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MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, C H A IR M A N AND FE D E R A L R ESERVE AG ENT
APRIL 30, 1925

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
The business situation in the Fifth Federal Re­
serve District is more favorable at the end of April
than it was at the same time last year, especially
in the outlook for the textile industry and for agri­
culture. In late April last year textile mills were
running only part time and manufactured goods
were accumulating, and very bad weather had de­
layed all farm work, but at present the cotton mills
are operating full time and are selling their output
as made, while favorable weather has enabled far­
mers to make all their seasonal preparations from
ten to twenty days earlier than in 1924. Some
unfavorable factors are present, among them being
a scarcity of farm labor and a lack of funds with
which to hire farm hands, higher fertilizer prices
than in 1924, a shortage of feed which forces far­
mers to buy high priced grains for stock, and lack
of sufficient orders to keep coal mines busy. On
the other hand, favorable factors appear to outweigh
the unfavorable ones. Labor is well employed, and

therefore the purchasing power of the public con­
tinues large. Retail trade in March was good, com­
paring favorably with seasonal average, and whole­
sale trade was better in most lines than in March
1924. The banks of the District are generally in a
strong position and are able to care for any legiti­
mate credit demands that appear likely to arise.
Debits to individual accounts prove that a very large
volume of business is being done, and commercial
failures compare favorably with other years. Build­
ing operations continue in record volume, causing
increased activity in many allied industries and
giving steady employment to both skilled and un­
skilled labor. Finally, the psychological attitude of
the public seems to be favorable for a fairly active
business year. There is no disposition to boom
business, but there does not appear to be much ner­
vousness or fear of what the next few months have
in store.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
Seasonal needs for crop planting increased the demand for credit at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond between March 14th and April 15th this year, and the volume of member bank borrowing rose
from $32,082,000 to $40,652,000. At this season book credit rather than currency is needed, however, and
therefore during the month under review the circulation of Federal Reserve notes dropped from $77,859,000 to $75,356,000 and member bank reserve deposits rose from $62,779,000 to $66,266,000. The changes
enumerated reduced the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s cash reserves from $102,985,000 to $94,039,000, and the ratio of cash to combined note and deposit liabilities declined from 73.08 per cent on March
14th to 64.90 per cent on April 15th.
On April 15, 1924, the volume of member bank paper held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
amounted to $55,957,000, compared with $40,652,000 so held on April 15, 1925. Federal Reserve notes in
actual circulation totaled $81,642,000 on the 1924 date and $75,356,000 this year. Member bank reserve
deposits aggregated $59,505,000 on April 15, 1924, and $66,266,000 on April 15, 1925. The cash reserves of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond totaled $90,003,000 in April last year and $94,039,000 this year.
The ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined was 60.62 per cent on April 15th last year
and 64.90 per cent on the corresponding date this year.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS

~

Fourteen mutual savings banks in Baltimore had aggregate deposits amounting to $148,015,204 at the
close of business March 31, 1925, compared with $146,867,172 on February 28th this year and $142,329,341 on March 31st last year. On March 3 1, 1923, the same banks reported deposits totaling $134,954,223;
on March 3 1, 1922, totaling $125,122,842; on March 3 1, 1921, totaling $124,263,612; and on March 31,
1920, totaling $120,667,494. The largest increase occurred between March 1922 and March 1923, and the
smallest gain between March 1921 and March 1922.




The National Summary will be found on page 8

CONDITION OF SEVENTY-THREE REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
ITEMS

April 8, 1925

1. Total Loans and Discounts (including
all rediscounts)........................................
2. Total Investments in Bonds and Securi­
ties .............................................................
3. Total Loans and Investments....................
4. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank ...........................................................
5. Cash in Vaults..............................................
6. Demand Deposits..........................................
7. Time Deposits..............................................
8. Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank...,

