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MONTHLY REVIEW
o f C r e d it a n d B u s in e s s C o n d it io n s
S e c o n d
Federal Reserve Agent

F e d e r a l

R e s e r v e

D is t r ic t

Federal Reserve Bank, New York

July 1, 1925

T rade

B u s in e s s C o n d i t io n s in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s
R O D U C TIO N in basic industries and factory em­
ployment continued to decline in May and there
was a further recession in wholesale prices. Distri­
bution o f commodities was in greater volume than at
this time last year, but slightly less than in A pril.

P

P r o d u c t io n

The Federal Reserve B oa rd ’s index o f production in
basic industries declined 6 per cent, in M ay to a level
12 per cent, below the high point in January. There
were further considerable decreases in the output of the
iron and steel and woolen industries; and declines also
occurred in the m ill consumption o f cotton and in cop­
per, sole leather, and newsprint production. The num­
ber o f automobiles manufactured during May fell
slightly below the record figure o f A pril. Employm ent
at industrial establishments was slightly less in May
than in the month before, with decreases, partly sea­
sonal, in the clothing, boot and shoe, and iron and steel
industries and increases in the industries producing
automobiles, tobacco products, and certain building
materials.
B uilding contracts awarded during May
were smaller in value and in square feet than those fo r
A pril, but were larger than fo r any other month on
record.

Department store sales in May were smaller than in
A p ril but somewhat larger than a year ago, and mail
order sales were 5 per cent, larger than in May 1924.
Department store stocks declined in May and were at
the same level as a year ago. Wholesale trade was in
about the same volume as the month before and about
3 per cent, larger than a year ago, increases over last
year in sales o f meats and dry goods offsetting decreases
in sales o f groceries, shoes, hardware, and drugs.
Wholesale stocks of groceries in dollar values were
larger than a year ago, while stocks o f dry goods and
shoes were substantially smaller. Car loadings of mis­
cellaneous products and merchandise decreased slightly
during May, but were greater than a year ago.
P r ic e s

Wholesale prices continued to decline in May, but the
decrease was considerably smaller than for the preceding
month. A ll groups o f prices represented in the Bureau
o f Labor Statistics index declined except the house­
furnishings and miscellaneous groups. In the first three
weeks o f June prices o f wheat, corn, flour, cotton goods,
and pig iron declined, while quotations on sheep, hogs,
gasoline, hides, and rubber advanced.
PERCENT.

PER CENT.

—

155

WHOLESALE
PRICES
1913=100

192.2
Index o f

22 Basic

Commodities Corrected for Seasonal Variation
(1 9 1 9 = 1 0 0 Per cent. Latest figure, M ay)




,1923

1924

1925

Index o f U. S. Bureau o f Labor Statistics (1 9 1 3 = 1 0 0 Per cent,
base adopted by Bureau. Latest figure, M ay)

MONTHLY REVIEW,

2

JULY 1,

1925

' BnitONS OFDOLLARS

f

I E A R N IN G
W

v

u

J

J

7

K

kjv

V

v

Y

d is c o u n t s

\

/N

_/453

V
ACCfPm NCES/
l t

y

V

W

Z4Z

^ 325

U .S .S t C U R m E ^

19 ZZ

D epartm en t Store Sales.
Index o f Sales o f 3 3 3 Stores in
Cities ( 1 9 1 9 = 1 0 0 P er cent. L a te s t figure, M a y )

1 17

B a n k C r e d it

B orrow ing fo r commercial purposes at member banks
in leading cities declined further between the middle o f
M ay and the middle o f June to a level lower than at
any time this year, while loans on securities increased
and reached a new high level in June. Investment
holdings of these banks also increased, and total loans
and investments at the middle o f June were at a new
high point.
A t the Reserve Banks there was an increase in mem­
ber bank borrowing between May 20 and June 24 and on
that date discounts fo r member banks were in larger
volume than at any time since the opening o f the year.
Further decreases in the holdings o f acceptances and
of United States securities brought the volume o f openmarket holdings in June to the lowest level since last
summer.
Conditions in the money market remained relatively
steady during the latter part o f May and first three
weeks o f June, notwithstanding the heavy Treasury
operations in the middle of June.
B a n k in g C o n d i t io n s in t h e S e c o n d D i s t r i c t
The principal banking transactions affecting the
money market in June centered about the maturity on
the 15th in this district of about $220,000,000 Treasury
notes out of a total of over $400,000,000 in the United
States, payment of interest on the public debt, and col­
lection of the second quarterly instalment o f income
taxes. In addition to these transactions, the British Gov­
ernment paid to the Reserve Bank fo r account o f the
Treasury approximately $68,000,000 in United States
securities in discharge of semi-annual interest on its
debt to this Government.
A s customary at tax dates the Treasury disburse­
ments in this district on the 15th greatly exceeded re­
ceipts, and made necessary the usual temporary loan by
the Reserve Bank to the Treasury pending collection o f
tax checks and the transfer to this market o f the p ro­




