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MONTHLY REVIEW
o f C r e d it a n d
S e c o n d
Federal Reserve Agent

B u s in e s s

F e d e r a l

R e s e r v e

C o n d itio n s
D is t r ic t

Federal Reserve Bank, New York

Business Conditions ip the United States
O LUM E of output of industry decreased further
in December to the lowest level in more than a
year, and wholesale prices continue to decline.
Easier conditions in the money market in January re­
flected the usual seasonal liquidation after the turn of
the year.

V

P r o d u c t io n

In December, for the third consecutive month, there
was a decrease in industrial production, and the Board’s
new index, with adjustment for seasonal variations, was
105 on the basis of the average for 1923, 1924, and 1925
as 100. This compares with 113 in September, the high
point of the year, and with 108 a year ago. The decline
since the recent high point has been entirely in the manu­
facturing industries, as the output of minerals was at a
record high level in November and showed only a slight
decline in December. By far the greatest recession of
recent months has been in the automobile industry, out­
put of passenger cars and trucks in the United States
decreasing from 425,000 in August to 165,000 in Decem­
ber. Reduction in the manufacture of automobiles is
usual at the end of the year, when plants close for
inventory taking and repairs, but in December 1926, the
decline was considerably larger than usual. Production
of iron and steel has also been sharply reduced since the

February 1, 1927

middle of autumn, and activity in the woolen and
worsted and silk industries has been somewhat curtailed.
Production of lumber, cement, and other building ma­
terials has reflected the usual winter decrease in demand.
Cotton consumption, on the other hand, was larger than
in any previous December. Factory employment and
payrolls declined further in December, reflecting de­
creases in nearly all industries except cotton goods, cloth­
ing, foundries and machine shops, and printing and
publishing.
The value of building contracts awarded in December,
as in November, was larger than in the corresponding
period a year earlier, but for the first three weeks of
January contracts were in smaller volume than during
the same weeks of 1926. This decline in January was
largely concentrated in the New York and Atlanta Fed­
eral Reserve districts, where building was unusually ac­
tive a year ago. Residential contracts were smaller in
December than a year earlier in nearly all districts, the
increase in the total for the month being in other types
of building.
T rade

Retail sales during the holiday trade in December
exceeded all previous records.
Sales of department
stores were approximately 3 per cent larger than in
December of last year, and sales of mail order houses,
while slightly smaller than in 1925, were larger than in
TERC N .
ET

Index Numbers of Production of Manufactures and Minerals,
Adjusted for Seasonal Variations. (1923-25
average — 100 per cent).




Price Indexes of United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
(1913 average — 100 per cent).

MONTHLY REVIEW, FEBRUARY 1, 1927

10

Xiams ofD LA S
OL R

PfflCENT

z -------- ------

TO
TAL
-R S R Em m A
EEV
CREDIT p

VS.
SECU 7 £ 5
RL

JdlSCOUNT^ ,
^ -fb r M BER.
EM
* J BANKS .

\

} 1.181

(sio

- V-

*354
*3 1 3

*> /r
/

s

S .;

/ KcEPTATiCES

A .

f

Index o f Sales o f 359 Department Stores, A djusted for Seasonal
Variations and Unadjusted (1919 = 1 0 0 per cen t).

the corresponding month o f any other year. Sales at
wholesale, on the other hand, declined in December and
were smaller than a year ago in practically all leading
lines, except shoes. Merchandise stocks carried by de­
partment stores were reduced slightly more than is usual
in December and were somewhat smaller at the end of
the month than in 1925, and wholesale stocks were also
slightly smaller than a year ago.
Freight car loadings showed about the usual seasonal
decline in December, with shipments of all groups o f com ­
modities, except coal and merchandise in less than car
load lots, in smaller volume than a year earlier.
P r ic e s

Wholesale prices declined further in December, and
the Bureau of Labor Statistics index at 147 fo r that
month was at the lowest level since the middle o f 1924.
Prices o f agricultural products, which declined consid­
erably in October and November, increased slightly in
December, owing to advances in prices o f grains and
cattle. In the first three weeks of January there were
further increases in grains, and advances also in cotton,
hogs, and flour. Prices o f non-agricultural products de­
clined in December owing chiefly to decreases in bitumi­
nous coal, clothing materials, nonferrous metals, and
building materials. In January iron and steel prices
were slightly reduced and there were further declines
in bituminous coal and nonferrous metals, while prices
of cotton goods and coke advanced.
B a n k C r e d it

A t the Reserve Banks during the fou r weeks follow ­
ing the peak o f the seasonal currency demand, there
was a return flow o f Federal Reserve notes and other
cash from circulation amounting in the aggregate to
about $400,000,000. This return flow o f currency was
in about the same volume as a year ago, and, together
with substantial gold imports, was reflected in a reduc­
tion o f the volume o f Reserve Bank credit in use to a
level on January 19 lower than at any time since the
summer o f 1925.
Loans and investments of member banks in leading cit­




19 Z 5

19 £4

......................-...........

