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THE BUSINESS REVIEW
THIRD FEDERAL
PHILADELPHIA

RESERVE DISTRICT
FEBRU A RY 2, 192.5

By RICHARD L. AUSTIN, Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of PHILADELPHIA

S U M M A R Y O F B U S IN E S S C O N D I T I O N S IN T H E U N I T E D

Production and employment in Decem­
ber continued the increase which began in
the autumn and wholesale prices advanced
further to the highest level for the year.
Railroad shipments of goods continued in
large volume and trade, both at wholesale
and retail, was larger than a year ago.
Production. The index of production
in basic industries advanced about
per
cent in December to a point 25 per cent
higher than last summer but was still
below the level of the opening months of
1924. Practically all of the 22 industries
included in the index shared in the ad­
vance and the increases were particularly
large in iron and steel, cotton manufac­
turing, coal mining, and meat packing.
Among the industries not represented in
the index the output of automobiles de­
clined in December and was the smallest
for any month in more than two years.
Increased industrial activity was accom­
panied by an advance of about
per cent
in factory employment, with larger in­
creases in the metal and textile industries,
and by a growth o f nearly 5 per cent in
total factory payrolls. Volume of build­
ing as measured by contracts awarded,
was less in December than in November,
but continued unusually large for the sea­
son of the year.
Trade.
Distribution of goods was

10

2

greater in December than in the same
month of 1923, as indicated by larger
railroad shipments and an increase in the
volume of wholesale and retail trade.
Christmas trade at department stores was
4 per cent greater than in the previous
year, and sales by mail-order houses and
chain stores were the largest on record.
Wholesale trade was seasonally less than
in November but in practically all lines
was larger than a year ago. Marketing
of agricultural products was greater than
for the corresponding month of any
recent year.
Prices.
A further advance of more
than 2 per cent in the Bureau of Labor
Statistics index of wholesale prices car­
ried the average in December
per cent
above the low point of June and to the
highest level since April, 1923. Prices of
all groups of commodities were higher,
the principal increases being in farm
products and foods. In the first half of
January prices of grains, wool, coal, and
metals increased further, while sugar,
dairy products, silk, coke, and rubber de­
clined.
Bank credit. At the Federal reserve
banks the rapid return flow of currency
after the holiday trade resulted, during
the four weeks ending January 21, in a
reduction o f earning assets about equal

8

PRODUCTION IN BASIC INDUSTRIES

PER CENT

J

to that for the same season a year earlier.
The net outflow of currency from the re­
serve banks during the month preceding
Christmas amounted to more than $200,and the return flow after the
Christmas peak, reflected both in the in­
crease in reserves and in the decline of
Federal reserve note circulation, was in
excess o f $300,000,000. Fluctuations in
the earning assets of the reserve banks
during the past two months have re­
flected chiefly these seasonal changes in
the demand for currency. The decline in
discounts brought their total on January
to a smaller volume than at any time
in 1924, and acceptances also showed a
seasonal decrease. Holdings of United
States Securities, which have declined for
more than two months, were about $175,below the level of last autumn
and in about the same amount as at the
middle of 1924. Net exports of gold,
which give rise to a demand for reserve
bank credit, amounted to $30,000,000 in
December and were in larger volume
during the first three weeks in January.
The growth of demand deposits at
member banks in leading cities during
the three weeks ending in the middle of
January, which has been greater than the
increase in their total loans and invest­
ments, has reflected the return of cur-

000,000

21

000,000

W H OLESALE

PER CEMT
dUU

150

lo o

STATES

P R IC E S

\j
lo o

50
50

1922

1923

1924

Index of 22 basic com modities corrected for
seasonal variation (1919 =100). Latest fig­
ure— December, 117.




o

1925
Index of sales of 333 stores in 117 cities (1919 =
100). Latest figures, December— Adjusted
index, 129; Unadjusted index, 207.

1922

1923

1924

1925

Index of U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1913
= 100, base adopted by Bureau). Latest
figure— December, 157.

Page One

Weekly figures for 12 Federal Reserve Banks.
Latest figure— January 21.

rency from circulation.
In the same
period there was some increase in com­
mercial loans and a continued growth in
loans secured by stocks and bonds.
Holdings of investment securities have
decreased somewhat since the middle of
November, particularly at the banks in
New Y ork City.
Firmer conditions in the money market
in December and the first few days in
January were followed later in the month
by declines in rates on commercial paper
to
per cent.

S U M M A R Y O F B U S IN E S S
C O N D IT IO N S IN T H E
T H IR D F E D E R A L R E S E R V E
D IS T R IC T

Actual developments during December
and January leave little doubt of a real
and substantial improvement of business
in this district. In spite of the wide­
spread improvement of business senti­
ment early in the fall, the volume of
November business was rather disappoint­
ing. But December witnessed a material
expansion in the operations of the fac­
tories o f this district and a volume of dis­
tribution well in excess of that of the
corresponding period o f 1923. Further­
more, preliminary reports indicate that,
aside from the usual seasonal lull follow ­
ing the holidays and the inventory
period, business in January has main­
tained or exceeded its previous advances.
Following the marked increase which
occurred in factory employment and oper­
ating schedules in December, early re­
ports received by this bank indicate but
little further change occurring in Janu­
ary. This hesitation is probably due to
inventory taking.
Both the iron and steel and textile in­
dustries have shared in the recent ad­
vances. Output of these materials has
increased substantially since November,
and, although there is some seasonal
slackening in purchases, existing orders
are in sufficient quantities to insure the
maintenance of present operations for
from one to three months. W ool prices
have continued upward and some grades
o f wool yarns and cloth have been in

Page Two




good demand, but the cotton and silk
markets have been relatively quiet.
Hosiery and underwear manufacturers
report more active demand and a suffi­
cient volume of orders for the first
quarter’s operations.
The coal markets have felt some im­
provement with the arrival of cold
weather but anthracite production is still
running behind last year’s figures. Build­
ing activity, although still in excess of
that o f last year, has had a marked
seasonal decline.
Hence the call for
paint, cement and other building ma­
terials has declined accordingly. Flour
and sugar markets have been rather quiet
and prices of sugar have declined sharply.
An improvement in the shoe trade after
the first o f the year has been reflected
in bettered demand for leather and for
hides and skins with higher quotations
in some instances.
Indeed, prices of
many other raw materials and manufac­
tured goods have registered substantial
advances during the past f e w . weeks.
Producers generally report, however, that
buyers are cautious and are confining
their purchases to small lots for early
delivery.
Distribution o f goods in this district
has been in large volume since Novem­
ber. Railroad freight car loadings have
continued to exceed last year’s totals al­
though December and January figures
showed a seasonal decline from the high
levels of early fall. Wholesale business,
which was disappointing in November,
was better in December in all lines than
it was in the same month of 1923. In­
deed, in the case o f shoes, drugs and

paper, substantial increases o f 12 to 24
per cent were recorded. The early Janu­
ary sales also appear to be exceeding
last year’s business in wholesale lines.
It is also significant that stocks of
wholesale dealers have been considerably
reduced during the past year and that
collections at the end of the year were
better in nearly all lines than at the end
of 1923.
Christmas business at the department
stores in the district was also better than
in the previous year, showing an increase
of 3.2 per cent as compared with Decem­
ber, 1923. Business was especially good
in apparel lines and the stores in Phila­
delphia generally experienced greater im­
provement than those in the smaller
cities o f the district.
Since Christmas,
price reduction sales and weather condi­
tions have stimulated the sale o f season­
able goods. January business is expected
to exceed that o f the previous year.
Further evidence of general business ex­
pansion is seen in the fact that the value
o f debits to individual accounts was
per cent larger than in the corresponding
period o f 1923.

9.3

EM PLO YM EN T AND W AG ES

Industrial operations in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey and Delaware expanded con­
siderably in December, according to re­
ports on employment and wages received
by this bank from more than a thousand
manufacturing establishments. Employ­
ment at these factories increased
per
cent and wages paid were 6.4 per cent
larger than in November. As there were

2.2

SYNOPSIS OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS
Compiled as of January 23, 1925
Business

Third Federal Reserve District
Demand

Prices

Unchanged

Stocks

Collections

Heavy
Light

Good
Unchanged

Light

Higher
Higher
Higher
Higher

Unchanged
Unchanged

Fair
Good

Higher

Higher
Higher
Higher

Fair

Light
Light
Light

Unchanged
Unchanged
Higher
Firm

Light
Light
Moderate

Fair

ment noted in December was due to the
fact that the period for which reports
were made in November included Armis­
tice Day, when many establishments sus­
pended operations.

EM PLO YM EN T AND W AGES
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware
Number of
wage earners—
week ended
Group and industry

All industries (48)
M etal manufactures:

Automobiles, bodies, and parts..
Car construction and repair.......
Elec, machinery and apparatus..
Engines, machines, mach. tools.
Foundries and machine shops. ..
Heating appliances and apparatus
Iron and steel blast furnaces. . . .
Iron and steel forgings................
Steel works and rolling mills. . . .
Structural iron works.................
Misc. iron and steel products. .
Shipbuilding................................
Non-ferrous metals.....................

Textile products:

Carpets and rugs.........................
Clothing.......................................
Hats, felt and other....................
Cotton goods...............................
Silk goods....................................

Knit goods and hosiery..............
Dyeing and finishing textiles... .
Miscellaneous textile products . .

Foods and tobacco:

Bakeries.......................................
Canneries.....................................
Confectionery and ice cream... .
Slaughteringandmeatpacking...
Sugar refining..............................
Cigars and tobacco.....................

Building m aterials:

Brick, tile, terra cotta products.
Cement........................................
Glass............................................
Pottery.........................................

Chemicals and allied products :

Chemicals and drugs..................
Explosives...................................
Paints and varnishes..................
Petroleum refining......................
Coke............................................

M iscellaneous industries :

Lumber and planing mill products
Furniture.....................................
Musical instruments...................
Leather tanning..........................
Leather products.........................
Boots and shoes...........................
Paper and pulp products............
Printing and publishing..............
Rubber tires and goods..............
Novelties and jewelry.................
All other industries.....................