R eserve

1 92 3

192.4

1925

B ank Credit— W e e k ly F ig u res for 1 2 F ederal R eserve
B a n k s.
(L a t e s t fig u res, J u n e 2 4 .)

ceeds o f tax collections in other districts. D uring the
period o f these transactions, however, money rates re­
mained relatively stable, as excess funds were absorbed
by a reduction in the earning assets o f the Reserve
Bank. Later, as the tax checks were collected and funds
were withdrawn to the interior to replace money trans­
ferred by the Treasury, earning assets at New Y ork
increased once more.
A t the principal member banks in the leading cities
o f the district the volume o f total loans and investments
and deposits showed relatively little change between the
middle o f M ay and the m iddle o f June. In this district,
as fo r the country as a whole, loans largely fo r com ­
mercial purposes declined further and reached the lowest
level fo r the year. Loans on securities, on the other
hand, continued at the y e a r’s high level, and holdings o f
investment securities increased and were the largest
since January.
The diagram follow ing, com paring changes in commer­
cial loans o f all reporting banks and outstanding paper
o f 26 commercial paper dealers, reflects recent tenden­
cies in commercial borrow ing throughout the country.
Despite active business this spring, commercial loans
failed to show the usual seasonal expansion, though reCOMMt.'LOANS

B ILLIO N S o f DOLLARS

COMM*L,PAPER

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Loans largely for C om m ercial Purposes o f 7 3 3 W e e k ly R eporting
M em ber B an k s in all D istricts and O u tstan d in g
Com m ercial Paper o f 2 6 D ealers.

3

FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT AT NEW YORK

maining at relatively high levels com pared with pre­
vious years. Outstanding paper likewise showed little
increase, and has recently declined to the lowest fo r
this season since 1922. In the diagram commercial loans
are shown in billions of dollars and commercial paper
outstanding in millions.

cline in M ay this year, due partly to the quoting of is­
sues ex-interest and partly to slightly firmer money in
London.
PERCENT'

M on ey M a rk et
M oney rates continued relatively steady at about
previous levels during the greater part o f June.
Towards the end o f the month conditions became firmer,
owing largely to preparations by banks and other
lenders fo r mid-year statements and financial dis­
bursements.
Commercial paper rates remained generally firm at
4 per cent, in New York, but sales continued at 3 %
per cent, in the interior. Supplies of paper were re­
ported small, and the amount o f paper outstanding
through 26 commercial paper dealers at the end o f May
showed a further decline to the lowest fo r that month
since 1922.
In the bill market, after a period of over-supply of
bills early in the month, the demand increased and
dealers’ portfolios were reduced to a new low point
fo r the year; follow ing this, however, there was a sub­
stantial increase as money became firmer. D ealers’ rates
held unchanged at 3 % per cent, on purchases o f 90 day
bills and 3% per cent, on sales.
The June offering o f one year 3 per cent. Treasury
certificates, amounting to $125,000,000, was smaller than
any offering since M ay 17, 1920, and was largely over­
subscribed.
Time money rates on stock exchange collateral held
unchanged at 3% to 4 per cent, until the month end,
when the market became slightly firmer. Call loans re­
newed chiefly at 3 % to 4 per cent., about the average o f
May, until late in the month when renewals touched 4 %
per cent, and on June 29 the rate fo r new loans reached
6 per cent., the highest since December 31, 1923.

The volume o f new securities sold in this market in
June continued large though dealers com plained o f
scarcity o f issues. Foreign issues, including a $50,000,000 Belgian Government issue, large loans fo r Norway
and Argentina, partly fo r refunding purposes, a $20,000,000 Chilean land bank issue and a number o f small­
er loans, made up a large part o f total offerings, and
brought the aggregate o f foreign issues sold in this mar­
ket since January 1 to over half a billion dollars, or
about $150,000,000 more than in the corresponding pe­
riod o f last year. O f the domestic issues, public utility
offerings and state and m unicipal obligations constituted
the largest proportion.