19Z 5

1926

1927

M onthly Averages o f Daily Figures for A ll Federal Reserve Banks.
Latest Figures are Averages of First 23 Days of January.

ies, after increasing to a record level at the end o f the
year, declined sharply in January. Commercial loans,
which had reached their seasonal peak in November, were
in the middle o f January about $200,000,000 below the
maximum figure but still more than $300,000,000 above
the level o f a year ago. Loans on securities o f the re­
porting banks also declined after the turn o f the year
follow ing a large increase in December and were slightly
smaller than in January o f last year.

Money Market
Changes in money rates during the past month have
reflected chiefly year-end conditions very similar to those
o f a year previous, except fo r the additional factor o f
large gold im ports in January. Call loan rates after
advancing to a maximum o f 6 per cent near the end o f
December, declined early in January to 4 per cent.
Smaller declines occurred in time money, commercial
paper, and acceptance rates. The follow in g table indi­
cates the changes during the past month and also com­
pares present money rates with those o f a year ago.
M oney Rates at New York
Jan. 28
1926
*4
Tim e M oney— 90 d a y ...........................................
Prime Commercial P ap er.....................................
Bills— 90 day unendorsed....................................
Treasury Certificates and Notes
Maturing March 15...........................................
M aturing June 1 5 ..............................................
Federal Reserve Bank of New Y ork—
Rediscount R a te................................................
Federal Reserve Bank of New Y ork—
Buying R ate for 90 day Bills..........................

Dec. 27
1926
*5 }/ 6
2—

Jan. 28
1927

3H — 3H

4H
3% — 3%

*4
4H
4— 4 %
3 y 8— 3 %

3 .3 5
3 .3 2

2 .9 7
3.02

3 .4 0
3.31

4
3Y%

4

4

3X

3H

*=* Prevailing rate for preceding week.

Changes in currency in circulation continued to have
an im portant influence on the New Y ork m oney market.
The amount o f currency in use throughout the country,
follow in g an increase o f at least $300,000,000 from No­
vember 15 to Christmas declined more than $450,000,000
during the subsequent month, which reduced the amount
in circulation to the lowest level in a year. Gold imports

11

FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT AT NEW YORK
BLN fDL S
I I S OA
LO o L R

JilLUONS c/DOLLARS
1700r

t1!LU0H5qfJ>0LUR5
500r

l )25~Z(
1 N< r i / n
t r TOTALBIL IS

;J 4 0 0

& 5i ECUR111ES
<926-27
J
v -*
19 Z 5 ■26

19k\5 -Z €

\t\
PISm u m
19Z6-S7

V

>
CUR RENC t CIRCrULATlION

1

8

15

22

DECEMBER

29

5

12

19

26 •

JANUARY

A U . F.RJBANKS
1
I
!
6
15
DECEMBER.

1
|
£9

.
5

1&
19
JANUARY

26

r
1 1i1 1

Year End Call Loan Rates, Federal Reserve Discounts, Total Bills and Securities, and W eekly Estimates of Currency Circulation.

from Canada, France, and other countries, in the first
28 days o f January, totaled $55,000,000.
The crediting o f a considerable amount o f returned
currency and most o f the im ported gold to member
banks in this district, together with a reduction o f
$40,000,000 in the reserve requirements o f leading New
Y ork City banks, as tem porary needs fo r year-end funds
passed, resulted in the retirement by January 26 o f more
than $175,000,000 o f loans at the Federal Eeserve Bank
of New York.
The diagrams above show call loan rates, bill and
security holdings o f the New Y ork Eeserve Bank and
the System, and estimated currency circulation in the
United States during December and January, compared
with the corresponding period a year ago. Call money
rates and the New Y ork Eeserve B an k ’s bill and security
holdings showed approxim ately the same movement in
both years. The average level of total bills and securities
has been slightly higher this year, due to considerably
larger holdings o f acceptances. F or the System as a
whole, however, total bills and securities are under last
year due largely to gold imports. Currency require­
ments are now approximately the same as a year ago.
M em ber B a n k C redit

Loans on stocks and bonds by member banks in the
Second District showed the usual sharp increase at the
end of the year, partly replacing a temporary reduction
in loans to brokers placed in New Y ork fo r correspondent
banks in other districts. The increase during the month
ended January 5 amounted to about $300,000,000, but a
reduction o f about $200,000,000 occurred in the follow ­
ing two weeks. Commercial loans declined gradually
from the high level o f December first, but changes in
total loans and investments in this district reflected
chiefly the movement of security loans.
B ill M a r k et

