During the 1980s, many economic historians studying Latin America focused on the impact of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Most of these historians argued that although the Depression began earlier in Latin America than in the United States, it was less severe in Latin America and did not significantly impede industrial growth there. The historians' argument was grounded in national government records concerning tax revenues and exports and in government-sponsored industrial censuses, from which historians have drawn conclusions about total manufacturing output and profit levels across Latin America. However, economic statistics published by Latin American governments in the early twentieth century are neither reliable nor consistent; this is especially true of manufacturing data, which were gathered from factory owners for taxation purposes and which therefore may well be distorted. Moreover, one cannot assume a direct correlation between the output level and the profit level of a given industry as these variables often move in opposite directions. Finally, national and regional economies are composed of individual firms and industries, and relying on general, sweeping economic indicators may mask substantial variations among these different enterprises. For example, recent analyses of previously unexamined data on textile manufacturing in Brazil and Mexico suggest that the Great Depression had a more severe impact on this Latin American industry than scholars had recognized.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author's assertion regarding economic indicators in the highlighted text?

During an economic depression, European textile manufacturers' profits rise while their industrial output remains steady.

During a national economic recession, United States microchips manufacturers' profits rise sharply while United States steel manufacturers' profits plunge.

During the years following a severe economic depression, textile manufacturers' output levels and profit levels increase in Brazil and Mexico but not in the rest of Latin America.

Although Japanese industry as a whole recovers after an economic recession, it does not regain its previously high levels of production.

While European industrial output increases in the years following an economic depression, total output remains below that of Japan or the United States.












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