S e c u r ity

B a n k in g

M a rk e ts

A fte r rising to new high levels at the end of May
stock price movements became more irregular in June
and trading somewhat less active.
Representative
averages, however, both o f industrial and railroad stocks
held not fa r from the high levels previously attained.
In the bond market corporation issues held steady at
the highest levels since 1917. Government bonds advanc­
ed under buying stimulated by the small size o f the June
15 Treasury offering and growing scarcity o f the float­
ing supply o f these issues. Liberty second and third
41/4 ’s reached new high prices fo r the year, and the
first and fourth 4 ^ ’s and Treasury 4 ’s and 4 1/4 ’s sold
higher than ever before.
The accom panying diagram reflects the strength re­
cently shown in various groups o f bonds quoted in this
market and compares this with the movement of British
war loans in London. These have held about the same
general level in the past two years, but show some de­




M on th ly A v e ra g e P rices o f L ib e rty B on d s, 4 0 C orporation B onds,
and 10 F oreign G overn m ent Issu es quoted in th is M ark et,
Com pared w ith B ritish W a r L o an s in London.
F igu res in P ercentages o f P ar V a lu e.

T e n d e n c ie s

in

G re a t B rita in

Figures through M ay o f this year fo r the ten London
Clearing Banks, which do the greater part of the bank­
ing business o f Great Britain, indicate a continuation o f
the tendencies in British banking in evidence during
1923 and 1924. A pparently reflecting increased indus­
trial and trade activity, advances to customers have
shown a further steady increase to the highest level in
over fou r years. Paralleling the growth in advances has
been a steady rise in acceptances executed fo r customers
until this amount, after allowance fo r seasonal variation,
stands at the highest figure since the publication o f
monthly figures was resumed.
The manner in which the British banks have met this
increased demand from trade is indicated by the move­
ment o f investment holdings and bills discounted, shown
together with the other figures in the follow ing diagram.
Both investments and discounted bills, which include
Treasury bills, have declined substantially during the

4

MONTHLY REVIEW, JULY 1, 1925

past year, so that the improvement in trade apparently
has been financed without increase in the total volume of
credit in use largely by means of sales of securities and
the use of funds released by the Treasury through the
reduction o f the short term public debt.
M IL L IO N S
OF POUNDS

G o ld

M o v e m e n t

Im ports and exports o f gold were small in June. A t
the Port o f New Y ork imports during the first twentyfou r days of June amounted to only $569,000 and ex­
ports to $2,569,000, including a shipment of $1,000,000
to Italy.
F o r the whole country during May imports rose to
$11,000,000, the largest inflow since last November, while
exports fell to $13,000,000, so that the net export was
slightly less than $2,000,000. The largest imports were
$5,000,000 from the Netherlands, $2,750,000 from Can­
ada, and $1,700,000 from England. O f the exports, $6,450,000 went to Germany, representing chiefly the com­
pletion o f shipments o f earmarked gold.
The follow ing table com paring the gold movement
by months from December through May, indicates tne
gradual decline o f the export movement since January.
(In thousands of dollars)

Imports

Exports

Excess of
Exports

F ebruary..................................................................
M arch.......................................................................
A p ril..........................................................................
M a y ..........................................................................

10,274
5,038
3,603
7,337
8,870
11,404

39,675
73,526
50,600
25,104
21,604
13,390

29,401
68,488
46,997
17,767
12,734
1,986

T o ta l.....................................................................

46,526

223,899

177,373

December 1924.......................................................

F o r e ig n T r a d e
F igu res for 10 London Clearing B a n k s.

F o r e ig n

(L a te s t figures, M a y )

E x c h a n g e

Sharp declines in Italian and French exchanges, in
contrast with steadiness or strength in most other cur­
rencies, were outstanding developments in the exchange
market in June.
B y a decline of about half a cent during the first half
of the month the Italian rate was carried down to nearly
3V2 cents or close to the low point o f 3.34 reached late
in 1920. This decline, which occurred despite the suc­
cess of the Italian Government in balancing its budget
and the announcement o f a credit of $50,000,000 ob­
tained in this market, was attributed largely to heavy
imports of foodstuffs and raw materials.
Political and economic uncertainties in the French
situation continued to be reflected in weakness o f the
franc, which declined from 5 cents to 4.50 cents, the
lowest level since March 1924 and over half a cent below
the quotation early in May. Belgian exchange was also
weak, apparently in sympathy with French exchange.
Danish and Norwegian rates, on the other hand, con­
tinued their rise to new high levels for recent years.
Sterling held generally above $4.85% , and London con­
tinued to show gains in gold since the resumption o f gold
payments. A m ong other leading exchanges Swiss rates
showed further advances above par, while Japanese yen
reacted about a cent, due to the recent earthquake in
Japan and political disturbances in China.