March 11, 1925

April 9, 1924

$ 492,032,000

$ 484,658,000

$ 475,886,000

137.279.000
629.311.000

131.448.000
616.106.000

121.103.000
596.989.000

39.716.000
14.222.000
356.567.000
187.593.000
18.383.000

38.582.000
14.389.000
370.132.000
188.167.000
11.204.000

35.771.000
13.236.000
333.307.000
165.601.000
30.832.000

In the above table comparative condition figures reported by seventy-three identical member banks are
shown as at the close of business April 8, 1925, March 11 , 1925, and April 9, 1924, thus affording an oppor­
tunity for comparing banking developments during the past month and the past year in the thirteen leading
cities of the Fifth Reserve District. While the figures shown in the table reflect conditions on the dates men­
tioned, they are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that occurred during the periods under review.
Between March n th and April 8th, both this year, most of the changes in the items included in the
table were seasonal, and were due chiefly to financing the planting of this year’s crops. Total loans to cus­
tomers rose from $484,658,000 to $492,032,000 during the month, demand deposits declined from $370,132,000 to $356,567,000, time deposits decreased from $188,167,000 to $187,593,000, and rediscounts at the Re­
serve Bank increased from $11,204,000 to $18,383,000. Cash in vaults also decreased slightly, falling from
$14,389,000 to $14,222,000. On the other hand, total investments in bonds and securities increased from
$131,448,000 on March n th to $137,279,000 on April 8th, and aggregate reserve balance at the Reserve
Bank rose from $38,582,000 to $39,716,000, both being unusual gains at a season when the reporting banks’
customers are seeking additional credit.
A large increase in deposits between April 9, 1924, and April 8, 1925, enabled the reporting banks to
increase their loans to customers and their investments in bonds and securities, and to reduce their rediscounts
with the Reserve Bank; at the same time it called for an increase in reserve balances. During the year
demand deposits rose from $333,307,000 to $356,567,000, and time deposits increased from $165,601,000 to
§187,593,000, a combined gain of $45,252,000. Outstanding loans to customers rose from $475,886,000 to
$492,032,000, an increase of $16,146,000; investments in bonds and securities rose from $121,103,000 to
$137,279,000, an increase of $16,176,000; reserve balances rose from a total of $35,771,000 to $39,716,000,
an increase of $3,945,000; and the volume of rediscounts at the Reserve Bank was reduced from $30,832,000
to $18,383,000, a decline of $12,449,000. Cash in vaults rose during the year from $13,236,000 to $14,222,000,
a gain of $986,000.

BUSINESS FAILURES IN MARCH
Commercial failures in the United States during March numbered 1,859, naturally exceeding the 1,793
defaults of the short month of February, but decreases appear in comparison with the number for both
January and last December, when the totals were 2,317 and 2,040, respectively. March failures this year ex­
ceeded the 1,817 failures of March 1924 by 2.3 per cent. In liabilities involved, March 1925 witnessed a
total of $34,004,731, the smallest amount reported since November 1924, which in turn reported the smallest
total since September 1923. Liabilities in March this year fell off more than 65 per cent from the record
total of $97,651,026 of March 1924, when a single failure for $40,000,000 occurred.
In the Fifth District there were 127 bankruptcies in March, with liabilities totaling $2,640,261, com­
pared with 105 bankruptcies and liabilities of $42,232,527 in March last year. The number of failures in
March 1925 was only 5 per cent greater than in February, although March had 13 per cent more business
days in it. March liabilities were lower than for any month since November 1924, and were lower than dur­
ing any other March since 1920.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
The accompanying table shows total debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts in the clearing
house banks in twenty-three leading trade centers of the Fifth Reserve District during three equal periods
of four weeks each, ending April 8, 1925, March n , 1925, and April 9, 1924. These debits figures cover
all checks drawn against deposit accounts, irrespective of whether or not the checks pass through the clear­
ing house, and therefore include pay roll checks, checks cashed over the counter, and checks deposited in
the banks upon which they are drawn. Debits totals are generally regarded as one of the best indicators of
business activity.
The four weeks’ period ending April 8, 1925, witnessed total debits amounting to $1,188,149,000 in the




2

twenty-three reporting cities, compared with $1,176,095,000 during the preceding period, ending March n th ,
the increase being seasonal and due to income tax payments on March 15th and quarterly settlements on
April 1st. Fifteen of the twenty-three cities reported larger figures during the more recent period. Raleigh’s
TOTAL DEBITS FOR THE FOUR WEEKS ENDING
CITIES
April 8, 1925
Asheville, N. C.............
Baltimore, Md...............
Charleston, S. C......... .
Charleston, W. Va.
Charlotte, N. C........... .
Columbia, S. C............
Cumberland, Md........
Danville, Va................. .
Durham, N. C............. .
Greensboro, N. C........
Greenville, S. C..........
Hagerstown, Md.........
Huntington, W. Va. .
Lynchburg, Va............
Newport News, Va. .
Norfolk, Va..................
Raleigh, N. C..............
Richmond, Va..............
Roanoke, Va................
Spartanburg, S. C. ...
Washington, D. C. .....
Wilmington, N. C.......
Winston-Salem, N. C
Total............