Although dealers’ purchases o f bills in the first part
o f January were heavy, the demand, owing to excep­
tionally large buying orders fo r foreign account, sub­
stantially exceeded the supply, particularly in the 90
day maturity. Eeflecting this condition and the general
ease in money rates which developed after the turn o f
the year, dealers reduced rates on bills o f 60 days to 6




months maturity b y % per cent, making the offering rate
on 90 day unindorsed bills 3 % per cent, the lowest since
August. Follow ing this reduction, the supply o f bills
continued large, but the demand was rather light except
fo r irregular buying o f a substantial nature fo r foreign
account, and some dealers advanced rates on 90 day
bills Ys per cent, so that toward the close o f the month
this maturity was offered at a range o f 3 % to 3 %
per cent.
C o m m e r c ia l P aper M ar k e t

A good bank investment demand together with larger
supplies o f paper contributed to a more active commer­
cial paper market in January. Eates on prime names
generally eased ^ per cent to 4%: per cent, and in the
M iddle W est where the best buying demand originated,
a considerable amount o f paper was sold at 4 per cent.
Borrowings o f commercial and industrial concerns in
the open market increased follow in g the turn o f the year
as has been the experience in past years, but were gener­
ally reported as somewhat smaller than in January 1926.
This was in keeping with reports on paper outstanding,
which totaled $526,000,000 fo r 26 dealers at the end of
December, an amount 15 per cent smaller than a
year ago.

Gold Movement
W ith the receipt o f $17,000,000 during December, im ­
ports o f gold fo r the year 1926 reached a total o f nearly
$213,500,000. E xports o f $7,000,000 brought the export
total up to $115,700,000. F o r the entire year there
were net imports o f slightly under $97,800,000, as com­
pared with net exports o f $134,000,000 in 1925, but,
with the exception o f 1925, net imports o f gold in 1926
were the smallest in any year since 1920.
O f the exports during December, $5,000,000 went to
Germany, continuing the movement o f earmarked gold
to the Eeichsbank, and $1,000,000 was shipped to the
Dutch East Indies. Imports included $5,000,000 each
from China and Chile, $4,000,000 from Japan, and
$1,000,000 from England.
The most important movements o f the year have been
as follow s: the im port of $83,000,000 from Canada and
the export o f $42,000,000 to that country in consequence

12

MONTHLY REVIEW, FEBRUARY 1, 1927

o f seasonal fluctuations in exchange; the im port of
$5.1,000,000 from A ustralia; the im port of $24,000,000
from Mexico, largely due to special shipments by the
Bank of Mexico, and partly offset by exports of
$6,000,000; the import o f $21,000,000 from Chile, chiefly
from the Central Bank o f Chile for the creation o f a
reserve in New Y ork ; the im port of $14,000,000 from
Japan, sent by the Japanese Government fo r the sup­
port o f its exchange; and the export of $48,000,000 to
Germany, consisting chiefly of earmarked gold belonging
to the Reichsbank.
In January, follow ing the decline of Canadian ex­
change below the gold shipping point, there was an
earlier and heavier gold movement from Canada than
in either o f the two previous years. This movement
amounted to $37,500,000 in the first 28 days o f January.
In addition, gold imports at the Port o f New Y ork
amounted to $17,700,000, including $14,700,000 from
France and $2,600,000 from Chile, and exports totaled
$14,500,000, of which $12,500,000 went to Germany.

Security Markets

the increase fo r the past month were larger amounts of
industrial and public utility financing, and a rise in
state and municipal issues, including an offering of
$60,000,000 City of New Y ork 4 % per cent corporate
stock. The longer maturity o f this issue sold on a 4.09
per cent yield basis, com pared with a yield of 4.15 per
cent fo r a similar issue dated last February.

New Financing in 1926
New securities, other than refunding issues, offered
in the United States during 1926 reached a total of
$6,311,000,000, the largest amount issued in any year
on record, though only $87,000,000 larger than in 1925.
M unicipal and farm loan financing continued to decrease
and the total o f $1,402,000,000 was $123,000,000 smaller
than a year previous. Foreign financing arranged in
this country was slightly larger than in 1925. The fo l­
lowing table gives the totals of foreign issues offered
in this country in recent years, and also indicates a ten­
dency fo r governmental issues to be replaced by cor­
porate borrowing.
(In millions of dollars; refunding issues excluded)

Industrial stocks continued in January the irregular
decline which began late in December and at the end of
the month representative price averages were several
points below the December high levels. Railroad shares,
however, showed increased activity and advanced slightly
higher than in December.
The bond market was very active and strong. Corpo­
ration bond averages advanced almost a point further to
the highest levels since 1913, and foreign bonds on the
average were quoted at the highest prices since the W ar.
Most of the United States Government long term obliga­
tions sold at the highest prices since they were issued.
The recent strength in the bond market is shown in the
accom panying diagram.