No. of
plants
report­
ing

Dec.
15,
1924

1,029 374,699
354 176,733
22
7,030
15 14,139
41 21,127
36
9,277
73 11,618
6,044
18
12 13,663
4,845
13
48 47,077
12
3,161
48 26,134
9,047
8
3,571
6

Dec.
15,
1924

+ 2.2 $10,061,684

Per cent
change
from
month
ago

Average weekly
earnings
week ended

Dec.
15,
1924

Per cent
change
from
month
ago

+ 6.4 $26.85

+ 4.1

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

3.9
2.3
1.1
2.7
1.6
4.7
1.8
3.9
3.1
5.9
1.3
6.7
0.9
3.4

5,039,488
203,114
430,702
530,822
256,311
333,040
174,506
385,394
132,821
1,372,476
85,936
770,809
260,049
103,508

+11.0
+12.7
+ 6.5
+ 2.8
+ 9.0
+14.4
+ 1.0
+ 6.3
+ 13.1
+17.3
+ 1.1
+18.9
+ 0.5
+ 4.2

28.51
28.89
30.46
25.13
27.63
28.67
28.87
28.21
27.41
29.15
27.19
29.47
28.74
28.99

+ 6.8
+10.1
+ 5.4
+ 0.2
+ 7.3
+ 9.2
- 0.8
+ 2.4
+ 9.7
+ 10.8
- 0.1
+ 11.4
+ 1.4
+ 0.8

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

4.7
2.6
1.5
7.4
8.9
2.9
20
8.7
5.9
3.6

22.82
28.02
17.81
22.92
22.50
20.81
23 78
23.81
26.08
20.04

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

245
13
26
11
28
65
28
47
20
7

70,579
3,705
4,061
5,408
8,152
18,613
11 515
10,429
7,125
1,571

+
+
+
+
+
—
+
+
+

1.3
2.3
1.2
1.1
1.7
0.7
0 2
2.3
4.4
1.5

1,610,262
103,812
72,313
123,925
183,452
387,405
273 779
248,304
185,793
31,479

83
19
9
21
11
3
20

23,477
3,487
3,284
6,032
2,664
1,649
6,361

- 2.2
- 0.3
+ 2.0
- 1.5
+ 3.4
-2 5 .6
- 0.3

516,173
104,012
70,837
115,304
74,352
51,406
100,262

- 0.3
+ 2.6
+ 4.8
- 1.8
+ 3.7
-1 6 .0
+ 2.1

21.99
29.83
21.57
19.12
27.91
31.17
15.76

+ 2.0
+ 2.9
+ 2.8
- 0.3
+ 0.4
+12.9
+ 2.4

81
23
15
27
16

25,504
3,656
7,789
9,710
4,349

+
+
-

0.3
3.9
3.2
0.9
1.1

737,802
95,818
223,026
279,598
139,360

+
+
+
+

0.9
2.3
3.6
2.1
4.9

28.93
26.21
28.63
28.79
32.04

+
+
+

1.2
1.5
0.3
1.2
6.1

75
39
10
15
8
3

29,032
7,042
2,829
1,453
16,572
1,136

+ 2.0
-j- 3.2
+ 2.1
+ 0.2
+ 0.9
+14.9

873,797
197,671
70,704
38,668
535,248
31,506

- 1.6
+ 2.9
- 6.8
+ 5.6
- 3.5
+ 10.2

30.10
28.07
24.99
26.61
32.30
27.73

+
-

3.5
0.2
8.8
5.4
4.3
4.1

191
8
21
6
34
6
29
22
25
19
9
12

49,374
2,503
3,471
8,447
8,079
597
5,189
5,345
4,095
5,618
2,203
3,827

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

26.01
20.54
27.27
26.87
25.88
23.05
19.04
26.03
33.16
28.32
25.42
25.99

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

2.3
6.9
8.0
2. 7
2 .0
1.4
3.4
0.9
0.1
6.8
3.8
11.5

but few actual changes in wage rates, the
latter figure indicates approximately the
expansion in operations.
The metal manufacturers experienced
the greatest improvement, employment
increasing nearly 4 per cent and wages
being 11 per cent larger than in the
previous month. Practically all of these
industries shared in the advance; the
largest increases were reported by foun­
dries and machine shops, steel works and
rolling mills, iron and steel forging
plants, and miscellaneous iron and steel
manufactures. Most of the textile indus­
tries also increased operations, the net
increase for this group being 1.3 per cent




Per cent
change
from
month
ago

Total
weekly wages—
week ended

0.8
4.7
6.0
0.1
1-7
1.0
3.6
0.5
0.7
0.2
2.7
2.7

1,284,162
51,415
94,647
226,996
209,080
13,763
98,782
139,121
135,771
159,099
56,009
99,479

3.2
2.5
14.4
2.6
3.8
0.4
0.3
0.4
0.8
6.7
6.6
14.6

3.4
0.3
0.3
6.3
7.1
2.2
22
6.2
1.4
2.1

in employment and 4.7 per cent in wages.
Cotton mills, dyeing and finishing estab­
lishments and knit goods mills registered
the largest advances. The decline in the
food and tobacco group was due prin­
cipally to a marked reduction in employ­
ment and wages at sugar refineries..
Cement mills reported fewer employes
and smaller wage totals, but the other
building material industries showed an
expansion in wage totals. The majority
of the chemical and miscellaneous indus­
tries reported increased employment and
wages, the improvement being especially
marked in coke plants and furniture fac­
tories. Undoubtedly part of the improve­

F IN A N C IA L C O N D IT IO N S

In the table below items taken from the
statements of reporting member banks
in four of the larger cities of the Third
District are given. These figures show
changes in the course of the holiday
season and in the weeks following:

(000’s omitted)

Dec. 3 to
Dec. 24

Dec. 24 to
Jan. 14

Secured loans.....................
Commercial loans.............
Investments.......................

-1 5 .2
- 9.3
+ 13.3

+ 8.6
- 5.8
- 3.6

Totals.........................
Deposits.............................
Borrowings from F. R.
Bank...............................

-1 1 .2
-4 2 .6

.8
+ 25.9

+ 18.1

-1 8 .5

The decrease in deposits from Decem­
ber 3 to December 24 was due largely
to the paying off of loans by borrowers
and to the withdrawal by depositors of
large sums, held in Christmas savings
clubs and in other accounts, to make
holiday purchases. A great deal of cur­
rency was required, some of which was
obtained through rediscounting at the
Federal Reserve Bank.
Currency no
longer needed in trade was returned
after the close of the holiday season and
helped to swell the total o f deposits; the
greater part of the sums so added to the
banks’ resources apparently was used in
the reduction of rediscounts at the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank.
Discounts at the Federal Reserve Bank
declined from 47.3 millions on December
24 to 22.7 millions on January 21. Fed­
eral reserve note circulation likewise fell
off markedly, but deposits and cash re­
serves increased. The reserve ratio ad­
vanced from 74.0 to 82.7 per cent.
Although money rates on January 21
showed little change in comparison with
those of a month before, developments
in the interim are to be noted. The rate
for bankers’ bills was unchanged through­
out the month, but the rates for call
money and commercial paper advanced
to higher levels at the end of December
and the beginning of January and de­
clined thereafter. Commercial paper was
quoted at 3?4 per cent on January 2 and
call money renewals were made at 5 per
cent.
In the period from December 11 to
January 21 weekly sales of bankers’ ac­
ceptances to the Federal Reserve Bank
by five reporting dealers averaged $843,009. as compared with $465,000 in the
preceding period, but sales to others in
this district decreased from $236,000 to
$140,000. According to the latest report,
sales of these dealers averaged $983,000
weekly, as against $2 758,000 a year ago.

Page Three

FINANCIAL STATISTICS
Third Federal Reserve District
Changes in course of
All figures except percentages in thousands of dollars

Latest
One month

One year

Reporting member banks:
Secured loans........................................................................
All other (largely commercial) loans.................................

327.9
358.7

+ 10.8
- 8.0

+42.9
+ 21.0

Total loans........................................................................
Investments..........................................................................

686.6
370.8

+ 2.8
- 2.1

+ 6 4 .0
+85.4

Total loans and investments..........................................
Total deposits......................................................................

1,057.4
957.6

+
.7
+ 13.3

+ 149.4
+ 151.4

Federal Reserve Bank:
Bills discounted...................................................................
Other earning assets............................................................

22.7
46.7

-2 4 .6
- 4.0

-1 7 .0
- 8.1

Total earning assets........................................................

69.4

-2 8 .6

Debits (banks in 18 cities)*...................................................
Savings deposits (99 banks)...................................................
Bankers’ acceptances^
Purchases by 5 dealers........................................................
Sales by 5 dealers:
To Federal Reserve Bank..............................................
To others..........................................................................
Executed by 12 banksj.......................................................
Commercial paper sales, 5 dealers.........................................

553,000
556,867
612
843
140
4,284
5,603

-2 5 .1

-3 3 .9
+ 4.1
+ 2.5
+ 8.7%

148.4
130.6
230.9
82.7%

Federal reserve note circulation.........................................
Total deposits......................................................................
Cash reserves.......................................................................
Reserve ratio........................................................................

-4 2 .6
+ 10.3
- 6.7
+ 6.4%

-3 2,00 0
+ 16,673
-

344

+ 378
96
-1 ,1 2 6
682

+96,000
+37,266
+

259

-1 ,5 6 3
212
+
8
-2 ,0 4 5

New York City

Jan. 21, 1925

Actual figures in all columns
Money rates:
Commercial paper................................................................
Bankers’ acceptances..........................................................
Call money renewals............................................................
Security price averages:
20 industrial stocks..............................................................
20 railroad stocks................................................................
40 bonds...............................................................................
4 Liberty bonds..................................................................
* Weekly totals.

f Weekly averages.