Foreign trade during May continued the seasonal de­
cline from early spring. Exports, valued at $370,000,000, were $29,000,000 less than in A pril, while imports,
valued at $328,000,000, were reduced by $21,000,000.
Compared with last year, however, exports showed an
increase o f 10 per cent, and imports o f 8 per cent.
Shipments abroad of cotton and total grains com­
bined were $24,000,000 less than in A pril, although ex­
ports o f wheat alone were considerably larger than in
the previous month. Compared with M ay 1924, the
value o f grain exports was almost tripled, but that o f
cotton was slightly less, on account o f lower prices.
Despite the decline in the total value o f merchandise
imports, the volume o f receipts o f two leading imports,
silk and rubber, showed increases of 27 and 35 per cent.,
respectively, over A pril. Both showed an even larger
advance over May 1924, and approached the record
months in 1924.
P r o d u c tio n

The decline in basic production in May indicated by
the Federal Reserve B o a rd ’s index was reflected also in
decreases in most o f this ban k ’s indexes fo r separate in­
dustries.
A particularly sharp decrease in the cotton industry
was reflected by a decline o f 66,000 bales, or 11 per cent,
in cotton consumption and a decrease in this ban k’s in­
dex of cotton mill activity from 101 to 89 per cent, of

FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT AT NEW YORK
normal, as measured by the trend o f past years. Opera­
tions in the woolen industry continued substantially
below normal, but in the silk industry production re­
mained close to the high levels of previous months.
Production of pig iron declined an additional 13 per
cent, and, while the output o f steel was only slightly
smaller than in A pril, unfilled orders o f the Steel Cor­
poration decreased an additional 400,000 tons to the
lowest level since last November. In June steel opera­
tions held fairly steady at slightly under 70 per cent,
but pig iron prices continued weak.
Bituminous coal output was larger than in A p ril this
year, or May last year, but 22 per cent, below May 1923,
and this bank’s index, after allowance fo r seasonal va­
riation, declined to 88 per cent, o f normal. Anthracite
production, on the other hand, held more closely to the
normal level.
In the automobile industry production of passenger
cars declined 3 per cent, from the high level o f A pril,
but was 30 per cent, larger than in May last year. F or
the first five months of this year, however, production
has been slightly below the corresponding period o f
1924. Truck production in May also decreased, but fo r
the first five months was 16 per cent, above last year.
A m ong other industries showing important changes,
mining of copper decreased further and was below esti­
mated normal fo r the first time since last fall. The fo l­
lowing table gives this bank’s indexes o f production in
various industries in percentages o f the com puted trend,
after allowance fo r seasonal variation.
(Computed trend of past years=100 per cent.)
1924

1925

M ay

Mar.

Apr.

M ay

Producers’ Goods
Pig iron ..................................................
Steel ingots....................................................
Bituminous co a l...........................................
Copper, U. S. m ines....................................
T in deliveries................................................
Z in c.................................................................
Petroleum ......................................................
Gas and fuel o il............................................
C otton consum ption....................................
W oolen mill a ctiv ity *.................................
C em ent...........................................................
Lum ber...........................................................
Leather, sole. .............................................
Silk consum ption*.......................................

81
77
77
94
96
96
129
105
70
84
116
106
66
91

105
107
83
107
111
96
117
110
96
93
129
112
82
137

99
100
92
104
122
96
121
111
101
89
129
113
80
121

89
99
87
99
87
96

Consumers’ Goods
Cattle slaughtered.......................................
Calves slaughtered......................................
Sheep slaughtered.. *..................................
Hogs slaughtered.........................................
Sugar meltings, U. S. p orts.......................
Wheat flour....................................................
Cigars..............................................................
Cigarettes.......................................................
Tobacco, m anufactured..............................
Gasoline..........................................................
T ires................................................................
Newsprint................ ......................................
Paper, to ta l....................................................
Boots and shoes...........................................
Anthracite coa l.............................................
Automobile, a ll.............................................
Automobile, passenger................................
Automobile, truck........................................