1922

1923

1924

1925

1926

553

221

121

54

712
293

599
496

603

674

275

1 ,0 0 5

1 ,0 9 5

1 ,1 5 5

552

Corporate security issues, including domestic and fo r ­
eign, showed an increase o f about $250,000,000 over 1925.
The increase was chiefly in long term bond issues, though
common stock flotations continued to increase,
P re­
ferred stock issues were considerably below the excep­
tionally large total fo r 1925, and the volume o f short
term bond and note issues declined further. B orrow ­
ings by public utility and industrial companies showed
large increases over previous years, but realty issues
showed little change from the large total o f 1925, and
railroad financing continued to decrease. The composi­
tion of corporate financing during 1926 by type o f securi­
ties and by type of companies is shown in the accom pany­
ing diagram.
4 .3 5 7

4 ,3 5 7
4 ,1 0 0 '

709

7/5
3 ,322

333
2 ,7 0 2

;

l a n d &■
2.51
BUILDINGS

COMMON STOCK

1510

PREFERD STOCK

HAIL ROADS ■jGS:

SHORTTERM v
BONDS & NOTES'^

883
^ffilM NJNG 109Q
& M S C L.

LONG TERM
BONDS & NOTES

M onthly Average Prices o f Liberty Bonds, Dom estic Corporation
Bonds, and Foreign Government Bonds in Per Cent of Par.
January Estimated from Figures for First 27 Days.

As is usual in the first month o f the year, new security
offerings increased substantially and the total was larger
than a year ago, and not fa r from that of January 1923,
which was the largest on record. The chief elements in




1

1923

1924

1
925

1926)

PUBLIC
UTILITIES

a
H
1923

1924

1925

1926

Corporation Securities Offered in the United States, Classified by
Type of Security and by Type o f Company. Refunding
issues excluded. (In millions of dollars.)

FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT AT NEW YO R K
T h e F o r e ig n E x c h a n g e s

The closing days of 1926 were marked by general
strength in the European gold exchanges; in January
this tendency was continued in sterling, but reversed in
most of the Continental rates. Sterling, though stronger
than in December, did not reach the levels of January
1926, but this fact is hardly surprising in view of the
relative position of the New Y ork and London money
markets during the past month as compared with the
same period a year ago. The Continental gold exchanges
were rather heavy, particularly German marks, Dutch
florins, Swedish crowns, and Swiss francs.
A m ong the unstabilized European rates, movements
were diverse. French francs, since the last wT
eek in D e­
cember, have continued to fluctuate in a narrow zone, the
range fo r the first three weeks of January being between
3.98 cents and 3.94 cents. Italian lire declined from 4.51
cents at the beginning o f the month to 4.28 cents on the
25th; while Spanish pesetas, above 16.50 cents on the
27th, rose to the highest levels since July 1920.
The Canadian dollar, which was over parity in early
December, declined to 99.81 cents on January 11, giving
rise to substantial gold shipments to New York. A r ­
gentine pesos showed little change, but milreis, after a
decline below 11.50 cents early in the month, recovered
a part o f the loss.
A m ong the Asiatic rates, the silver exchanges were
strong, accom panying a rise in the price of silver above
57 cents, to the highest quotation since early October.
Rupees maintained the recovery effected in December,
but yen were rather heavy.

Changes in Central Bank Discount Rates
Easier money in European markets was reflected in
reductions in the discount rate of banks of issue in the
follow ing countries:
Date of Change
Latvia..............................................................
Germany..........................................................
Belgium...........................................................
Austria.............................................................

Jan.
Jan.
Jan.
Jan.

1,
11,
12,
18,

1927
1927
1927
1927

Rate Change
to
to
to
to

7
5
6x
/z
6y

from 8
from 6
from 7
from 7

The Imperial Bank of India raised its rate from 4
per cent to 5 per cent on the first of January, and to 6
per cent on the 13th of the month.

Foreign Trade
The value of our foreign merchandise trade declined
during December and was slightly less than a year ago.
Exports valued at $467,000,000 were only slightly smaller
than in December 1925, but imports valued at $361,000,000 were $36,000,000 smaller. E xports of grain were sea­
sonally smaller, both in volume and in A^alue, than in
November, but considerably larger than in December
1925. In actual volume, cotton shipments abroad were
the largest fo r any month since November 1912. but in
value were smaller than those of the previous month or
o f a year ago. Quantity imports o f raw silk and crude




13

rubber were below the high figures in November, and
together with coffee imports were also below December
1925.
Total exports fo r the calendar year 1926 amounted to
$4,810,000,000, or slightly less than in 1925, due largely
to lower prices, while imports valued at $4,432,000,000
were larger than in the previous year. Consequently,
the favorable balance o f $378,000,000 was the smallest,
excepting 1923, since 1914. The decline o f over $200,000,000 in the value o f cotton exports more than ac­
counts fo r the loss in total exports. Meat exports also
showed a decline, but grain shipments, despite the very
low figures in the first half o f the year, were about
equal to those o f 1925. Automobile exports, including
passenger cars, trucks, and busses, were larger than in
1925, and finished manufactures as a whole showed a
gain o f over $100,000,000. Bituminous coal exports in
1926 were more than double those o f 1925 and petroleum
products also showed a considerable increase. Im ports
of all economic groups except manufactured foodstuffs,
including sugar, were larger than in 1925. Quantity
receipts of raw silk, crude rubber, and coffee were from
3 to 10 per cent larger than in the preceding year.