The total o f acceptances executed by
eleven reporting banks was $4,284,000 in
the month ended January 10; $5,410,000
in the preceding month, and $4,276,000
a year ago.
Accompanied for the most part by an
active market, the average price of
twenty industrial stocks advanced from
$116.41 to $122.11 in the month ending
January 21. Bonds also advanced, but
the average of railroad stocks declined.
Savings deposits at 99 banks in the
Third District increased 3.1 per cent dur­
ing December, and on January 1 were
7.2 per cent greater than on January 1,
1924. The percentage of increase during
December was not as large as in the two
previous years. In December, 1923, the
gain was 3.7 per cent, and in December,
1922—4.1 per cent. This month usually
shows the largest increase in savings
deposits of any month in the year, owing
largely to the crediting of interest and
the redepositing of part of the funds ac­
cumulated in Christmas savings funds.
Percentage changes by cities follow :

Page Four




Month ago

Year ago

3H %
3%
3%

sy2-3 H %
3%
3%

4M -5%
4-4 ys%
4%

1122.11
98.49
90.99
101.48

$116.41
99.24
90.61
101.30

$97.28
80.85
87.88
99.41

J Total for month ending 10th.

Changes J anuary 1,
1925, comp ared with
Cities
Previous
month

Previous
year

Allentown........................
Altoona............................
Bethlehem.......................
Chester.............................
Easton..............................
Harrisburg.......................
Johnstown.......................
Lancaster.........................
Philadelphia.....................
Reading...........................
Scranton..........................
Trenton............................
Wilkes-Barre...................
Williamsport...................
Wilmington.....................
Y ork.................................
Others..............................

+ 2 .2 %
+ .4 “
+ .7 “
+ .5 “
+ 1.5 “
+ .2 “
+ .8 “
+ 4 .5 “
+ 4 .3 “
+ 4 .4 “
+ 7 .2 “
-4 .1 “
+ 1.4 “
+ 2 .4 “
+ ■1 “
+ 3 .6 “
+ .5 “

+ 7.8 %
+ 10.9 “
+ 15.0 “
.8 “
+ 1 6 .0 “
+ 6.3 “
+ 2.8 “
+ 17.7 “
+ 6.5 “
+ 14.3 “
+ 16.5 “
- 1 .6 *
+ 8.6 “
+ 1.9 “
+ 5.2 “
+ 16.5 “
+ 6.5 “

Totals.......................

+ 3 . 1%

+ 7 . 2%

Com m ercial paper. Sales o f com­
mercial paper in the city during the first
half o f January were small, many o f the
banks holding out for 4 per cent for best
names, at which rate most dealers refused

to operate. Later some improvement was
noted, but business as a whole was only
fair. Outside of Philadelphia the market,
though not active, was better than in the
city. Most o f the sales have been made at
from 3j^ to 4 per cent. The amount of
new paper coming in has been smaller
than anticipated but dealers have fair
lists.
During December the sales o f five
dealers in this district were $5,602,500;
this compares with $6,285,000 in Novem­
ber and $7,647,500 in December, 1923.
The amount sold to Philadelphia banks
was $2,387,500 and to outside institu­
tions $3,215,000. The range o f rates at
which these sales were consummated
varied even more widely than it did a
month ago and was from 3 to 4^4 per
cent. A t the low figure one sale o f a
fair amount with a short maturity was
made early in the month, before rates
hardened. Above 4 per cent sales were
less than one per cent of the total, and
the great bulk o f the business was closed
at from
to 4 per cent.

3l/ 2

RETAIL TRADE
Retail trade for this season o f the
year is good and many merchants report
that sales for the first half of the month
are larger than those for the same period
o f January, 1924. As is to be expected
in January, however, the volume o f sales
is much smaller than in December, al­
though special price-reduction sales and
the stormy weather of this month have
stimulated business.
Department stores report that their
January white goods sales were not
quite as heavy as in January, 1924, but
other lines o f merchandise, especially
winter apparel for both men and women,
are moving in good volume. Sales of
rubbers and galoshes have been very
heavy. Overcoats and suits are the best
sellers in men’s apparel, and dresses,
coats, hosiery and underwear are the
most active items in women’s apparel.
Floor coverings, bedding, living room
suites, draperies, and cedar chests are the
best selling goods at house furnishings
stores. The call for shoes is light and
the principal business of shoe stores is
the sale of rubbers and galoshes. Tan
calf, black satin, and patent colt are the
types of women’s shoes which are now
in greatest demand. High calf shoes and
heavy oxfords are the best sellers in
men’s shoes.
Prices of most goods are firm and un­
changed, although a few items are
higher. Carpets
and
rugs,
rubbers,
woolens, some articles of hardware, some
grades of shoes, and dining room and bed­
room furniture are slightly higher than
they were in December.

RETAIL TRADE
Third Federal Reserve District
Comparison of net sales

Comparison of stocks

Rate of turnover*

July 1 to
Dec., 1924, Dec. 31,1924, Dec. 31, 1924, Dec. 31, 1924, July 1 to July 1 to
with
with
with
with
Dec. 31, Dec. 31,
July 1 to
Dec., 1923
Dec. 31, 1923 Nov. 30, 1924
1924
1923
Dec. 31, 1923
All reporting firms.............
Firms in Philadelphia........
Allentown, Bethlehem
and Easton..................
Altoona............................
Harrisburg.......................
Johnstown.......................
Lancaster.........................
Reading...........................
Scranton..........................
Trenton...........................
Wilkes-Barre...................
Williamsport...................
Wilmington.....................
York.................................
All other cities................

+ 3.2%
+ 5.3 “

-

+
+
+
+
+

- 0.5
- 9.5
- 8.2
- 2.0
-1 3 .1
- 2.3
- 4.3
- 1.8
- 4.1
+ 2.2
- 8.2
+ 5.4
- 5.3
+ 1.4

0.7
1.0
5.1
0.2
2 .8
0.8
0.6
0.6
0.1
0.9
6.2
0.4
5.6
0.5

“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“

+ 2.7 “
+ 4.6 “
- 0.7 “

-

All apparel stores............... + 6.8 “
Men’s apparel stores.......... + 5.5 “
+ 10.4 “
in Philadelphia...............
outside Philadelphia. . . .
- 1.8 “
Women’s apparel stores. . . + 14.0 “
in Philadelphia............... -+17.7 “
outside Philadelphia. . . . - 2.0 “

+
+
-

All department stores........
in Philadelphia...............
outside Philadelphia. . . .

1-5%
0.8 “
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“

1.7 “
1.2 “
2.7 “
0.4
2.9
1.2
4.9
7.3
10.2
6.1

“
“
“
“
“
“
“

+ 1-1%
+ 1.2 “

-1 5 .2 %
-1 4 .7 “

3.5
4.2

3.6
4.2

+ 0.1 “
- 6.7 “

-1 8 .2 “
-1 8 .3 “

2.6
2.7

2.6
3.2

+ 2.8
+ 1 5 .6
- 2.7
- 3.6
- 1.5
- 4.3
+ 6.2
- 5.4
+ 3.9
-1 0 .0
+ 1.5

-1 5 .4
- 1 2 .8
-1 8 .7
-1 0 .3
-1 7 .2
-1 9 .4
-2 3 .1
-1 7 .7
- 9.1
-1 9 .9
-1 3 .1

“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“

2.5
2.3
2.7
2.3
3.1
3.3
3.2
2.3
2.0
2.6
2.6

2.6
3.0
2.6
2.3
3.1
3.1
3.3
2.3
2.0
2.6
2.5

+ 0.9 “
+ 1.1 “
+ 0.4 “

-1 6 .0 “
-1 5 ,2 “
-1 7 .1 “

3.6
4.1
2.7

3.6
4.2
2.8

+
+
+
+
-

-1 4 .7
-1 0 .8
- 7.7
-1 3 .4
-2 0 .8
-2 1 .3
-1 8 .7

“
“
“
“
“
“
“

3.9
2.2
2.7
1.9
5.8
6.4
3.5

3.9
2.3
2.7
2.0
5.4
6.1
3.3

0.2
0.1
2.3
2.1
0.1
3.1
9.0

“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“

“
“
“
“
“
“
“

Credit houses......................

+ 3.2 “

-

2.2 “

+ 1.4 “

-

6.5 “

2.8

2.9

Shoe stores..........................

+ 4.8 “

+ 4.2 “

+ 0.6 “

-

8.8 “

2.4

2.3

* Times per year based on cumulative period.

WHOLESALE TRADE
In November sales in all the eight
reporting lines were smaller than in N o­
vember, 1923, but this condition has been
reversed in December and business was
larger in each line than it was in De­
cember, 1923.
The trend of sales of
shoes, drygoods and groceries is usually
downwards in December as compared
with November, but this year shoe sales
increased in December and the decrease
in both drygoods and groceries was less
than in recent years. Business in all the
other lines increased over that of N o­
vember.
Collections in December, too, show an
improvement as compared with those in
the previous month and in December,
1923. The only exception was jewelry,
in which collections were slightly poorer
than they were a year before. Stocks
have been reduced and are smaller than
at the end of 1923, except in groceries
and paper.
The indices o f prices o f drugs and
fine chemicals are slightly lower than
they were a month ago, but, with these
exceptions, quotations at wholesale are
firmly maintained or have been raised.
Preliminary estimates indicate t h a t
wholesale trade in January will exceed
that o f January, 1923.
Paper. Wholesalers report that the
call for paper varies from fair to good
and that it is very similar to that of a




month ago. Fine, book, wrapping and
kraft papers and newsprint are in good
demand for this season of the year. Tis­
sues, toilet papers, manilas, cardboards,
and building boards are moving only in
fair volume. The call for building pa­
pers and cover papers is increasing. High
grade bond papers, most rag-content
papers, some grades of paper bags and
o f kraft papers have advanced slightly
in price, but the prices o f most grades
are the same as last month.
The total of December sales exceeded
early expectations, being 13.2 per cent
greater than those of November and 24.1
per cent larger than those o f December,

1923. Jobbers’ stocks at the close o f
1924 were 16.9 per cent greater than at
the close of 1923.
D rugs. The call for drugs is well
maintained and jobbers report that it is
practically the same as in December.
Pharmaceuticals, cough and cold medi­
cines, denatured alcohol and oils are all
selling actively. Both botanical drugs
and fine chemicals and drugs are cheaper
than they were a month ago. The index
number compiled by the “ Oil, Paint and
Drug Reporter” for 40 botanical drugs,
on January 19, was 134.8, as compared
with 139 on December 15; that for 35
drugs and fine chemicals, on January 19
was 200.5, as against 202.2 on December
15. Sales in December were consider­
ably better than was indicated early in
that month, being 11.7 per cent greater
than in November and 18.1 per cent
larger than in December, 1923.
Hardware. The net sales o f 31
wholesale hardware firms in the Third
Federal Reserve District were 7.5 per
cent greater in December than they were
during November and also 7.5 per cent
larger than in December of last year.
The present demand is only fair and no
more active than it was at this time last
month.
General supplies for the spring trade
are in best request, and building hard­
ware, too, continues to move in substan­
tial quantities. Mines, mills and factories
are taking most of the deliveries of
heavy hardware and machine equipment.
Nearly all dealers reporting to us say
that prices are higher than they were at
this time, both last month and a year ago.
Stocks held by dealers on December 31
were
per cent larger than they were
at the end of the preceding month, but
1.4 per cent smaller than on the last day
of December, 1923.
Electrical supplies. During Decem­
ber the net sales of 7 wholesale electrical
firms in this district were 38.6 per cent
greater than those in November and 2.5
per cent larger than during December of
last year. Demand during the past four
weeks is characterized as either fair or
good and, in most instances, better than it

2.1

WHOLESALE TRADE
Third Federal Reserve District
Net sales
Dec., 1924, com­
pared with

Stocks
Dec., 1924, com­
pared with

Nov.,
1924
Boots and shoes..
Drugs..................
Drv goods..........
Elec, supplies___
Groceries............
Hardware...........
Jewelry...............
Paper..................