$

24,399,000
374,518,000
28,807,000
35,589,000
49,120,000
19,564,000
7,866,000
7,922,000
19,905,000
21,806,000
20,254,000
10,590,000
25,424,000
18,232,000
7,551,000
64,361,000
25,852,000
119,038,000
23,255,000
17,078,000
214,393,000
21,385,000
31,240,000

$1,188,149,000

March 11, 1925
$

19,627,000
353,590,000
26,094,000
31,517,000
44,884,000
21,223,000
7,746,000
8,791,000
20,983,000
21,454,000
24,727,000
13.116.000
19.850.000
17,586,000
7,025,000
66,238,000
55,985,000
124,409,000
22,899,000
15,967,000
200,455,000
21,058,000
30,871,000

$1,176,095,000

April 9, 1924
$

21,707,000
341,824,000
28,073,000
33,426,000
43,447,000
22,497,000
8,766,000
8,229,000
19,245,000
22,213,000
20,640,000
10,296,000
24,083,000
18,117,000
6,191,000
63,333,000
27,775,000
111,756,000
21,759,000
11,593,000
183,796,000
21,445,000
29,626,000

$1,099,837,000

great decrease was due to exceptionally heavy movements of State government funds during the period end­
ing March n th rather than to any material decline in business activity.
During the four weeks ending April 9, 1924, debits in the twenty-three cities amounted to $1,099,837,000, in comparison with $1,188,149,000 reported this year during the corresponding period. Sixteen cities
showed higher figures for the 1925 period, all of the decreases except two occurring in the Carolinas.
LABOR— The labor situation has changed little since our March 31st Review was written. On the
whole, spring demands for labor have not developed to the expected degree, and consequently there is some­
what more involuntary unemployment than was the case a year ago. Road work and public improvements
are being carried on in somewhat less volume this spring, but this has increased the supply of labor avail­
able for farm work. As a rule there is sufficient farm labor at present to meet all demands, though there
are certain sections in which workers are still scarce. Farm wages are slightly lower than the levels of last
year. The actual demand for farm labor appears to be somewhat less than in April 1924, farmers as a
result of the last crop having less money with which to hire hands and therefore being less inclined to
employ high priced help in the face of returns for agricultural products. The industries of the Fifth District
are running on full time schedules, and there is very little idleness among factory workers. Construction
work is plentiful, and workers in the building trades are fairly well employed, although there is less de­
mand for certain classes of workmen, such as steel and sheet metal workers. Clerical workers continue to
show a surplus, while satisfactory domestic help is scarce.

COAL— Lack of market demand continues to handicap coal producers, and the cumulative output of
bituminous mines in the United States is now approximately 1,500,000 tons behind the average production
during the first three months of the preceding five years. The coal year ending April 1st witnessed the pro­
duction of 470,844,000 net tons of bituminous coal and 88,189,000 tons of anthracite, compared with 561,212,000 tons of bituminous and 91,700,000 tons of anthracite produced in 1923-1924. Production of bitumi­
nous coal was sufficient to meet all demands during the past winter, however, and prices ruled lower than
during the preceding year. Soft coal mined in March 1925 was 37,626,000 net tons, the lowest March pro­
duction since 1921, when only 31,054,000 tons were produced. Transportation facilities were adequate for
all demands made by the mines during the winter, and there were no serious tie-ups on account of severe
weather. Retail prices have been reduced at many yards during the past two or three weeks, a regular sea­
sonal development with the passing of cold weather.
TEXTILES— The textile mills of the Fifth District are nearly all operating on full time schedules, re­
ceiving many hand to mouth orders but few orders for future delivery. Prices of cloth have gone off slightly