Wages and Employment
W age rates paid to unskilled labor at the beginning of
1927, as reported to this bank by representative employ­
ers, showed only slight change from those o f six months
ago. The average hourly rate showed a small reduction
fo r the first time in two years, but owing to slightly
longer schedules o f working hours than in the summer,
the average weekly wage remained the same as last July.
The railroads reported difficulty in securing enough
track labor, especially in the vicinity o f New Y ork, but
manufacturing industries reported a surplus o f unskilled
labor in many localities, and o f skilled labor also in some
cases. The rate o f turnover in factories tended to be
somewhat lower than a year ago. Further evidence o f
this appears in the ratio o f “ voluntary quits’ ’ to num­
ber employed as reported to the M etropolitan L ife In ­
surance Company,— the December ratio was the lowest
since the end o f 1924.
Reports o f State and Federal Labor Departments
showed a further decline in factory employment from
November to December in New Y ork State and through­
out the country. There were further reductions in w ork­
ing forces in the iron and steel and automobile indus­
tries, in addition to seasonal curtailment in building
materials, and the general level o f factory employment
was about 3 per cent lower than in December 1925.

Indexes of Business Activity
Retail distribution o f merchandise in December was at
a high level even fo r the time of year, but the indica­
tions o f other measures of business were somewhat mixed.
Car loadings, foreign trade, advertising, and em ploy­
ment were somewhat smaller than in November, after
allowance fo r the usual seasonal variations, while bank
debits, stock trading, and postal receipts showed
increases.

MONTHLY REVIEW, FEBRUARY 1, 1927

14

Two of the best indicators of general business condi­
tions— loadings of merchandise and miscellaneous
freight, and bank debits in 140 centers outside of New
York— which have shown very similar movements in
recent years, are shown in the accompanying diagram.
Both of these indicate a moderate decline toward the
end of 1926 to a level somewhat below that of a year
previous.
TER CENT.

Building
The building industry closed the year 1926 at a high
level of activity, according to the F . W . Dodge Corpora­
tion’s reports. December awards of building and engi­
neering contracts were 10 per cent larger than in No­
vember and 2 per cent larger than a year ago. In the
New York and Northern New Jersey district, contract
awards were the largest on record, and, although the
increase was due partly to the inclusion in the month’s
figures of contracts for a large amount of subway con­
struction in New York City, all principal classes of
building with the exception of residential, compared
favorably with a year ago.
For the year 1926, the volume of construction, as in­
dicated by contracts let, was 6 per cent larger than in
1925, and was the largest for any year on record. This
increase occurred despite a decrease of about 4 per cent
in residential building, as is indicated in the accompany­
ing diagram. Construction of public works and utilities
and of commercial and industrial buildings has had an
important influence in the maintenance of a large total
of construction during the past year.

6,117

Indexes o f Merchandise and Miscellaneous Freight Loadings and of
Bank Debits Outside o f New Y ork City, A djusted for Sea­
sonal Variations and Year to Year Growth, and in
the Case o f Bank Debits, for Price Changes.

Various indexes of business in per cent of trend, with
allowance for seasonal variations, and, where necessary,
for price changes, are shown below.
(Computed trend of past years=1CM3 per cent)
1925
Dec.
Prim ary Distribution
Car loadings, merchandise and misc. r .. .
Car loadings, other..................... ................

1926
Oct.

N ov.

Dec.

I ll r
106
89
124
47
104

llO r
107
92
124
71
84

108r
113
96
124
70
84

105r
112
92 p
117 p
63
84

100
102
134
113
126
102
108

105
99
119
109
102
108
111

102
98
120
117
100
111
108

107
101
138
121

111
122
100

113
122
108

106
112
102

108
126
103

105
129
189
98
117
103
107
169
122

99
115
146
98
113
102
111
137
112

101
124
195
105

Electric p ow er............... ...............................
E m ploym ent in the United States...........
Business failures...........................................
Building perm its..........................................
New corporations formed in N. Y . State

100
115
207
108
112
104
101
160
127

General price le v e l.......................................

188

186

185

186

Grain exports................................................
Panama Canal traffic..................................
Distribution to Consumer
Department store sales, 2nd D ist............
M ail order sales........................... .................
Life insurance paid fo r ................................
Real estate transfers....................................
Magazine advertising..................................
Newspaper advertising...............................
General Business Activity
Bank debits, outside of N. Y . C it y .........
Bank debits, New Y ork C it y ........... ..
Bank debits, 2nd Dist. excl. N. Y . C ity .
V elocity of bank deposits, outside N. Y .
C ity ..............................................................
V elocity of bank deposits, New Y ork C ity
Shares sold on N. Y . Stock E xch an ge*..

*==Seasonal variations not allowed for.
p=Preliminary. r=Revised.




io 3
103

io ip
110
158
114

Building

1 9 2 .5
1923
192.4and Engineering Contracts Awarded in 36
Classified by Type o f P roject.
(In millions
of dollars.)