118
100
102
118
92
107
100
92
101
119
93
119
102
92
92
108
113
89

110
116
107
88
115
89
96
80
98
129
117
113
102
95
85
119
121
112

112
106
115
92
113
90
95
82
104
129
128
118
106
102
98
134
139
1157-

* = Seasonal variation not allowed for
p —Preliminary

r-=Revised




In d e x e s

o f B u s in e s s

A c tiv ity

This bank’s indexes o f business activity generally in­
dicated continued large distribution o f goods in M ay and
June. Bank debits outside o f New Y ork City exceeded
last y e a r’s figures by 9 per cent, in M ay and 15 per cent,
in the first 24 days o f June, and both in this district
and elsewhere the totals continued above the trend of
past years. Railw ay freight car loadings in M ay and
the first half o f June exceeded all previous years except
1923, due largely to the heavy movement o f merchandise
and miscellaneous freight.
Mail order sales continued to show increases over the
relatively high level o f a year ago, and the indexes o f
department store and chain store sales rose from the
A p ril level, though they remained somewhat below the
computed normal. B uilding continued at unusually
high levels, and factory employment showed no more
than the usual seasonal recession.
In the follow ing indexes, allowance has been made fo r
year to year growth, seasonal variations, and, where
necessary, fo r price changes.
(Computed trend of past years=100 per cent.)
1924
M ay

Mar.

Apr.

Primary Distribution
Car loadings, merchandise and m isc..
Car loadings, other................................
Wholesale trade, Second D is tr ic t.. . .
E xports.....................................................
Im ports....................................................
Grain exports..........................................
Panama Canal traffic............................

101
101
91
91
110
65
129

105
94
95
103
113
104
106

106
108
93
95
111
146
97

106
108
93
93?
llO p

Distribution to Consumer
Department store sales, Second District.
Chain store sales................................
M ail order sales..................................
Life insurance paid fo r .....................
Real estate transfers.........................
Magazine advertising.......................
Newspaper advertising.....................

98
98
105
108
106
102
97

97
96
107
112
111
97
97

93
93
109
117
116
97
95

97
96
111
114

101
107
103

110
121
103

105
113
102

110
124
102

101

101

98

103

104
101
102
100
113
141

110
95
105
99
105
163

101
103
106
99
122
192

115
99

General Busines Activity
Bank debits, outside of New Y ork C ity.
Bank debits, New Y ork C it y ....................
Bank debits, 2nd District, excl. N .Y .C ..
Velocity of bank deposits, outside of New
York C ity ..................................................
Velocity of bank deposits, New York
C itr

89
83p
125

Electric p ow er......................................
Employment, N. Y . State factories.
Business failures..................................
Building perm its..................................

*74
115

p=Prelim inary

113
97
110
86
93
88
96
79
104
iis
97
93 p
97
132
140
97

1925

A n

In d e x

o f R e a l E s ta te

M ay

*83

'§ 7
95

*99
108
160

A c tiv ity

Through the courtesy o f the National Association of
Real Estate Boards it has been possible to obtain by
months from 1916 the number o f deeds recorded in real
estate transfers in 41 representative A m erican cities,
and, in addition to this, records from a number o f wide­
ly scattered cities running back fo r twenty-five years.
From these data there has been com puted the index o f
real estate transfers shown in the follow ing diagram,
which represents in percentages the variations o f ac­
tivity above and below the line o f normal growth. This
normal growth has been foun d to average about 7 per
cent, per annum steadily through the last quarter o f a

6

MONTHLY REVIEW,

century, while the growth of urban population has aver­
aged about 3 per cent.
W ith this index o f real estate activity is also shown
this bank’s index of the volume o f urban building in per­
centages o f the computed trend, but plotted on a smaller
scale to reduce the fluctuations and make comparison
of the two lines easier. A s might be expected the two
curves disclose much similarity, both in time and general
direction of change. Notable differences, however, have
been the considerably w ider fluctuations of the building
curve despite the reduced scale, and the much larger
expansion o f building in recent years as compared
with 1919-1920.
TR A N S F E R S
PER CENT.

JULY 1,

1925

M IL L IO N S
O F DO LLARS

BUILDING-:
P ER M ITS
PERCENTS

V a lu e o f B uilding C ontracts Aw arded in 3 6 S ta tes and in N ew
Y o rk S ta te and N orth ern N ew J er sey. (L a t e s t figu res, M a y .)

E m p lo y m e n t a n d

V o lu m e o f B uildin g in 1 5 8 C ities and R eal E s ta te T ra n sfers in
41 C ities, in P ercen tag es o f th e C om puted Trend.
Seasonal V ariation Allow ed F or.