Dec.,
1923

Nov.,
1924

+ 28.1 %
+ 11.7 “
-1 0 .9 “
+ 38.6 “
- 2.1 “
+ 7 .5 “
+ 7 5 .8 “
+ 1 3 .2 “

+ 12.0 %
+18.1 “
+ 11.7 “
+ 2 .5 “
+ 7.6 “
+ 7 .5 “
+ 1 .8 “
+ 24.1 “

-2 1 .5 “
- 6.1 “
+ 0.9 “
+ 2.1 “
-2 0 .7 “
- 4 .0 “

-

Dec.,
1923

Accounts out­
standing
Dec., 1924, com­
pared with
Nov.,
1924

0.4 % -1 1 .3 % - 7.2%
- 3 .0 “
- 3 2 .6 “ -1 5 .7 “
- 1 1 .8 “ + 8.3 “
+ 2.7 “ - 8 . 3 “
- 1.4 “ - 6 . 0 “
- 0 . 2 “ + 1 6 .2 “
+ 1 6 .9 “ - 7.2 “

Ratio of accounts out­
standing to sales

Dec.,
1923

Dec.,
1924

Nov.,
1924

Dec.,
1923

- 1-7%
+ 11.9 “
-1 1 .1 “
- 2 .8 “
+ 2.4 “
+ 6.9 “
+ 10.9 “
+ 5.1 “

233.1%
142.1 “
229.0 “
115.3 “
109.7 “
167.7 “
257.4 “
134.5 “

331.0%
162.2 “
241.9 “
147.6 “
119.3 “
191.8 “
3S9.6 “
164.0 “

262.4%
151.2 “
287.6 “
121.6 “
115.5 *
168.2 “
239.0 *
1 5 8 .8 “

Page Five

was in the preceding period. Current de­
mand has subsided to some extent as is
usual at this season, though the call for
radio supplies and wiring goods is fairly
good, and substantial deliveries of heavy
electrical equipment continue to be made
to factories and mines.
In a few cases, prices are reported to
be higher than they were a month ago,
but, as compared with those prevailing
at this time last year, they are somewhat
lower. Stocks in the hands of reporting
firms were
per cent smaller on the
last day o f December than they were at
the end of the preceding month and
per cent lighter than those on December
31, 1923. In December the ratio of ac­
counts outstanding to sales stood at 115.3
as compared with 147.6 during November
and 121.6 in December of last year.
Shoes. Sales of spring lines by shoe
wholesalers have shown a seasonal in­
crease in January. Orders have been
taken for deliveries up to Easter, but a
large proportion of these orders call for
shipment either in February or early
March.
The bad weather which started with
the New Year has been the cause of a
heavy call for rubber shoes of all kinds;
galoshes were in especially good request
and spot stocks o f these have been de­
pleted. Goods purchased in large vol­
ume include men’s and children’s oxfords
in tan and black, and women’s pumps in
tan calf and patent leather. Shoes with
crepe rubber soles for men, women and
children have been in greater request
than in recent months, probably a sea­
sonal development.
Prices of both
leather and rubber shoes have advanced,
though, as a rule, ■
these increases have
been slight.
Sales in December were larger by 28.1
per cent than in November and by 12.0
per cent than in December, 1923. Stocks
at the end o f the year were 7.2 per cent
smaller than at the end of November and
were 1.7 per cent less than at the end of
1923. Collections also have improved;
the ratio of accounts outstanding to sales
was 233.1 on December 31, 331.0 on N o­
vember 30 and 262.4 on December 31,
1923.
Jew elry. In the wholesale jewelry
trade the usual seasonal dullness pre­
vails.
Sales are small, and. as they
are for immediate needs, call for prompt
shipment. Platinum mountings for the
resetting of diamonds taken from old
jewelry continue to be in good demand
and, with watches and diamonds, con­
stitute a good proportion of the present
business. Prices continue on the same
level as during recent months.
In this district sales reached a marked
peak for the year in December of both
1923 and 1924. The gain over Novem­
ber was 75.8 per cent, and they were also
larger by 1.8 per cent than in December,
1923, which was one of the best months
on record. Stocks on December 31 were
lower by 20.7 per cent than on Novem­

6.1

11.8

Page Six



ber 30 and by 0.2 per cent than on De­
cember 31, 1923. The ratio of accounts
outstanding to sales stood at 257.4 on
December 31, 389.6 on November 30 and
239.0 on December 31, 1923.
D rygoods. During January trade in
drygoods has broadened, and most
wholesale dealers report that spring mer­
chandise is in good request. For some
firms, however, this business has not yet
opened.
Hosiery, underwear, napped
goods, ginghams, percales, muslins and
small notions are all in fair demand.
Prices for the most part are firm with
a slight upward tendency, woolen goods
being notably strong.
December sales almost invariably are
smaller than those in November, and this
year the decline was . 10.9 per cent, but
they were 11.7 per cent larger than in
December, 1923. Stocks on December
31 were smaller than in the previous
month or at the end of 1923, the de­
creases being 21.5 and 32.0 per cent re­
spectively. The ratio o f accounts out­
standing to sales stood at 229.0 on De­
cember 31, 241.9 on November 30 and
287.6 on December 31, 1923.
G roceries. Groceries are selling in
fair volume, but, as is normal in January,
the demand is lighter than it was in De­
cember. Canned goods, dried fruits, dried
beans and staples are at present in great­
est request. Prices continue to show an
upward trend. Coffee, cheese, evaporated
milk, flour, rice, canned fruits, canned
tomatoes and tea are higher than they
were a month a g o ; only sugar and mar­
row beans are cheaper. December sales
were
per cent smaller than those of
November, but were 7.6 per cent greater
than those of December, 1923. Stocks
at the close o f December were slightly
larger than at the close o f 1923.

into domestic consumption.
Finished
stocks at the mills, in general, are light,
as is normal in January. Stocks o f flour
at public warehouses on January 2 were
13 per cent larger than on December 1
but were 24 per cent smaller than on
January 2, 1924.

Public ware­
house stocks
at Philadelphia*

Flour,
barrels

Wheat,
bushels

Jan. 2. 1925. . . 146,273
Dec. 1, 1924. . . 129,059
Jan. 2, 1924... 181,574

Rye,
bushels

2,625,323
2,437,770
2,255,121

194,232
281,566
51,889

* Compiled by the Commercial Exchange of
Philadelphia.

Exports o f flour from the port of
Philadelphia during the year 1924 were
34 per cent smaller than those o f 1923,
but shipments of wheat abroad were only
4 per cent less than those of the previous
year.

2.1

Flour exports in 1924 were smaller than in
1923. Exports of wheat from the United
States were 60 per cent larger in 1924
than in the previous year, but
from Philadelphia there was
a sm all decrease.

Sources—Department of Commerce and the
Commercial Exchange of Philadelphia

FLOUR

Further sharp advances in the price of
wheat and flour have not influenced con­
sumers o f flour to depart from their
hand-to-mouth policy of buying, hence
the domestic demand is only fair. It is
not as heavy as it was in December and
is a trifle lighter than in January, 1924.
The export market for wheat is active,
but export sales of flour have been rela­
tively small. By-product feeds, particu­
larly bran and middlings, are in fair re­
quest. but the volume of sales is not quite
as heavy as in January, 1924. Number 2
red winter wheat is now selling at $ . ^
per bushel in New York, as compared
with $1.66
on October 22, 1924, and
$1.25j-2 a year ago. Straight winter flour
is selling at from $9.40 to $9.90 per bar­
rel against $5.50 to $6.00 per barrel in
January 1924. Wheat brain is now 18
per cent higher than it was a year ago
and middlings are fully 27 per cent
higher.
Flour mills in this district are operat­
ing at about 75 per cent of capacity and
practically all of their output is going

2 22

The high prices of flour have caused
foreign buyers to purchase only what
they absolutely need. The British Isles,
Norway, Holland and Brazil have been
the principal buyers in the Philadelphia
market. .
Receipts o f flour, wheat, corn, and oats
at Philadelphia during 1924 were smaller
than in 1923, but rye and barley receipts
were greater. Receipts o f wheat in De­
cember, however, as is shown in the ac­
companying table, were greater than in
December, 1923.

Exports from
Philadelphia* Year of
(000’s
1924
omitted)

Year of
1923

Dec.,
1924

Dec.,
1923

Flour (bbls.). 2,612
Wheat (bus.). 31,383
Corn (bus.)..
2,605
Oats (bus.)... 2,500
Rye (bus.). . .
1,850
Barley (bus.).
634

3,317
34,357
6,342
3,749
726
167

274
4,048
85
140
143
100

373
3,787
251
417
31
43

* Compiled by the Commercial Exchange of
Philadelphia.