1926
States,

The volume of building permits reported to S. W .
Straus & Company in December was 2 per cent smaller
than a year previous, and the total for the completed
year was 5 per cent below 1925. The divergent tenden­
cies of these figures and those for building contracts may
be explained by the inclusion in permit figures of a
larger proportion of residential building and the ex­
clusion of important engineering projects. Residential
building was the only class of construction to show a
material reduction during the past year.

Production
Production in a majority of basic industries declined
somewhat further in December, even after allowance for

FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT AT NEW YORK
the usual seasonal changes. The average daily output
o f p ig iron was the smallest fo r any month of 1926, and,
as was the case with steel ingot production, was sub­
stantially smaller than a year previous. Considerably
more than the usual seasonal curtailment occurred in
the automobile industry and December production of
passenger cars and trucks was the smallest since early
in 1922 and nearly 50 per cent below the total o f Decem­
ber 1925. More active operation has been resumed in
January.
Domestic consumption o f cotton was the
largest ever recorded fo r any December, but silk and
woolen mill activity was curtailed.
In the follow ing table are given this ban k’s indexes
of production in which allowance is made fo r seasonal
variation and year-to-year growth.
(Computed trend of past years=100 per cent)

PAPER

I

S T A T IO N E R Y

I

DIAMONDS

I

DRUGS

I

SH OES

I

MACHINE T O O L S !

JEWELRY

I

GROCERIES

I

HARDWARE

I

SILK GOODS

!

COTTON-JOBBERS I

Dec.

Oct.

N ov.

Producers' Goods
Pig iro n .........................
Steel ingots...................
Bituminous c o a l..........
Copper, U .S . m ines. .
Tin deliveries...............
Z in c................................
Petroleum .....................
Gas and fuel oi l . . . . . .
Cotton con sum ption..
W oolen mill activity*.
Cem ent..........................
Lum ber..........................
Leather, s ole ................
Silk consum ption*-----

112
123
116
103
109
113
116
107
106
96
124
113
68
122

Ill
107
109
109
96
118
119
98
98
103
126
104
74
130

108
103
129
114
124
116
124
100
102
102
123
99
79
129

105
105
128p
105
112
115

Consumers' Goods
Cattle slaughtered................
Calves slaughtered...............
Sheep slaughtered.................
Hogs slaughtered...................
Sugar meltings, U. S. ports.
W heat flour............................
C igars.......................................
Cigarettes................................
T obacco, m anufactured. . . .
Gasoline...................................
T ires. .......................................
Newsprint...............................
Paper, t o ta l............................
B oots and shoes.....................
Anthracite c o a l......................
Automobile, a ll......................
Automobile, passenger.........
Automobile, tru ck.................

108
132
104
80
184
97
98
82
100
135
141
120
95
95
**
149
153
132

101
102
102
90
144
93
111
70
101
142
127
125
86
100
* 98
112
112
110

101
107
105
82
126
86
119
69
101
148
119
129
93
95
90
105
104
110

102
115
123
76

*=Seasonal variation not allowed for.

1925 =
100.%

MENS CLOTHING1926

1925

15

Dec.

COITON-COMMISStONl
W EN C0AT5-SUIT51
OM S

* * = Strike.

iio
99 p
120
113p
80
107

'94
100
72
101
ii9
89
98 p
97 p
78
73
101

p = Preliminary.

WOMENS DRESSES |
Sales o f Representative Dealers in Various Lines of W holesale
Trade during 1926 Compared with 1925.

erably smaller. Shoe sales, however, continued the ten­
dency o f most preceding months o f 1926 and were larger
in December than a year previous.
Machine tool sales in December, as in other recent
months, were considerably smaller than a year previous,
though substantial increases had been reported in the
earlier months o f the year. Sales o f groceries, drugs,
stationery, and diamonds also showed declines in the
later months o f 1926, follow ing increases in the first half
o f the year. H ardware sales, on the other hand, were
larger in December than a year previous, after decreases
had been reported in most previous months o f 1926.
Stocks on hand at the close o f the year continued con­
siderably larger than in 1925 in silk goods, and some­
what larger in hardware and jew elry and diamonds. A
slight increase was shown in job b e rs’ stocks o f cotton
goods, but shoe stocks remained much smaller.

