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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL

RESERVE AGENT

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA_______________________________________________ APRIL 30, 1934
H E volume of business in the
employed persons increased sharply in
the district, the abandonment of CWA
Fifth Federal reserve district in
projects releasing many more workers
March and early April was above sea­
than private business and industry
sonal levels in most lines, and was in
could absorb. Coal production in
marked contrast to trade a year earlier
March showed an unseasonal increase
when the banking holiday and frozen
over February production, and was
funds in closed banks restricted nearly
more than 60 per cent above produc­
all business. The outstanding feature
tion in March last year. Textile mills
of the past month was the splendid
in the Carolinas and Virginia increased
record of retail trade in March, as re­
operations somewhat in March over
flected in department store sales.
February, but did not quite attain the
Thirty of the Fifth district’s leading
level of March last year. Spot cotton
stores averaged 51.8 per cent larger
prices sagged slightly between the mid­
sales than in March 1933, and also
dle of March and the middle of April,
showed a gain of 8.3 per cent over
but domestic consumption of cotton
sales in March 1932, when there were
and exports exceeded the March 1933
no banking disturbances as in 1933.
Sales in the thirty stores in the first quarter of 1934 figures. Tobacco markets sold much more tobacco in
averaged 27.1 per cent above sales in the first quarter March than in March last year, and prices were also
of 1933. There were no striking developments in better. Season sales of tobacco, which were completed
banking circles during the past month. Rediscounts last month except on a few markets in Virginia, were
for member banks at the Federal Reserve Bank of far above sales in 1932-1933, and average prices this
Richmond declined further, and the outstanding circu­ season were also materially better for the types com­
lation of Federal reserve notes showed a seasonal de­ posing the bulk of the Fifth district crop. Construction
crease. Member bank reserve deposits at the Rich­ work provided for in March 1934 in permits issued in
mond bank rose to more than $150,000,000 at the mid­ leading cities and in contracts awarded for both rural
dle of April from $100,000,000 on March 15, but most and urban projects continued in relatively small volume,
of the increase was due to a few large city institutions. but was considerably ahead of the March 1933 figures.
Member banks reported moderate increases in their de­ Wholesale trade last month not only made seasonal
posits between March 14 and April 11, and a decrease gains over February business, but far exceeded the vol­
in their investments in securities. Debits to individual ume of business done in March last year. Agricultural
account figures for four weeks ended April 11 showed work for this season was delayed because of inclement
a seasonal increase of 5.2 per cent over debits in the weather, but the soil is full of moisture and farmers
four preceding weeks ended March 14, and also a gain are in position to give their crops better attention than
of 14.6 per cent over debits in four weeks ended April last year, and therefore prospects for this year’s farm­
12, 1933. The commercial failure record of the Fifth ing are probably about normal.
district for March showed declines of 40.5 per cent in
number of bankruptcies and 42.4 per cent in liabilities Reserve Bank Statement
involved in comparison with corresponding figures for
March 1933, and cumulative figures for the first quarter
The principal items of condition on the statement of
of the year showed the best record since 1920. Employ­ the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond are shown in
ment conditions in private industry improved to some the accompanying table for April 15 and March 15,
extent during the past month, but the number of un­ this year, and April 15 last year. During the past




MONTHLY REVIEW

2

000 omitted
ITEMS

April 15
1934

Mar. 15
1934

April 15
1933

Rediscounts held __________ $ 1,680 $ 1,919 $ 21,946
Open market paper_________
532
1,193
5,260
93,563
Government securities ______
93,563
48,149
Total earning assets----------95,775
96,675
75,355
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 144,737 147,694
177.182
Members* reserve deposits____ 150,847 100,660
56,429
Cash reserves_____________ 216,734 I 166,339 j 179,556
1
Reserve ra tio _____-_______
70.93 | 65.30 |j 70.63
i
'

