Depression of 1920

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DEPRESSION OF 1920. The prosperity generated by World War I prevailed into the early part of 1920. Prices began to rise, however, and rumors of a buyers' strike spread. After commodity prices peaked in May, they declined rapidly, precipitating an unprecedented cancelation of orders. Money was extremely tight, although the stringency did not become acute until autumn. A noticeable flight of gold from the country caused a marked advance in money rates, and the end of the year saw a 30 percent decline in industrial stocks. Depression—characterized by inactive industries, business failures, and a severe decline in foreign trade—continued throughout 1921.


Baumol, William J. Business Behavior: Value and Growth. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1967. Original edition: New York: Macmillan, 1959.

FrankParker/c. w.

See alsoCommodity Exchanges ; Gold Standard ; Stock Market .