3

during the past month in keeping with the decline in raw cotton, and mill executives state that profits at
present prices for cotton and manufactured goods are unsatisfactory. Most executives profess a consider­
able degree of optimism on the outlook, and textile mill supply houses report good business on machinery
which will reduce operating costs or improve production. One large machinery dealer writes that nearly
all of his sales are being made to Fifth District mills, although his firm does a nation wide business. A
year ago restriction in running time was spreading among the mills in the South, and most of them had
large stocks of goods on hand. A t present the mills are running full time, and" reserve stocks have been re­
duced to more satisfactory figures.
During March the textile mills in North Carolina consumed 126,967 bales of cotton, South Carolina
mills used 93,677 bales, and Virginia mills used 11,007 bales, a total of 231,651 bales in comparison with
191,293 bales ocnsumed in the three states in March last year. Mill consumption in the Fifth District dur­
ing March this year represented 39.8 per cent of national consumption, compared with 39.5 per cent of
national consumption in March 1924.

COTTON— Spot cotton prices in the Carolinas moved downward during the latter part of March and
the first half of April, falling from an average of 25.02 cents per pound during the week ending March 21st
to an average of 23.77 cents during the week ending April n th.
On March 20th the Bureau of the Census released its final cotton ginning report for the 1924 season,
placing the year's production at 13,618,751 equivalent 500 pound bales, an increase of 3,479,080 bales over
the 1923 crop of 10,139,671 bales. The Department of Agriculture’s estimate of the 1924 crop last December
was 13,153,000 running bales, practically 500,000 bales under the actual production, but the fall weather was
so exceptionally favorable for late cotton that an under estimate of the yield was almost inevitable. In the
Fifth District, North Carolina grew 823,278 bales in 1924, South Carolina 806,065 bales, and Virginia 38,301 bales, all exceeding the December estimate and South Carolina exceeding her 1923 production Total
yield in the three states was 1,667,644 bales, compared with 1,836,991 bales grown in 1923. The decrease in
yield does not tell the whole story, however, the price decline in 1924 in comparison with 1923 causing an
even greater reduction in rural income than the lower production. Prices during the period from August to
February averaged about 7 1 - 2 cents per pound less than during the corresponding period the year before,
and this decline, with the reduced yield, lowered the growers’ receipts in the Fifth District in the neighbor­
hood of $85,000,000 in comparison with the money they received for the 1923 crop, the loss on seed not in­
cluded.
Cotton consumed in American mills during March totaled 582,674 bales, compared with 550,132 bales
used in February this year and 485,840 bales in March 1924. The report, when released on April 14th by
the Census Bureau, proved lower than had been expected, with a resultant depressing effect upon the cotton
market. Cotton on hand in consuming establishments on March 3 1, 1925, amounted to 1,644,793 bales, com­
pared with 1,546,210 bales on February 28, 1925, and 1,503,852 bales on March 31st last year. Public ware­
houses and compresses held 2,237,115 bales on March 3 1, 1925, compared with 3,075,140 bales so held on
February 28, 1925, and 2,000,552 bales on March 3 1, 1924. Imports of cotton in March totaled 33,955 bales,
compared with 59,984 bales in February and 49,833 bales in March 1924, while March exports totaled 734,697 bales, compared with 811,838 bales in February and 332,168 bales in March last year. Total exports
since August 1, 1924, amounted to 6,967,286 bales, compared with 4,682,355 bales during the eight months
ending March 3 1, 1924.
Intentions to plant figures on cotton are not available this year, and the farmers are therefore compelled
to guess as to what other planters are thinking on the acreage question. The crop was not profitable to
many growers last year, and this year fertilizer prices are higher, labor, though somewhat more plentiful
than in 1924, is scarce and money to hire labor is scarcer, and the danger from boll weevils appears to
be much greater than last year. On the other hand preparations for planting are much further advanced
now than at the same time last year, and rumors of drought in the Southwestern cotton states may stimulate
planting in South Atlantic states.
TOBACCO— The 1924 Virginia tobacco crop amounted to approximately 136,391,000 pounds, and
sold for nearly $28,000,000. The 1923 crop amounted to 151,303,000 pounds and sold for $30,000,000, while
the 1922 crop of 156,542,000 pounds brought nearly $40,000,000. The average price for all types for the
1924 crop was $20.48 per hundred pounds in comparison with an average of $19.75 per hundred for the
1923 crop. The greatest increase was in the price of Dark and Sun-cured, with a slight increase for Bright
and a decrease for Burley. Total sales of leaf tobacco on open markets amounted to 85,823,349 pounds, of
which approximately 7,000,000 pounds came from North Carolina. Danville was the leading market in pro­
ducers’ sales with 31,724,407 pounds, South Boston with 9,109,080 ranking second. Lynchburg led the Dark
markets and ranked third among all markets with sales totaling 8,196,141 pounds. All of the Virginia
markets except Richmond have closed for the season.
Tobacco beds have been planted, but plants are small as a result of cool weather. Insects are reported
to have damaged many of the young plants, and some beds will require replanting. A considerable in­
crease in acreage is expected in the Burley district of Southwest Virginia, and North Carolina's acreage is
expected to increase about n per cent, just about balancing the decrease in that state last year.




