analysis of the significance and impact on competition of the merger movements and increased diversification of large corporations over the last three decades. Such information is considered essential for a basic understanding of competitive conditions and the formulation of sound and effective antitrust policy.
The Securities and Exchange Commission provides current and/or annual data on the volume and dollar value of activity in the securities markets, institutional purchases and sales of common stocks, ownership of common stocks, condition of security brokers and dealers, and noninsured private pension funds.
Banking and Credit A number of Federal agencies provide statistics on banking and credit. The more prominent ones are summarized below.
The Department of Agriculture provides current and/or annual data on agricultural credit, including agricultural loans by financial and lending institutions, farm mortgage debt and interest rates.
The Department of the Treasury provides monthly data on the national debt, Federal securities, and international Government transactions.
The Bureau of the Census provides annual data on debt transactions and cash and security holdings of State and local governments. It also provides quinquennial information on farm finances as part of the census of agriculture.
The Bureau of Economic Analyses provides quarterly information on international financial transactions as part of the balance of payments accounts (see chapter on the economic accounts).
The Federal Reserve Board publishes weekly and monthly banking statistics in the monthly Federal Reserve Bulletin and as special releases. These include data on the central banking system, money stock, interest rates, commercial bank balance sheets, consumer and mortgage credit, governmental and international financial transactions.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) publishes data on commercial banking in the form of “all bank” statistics from tabulations by the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve, and FDIC call reports—detailed reports of assets and liabilities tabulated four times each year for the banks under the agency's supervision-and from similar reports semiannually covering the small number of noninsured banks. Annual data are published also on the earnings, expenses, and profits of all insured commercial and mutual savings banks. In addition, the FDIC collects data on mortgages made on new and existing single-family homes by commercial and mutual savings banks for incorporation with similar data from savings and loans institutions into the Federal Home Loan Bank Board monthly series on interest rates and terms of nonfarm conventional first mortgages, and for use in Department of Housing and Urban Development data on gross mortgage flows.
Data Gaps and Further Development
Data weaknesses of banking and credit statistics may be classified in four broad categories: money stock, consumer credit, mortgage and construction loan interest rates, and small business data needs.
Money Stock.–The money supply aggregates composed alternatively of various categories of cash and deposits and referred to as M1 through M5 are a basic source of information used by the Federal Reserve Board in setting monetary policy.
In its 1976 report to the Federal Reserve Board, the Advisory Committee on Monetary Statistics recommended a number of improvements for strengthening the analytic usefulness and statistical reliability of the money stock figures. These include money stock definitions, nonmember bank deposits, consolidation of financial institution accounts, foreign deposits, seasonal adjustment, short-run transitory variations, and negotiable and payment order of withdrawal accounts.
A program to improve the measures of deposits of nonmember banks of the Federal Reserve System has begun with an experimental survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to collect weekly data on deposits of nonmember banks to supplement the existing quarterly call report data. A decision will be made in 1979 on whether to make this survey permanent. Reliable measurement of nonmember banks is important because of their effect on monetary policy. They account for approximately 25% of all commercial bank deposits, and since this proportion is growing, it will be still more important in the future to have an accurate assessment of their role in the economy. The FRB also established a committee of outside experts in 1978 to review the seasonal adjustment techniques presently used and to recommend the most appropriate methods for adjusting the monetary aggregates and other financial data.
To further strengthen the money stock figures, the following is recommended: 1. The Federal Reserve Board should conduct a
retrospective review of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Monetary Statistics for improving the monetary aggregates to take stock of which recommendations have or are being implemented, and to develop a systematic plan for addressing the remaining recommendations.
The most prominent weaknesses in consumer credit information are the data on loans by credit unions and the use of mortgage borrowing on existing homes for consumer purchases.
Current data on loans by credit unions are derived from monthly surveys of the National Credit Union Administration (Federal and State chartered unions) and from annual surveys of the Credit Union National Association (State-chartered unions). These in turn are developed into national totals by type of loan (automotive, other consumer goods, personal loans) by the Federal Reserve Board. The basic problems with the underlying data are the lack of current monthly information on new loans and repayments by State credit unions (monthly data are available only for loans outstanding), and weaknesses in the sample of Federal credit unions from which data on new loans and repayments are obtained.
The difficulty with the information on mortgage loans on existing housing is the lack of direct information on the use of these borrowed funds—for example, refinancing existing mortgages, downpayment for second home, home improvements, purchase of consumer durables, or payment for medical and educational expenses. A recent study suggests that such borrowing has bolstered consumer expenditures in the mid-1970's as the inflation in real estate values has been used by households to finance additional consumer outlays by increasing household debt. However, it is likely that the use of such funds for consumer expenditures varies with economic and financial conditions. For example, during periods of financial stringency, it is possible that a larger proportion of mortgages on existing homes would be used to build up liquid asset balances. Thus, a tightening of the availability of mortgage funds could have an intensified impact on consumer outlays. The absence of information on the use of mortgage loans on existing housing is an important missing part of data needed for monetary policymaking.
2. The experimental program by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation to collect weekly data on deposits of nonmember banks of the Federal Reserve System should be made permanent.
To improve the estimates of consumer credit, the following is recommended:
Consumer Credit.—Consumer purchasing power is composed of personal income and consumer credit. Recommendations for strengthening the current estimates of total and disposable personal income were made in the GNP Data Improvement Project Report. These include improvements for the components of wages and salaries, labor income from wage and salary supplements, income from selfemployment and rentals, and deductions of Federal income and social security taxes.