SUGAR

R aw sugar. Increased grinding ac­
tivity, with consequent heavier receipts at
Cuban ports, has brought out large offer­
ings of raw sugar during the month, and
spot prices on the New York Sugar E x­
change have gradually softened. At the
beginning o f the month Cuban raw sugar
for prompt shipment was selling at
cents, c & f, but prices slowly fell to
2
cents, c & f. Considering the fact,
however, that the height of the producing
season in Cuba will soon be at hand, the
market has shown considerable strength
and spot prices have recently advanced
to 2 13/16 cents, c & f, equivalent to 4.59
cents per pound, duty paid. Duty-free
sugars are selling at 4.59 cents delivered.
European refiners have shown little in­
terest in spot Cuban sugar so far this
year, although British refiners have taken
a few small lots at prices equivalent to
those prevailing in New York.
More centrales are now grinding in
Cuba than were in operation at this time
last year and consequently receipts at
Cuban ports are heavier than they were
a year ago. Despite fairly heavy ex­
ports for this season o f the year, stocks
at Cuban ports are gradually increasing
and they are now about
per cent larger
than they were a year ago.
Receipts of raw sugar at Atlantic ports
during the last week of December and
first two weeks o f January o f this year
were twice as large as in the same period
o f 1923-1924.
Refined sugar. The demand for re­
fined sugar is fair, though at times dur­
ing the month it has been very light. This
fact, coupled with lower prices of raw
sugars, induced refiners to scale down
their quotations radically. A t the close
of December, eastern refiners were quot­
ing from 7.00 to 7.30 cents per pound for
fine granulated, but on January 5 they
had lowered their prices to from 6.75 to
7.10 cents. On January 10 prices were
quoted at 6.25 cents by all refiners and
since then a few refiners have gone to
a 6.10 and 6.15 cents basis. Beet sugar
in western markets is quoted at 6.15
cents. These lower quotations have ap­
parently stimulated demand and refiners
report that they are selling their weekly
output and are slightly increasing pro­
duction. Inquiries for export are increas­
ing, but actual sales to foreign countries
have been small.
Meltings at Atlantic ports during the
last week of December, 1924, and the
first two weeks of January, 1925, to­
talled 94,000 tons, as compared with 44,tons in the same period of the pre­
vious year, an increase o f 113 per cent

2?/$

20

000

B U IL D IN G

During December fifteen cities in the
Third Federal Reserve District issued
1,638 building permits calling for a total
proposed expenditure o f $12,761,532.
These figures represent a decrease o f 624




in the number of permits granted, but
an increase o f $771,185, in estimated
cost, over the totals reported during the
preceding month. In December of last
year 1,756 permits were issued at a pro­
posed cost o f $9,279,155.
Lum ber. The call for lumber is
somewhat better than fair and dealers
reporting to us find that, though it is not
as strong as it was a month ago, it is
better than it was during January, 1924.
On the other hand, manufacturers state
that the call for most of their products is
substantially stronger than it was at this
time both last month and last year.
Prices o f finished and raw products
are, in general, firm; in fact some ad­
vances in quotations for the former were
recently announced. Stocks are, for the
most part, moderate and stationary. O r­
ders on the books of both manufacturers
and dealers are mostly for delivery within
60 days and but very few are for ship­
ment beyond 90 days. Manufacturers re­
porting to this Bank are operating their
mills at an average rate of about 70 per
cent o f capacity and orders now taken
will insure the continuance o f present
working schedules for several weeks.
Paint. The demand for paint is fair,
and, though it is scarcely as strong as it
was a month ago, it is better than it was
at this time last year. Practically all of
the orders on the books are for delivery
either immediately or within 60 days.
Prices o f both finished goods and raw
materials are firm and a few advances
in quotations have occurred recently, no­
tably in those for raw materials. As a
result some resistance to prevailing prices
is being encountered. On January 19
linseed oil was quoted at from $1.15 to
$1.16 per gallon in carload lots (cooper­
age basis) as compared with $1.13 on
December 22.
Stocks o f both finished paint and raw
materials are moderate and are decreas­
ing. Manufacturers reporting to us are
operating their equipment at an average
rate o f approximately 60 per cent of
capacity, which is about the same as the
rate reported a month ago. Unfilled or­
ders will not require the maintenance of
present working schedules for longer
than an average period of 7 days.
Cement. Because of the usual sea­
sonal decline, demand for Portland ce­
ment is scarcely fair and is not as strong
as it was a month ago. Furthermore,
most manufacturers reporting to us state
that the call is less than that o f a year
ago. As is to be expected, most o f the
orders now on the books are for delivery
after 90 days, though some are for ship­
ment within the next 30 or 60 days.
Prices of finished cement are firm and
are practically unchanged from those pre­
vailing at this time last month, but quo­
tations for raw materials are in a few
instances higher. Stocks of both finished
cement and raw material are, in general,
moderate and increasing. Manufactur­
ers reporting to us are operating their

plants at an average rate o f close to 72
per cent of capacity, which is lower than
usual. Unfilled orders are smaller than
they were a month ago, but at the present
rate of production, those now on the books
will insure operations for an average
period of about 4 months.

Production of
Portland
cement

October..........
November.. . .
December. . . .

1924

1923

Per cent
change

In thousands of barrels
14,820
13,141
10,435

+ 11.0
+ 4.3
+ 4.4

13,350
12,603
9,997

IR O N A N D S T E E L

On account o f the extensive purchases
o f iron and steel products during Novem­
ber and December, most consumers are
now provided with supplies for a great
part o f the first quarter. Consequently
the market so far this month, though by
no means dull, has been comparatively
quiet. Demand for pig iron continues to
be somewhat better than fair, owing to
the volume of small orders for first
quarter requirements. This is also true
of the call for iron and steel castings,
sizeable orders having been placed by
railroads, textile mills and steel plants.
Iron bars and crude steel are in only fair
request, but the demand for steel scrap
is strong and has increased during the
month. Plates and structural shapes, too,
are moving in substantial volume but the
call for wire and wire rods has subsided
considerably since the latter part of De­
cember. Supplies of machinery and tools
have been moving better recently, but
light and heavy hardware are in only fair
request.
Though the general price trend has
been upward during the past several
weeks, very few changes in quotations
have occurred in this market. Prices of
several steel products, it is true, are
firmer than they were a month ago, but
quotations for Philadelphia 2X pig iron
remain unchanged at $25.01 per ton.
Production has been steadily increasing
and it is estimated by the “ Iron A ge”
that the industry as a whole is now
operating at an average rate of not less
than 85 per cent of capacity. During
December, the output of both pig iron
and steel ingots was substantially greater
than in November and unfilled orders of
the United States Steel Corporation also
increased, as is shown in the table below.

December

November

In gross tons
Production:
Unfilled orders:
U. S. Steel Corp........

2,961,702
3,551,825

2,509,673
3,107,226

4,816,756

4,031,969

Page Seven

O f the 61 blast furnaces located in
this district, 27 were in operation at the
end o f December, a gain of two over the
number in blast on the last day of the
preceding month.
During December
three were blown in and one was shut
down.

COAL
Steel foundry operations

December

Change
from
November

Capacity........................
Production.....................
Shipments......................
Value..........................
Unfilled orders...............
Value..........................
Raw stock:
Pig iron......................
Scrap..........................
Coke...........................

6,850 tons
4,938 “
3,433 “
$558,672
4,966 tons
$1,281,124

0
+ 21.3 %
+ 1 0 .0 “
+ 8 .7 “
+ 2 .7 “
+ 1 9 .6 “

2,067 tons
10,871 “
871 “

-4 0 .9 “
- 9 .2 “
+ 6.9 •

A U T O M O B IL E S

Blast furnace activity in the Third Federal
Reserve District moved generally down­
ward from June, 1923, to July, 1924,
but in recent m onths has again
turned upward.

Source—Iron Trade Review

Dealers reporting to this Bank state
that sales o f automobiles during the
last quarter of 1924 were less than those
in the preceding three months, but that
they were substantially greater than in
the fourth quarter of 1923. Present de­
mand is stronger than it was a month
ago, and one dealer is o f the opinion that
the recent automobile show was largely
responsible for his increased sales. On
the other hand, some dealers say that
they are moving stocks of second-hand
cars with difficulty. Stocks of new au­
tomobiles are somewhat larger than is
usual at this season, though in no cases
are they regarded as excessive.

Iron foundries. The table below in­
cludes the principal operating features
of 32 iron foundries in the Third Fed­
eral Reserve District whose iron-making
capacity totals 16,220 tons per month. It
will be seen that in nearly all items in­
creases occurred during December. In
fact, the only declines recorded were in
the value o f shipments and of unfilled
orders.

Iron foundry operations

December

Capacity......................... 16,220 tons
6,068 “
Production.....................
558 “
Malleable iron...........
5,510 “
Gray iron...................
3,856 “
Jobbing...................
r For further m fr... .
1,654 “
5,118 “
Shipments......................
$821,311
Value..........................
5,256 tons
Unfilled orders...............
Value.......................... $1,335,328
Raw stock:
6,919 tons
Pig iron......................
3,821 “
Scrap...........................
2,363 “
Coke...........................

Change
from
November
0
+ 9.8%
+ 5 8 .1 “
+ 6 .6 “
+ 7 .3 “
+ 4 .7 “
+ 2 .0 “
- 7 .4 “
+ 19 .0“
-1 3 .4 “
+ 8 .1 “
+ 1 3 .6 “
+ 7 .7 "

Output of passenger cars usually reaches a
peak in late spring or early sum m er but in
1924 it reached a high point in March.
Moreover the decline which followed
carried production to a m uch lower
point than in the corresponding
m onths of 1923.

Source— Department of Commerce

Prices of nearly all makes were re­
duced during the last quarter.
One
dealer o f a well-known moderately priced
car recently announced price reductions
ranging from
on standard open models
to $155 on some types of closed cars.
In the table below, figures are given
showing output o f both passenger cars
and trucks in the entire United States
during the past three months and in
the corresponding three months o f 1923.

$10

Steel foundries. Reports received
from six steel foundries located in this
district indicate that production, ship­
ments and unfilled orders were greater
in December than they were in the pre­
ceding month, with a corresponding in­
crease in value. As a result o f the in­
creased operating schedules, raw stocks
of pig iron and scrap steel declined. In
the following table are presented the
principal operating items of these foun­
dries whose combined steel-making capa­
city totals 6,850 tons per month.