4

BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF MARCH, 1925 AND 1924.
Premits Issued

0

CITIES

2

New

Alterations

Repairs

1925 1924

1 Baltimore, Md...... 777
2 Cumberland, Md...
47
3 Frederick, Md......
21
4 Hagerstown, Md.
*49
5 Danville Va.......... *11
6 Lynchburg, Va....
20
7 Norfolk, Va.......... 213
16
8 Petersburg, Va.....
222
9 Richmond, Va.
117
10 Roanoke, Va.
33
11 Bluefield, W. Va...
12 Charleston, W. Va.
43
16
13 Clarksburg, W. Va
14 Huntington, W. Va t301
42
15 Parkersburg,W.V a
65
16 Asheville, N. C—
73
17 Charlotte, N. C.....
35
18 Durham, N. C.
19 Greensboro, N. C.
77
82
20 High Point, N. C...
21 Raleigh, N. C........ 101
22 Salisbury, N. C.....
22
8
23 Wilmington, N. C.
24 Winston-Salem, N. C.
96
25 Charleston, S. C ...
11
26 Columbia, S. C.....
4
28
27 Greenville, S. C.
Spartanburg, S. C.
33
28
29 Washington, D. C. 356

New Construction

1925

1924

1925

1924

561 1,027 1,032 $ 4,725,840 $ 5,018,100
135,440
25
48
33
168,700
99,620
2
1
15
46,823
*254,105
*20
0
*?,29,700
128,555
26
28
67,136
31
432,109
74
56
612,295
101
26,774
14
10
5
9,220
79
76 2,102,205
198
1,325,785
401,966
61
48
288,692
97
89,400
8
5
26
87,200
989,106
9
25
118,554
71
14
224,275
50
17
495,081
180
35 11,118,667
1,066,368
76,000
5
27
50
196,400
38
62
59 1,322,002
270,500
14
628,688
17
656,550
71
40
10
4
154,497
238,500
311,140
36
37
341,099
83
250,635
9
14
49
330,150
448,115
46
22
3
148,950
16
10
87,100
17
68,100
4
14,950
8
401,000
10
82
113
93
364,965
460,375
18
20
13,450
8
25,275
36
35
41
5,965
60,701
22
14
24
103,055
269,535
36
44
40
129,510
139,330
285
404 5,054,450
253
2,962,940

Totals.......... 2,859 2,235 2,041 2,141 $19,438,479 $15,873,359

1925

‘

1924

Increase or Per Cent
of
of
Decrease
Increase 0
Total
or
Z
Valuation Decrease

$ 591,840 $ 1,215,720 $— 916,140 — 14.7#
66,556 — 85,710 — 36.4
14,106
2,700
52,097 105.2
2,000
*53,975
0
40,016
74,253
69.3
52,850
92,688 — 231,854 — 32.9
41,020
23,939 231.3
1,130
7,515
134,244
714,570
48.9
72,394
17,010
111,071
36.3
14,807
4,450
1,250
1.4
3,500
714,792 224.3
200,060
44,300
6,340 — 274,701 — 54.8
2,445
66,300 — 14,001 — 1.2
6,425 — 125,725 — 62.0
1,100
18,018
1,057,332 366.5
23,848
21,425
38,132
5.6
87,419
2,025 — 61,668 — 25.6
24,360
40,715 — 34,089 — 8.9
36,585
4,875 — 80,540 — 24.0
3,850
305,380 202.7
1,700
7,915
6,375
15,295
20.5
2,670
5,100 — 369,250 — 90.9
21,900
39,640 — 103,735 — 20.7
31,315
14,197 — 21,769 — 55.2
4,253
9,745 — 42,721 — 60.6
21,760
23,800 — 176,510 — 60.2
13,770
11,665 —
9,953 — 6.6
11,532
2,148,239
268,737
66.5
325,466
$1,464,520