"Report of the Advisory Committee on Monetary Statistics, Improving the Monetary Aggregates, Board of Govenors of the Federal Reserve System, June 1976.
1. The National Credit Union Administration and
the Federal Reserve Board should review the needs, feasibility and costs of obtaining more reliable information on monthly loans and loan
*David F. Seiders, “Mortgage Borrowing Against Equity in Existing Homes: Measurement, Generation, and Implications for Economic Activity," Paper presented at the Eighth Annual Conference of the Society of Government Economists, March 27, 1978.
repayments of Federal and State chartered credit unions. This study should address the lack of direct monthly data for State credit unions and the adequacy of the sample of Federal credit
unions used in obtaining these data. 2. The interagency committee on financial statistics
should explore alternative methods for obtaining direct information on the use of mortgage loans
on existing housing. Mortgage and Construction Loan Interest Rates.Current information on actual interest rates charged on Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration home mortgages is not available. These data on interest rates at the time of commitment and closing for new and existing homes were collected from June 1972 to September 1977, initially on the recommendation of the Interagency Committee on Interest and Dividends which functioned during the price and wage control period of the early 1970's. The series was discontinued in 1977 on the basis that other information on mortgage interest rates was adequate for economic analysis.
The Interagency Committee on Financial Statistics should study the uses and differential movements of the discontinued series on Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration interest rates on home mortgages to assess the need for reinstituting the collection of these data.
Current information on interest rates for mortgages for apartments and commercial buildings is available from diverse sources-for example, monthly survey of 15 life insurance companies, monthly figures from the Advance Mortgage corporation (subsidiary of Citicorp), and weekly data for
apartments only from a survey of 25 savings and loan associations conducted by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. There is no comprehensive survey of mortgage interest rates charged on these buildings.
The Interagency Committee on Financial Statistics should review the need, feasibility and costs for developing an "official" series on mortgage interest rates for apartment and commercial buildings.
Construction loans are an early source of mortgage credit. For commercial banks, current data on the volume and interest rates of construction loans are available. For savings and loan associations, information on construction loans is limited to the volume of closings.
Because of the importance of construction loans by savings and loan associations, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board should collect current information on interest rates for these loans.
Small Business Data Needs.—In the previous sections on Statistics of Income and the Quarterly Financial Report, note was made of the use of financial statistics for administering the small business program. However, at the present time there is no overall framework for assessing data needs for fostering small business, including those owned by minorities. The current review by the Small Business Administration of its data needs is an important step in remedying this situation.
When the current study by the Small Business Administration of its data base needs is completed, these should be included in the overall planning of economic statistics programs.
Chapter 8. HEALTH STATISTICS
Introduction and Overview Over the past two decades, health statistics at the Federal level have evolved from the measurement of natality, mortality, and morbidity and their determinants, to an expanded array of information designed to assist the health administrators, practitioners, planners and scientists, as well as others concerned with health issues. To paraphrase the World Health Organization sponsored Second International Conference of National Committees on Vital and Health Statistics, health statistics are no longer simply being utilized as background and descriptive information, they have been brought directly into the arena of policymaking.
Health statistics are defined to include statistics concerning the health of people; the health services they receive; the manpower and facilities resources that provide the services; and certain basic demographic data which are closely linked to the epidemiology of health problems and the characteristics of the population being served. Also covered under health statistics are statistics on health attitudes and practices and on payment for health services.
The need for the Federal Government to be involved in the collection of health statistics stems from the Federal role in the training of health professionals, direct delivery of health care, financing of a significant portion of care delivered, protection of the public, prevention of disease and insuring reasonable public access to health care resources. Many of these roles and concerns overlap with those of States, localities and the private sector. Consequently, it is quite essential that Federal data activities be, to the extent practicable, integrated with, and built upon program activities, and that they be guided by appropriate statistical principles.
Guiding principles and goals for health statistics are basically no different from those for any other Federal statistical activity. They include costefficiency, minimizing respondent burden, reliability and validity, comparability, standardization, elimination of data gaps, and so forth. In attempting to comply with such principles, recent progress
should be noted in the development of minimum basic data sets, and the standardization of definitions for health statistics. These principles will be discussed further in other sections of this chapter.
Current needs for health statistics in the United States can be broadly placed under several categories:
To describe the nature of the country's health problems and needs; To assist in assessing how well and at what costs these problems and needs are being and can be met; To assist in the allocation of the Nation's health resources; To serve in a focal capacity in basic health research; and
To assist in governmental regulatory and planning activities.
The focus of this chapter will be on the broad range of activities undertaken to meet the needs identified above. A discussion of future data needs in the health area presumes a degree of clairvoyance beyond the scope of this report. This is not to say that attempts should not be made to predict or anticipate future data needs. On the contrary, such activities should be ongoing in organizations with statistical policy responsibilities. This chapter should not be viewed as a plan or program for health data activities for the next decade, but as a framework for more detailed examination and activity relating to the improvement of existing statistical programs.
The major Federal data collector in the health area is the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW). Within the Department's components there exist both distinctive responsibilites for data gathering as well as areas of considerable duplication and overlap.
The Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) surveys all alcoholism treatment programs which it funds, monitors all drug abuse treatment facilities in the United States, obtains detailed information from federally