Wholesale Trade
Sales o f representative wholesale dealers in this dis­
trict, which in ten of the first eleven months of 1926 had
averaged smaller than a year previous, continued in the
final month o f the year to show a substantial reduction.
F o r the year as a whole, a weighted average o f sales in
all reporting lines shows a reduction o f 8 per cent from
sales in 1925. Low er prices, especially fo r textiles, were
probably responsible fo r a part, but not all, o f the
decline.
Most o f the larger declines in December sales com­
pared with those o f a year ago were in clothing and tex­
tiles, and, as the accom panying diagram shows, the same
was true fo r the year as a whole. The w om en’s clothing
business showed the most unfavorable comparisons with
1925, due partly to labor troubles, but sales o f m en ’s
clothing, cotton goods, and silk goods also were consid-




Percentage Change
Percentage Change
December 1926 from December 1925
in Net Sales
Commodity
Net
Sales
Groceries.........................
Men's clothing..............
W om en’s dresses...........
W om en’s coats and suits
Cotton goods-Jobbers..
Cotton goods-Commission..............................
Silk goods.......................
Shoes...............................
D rugs...............................
Hardware........................
Machine to o ls................
Stationery.......................
Paper...............................
D ia m o n d s .................
Jewelry............................
Weighted A ve ra g e ...
* = Quantity not value.

—- 6.

—21.
—23.
— 0.

Stock
end of
m onth

A cct’s
Receiv­
able

-1 4 .7
-1 0 .4

— 7 .8
+ 0 .4

5 .3
1.5

— 5 .6
— 12.3

• 4 .5
0 .7

— 5 .4

— 1.1

+ 5-7

6 .4
5 .4

— 1.4

Collec­
tions

— 5 .7
— 19.2

6 .5

•+ 4 .8
— 4 .5

— 23.

+ 2.1

— 16.

—12.
+ 5.
— 7.
+ 4.
— 15.

+ 1 1 .4 *
— 13.0

+ 7.4

— 8.
+ 0.

— 13
— 3.

—11.

+ 4 .6

6.8

— 8.1

Dec.
1926
from
N ov.
1926

— 8.2

Year
1926
from
Year
1925

— 2.6

— 2 7.4
+ 5 5 .0
— 29.1
— 11.4

— 7 .5
— 26.3
— 25.5
— 9 .1

+ 4 .3
+ 7 .2
+ 1 1 .4
— 27.1
+ 9 .0
— 4 .3
+ 1 .4
— 1.7
— 17.1
— 9 .4
— 3 .7

— 11.4
— 6 .7

+ 2.0
+ 2 .4
— 2.8
—
+
+
+
—
—

1 .4
4 .0
5 .0
3 .5
2 .5
7 .9

16

MONTHLY REVIEW, FEBRUARY 1, 1927

D e p a r t m e n t S to r e B u s in e s s

A ccord in g to final reports, December department store
sales were 4 per cent larger than a year ago, a slightly
smaller increase than was indicated by business o f the
first 24 days of the month. A pparel store sales increased
nearly 5 per cent, but sales of mail order houses fell
slightly below the high level o f December 1925. F or
the first time in two years department store stocks at
the end of month showed no increase over a year p re­
vious.
Total sales o f department stores for the year 1926 were
4 per cent larger than in 1925, compared with increases
of 5y2 and 4y2 per cent in the two previous years. Sales
o f apparel stores and mail order houses increased 6 and
5 per cent respectively.

Percentage Change
December 1926 from December 1925
Locality
Net
Sales
New Y o r k ...................
+ 3.
B uffalo........................
0
— 1.
R ochester...................
Syracuse......................
+ 2.
Newark.......................
+10.
B ridgeport..................
+ 9.
Elsewhere...................
+ 3.
Northern N. Y . State — 0.
Central N. Y . S tate.. + 6.
Southern N. Y . State + 3.
H udson River Valley + 2.
Capital D is tr ic t...
— 4.
+19.
W estchester...........

Stock
End of
Month

Collec­
tions*

+ 1.2 — 0.2

— 6 .3
+ 3 .4
— 14.2

— 2.6
+ 3 .4
+ 1.9

+ 2 .4
+ 9 .5

+ 9*9
—

0’4

A cc’ts
Receiv­
able*

Net

+10.6 + 3 .7
+ 1.6 — 2.0
+22.0 + 4 .4
— 2 .3
+i3!8 + 8.0
+11.2
+ 5! 8 + 3 .4
•'

Stock
on
Hand

+ 2.6
+ 0 .4
+ 2.2

—
+
+
+

5 .3
7 .5
4 .4
3 .5

Chain Store Sales
Aggregate December sales of chain stores in this dis­
trict were 14 per cent larger than a year ago, one o f the
smallest increases reported in recent months. The in­
crease in average sales per store, however, was larger
than in most months o f 1926, and in shoe chains it was
the largest in more than two and a half years.
Total sales fo r the year increased 17 per cent over
1925 due mainly to the large increases in sales of gro­
cery, variety, and drug stores which have each month in
the year shown larger gains than the other types of
stores. Moderate increases were reported fo r the year in
all other lines, but, as the accom panying diagram shows,
only in variety, grocery, and ten cent systems did the
increases in sales exceed the expansion in number of
stores in operation.
TO TAL

N U M B E R o f STO RES
1 925=

SALES
1925=

— 1.9
+ 3 .6

1 0%
0

____________ toofr

+ 2.0
+ 6.1
— 1.0
+ 1 5 .6

A ll department stores..

+ 4 .3

0.1

Apparel stores. . . .
M ail order houses.