$2,321,656 $ 2,707,984

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29

14.99b

♦Hagerstown and Danville figures not included in totals
—Denotes decrease
tlncludes both new work and repairs
NOTE- The figures in the above table reflect the amount of work provided for in the corporation limits of the several
cities, but take no account of suburban developments.

Building permit figures were received for both March 1925 and March 1924 from twenty-seven iden­
tical cities in the Fifth Reserve District. Total permits issued in the reporting cities for new construction
during the month numbered 2,859,
estimated valuation of $19,438,479, compared with 2,235 permits and
a valuation of $15,873,359 issued for similar work in March last year. Seventeen of the twenty-seven cities
reported a larger number of permits during the 1925 month, and twelve cities reported higher valuation
figures. Permits for alterations and repairs numbered 2,041, valued at $1,464,520, in March this year, and
2,141 permits and $2,321,656 in March last year. Combined valuation of both new work; and repairs
amounted to $20,902,999 in March 1925 and $18,195,015 in March 1924, an increase this year of 14.9 per
cent. In percentage increase, Asheville, N. C., led with 366.5 per cent, and Frederick, Md., Petersburg, Va.,
Charleston, W. Va., and Raleigh, N. C., reported increases of more than 100 per cent in valuation. Rich­
mond and Washington reported large increases in both number and valuation, and Baltimore reported a big
increase in number of permits but showed a lower total valuation. A very large proportion of the work
provided for in permits issued this spring is residence or apartment house construction, which probably
accounts for the lower percentage increase in estimated valuation in comparison with the increase in the
number of permits issued, residence permits naturally being much lower valued than permits for business
or industrial purposes.

AGRICULTURAL NOTES— Farm work is very much farther advanced this year than last in V ir­
ginia. Plowing is practically finished, and preparation of land for planting has made excellent progress.
Increased acreage of most crops is expected in comparison with 1924, especially in acreage planted in feed
crops. Wheat is in fair condition in Virginia, and early sown fields promise good yields, although cool
weather retarded development during the first half of April. Corn has not yet been planted on many farms,
but if the weather continues favorable a considerable increase in acreage will be made. Pastures have not
made much progress during the past two weeks, and many farmers have been forced by feed shortage to
turn cattle on the grass too early. Hay prospects appear good, and a large acreage of spring oats
has been sown. Fruit prospects are still somewhat problematical. Peaches, plums and cherries have
been injured in all parts of the state and prospects are for lower yields than last year, but apple



5

prospects appear excellent. Trees were in full bloom east of the mountains by April 15th, but in the
Shenandoah Valley and the Northern counties the majority of the trees will not be in bloom until between
the 20th and 25th. The 1924 apple crop of Virginia was the largest on record, 12,7 17 cars having been
shipped prior to April 15, 1925, in comparison with 9,827 cars the largest shipment of any previous season.
There was an excellent strawberry bloom in the commercial sections, and prospects for this crop are very
encouraging.
North Carolina has experienced few seasons with such favorable weather as has prevailed this spring,
and farm work is consequently much farther advanced than usual. Wheat is in good shape, especially in the
Piedmont counties where most of the crop is grown. There have been no reports of any serious damage.
Oats, which wintered very badly last year, are reported in fine shape this year, although there was some
frost damage in the Piedmont section. Rye acreage was substantially increased this year, and the grain is
ranging from fair to good. Prospects for early hay appear good, although the acreage is small. Pastures
are doing well, especially in the northern Piedmont and Coastal counties.
Small grain crops are in good condition and very promising in South Carolina, and the outlook for
fruit is generally satisfactory, although some damage was done to peaches early in April. Rains in January
and mild, dry weather during February and March was favorable for growth of wheat, oats, rye, pastures
and home gardens, and the condition of these crops average considerably better than on the same date last
year. Commercial Irish potato acreage is much smaller this year than in 1924.
Small grains in Maryland came through the winter in better condition than was expected last fall, and
stands run from good to excellent. Pastures are greening up fairly well, and farmers have turned stock on
them in some parts of the state.