Page Eight




The anthracite market
has been fairly steady so far this month.
Demand for stove and chestnut sizes of
the domestic grades has been strong ever
since the arrival of cold weather, while,
as usual, steam sizes in many instances
are moving slowly. O f the latter grades,
barley coal is probably in best request,
though producers are finding no difficulty
in promptly filling all orders.
Prices are firmer than they were a.
month ago, though in this district quo­
tations have not changed. In Philadel­
phia on January 19, Company stove coal
was quoted at from $9.15 to $9.50 per
ton. In the two weeks including the
Christmas and New Year’s holidays pro­
duction fell off considerably, but in­
creased again in the following weeks as
is shown in the table below.
Anthracite.

1924-25

In thousands of net tons
Dec.
Dec.
Jan.
Jan.
Jan.

2 0 ....
2 7 ....
3. . ..
10. . . .
17. . ..

1,867
1,029
1,255
1,785
1,803

Trucks

In thousands of net tons
1924

1923

1924

334,244
284,921
275,287

30,597
26,246
25,333

29,638
28,066
27,275

Per cent
of change

1923

257,839
201,652
178,570

- 3.0
-1 4 .0
-1 2 .6
- 3.3
- 4.4

1923-24

Week ended

Month

O ct........
N ov.......
D ec........

1,925
1,196
1,436
1,840
1,884

Per cent
of change

Bitum inous. Railroads, public utili­
ties and industrial plants have been re­
sponsible for a fair demand for bitumi­
nous coal during the past month, though
the market as a whole is very little better
than it was a month ago. The call in the
middle west, however, is noticeably
stronger, owing to the cold weather and
the fact that domestic consumption is an
important factor in that locality.
Prices are in most instances firm. In­
deed, one operator states that spot prices
are somewhat higher, and that contract
quotations are in some cases from 25
cents to 35 cents in excess of those pre­
vailing a month ago. In Philadelphia,
however, established prices are only
slightly in excess of those listed at this
time in December. On January 19 the
spot price of Pool 10 coal was quoted at
from $1.70 to $2.00 per ton as compared
with from $1.65 to $1.90 on December
22. Reports received by this Bank in­
dicate that the average rate o f opera­
tions throughout the district is slightly
higher than it was a month ago. Output
of bituminous in each o f the past five
weeks and during the corresponding
periods o f the previous year is shown in
the table below. Production during the
week ending January 10 was greater than
in any week since December, 1920.
1924-25

Passenger cars

1923-24

Week ended

Dec.
Dec.
Jan.
Jan.
Jan.

2 0 ....
27___
3. . ..
10. . ..
1 7 ....

10,760
7,638
10,591
12,590
12,077

10,543
6,944
9,368
12,337
11,992

+ 2.1
+ 10.0
+13.1
+ 2.0
+
.7

COKE

The betterment in the iron and steel
industry was reflected by a substantial im­
provement in the demand for coke, and,
though the call is not as strong as it
was a month ago, nevertheless, sizeable
contracts have been placed for future
delivery. Lately, prices have weakened
somewhat, following an increase in pro­
duction, but quotations for tonnages in­
volving second quarter requirements are
still comparatively firm. In Philadelphia
on January 20. furnace coke was quoted
at $3.85 per net ton, a reduction of 15
cents from the price prevailing in the pre­
ceding week, and the price o f foundry
grades also declined from $5 to $4.75
per ton. Production o f beehive coke has
greatly increased during the past five
weeks, as will be noted in the table be­
low. Output now compares favorably
with that of a year ago.
1924-25

1923-24

Week ended

C otton yarns. Trading in combed
yarns has continued fairly brisk during
the past month, but activity in carded
yarns has been noticeably restricted. Cur­
rent sales are still confined to small lots
for prompt delivery, although requests
for future shipments are not lacking.
Most reports indicate that spinners have
enough business to insure their operations
at the present rate of output for about
two months. Supplies of both finished
products and raw materials are not
burdensome.
Following a slight advance in quota­
tions for yarns, the trend of prices has
lately turned downward. The Fairchild
index number declined to 43.48 during
the week ending January 17, as compared
with 43.79 for the week ending December
20 and 53.29 for the week ending January
19, 1924. Although resistance to current
prices is still encountered, it appears to be
less pronounced than was the case last
year. Collections are good.

Per cent
of change

COTTON PRICES

In thousands of net tons
Dec.
Dec.
Jan.
Jan.
Jan.

20. . ..
27___
3. . ..
1 0 ....
1 7 ....

209
189
251
266
266

- - - - - - - - - - - -1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - C o tto n ya n n - - - - ( p e r pound )
f A
/
W
v v A

-1 8 .4
-1 5 .2
+ 6.4
+ 3.1
+ 1.8

256
223
236
258
261

cot
R .aw poundt )o n #/
pep

COTTON
Raw cotton. The cotton market has
continued fairly active during the past
month, and prices generally have main­
tained a steady level. Spot cotton was
quoted at 23.85 cents per pound on Jan­
uary 22, as compared with 23.90 cents a
month previous, and 35.40 cents on. January
2, 1924. Figures compiled by the Bureau
of the Census show that up to January 16,
a total of 13,308,037 bales of cotton was
ginned, as against 9,944,032 bales for
the corresponding period last year.
Mill takings during December amounted
to 578,229 bales of lint cotton and linters,
as compared with 543,193 bales in N o­
vember and 502,452 in December, 1923.
Domestic consumption for 1924, however,
decreased to 6,043,390 bales, as against
7,120,454 for 1923, the decline being 15
per cent. Exports, on the other hand,
rose during 1924 to 6,794,496 bales, as
compared with 5,289,280 bales in 1923,
the increase being 28.5 per cent. For­
eign shipments during December totalled
1,075,923 bales, as against 1,306,550 bales
in November and 845,731 bales last year.
The position o f American cotton i s :
American cotton
(thousands of bales)

Season Season Season
1924-25 1923-24 1922-23

Visible supply, at end
of previous season
952
(July 31)................
Crop in sight, on January 23.................. 11,706
Total.................. 12,658
Visible supply on Jan4,881
World’s takings to
January 23............
7,777




870

1,968

9,080

8,995

9,950

10,963

3,239

3,433

6,712

7,531

»

.....................
1922

1923

C o tto n

d cY 3

per^yorv

1924-

1925

A marked similarity exists in the trend of quo­
tations for raw cotton, cotton yarns and
goods. Prices of all three have fallen from
the high point in December, 1923. Fluc­
tuations in raw cotton and yarns have
been more pronounced than in cot­
ton goods.

Sources—-Fairchilds News Service; Cotton
Facts; Journal of Commerce

C otton goods. Though reports of
improvement in the market for cotton
goods are not lacking, current trading
continues to be comparatively quiet.
Print cloth and sheetings have been in
fair request, but business in gray and
finished goods has been slow. Nearly all
o f the orders now on the books are for
delivery within 60 days, and the volume
of
forward business has decreased
slightly. Production in this district has
slackened somewhat, and mills are now
working at about 70 per cent of capac­
ity, as against 85 per cent last month.
Principally because operations are only
to fill orders in hand, stocks of finished
goods and raw materials are, for the
most part, moderately light.
Figures recently compiled by the De­
partment o f Commerce show that exports
of cotton cloth during the first eleven
months of 1924 increased to 434,857,656
square yards, as compared with 429,469,423 square yards during the correspond­
ing period of 1923. On the other hand,
imports during the similar period de­

clined to 159,470,429 square yards in
1924, as against 196,739,867 square yards
in 1923. The volume of gray (un­
bleached) goods imported into this coun­
try, however, rose to 100,946,512 square
yards for the year ending November 30,
1924, as compared with 84,145,485 square
yards for the same period of 1923.
Prices are generally firm, though re­
cently a slight recession is noted. Fairchild index of the average cotton goods
price, which stood at 15.670 for the week
ending December 27, declined to 15,643
for the week ending January 10. Resist­
ance to quotations is now less determined
than it was in the previous month.
WOOL

Although exceptional
strength has continued to characterize
this market, no important transactions
have occurred in the Philadelphia district
during the past month. Demand has
slowed down somewhat but the trend of
quotations has been upward.
Dun’s
average of ninety-eight quotations shows
that prices of raw wool were 103.08 cents
per pound on January 23, as compared
with 102.04 cents per pound on December
19 and 80.83 cents per pound a year ago.
Mainly because o f high prices, contracting
in the West has recently slackened con­
siderably in spite of the apparent short­
age o f domestic supplies at the present
time. In fact, local stocks are reported
to be unusually low.
No marked changes have been noted
during the month in the wool situation
abroad. Both merinos and crossbreds
continue to be in strong demand, but
prices have declined slightly. Increased
receipts o f foreign wools here indicate
that American buyers have been more
active recently in the British Colonies
and South America than for some
months past. Imports in December to­
talled 31,872,959 pounds, as against 16,500,691 pounds in November and 11,797,032 pounds in December, 1923.
W o o le n and worsted yarns. The
yarn situation has improved but slightly
during the past month. Reports indicate,
however, that while the market for
worsted yarns has been generally quiet,
trading in woolen yarns has shown a
slight gain over the previous month.
Most spinners have booked enough ad­
vance business to keep their mills work­
ing at the present rate of operation,
which is about 75 per cent o f capacity,
for a period o f from one to five months,
the average being seventy-five days.
Moreover, as a result o f active conditions
in the carpet and blanket markets, mak­
ers o f these yarns are now enjoying an
especially brisk trade, orders on hand
calling for deliveries beyond the period
of three months. Supplies o f yarns and
raw materials are, in the main, not bur­
densome, and in several cases manu­
facturers have already encountered dif­
ficulties in obtaining suitable wools which
appear to be scarce. The consumption of
Raw

w ool.

Page Nine

wool by mills in this district, as shown
by returns from 83 establishments, was
3.6 per cent greater in December than in
N ovember.
Prices o f yarns have advanced to new
high levels, and buyers are offering less
resistance to these increases. Collections
continue to be fairly good.
W o o le n and worsted goods. A
slight improvement in demand, chiefly for
woolen cloth, has been noted in this dis­
trict during the past month. Sales o f
such men’s fabrics as cassimeres have
reached fair proportions. Business in
worsted varieties, on the other hand, has
continued to be slow and quotations for
suitings have not risen at the same rate
as those for woolen grades. The Fairchild index number shows that prices of
the latter advanced to 250.666 for the
week ending January 17, as compared
with 248.000 for the week ending Decem­
ber 13, whereas quotations for worsteds
stood for the corresponding periods at
271.342 as against 271.261.
Production has declined but slightly;
mills are now working at about 80 per
cent of capacity, as against 85 per cent
last month. They have enough orders on
hand, however, to insure their operation
at the present rate for a period of from
one to four months, the average being
seventy days. As most plants are oper­
ating only to fill current demand, stocks
of finished goods and raw materials are
not burdensome.