+ 4 .8

+ 1 6 .9

— 0.6

Percentage
Change
Year 1926
from
Year 1925

and stationery, m en’s and b o y s’ wear, and hosiery. The
increases in total sales fo r the year compared with those
o f 1925 were especially large in books and stationery
and furniture, and all other leading departments except
silk and velvets, woolen goods, and musical instruments
and radio apparatus showed at least moderate increases.
The substantial reduction in radio sales follow ed a very
large increase in 1925.

+ 2.6

+11.1

+ 3 .9

+ 2.8

+ 6.2

+ 1 3 .6

+ 5 .0

*=Exclusive of instalment accounts.

The rate o f turnover fo r the year was slightly higher
than in 1925, although for the first half year it had been
running somewhat behind a year ago. In the case of
apparel stores, due to the considerably larger increase in
stocks than sales, the turnover was not so high as last
year.
In December fo r the second consecutive month the
largest increases were in sales o f shoes, furniture, books
Percentage Change Percentage Change
in Net Sales
in Stock on Hand
Department

S h o e s ..................................................................
Furniture............................................................
M en’s and B oys’ w ear.....................................
Books and stationery......................................
H osiery................................................................
W om en’s ready-to-wear accessories.............
M en’s furnishings.............................................
T oys and sporting good s ................................
Luggage and other leather good s .................
W om en’s and Misses’ ready-to-wear...........
H ome furnishings.............................................
Linens and handkerchiefs..............................
Toilet articles and drugs................................
Silverware and jew elry....................................
C otton good s.....................................................
Silks and velv ets..............................................
Musical instruments and radio.....................
W oolen good s....................................................
Miscellaneous.....................................................




Dec.
1926 ,
from
Dec.
1925
+ 2 5 .3
+ 1 2 .7
+ 1 2 .6
+ 1 2 .2
+ 1 2 .1
+ 1 1 .3
+ 8 .8
+ 8 .2
+ 6 .1
+ 4 .9
+ 3 .8
+ 3 .6
+ 1 .6
+ 1 .2
+ 0 .9
— 2 .2
— 3 .6
— 19.5
— 1 .2

Year
1926
from
Year
1925

Dec. 31,
1926
from
Dec. 31,
1925

Year
1926
from
Year
1925

+ 9 .4
+ 1 4 .0
+ 5.1
+ 1 5 .0
+ 8 .2
+ 5 .4
+ 6 .5
+ 1 1 .8
+ 6 .4
+ 3.1
+ 4 .7
+ 1 1 .4
+ 7 .2
+ 3 .4
+ 2 .3
— 0 .4
— 26.9
— 24.1
— 2 .7

— 0 .3
+ 3 .6
+ 6 .2
— 14.2
— 2 .9
— 2 .9
+ 3 .0
— 5 .4
— 6 .3
+ 4 .9
+ 5 .6
+ 1 .8
— 0 .7
— 0 .7
— 5 .7
— 6 .5
— 7 .4
— 4 4.5
— 15.3

— 0.1
+ 7 .2
+ 5 .4
+ 1.4
+ 1.6
— 5 .9
— 0 .2
+ 4 .2
+ 7 .7
— 4 .4
+ 3 .7
— 0 .1
+ 4 .7
+ 4 .8
— 3 .4
— 1.4
— 6 .3
— 29.9
— 10.3

CANDY

Total Sales and Number of Units Operated by Chain Store Systems
in 1926 Compared with 1925.

New stores opened ordinarily have smaller sales fo r
some time than the established units. Consequently in
variety and grocery chains where the opening o f new
units proceeded less rapidly than in 1925, sales per store
averaged larger in 1926, and the increase in total sales
was larger than in the number o f stores operated. In
drug, tobacco, and candy chains, the opening of new
stores was more rapid in 1926 than in 1925, sales per
store averaged smaller, and the increase in total sales was
smaller than in the number o f units operated.
Percentage Change
December 1926 from
December 1925

Percentage Change
Year 1926 from
Year 1925

Type of Store
Number
of
Stores
V ariety...............................................

Total
Sales

Sales
per
Store

Total
Sales

Sales
per
Store

+ 1 2 .9
+ 3 0 .6
+ 9 .0
+ 1 0 .4
+ 7 .7
+ 5 .4
+ 4 .7
+ 8 .8

+ 2 5 .2
+ 1 9 .7
+ 1 7 .5
+ 1 4 .6
+ 9 .0
+ 4 .8
+ 2 .4
+ 1 4 .2

+ 1 0 .9
— 8 .4
+ 7 .9
+ 3 .9
+ 1.1
— 0 .5
— 2 .2
+ 4 .9

+ 2 5 .2
+ 2 0 .8
+ 2 1 .8
+ 6 .1
+ 9 .3
+ 8 .6
+ 4 .1
+ 1 7 .4

+ 8 .2
— 2 .8
+ 6 .7
— 6 .6
+ 2 .7
— 1 .6
— 10.2
+ 3 .5