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated By Reports fromjTwenty-nine Representative Department Stores
for the Month of March, 1925.
Percentage increase in March 1925 sales over sales in March 1924:
Baltimore
Richmond
Washington
10.2
27.9
9.7

Other Cities
8.5

District
11.4

Percentage increase in sales from January 1st through March over sales during the same three months in 1924:
2.2
14.1
3.3
4.1
3.9
Percentage increase in March 1925 sales over average March sales during the years 1920-1924, inclusive:
1.7
31.3
1.5
— 4.3
4.3
Percentage increase in stock on March 31, 1925, over stock on March 31, 1924:
— 0.4
9.7
— 7.3
— 9.9

— 3.1

Percentage increase in stock on March 31, 1925, over stock on February 28, 1925:
12.7
7.3
8.2
8.7

10.2

Percentage of sales during March 1925 to average stock carried during that month:
27.9
29.2
27.0
20.8

26.8

Percentage of sales from January 1st through March 31st to average stock carried during the three months:
73.8
76.1
76.1
57.4
72.6
Percentage of outstanding orders on March 31, to total purchases of merchandise in 1924:
6.4
7.4
4.8
7.1

5.9

— Denotes decreased percentage; other figures show gains.

Retail trade in March, as reflected in dollar sales of twenty-nine representative department stores in
the Fifth District, exceeded March 1924 sales by 11.4 per cent, and averaged 4.3 per cent above sales during
the corresponding month of the five year period 1920-1924, inclusive. Cumulative sales from January 1st
through March this year exceeded sales during the same three months last year by 3.9 per cent. Stocks
on the shelves, at selling prices, were 3.1 per cent smaller at the end of March than at the end of March
1924, but were 10.1 per cent greater than at the end of February this year. The percentage of average
sales during March to average stocks carried during the month was 26.8 per cent, while the percentage of
total sales since January 1st to average stocks carried each month during the period was 72.6 per cent, in­
dicating a rate of turnover of slightly more than 2.9 times. Outstanding orders for merchandise on March
31, 1925, amounted to 5.9 per cent of total 1924 purchases.



6

WHOLESALE TRADE
March, 1925.
Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales in March 1925, compared with sales in February 1925:
43 Groceries
15 Dry Goods
13 Shoes
18 Hardware
6 Furniture
7.6
Percentage increase
5.6

5.2

21.8

15.6

— 10.7

13 Drugs

7.9

(or decrease) in sales in March 1925, compared with sales in March 1924:
6.0
9.2
2.6
— 8.3

2.2

Percentage increase(or decrease) in sales since January 1, 1925, compared with the corresponding three months
of 1924:
2.7
— 14.6
— 2. 2
— 6.1
6.0
— 0.6
Percentage increase
— 6.2(10)

(or decrease) in stocks on March 31, 1925, compared with February 28, 1925:
0.4(8)
— 2.3(6)
— 1.7(6) 1.4(3)
..........

Percentage increase
14.2(10)

(or decrease) in stocks on March 31, 1925, compared with March 31, 1924:
— 22.2(8)
— 16.2(6)
— 2.6(6)
— 0.5(3) .........

— Denotes decreased percentage.
NO TE: The number of firms reporting stock figures for the dates compared is shown immediately after the
percentage figure.

One hundred and eight wholesale firms reported on March sales, representing groceries, dry goods,
shoes, hardware, furniture and drugs. Increased sales in March in comparison with March 1924 were shown
in groceries, dry goods, shoes, hardware and drugs, furniture showing the only decline. March sales also
exceeded February sales in all lines except furniture, the greater number of business days in March probably
accounting for most of the increases. Cumulative sales from January 1, 1925, through March 31st exceeded
cumulative sales during the first three months of 1924 in groceries and furniture, but were less in dry goods,
shoes, hardware and drugs.
Stocks carried by the reporting wholesalers were greater in dry goods and furniture at the end of March
than at the end of February this year, but were less in grocery, shoe and hardware lines. In comparison
with stocks on hand March 3 1, 1924, stocks on March 31st this year were less in every line reported upon
except groceries.
Collections continue slow, but apparently there was a slight improvement during March. Ninety-five
firms classified their collections as Good, Fair, Slow or Poor, and of these 73.7 per cent were listed as either
Good or Fair in comparison with 72.2 per cent so classified for February 1925 and 75.8 per cent for March
1924. The classifications made by the reporting firms for March 1925 and March 1924 were as follows,
exactly the same firms being included both years:

Lines
Groceries........................
Dry Goods .....................
Shoes _______________
Hardware ___________
Furniture ___________
Drugs .............................
March Totals ................
February Totals ___ ..
January T o ta ls_______




March Collections Reported As
Slow
Poor

Good

Fair

1925-1924
6
7
0
1
0
0
1
3
1
1
4
4
12
16
12
24
22
16

1925-1924

1925-1924

23

9
4
6
3
2
0
24

11
5
9
2
8
58
53
54

25
7

5
7
3
9
56
52
55

25

20

(Compiled April 20, 1925)

7

5
7
4

3
1
0
20
12 16

1925-1924
0
1

0
0
0
0
1
1
0

3

0
2
0
0
0
3

2

0

Total
1925-1924

38
is
11

38
15
11

13

13

5

5

13

13

95
90
93

95
90
93

BUSINESS CONDITION IN THE UNITED STATES.
Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board

Production in basic industries was smaller in March than in the
two preceding months, but was as large as at any time in 1924.
Distribution o f merchandise both at retail and wholesale Was in
greater volume than a year ago. Wholesale prices, after increasing
since the middle o f 1924, remained in March at about the same
level as in February.

Index of 22 basic commodities corrected for seasonal variation (1919=100).
Latest figure-March 120.

PRODUCTION. The Federal Reserve B oa rds index o f pro­
duction in basic industries declined in March to a level 5 per cent
below the high point reached in January. Iron and steel production
and cotton consumption showed less than the usual seasonal increase
during March and activity in the woolen industry declined. There
was a further decrease in the output o f bituminous coal. Increased
activity in the automobile industry was reflected in larger output,
employment, and payrolls. In general, factory employment and pay­
rolls increased during the month.
Value o f building contracts
awarded in March was the largest on record, notwithstanding the
recent considerable reduction in awards in New York City.
TRADE. Wholesale trade in all principal lines increased in
March and the total was larger than a year ago. Sales at depart­
ment stores and by mail order houses increased less than is usual
at this time o f the year. Stocks o f shoes and groceries carried by
wholesale dealers were smaller at the end o f March than a month
earlier, and stocks o f dry goods, shoes, and hardware were smaller
than last year. Stocks o f merchandise at department stores showed
more than the usual seasonal increase and were somewhat larger
than last year.
PRICES. Wholesale prices of most groups of commodities in­
cluded in the index o f the Bureau o f Labor Statistics declined some­
what in March, but owing to an advance o f fo o d prices, particularly
o f meats, the general level o f prices remained practically unchanged.
Prices of many basic commodities, however, were lower at the mid­
dle o f April than a month earlier.

Weekly figures for 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Latest figures-April 22nd.

BANK CREDIT. Volume o f loans and investments at member
banks in principal cities continued at a high level during the fiveweek period ending on April 15. Total loans declined, reflecting
chiefly a reduction in loans on stocks and bonds, and also some
decrease in loans fo r commercial purposes. Investment holdings,
which early in March had been nearly $300,000,000 below the high
point of last autumn, increased by the middle of April by about half
this amount. Demand deposits, after declining rapidly between the
middle o f January and March 25, increased during the follow ing
weeks, but on April 15 were still $633,000,000 below the maximum
reached in January.
A t the reserve banks the volume of earning assets on April 22
was about $75,000,000 below the high point at the end o f February,
but continued above the level o f a year ago. Discounts fo r member
banks were about twice as large in April as at the exceptionally
low point in the middle o f January, while total United States se­
curities and acceptances held were in smaller volume than at any
time during the year.

1922

1923

1924-

Weekly figures for Member Banks in 101 leading cities.
April 15th.




1925
Latest figures-

Somewhat easier money conditions in April were indicated by
a decline of one-eighth o f one per cent in the open-market rate on
90-day acceptances to 3% per cent and by sales of prime commercial
paper at below 4 per cent.

8

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