B u ild in g

B uilding contracts awarded in 36 states in M ay were
the largest ever recorded fo r that; month, totaling $496,000,000. W hile there was a seasonal decline o f 9 per
cent, com pared with A pril, there was an increase o f 18
per cent, over M ay of last year. In the New Y ork and
Northern New Jersey district also, contracts in May
exceeded those o f a year ago, after fallin g considerably
below last year in preceding months. The follow ing dia­
gram reflects the recent tendencies in building, both in
this district and fo r the country as a whole.
Despite heavy residential building fo r several years,
the total contracts in M ay fo r this type of construction
fo r the country were larger than in any previous month
except A pril. In this district also, the May totals were
larger than last year, though, as was true of total con­
tracts, the figures fo r the first five months remained
below 1924.
B uilding permits fo r the country were the largest
ever reported fo r the month o f May. The total fo r 365
cities was 14 per cent, smaller in May than in A p ril but
16 per cent, larger than in M ay 1924. Increases over a
year ago were reported in 21 out o f 25 leading cities, in­
cluding New Y ork City where there was an increase o f
9 per cent.




W a g e s

A decline o f 1.4 per cent., or about the usual seasonal
reduction, occurred in factory employment in New Y ork
State from A p ril to May. The total reduction from
March to May this year was about 3 per cent., com pared
with 8 per cent, last year, and the May level o f em ploy­
ment was about 2 per cent, below that o f a year ago.
Average weekly earnings, on the other hand, were higher
than in A p ril and close to the highest level since 1920.
W orking forces in the railroad equipment industry
were reduced to the lowest level in three years, and
woolen m ill employment was the lowest in any month
since 1921 with the exception o f last August. Substan­
tial seasonal reductions occurred also in apparel indus­
tries, and smaller reductions in iron and steel, and fu r­
niture and piano m anufacturing. These losses were
largely offset in the total by seasonal gains in building
materials and a further increase in workers engaged in
the manufacture o f automobiles and automobile parts
and accessories. Employm ent in the automobile indus­
try was only slightly below the highest level since 1920.
In June the State Em ploym ent Service reports that,
while the demand fo r factory labor showed some fu r­
ther decrease, there continues a good demand fo r work­
ers fo r farm s and fo r building and road construction
work, so that little difficulty has been experienced m
placing the better class o f labor.
C o m m o d ity

P r ic e s

W hile the Department o f L a b o r’s average o f whole­
sale prices fo r the entire month o f M ay fe ll slightly
below the average fo r A pril, the week-to-week move­
ment o f basic commodities was generally upw ard during
most o f May, and there was a slight furth er rise in June.
On June 27 this ban k ’s index o f 20 basic commodities
stood 4 per cent, above the low point on M ay 2, though

FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT AT NEW Y O R K

still 4.5 per cent, under the high point of the year
reached March 7.
Crude rubber prices continued their spectacular ad­
vance to new high levels o f 88 cents a pound, compared
with 19 cents a year a go; these advances have led re­
cently to increases in tire prices. Textile raw materials,
including cotton, wool, and silk, likewise advanced dur­
ing the period and hides reached the highest level since
late in February. Live stock prices advanced sharply,
but grain prices reacted, reflecting the prospect o f larger
crops abroad, particularly in Canada.
Lum ber prices showed a further decline, and were lower
than a year ago, notwithstanding that the volume o f new
business reported by the mills showed an increase. Cop­
per advanced in the latter part o f the month, follow ing
announcement of a decline in production, but quotations
later reacted, and pig iron prices continued weak at the
lowest level fo r the last three years.

(Millions of bushels)
Crop

A verage
1920-1924

1924
H arvest

1925 June
Forecast

W inter wheat..............................................
Spring w heat...............................................
All wheat.....................................................
O a t s ..............................................................
B arley...........................................................
R y e ...............................................................
H a y * .............................................................

592
245
837
1328
182
70
107

590
283
873
1542
188
63
112

407
254
661
1295
205
53
96

♦Millions of tons

In New Y ork State conditions during M ay appeared
to be somewhat better than fo r the country as a whole.
Pasture conditions were slightly more favorable than
last year, and prospective yields o f a number o f im por­
tant crops including grains, hay, and pears, compare
favorably with form er years.