S IL K
Raw silk. Comparative quietness has
featured the raw silk market during the
past month, and quotations have fluctu­
ated within a narrow range. Kansai
double-extra cracks, after advancing
from $6.85 per pound on December 23 to
$7.10 per pound on January 5, weak­
ened, and on January 22 were quoted
at $6.70 per pound. Owing largely to
the extreme caution that still prevails
among buyers in making future commit­
ments, transactions at New Y ork and
Yokohama continue to be confined to
small quantities. Recent inquiries, how­
ever, indicate that, owing to the improved
market for finished goods, manufacturers
and importers are now manifesting a
more active interest in raw silk, here
and abroad, than they did at the close of
last year. The call for artificial silk
continues to be very brisk.

C L O T H IN G

Although several reports indicate a
noticeable improvement in the clothing
situation, the present market in this dis­
trict continues to lack briskness. Buyers
are exceedingly cautious in purchasing
for their spring requirements. In con­
sequence, while trading in shirts appears
to be fairly active, sales o f men’s suits
are limited to small lots chiefly for quick
delivery.
The trend of quotations for finished
goods is generally upward, but the rise
is not as rapid as that of raw materials.
Resistance to prices does not seem to be
as strong as it was last month. Collec­
tions are only fair.
N o important changes have occurred
in production, although ai few manu­
facturers have curtailed their output to
some extent. As a rule factories are now
working at the rate o f about 65 per cent
o f plant capacity, and unfilled orders will
insure this rate o f operation for less than
two months. Though, with several pro­
ducers, stocks o f finished goods are heavy,
with the majority they are moderate.
A t present, however, they are being in­
creased somewhat, owing to the prepara­
tion for the shipping season for spring
suits. Supplies of raw materials are also
moderate and are increasing in many
instances.

Page Ten




Although imports of raw silk turned down­
ward in December, stocks in American ware­
houses rose to the highest point since Feb­
ruary, 1920. Deliveries to m ills during
December, 1924, exceeded those of the
corresponding m onths of the pre­
vious four years.

Source—Silk Association of America

Stocks o f raw silk on January 1, as
reported by the principal warehouses in
New York to the Silk Association o f
America, totalled 61,533 bales. This is
the largest quantity of silk in storage
since March 1, 1920 when stocks reached
65,026 bales. Deliveries to mills in
December amounted to 33,961 bales, as
compared with 32,939 bales during the
preceding month and 23,274 bales in
December, 1923. Imports, on the other
hand, dropped in December last to 39,978
bales, as against 44,057 bales for Novem­
ber, but they exceeded those recorded
during December o f 1923 and 1922 by
11,143 and 6,921 bales, respectively.
Silk goods. Broadening activity in
the piece goods market has resulted in a
further increase in production. Reports
indicate that mills in this district are now
working at about 90 per cent of plant
capacity, as against 85 per cent last
month. W hile the bulk of the sales con­
tinue to call for shipment during the next
sixty days, the volume o f forward busi­
ness will insure plant operations at the
present rate of output for a period of

from one to five months, the average
being about seventy-five days. Generally
speaking, an optimistic feeling prevails
among manufacturers, jobbers and whole­
salers, particularly in view o f the fact
that stocks of finished goods are moder­
ately light.
Prices o f silk goods have advanced
slightly as compared with those o f last
month. Opposition to this rise is not as
determined as it was previously. Collec­
tions are fairly prompt.
H O S IE R Y

Demand for hosiery has increased,
satisfactory reports coming to manu­
facturers from both commission houses
and salesmen on the road. The lines
selling best are women’s full-fashioned
silk in both chiffon and medium weights,
and novelties for women, misses and chil­
dren. Prices are firm and for some lines
of full-fashioned silk have been advanced
slightly.
Production is about the same as it was
a month ago; full-fashioned mills are
running at or near full capacity and seam­
less mills vary from 40 to 100 per cent,
with an average output of about 70 per
cent. Prices o f silk, mercerized and
worsted yarns are higher, but those of
artificial silk and cotton yarns are un­
changed. The majority of the orders
booked call for shipment within 60 days,
although some sales o f full-fashioned
hosiery for women have been made for
April, May and June deliveries. Moder­
ate quantities o f wool mixtures have been
ordered for late summer or early autumn
shipment. Stocks are reported to have
decreased somewhat.
The table shows November operations
of 316 mills in the United States com­
pared with those of the previous month.

Hosiery industry*
United States
in dozen pairs

Nov.

4,136,952
52,094
1,611,573
599,224
Full-fashioned, women...
1,069,254
422,770
376,092
Children’s and infants’ . . .
20,072
Shipments............................ 4,109,672
Finished stock, end of month 7,635,152
Orders booked..................... 5,431,093
221,879
Cancellations received........
Unfilled orders, end of month 7,893,555
Full-fashoned, men___

change
from
Oct.
- 6.6
- 6.9
-1 0 .1
- 7.4
+ 1.3
- 7.0
- 5.4
+ 37.9
-1 1 .1
+ 0.2
+ .04
+ 43.1
+ 15.9

* Compiled by the Bureau of the Census

A compilation made by the Bureau of
the Census of the reports from 99 mills in
the Third Federal Reserve District indi­
cates that during December there were
increases of 9.8 per cent in production,
16.8 per cent in shipments and 4.9 per cent
in unfilled orders at the end of the month.
Cancellations, however, almost doubled
and were especially large in full-fashioned
hosiery for women, and children’s and
infants’ lines.

LEATHER

UNDERW EAR

Manufacturers report that activity in
knit underwear has increased.
Orders
are more numerous and, although opera­
tions too are larger, the business booked
is sufficient to insure production on pres­
ent schedules for from
to 4
months.
Improvement, though noticeable in both
light and heavy weight underwear, is
greater in the latter. Indeed, a number
o f manufacturers have sold their entire
output of heavyweight underwear for the
first quarter of 1925; for delivery beyond
that time, however, orders are consider­
ably smaller.
Prices, as was the case last month, are
lower than they were a year ago, but even
so, considerable resistance is reported to
present quotations for women’s under­
wear. Stocks of finished merchandise are
light, and labor, both skilled and unskilled,
is in sufficient supply. According to
figures compiled by the Department of
Commerce from reports of 152 identical
establishments in the United States, pro­
duction o f knit underwear in November
was 846.900 dozen garments, a decrease
o f 6.5 per cent as compared with October.
Unfilled orders, however, increased 29.3
per cent to 1,978,750 dozen garments.

2

y2

F L O O R C O V E R IN G S

Many wholesalers and some retailers
purchased carpets and rugs with consider­
able freedom before the advances in
prices were made in December, but since
then have bought in considerably smaller
volume. A fair total o f new business,
however, is reported by Wilton manu­
facturers, although this is mostly in small
lots and deliveries frequently are not to
be made until February or March. Some
Axminster mills are sold up for the bal­
ance of the season; velvets have met with
a fair request, but tapestries are some­
what slow of sale. Wholesale distribu­
tors report that business is not as good
as it was a year ago and that retailers are
coming into the market slowly and for
small parcels.
Production increased in December, as
is indicated by a gain of
per cent in
total weekly wages paid during the week
ending December 15, as compared with
those for the week ending November 15,
but in January preliminary reports indi­
cate that there has been little further
change.
Wages are unchanged and the supply
o f labor is said to be sufficient. Prices
are firmly maintained and some further
advances are reported. Weakness, how­
ever, continues in rag rugs, as was indi­
cated last month. Carpet wools have con­
tinued their advances.
Considering that linoleums and felt
base goods are in their dull season, busi­
ness is good. Production is unchanged
and stocks are somewhat larger, as sales
have not taken all the output. Prices are
steady. Collections are g o o d ; indeed
more buyers are anticipating their pay­
ments than usual.




2.6

Change in

H ides and skins. The market for
all kinds o f hides and skins has been
active and prices have been well main­
tained ; in fact advances over the quota­
tions of a month ago have been paid in
many cases. In spite of poor quality,
packer hides in Chicago have advanced
cent and in Argentina the gain has
been considerably greater because in that
market the quality is improving at this
season. Quotations for calf, sheep and
goat skins are also higher with tanners
buying much o f the available supply.

%

Stocks of raw hides and skins in this
country with the exception of cattle hides
decreased in November, as in October.
The supply o f goat and kid skins was at
the lowest point since November, 1920,
when records first became available.

Nov. 30

Change
during
November

4,260,863
6,019,064
2,901,254
6,713,356

Number of hides
or skins

+ 5.1%
— 5 3“
- 3 .8 “
-1 2 .5 “

Leather. A seasonal increase in the
sales o f shoes by manufacturers has been
followed by greater activity in the leather
markets. Prices are strong and some
kinds o f upper and lining leathers are
higher than they were a month ago.
Sole leather is being bought in fair
volume, though a few reports indicate
that on the present price scale some shoe
manufacturers are using an increased
quantity of crepe rubber and other sub­
stitute material for soles. In upper
leathers the heavy demand for the light
colors of tan grain calf continues and
tanners o f kid leathers report an increase
in sales o f both black and the colors that
promise to be the vogue during the
spring season. The cheap grades of
colors for lining stock are in especially
good request. Cattle side leather has
sold well but in some cases manufacturers
have been undersold by dealers who had
purchased previously at lower quotations.
Sheep leathers are priced higher and this
has curtailed sales somewhat though tan­
ners continue to report a good volume of
business. The experience o f different
belt makers varies considerably; some re­
port many small orders, but others state
that the market is disappointingly quiet.
Considerable price cutting is reported in
some quarters as a result 'of this lack of
business.
The table shows that both production
and stocks decreased during November,
the only exception being a slight gain in
the stock o f calf leather.