W h o le s a l e T r a d e

JAN PEBHARAPR-rWJUNJUL- AU&-5EPOCT-NOVDEC-JAN-FEB-MARAPRMB' JUHJUL- AUG-SEP OCTHOV-DEC-

192.4

1925

Price Indexes o f 2 0 B asic C om m odities in th e U n ited S tates
and in En gland ( 1 9 1 3 = 1 0 0 P er cen t. L a te s t figu res, June 2 0 )

This bank’s index o f the general price level, including
retail as well as wholesale prices, also rents and wages,
advanced in May to 184 per cent, o f the 1913 level, com­
pared with 183 per cent, in A p ril and 180 per cent, in
M ay last year.

Further seasonal declines in most lines o f wholesale
trade resulted in an average reduction o f 14 per cent,
in sales from A p r il to May. Compared with M ay 1924,
however, there was an increase o f 5 per cent., despite
the fact that M ay this year included one less selling day.
A fte r allowance fo r price changes, seasonal variations,
and year to year growth, this ban k ’s index o f wholesale
trade fo r M ay stood at 93 per cent, o f the estimated nor­
mal, unchanged from the A p ril index, but 2 points above
that o f a year ago.
The greatest increase over a year ago was in silk goods,
sales o f which were larger than in any previous May.
Machine tool sales showed a large increase over those o f
M ay 1924 and were the largest fo r any month in nearly
two years.
Substantial gains were reported also in
m en ’s clothing and w om en’s dresses, but sales o f wom­
e n ’s coats and suits were much below a year ago, and
sales o f stationery, hardware, and jew elry continued to
show losses.
Wholesale stocks o f groceries, shoes, and jew elry and
diamonds continued larger than those o f a year ago,
while stocks o f cotton and silk goods and hardware were
substantially smaller.

C ro p s

June 1 crop estimates for the country by the D epart­
ment o f A griculture generally indicated smaller yields
in farm crops than last year. Owing to the abandon­
ment o f winter wheat acreage and poor condition o f the
rem aining crop, the outlook fo r winter and spring wheat
combined was fo r the smallest crop since 1917, and one
about equal to domestic consumption requirements.
Smaller yields than last year were also forecast for other
leading farm crops, except barley.
The condition o f the cotton crop on M ay 25, on the
other hand, was above the 10 year average and the
acreage unusually large. Subsequent prospects, how­
ever, have been less favorable, due to dry weather in
Texas and weevil infestation in some areas. Prospective
1925 farm crops fo r the country are compared in the
follow ing table with those harvested in recent years.




Net Sales
Percentage Change

Stock at end of month
Percentage Change

Comm odity
Apr. 1925
to
M ay 1925

M a y 1924
to
M a y 1925

Apr. 1925
to
M ay 1925

M ay 1924
to
M a y 1925

— 0 .4
+ 1 6 .2
+ 2 0 .5
— 3 5.3
+ 4 .6
+ 9 .4
+ 3 1 .4
+ 8 .0
— 13.7
— 9 .2
+ 2 1 .3
— 2 .0
— 7 .9
+ 5 .9
— 5 .1

— 9 .4

+ 8 .0

Jewelry...............................................

+ 1 1 .3
— 36.9
+ 0 .4
— 75.8
— 5 .4
— 6 .4
— 9 .4
— 19.6
— 8 .2
— 5 .8
+ 2 8 .5
— 8 .8
— 10.2
— 11.3
+ 3 6 .8

Weighted A verage......................

— 14.0

+ 4 .6

Groceries............................................
M en’s clothing.................................
W om en’s dresses..............................
W om en’s coats and suits...............
C otton-Jobbers................................
Cotton-Commission houses...........
Silk good s..........................................
Shoes..................................................
D rugs.................................................
Hardware...........................................
Machine to o ls...................................
Paper..................................................

♦Stock at first of month— quantity not value

+ 5 .0

— 14.8

— 0 .3 *
+ 8 .5

— 17.6*
+ 1 6 .6

— 11.9

— 13.2

40

j + 1 4 .8

C h a in S t o r e S a le s

D e p a r t m e n t S t o r e S a le s

W hile aggregate sales in M ay of reporting chain store
systems increased 14 per cent, over last year, in most
lines the comparisons were slightly less favorable than
in the two months preceding, due to the fact that there
were five Sundays in M ay this year. The principal
exception was the candy trade, which reported the
largest increase in total sales since last October, and the
first increase in sales per store com pared with a year
previous since M ay 1924.
Ten cent store systems and drug chains also reported
increases in sales per store, while tobacco and shoe store
sales averaged considerably smaller per store than a
year ago. Grocery and variety store chains continued
to lead in rapidity of expansion.