November, 1924, as
compared with October,
1924

Backs, bends and sides...
Offal, sole and belting. . .
Calf......... .........................
Cabretta...........................

Production

Stocks—
end of
month

-1 1 .3 %
-1 0 .9 “
- 1 1 .1 “
-1 6 .4 “
-1 4 .8 “
- 6 .5 “
-1 2 .0 “

- 7 .0 %
-2 .4 “
-3 .7 “
-7 .6 "
+ 2 .2 “
-4 .9 “
-3 .9 “

An increase in tanner’s operations in
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware
in December is indicated by the labor and
employment statistics furnished to this
Bank by 34 tanners. The gain in the
number o f wage earners for the week
ending December 15 is 1.7 per cent as
compared with the week of November 15,
and total weekly earnings increased 3.8
per cent during the same period.
Shoes. In the shoe trade January is
the month o f annual meetings and the
showing of the latest styles for the com­
ing season. As is usually the case, either
at or immediately following these meet­
ings a considerable amount o f business
was transacted. Prices are either firm
or higher; those manufacturers who ha.ve
not made an actual advance in their
quotations are maintaining their asking
prices and refuse to make the usual con­
cessions to obtain actual business.
In this district production is increasing
slowly and as manufacturers have already
booked a good business, extending in a
number of cases up to Easter, it is ex­
pected that in the coming months the
output will be larger. The preliminary
estimate of production in this district
is shown in the table.

Production of shoes*
Third Federal Reserve District
(in thousands of pairs)
Boots and shoes, total...............
High and low cut (leather) total

All other leather or part leather

Dec.

Per cent
change
from
Nov.

1,482
1,450
112
147
269
489
432

+ 1.4
+ 1.5
+ 5.4
-j-11.4
- 1.2
+
.3
+
.7

32

-

3.3

* Preliminary report compiled by the Bureau of
the Census.

Production in the United States in
November was 25,157,143 pairs as com­
pared with 30,823,998 in October and
26,946,169 in November, 1923. For the
period January to November inclusive,
40,000,000 pairs less were made in 1924
than in 1923. Based on preliminary re­
ports, the Bureau of the Census estimates
that production in December was 0.4 per
cent smaller than it was in November.
Sales of shoes in this district in December
at both wholesale and retail were larger
than in December, 1923, and stocks car­
ried into the New Year were smaller than
they were a year ago.

Page Eleven

PAPER
Manufacturers report that the demand
for paper is from fair to good, being
greater than it was in December and
slightly better than in January, 1924.
Book, fine, glassine, wall, and wrapping
papers are in good request, for this
season of the year, and boxboards are
moving actively. Tissues, cardboards,
building boards, crepe towels and toilet
tissues are in fair demand, but are not
selling as well as they were in January,
1924. Newsprint, which was selling in
only fair amount immediately after
Christmas, is again moving actively.
Converters state that envelopes and
tablets are in only moderate request. The
reports made to us show that mills in this
district are operating at from 80 to 90
per cent of capacity. Unfilled orders
have increased slightly and the majority
o f mills have from three weeks’ to a
month’s business on hand.
In general the prices o f paper are firm
and unchanged, but building papers have
advanced slightly. Boxboards have ad­
vanced quite sharply and quotations are
from
to IS per cent higher than they
were on December 1. Chemical pulps
are slightly higher than they were a
month ago, but mechanical pulp is un­
changed in price. Finished and unfinished
stocks at the mills are moderate.

10

PAPER BOXES
The majority o f manufacturers report
that because o f the usual post-holiday
dulness, the demand for paper boxes is
not as heavy as it was in December, al­
though greater than it was in January,
1924. News and chipboard boxes are in
fair request and makers of hosiery, hard­
ware, cheap candy, shoes, foodstuffs, and
electrical supplies are at present taking
sizeable amounts. The shirt, underwear,
jewelry, and toilet goods trades are buy­
ing sparingly. Fibre containers are in
good demand and producers o f these are
operating at or near capacity. The call
for corrugated boxes and containers, how­
ever, is only fair. B ox factories in this
district are operating at an average rate
of 82 per cent. Forward buying is in­
creasing, and the majority of manu­
facturers have from three weeks’ to 60
days’ business on hand.
The prices of paper boards are from 10
to 15 per cent higher than they were a
month ago and for this reason some box
makers have advanced the prices o f their
finished products about 5 per cent. Most
manufacturers, however, report that their
prices are unchanged. Finished stocks at
the factories are from moderate to heavy,
but are decreasing, and supplies of raw
materials are moderate.

BUSINESS INDICATORS
Third Federal Reserve District

The following data refer to the Third Federal Reserve
District except where otherwise noted

Latest figure
compared with
December, 1924
Previous
month

Retail trade—net salesf (153 stores).
Department stores (66)..................
Apparel stores (44).........................
Shoe stores (22)...............................
Credit stores (21)............................

*35,323,000
*28,932,000
*4,267,000
$592,000
*1,532,000

+ 3 8 .1 %
+ 4 2 .0 “
+ 21.1 “
+ 2 2 .8 “
+ 2 8 .6 “

+
+
+
+
+

Wholesale trade—net sales (157 firms) ,
Boots and shoes (12 firms)...............
Drugs (14 firms)................................
Drygoods (17 firms)...........................
Electrical supplies (7 firms).............
Groceries (55 firms)..........................
Hardware (31 firms)...........................
Jewelry (10 firms).............................
Paper (11 firms)................................ .

$12,132,270
*407,222
*1,621,476
*1,077,727
*904,079
*4,142,224
*2,174,945
*836,944
*967,653

+ 8.2
+ 28.1
+ 11.7
-1 0 .9
+ 3 8 .6
- 2.1
+ 7.5
+ 7 7 .0
+ 1 3 .2

“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“
“

+ 9.7
+ 1 2 .0
+ 18.1
+ 1 1 .7
+ 2.5
+ 7.7
+ 7.5
+ 1.8
+ 24.1

prs.
1,482,301
tons
189,513
doz. prs. 879,056
tons
6,068
tons
4,938
bbls. 2,883,000
tons 7,376,000

+ 1.4
+ 1 2 .3
+ 9.8
+ 9.8
+ 2 1 .3
-1 4 .6
+ 8.9

*
“
“
“
“
“
“

per cent
60.9
lbs.
8,863,300
87,893,380

+ 8.8 “
+ 3.6 “
+ 2 8 .3 “

+ 1 4 .3 «

174,609
tons 3,076,121
bus. 4,457,980
lbs.
6,599,124
gals. 16,842,000

-1 0 .2
+ 4.0
+ 3 1 .5
-1 2 .0
-3 8 .0

+ 1.1
+ 13.7
+ 3 9 .9
-4 6 .7
- 3 7 .2

Production:
Shoes* (108 factories)..........................................................
Pig iron.................................................................................
Hosiery* (99 mills)...............................................................
Iron castings (37 foundries)................................................
Steel castings (6 foundries).................................................
Cement..................................................................................
Anthracite............................ ...; ........................................
Bituminous coal (Central district—percentage of full­
time output).....................................................................
Wool consumption* (83 mills)............................................
Active cotton spindle hours (Penna. and N. J .)...............
Distribution:
Freight car loadings (Allegheny dist.— weekly average).
Tonnage of vessels (Port of Philadelphia)...................... .
Exports of wheat (from Port of Philadelphia).................
Exports of flour (from Port of Philadelphia)...................
Imports of crude oil (into Port of Philadelphia)............ .
Financial:
Loans, discounts and investments of member banks
(weekly average)......................................................
Bills discounted held by Federal Reserve Bank of Phila­
delphia (daily average)....................................................
Acceptances executed (12 banks for month ended 10th
of following month).........................................................
Bankers’ acceptances sales (5 dealers—weekly average
for period ended middle following m onth)....................
Commercial paper sales (5 dealers)...................................
Savings deposits (99 banks)................................................
General:
Debits (18 cities)......................... ........................................
Commercial failures.............................................................
Commercial failures—liabilities..........................................
Building permits (15 cities)...............................................
Building contracts awarded (Philadelphia district).........
Employment— 1,029 plants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey
and Delaware; number of wage earners.......................
Average weekly earnings....................................................
Sales of life insurance (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and
Delaware).........................................................................
* Bureau of Census preliminary figures.

CIGARS
Manufacturers report that the call for
cigars is from fair to good and is about
the same as that in December, but slightly
greater than it was in January, 1924.
Jobbers and retailers are replenishing
their stocks, which were considerably de­
pleted by the holiday trade. In fact,
buying by these factors is the chief
source o f present business, since, as is
usual in January, consumer demand is
light. Large manufacturers are operating
their factories at about 85 per cent of

“
“
“
“
«
“
“
“
“

- 1 3 .5 “

+ 12.9 “
- 7.5 “

-1 3 .7 “
“
“
“
“
“

+ 0.1 *

+ 1 5 .4 “

$36,751,000

+ 6 0 .5 “

- 3 8 .0 “

*5,602,500
*556,867,000

- 1 0 .9 *
+ 3.1 “

-2 8 .7 •
+ 7.2 “

+ 1 7 .2
+ 5 9 .7
+ 6 0 .5
+ 6.4
-3 4 .1

+ 9.3
- 9.2
-2 0 .3
+ 3 7 .5
+ 2.0

*2,431,788,000
99
*1,812,308
*12,761,532
*25,014,500

“
“
“
“
“

374,699
*26.85
*89,591,000

+ 3 0 .6 *

“
“
“
“
“

+ 2.2 “
+ 4.1 “
+ 3 6 .0 ‘

t Estimated.

capacity, but many small producers have
sufficient business to warrant operations
at only 65 per cent. An average of
the reports received by us shows that
factories in this district are operating at
80 per cent o f capacity. Unfilled orders
are somewhat greater than they were a
month ago and most manufacturers have
at least 30 days’ business on hand.
Prices o f both cigars and raw materials
are firm and have not changed. Finished
stocks are light, but are increasing, and
supplies o f raw materials are moderate.

This business review will be sent regularly without charge to any address upon request




“
“
“
“
“

3.2 %
2.7 “
6.8 “
4.8 “
3.2 “

$1,059,000,000

COMPILED AS OF JANUARY 23, 1925

Page Twelve

Year
ago


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102