May sales o f leading department stores in this dis­
trict were less than 2 per cent larger than a year ago,
the smallest increase since January, and excluding sales
of radio sets, which were greatly increased b y special
sales in May, sales actually fell below last year. There
was one less selling day in M ay this year, however, and
this b an k ’s index o f department store sales, adjusted
to a working day basis, advanced from 93 per cent, o f
the trend o f past years in A p ril to 97 per cent, in May.
A pparel store sales were about 2 per cent, smaller than
in M ay 1924.
Stocks o f merchandise on hand at the end o f the month
increased 3 per cent, over last year, so that the percent­
age o f sales to average stocks declined slightly from
31.2 per cent, in May 1924 to 30.9 in M ay 1925.

Percentage Change M ay 1924
to M ay 1925

Net Sales
Percentage Change
M ay 1924
to
M ay 1925

T ype of Store

G rocery.....................................................................
V ariety......................................................................
Ten C en t..................................................................
C an d y............ ...........................................................
T o b a cco ....................................................................
T ota l.....................................................................

Number of
Stores

Total
Sales

Sales per
Store

+ 2 0 .2
+ 1 7 .6
+ 7 .2
+ 2 .4
+ 4 .1
+ 6 .2
+ 1 7 .4

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

— 1 .3
— 1.2
+ 2 .0
+ 4 .8
+ 2 .3
— 6 .2
— 15.7

+ 1 7 .1

+ 1 3 .6

— 3 .0

In the case o f chain grocery sales, the figures fo r the
first five months of the year show an increase over last
year o f 18 per cent., whereas sales o f wholesale grocers,
which are largely to individual grocery stores, fell
6 per cent, below last year and were the smallest since
1922.
The accom panying diagram, com paring chain
grocery and wholesale grocery sales in this district for
recent years indicates that, whereas wholesale grocery
business in dollars fo r several years has averaged con­
siderably below the 1919 level, chain grocery sales have
expanded continuously since 1921 to levels more than
twice those o f 1919. This, o f course, reflects largely the
increase in the number of stores.
PER CENT.

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

2.1
3 .2
5 .6
6 .2
0 .2
5 .2
0 .1
9 .4
5 .5
2 .6
9 .2
3 .8
2 .5

All department stores................................

+

1.5

+ 3 .2

Apparel stores.............................................
M ail order houses.......................................

— 2 .3
+ 5 .5

— 3 .8

Northern New Y ork S ta te...................
Central New York S ta te......................
Southern New Y ork S ta te ...................
Hudson R iver Valley D istrict.............
Capital D istrict......................................
Westchester D istrict..............................

Sales o f radio equipment were nearly six times larger
than last year, due to clearance sales at greatly re­
duced prices. In yard goods, silks continued to show a
substantial gain, while woolens showed a large loss and
cotton goods were held up largely by sales o f domestics,
including sheets, pillow cases, etc. The popularity o f
silks appeared also in an increase in w om en’s dress sales,
while sales of suits and other apparel generally fell be­
low last year.
The average amount o f the individual check during
the month was $2.91 com pared with $2.81 in May 1924.

M en’s furnishings.......................................
C otton go o d s...............................................
Home furnishings.......................................
Toilet articles and drugs.......................




+
+
+
+
+
+
—

+
+
+
—
—
—
+
—
—
—
+
+
—

Musical instruments and ra d io...............
Luggage and other leather g ood s...........

M o n th ly Sa les b y W h o le s a le G rocers and Chain G rocery Stores
in the Second D istrict.
( 1 9 1 9 = 1 0 0 P er ce n t.)

Stock on Hand
Percentage Change
M a y 31, 1924
to
M ay 31, 1925

Linens and handkerchiefs.........................
Silverware and jew elry..............................
M en’s and B oys’ w ear...............................
W om en’s and Misses’ ready-to-wear. . .
W om en’s accessories..................................
W oolen good s...............................................
Miscellaneous...............................................

Net Sales
Percentage Change
M a y 1924
to
M a y 1925

Stock on Hand
Percentage Change
M ay 31, 1924
to
M ay 31, 1925

+ 5 8 6 .7
+ 1 3 .7
+ 8 .7
+ 5 .9
+ 5 .2
+ 4 .5
+ 3 .9
+ 3 .8
+ 3 .4
+ 2.3
+ 1.1
— 0 .3
— 0 .5
— 2 .2
— 4 .0
— 21.4
— 2 .5

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