month, rediscounts for member banks declined $239,000, and the portfolio of open market paper declined
$661,000, these two changes giving a net decrease of
$900,000 in total earning assets. No change occurred
during the month in ownership of Government securi­
ties, which at this time compose nearly all of the Bank’s
earning assets. Between March 15 and April IS there
was a seasonal decline in circulation of Federal reserve
notes amounting to $2,957,000. Member banks further
increased their reserve balance at the reserve bank dur­
ing the past month, this item rising $50,187,000 and
reaching the unusually high total of $150,847,000 at the
middle of April, probably more than double the legal
requirements. The several changes in the statement
raised the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond by $50,395,000 between the middle of
March and the middlei of April, and also raised the
ratio of reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined
by 5.63 points.
Comparison of April 15,1934, figures with those for
April 15, 1933, shows material changes in nearly all
items during the year, part of which is due to the un­
usual conditions existing last year as a result of the
banking troubles. During the year rediscounts for
member banks declined by $20,266,000, and the port­
folio of open market paper dropped $4,728,000. On
the other hand, the Bank increased its holdings of Gov­
ernment securities by $45,414,000. These changes
brought a net increase in total earning assets amount­
ing to $20,420,000 between April 15 last year and this.
There was a decrease of $32,445,000 during the year in
Federal reserve note circulation, representing retire­
ment of a large volume of notes which member banks
held a year ago as a precaution against unusual de­
mands from depositors after the banking holiday. Mem­
ber bank reserve deposits at the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond nearly tripled during the year, rising by
$94,418,000. The Bank’s cash reserves increased $37,178,000 between April 15, 1933, and April 15, 1934,
but the ratio! of reserves to note and deposit liabilities
combined rose only a fraction of a point.

Statement of 28 Member Banks
The figures in the accompanying table are totals of
the principal items of condition as of three mid-week
dates for twenty-eight member banks in the Fifth
Federal reserve district. April 11, 1934, figures are
compared with those of March 14, 1934, and April 12,




ITEMS

000 omitted
April 11 Mar. 14 April 12
1934
1934
1933

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) _____ $ 57,350 $ 59,593 $ 60,757
All other loans._____________ 112,980 112,284 113,292
Total loans and discounts . 170,330 171,877 174,049
Investments in securities_____
171,128 180,431
139,220
Reserve Bal. with F. R. Bank....
34,611
40,500
22,892
Cash in vaults_____________
11,291
11,443
10,406
Demand deposits ___________ 203,965 203,215 167,901
Time deposits-------------------- 133,958 132,759 126,939
Borrowed from F. R. Bank._
_
0
0
810

i 1933, thus affording opportunity for study of the
| changes during the past month and the past year.
Between March 14 and April 11, both this year, loans
| and discounts decreased $1,547,000. Loans on stocks
j and bonds declined by $2,243,000, but there was an
| increase of $696,000 in all other loans. Investments in
j securities decreased during the month by $9,303,000,
| while the reporting banks increased their reserve bal­
ance at the reserve bank by $5,889,000. Cash in vaults
changed little, declining by $152,000. Deposits rose be­
tween March 14 and April 11, demand deposits increas­
ing $750,000 and time deposits rising $1,199,000. None
of the twenty-eight reporting banks were borrowing
from the reserve bank on either April 11 or March 14.
Total loans and discounts declined $3,719,000 in the
reporting banks during the past year, of which $3,407,000 was in loans on stocks and bonds and $312,000 was
| in all other loans. On the other hand, the twenty! eight banks increased their investments in securities by
! $31,908,000 between April 12,1933, and April 11,1934,
| and their aggregate reserve balance at the reserve bank
j rose by $17,608,000 during the same period. Cash in
vaults rose $885,000 during the year. Deposits in­
creased by $43,083,000 between the middle of April
last year and this, of which $36,064,000 was in demand
deposits and $7,019,000 was in time deposits. None of
the reporting banks were borrowing at the reserve bank
in April 1934, but four of them were borrowing $810,000 on April 12,1933.

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in twenty-eight reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings
banks in Baltimore totaled $323,251,943 at the end of
March 1934, a higher figure than $320,697,855 reported
at the end of February this year, but a lower figure
than $324,971,559 at the end of March last year. Both
the reporting member banks and the savings banks
gained in deposits during the past month, but the sav­
ings banks reported a lower total than at the end of
March 1933.

MONTHLY REVIEW

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total Debits, four weeks ended
March 14,
April 12,
April 11,
1933
1934
1934

Asheville, N. C ____
Baltimore, (Md._____
Charleston, S. C.___
Charleston, W. Va.....
Charlotte, N. C.____
Columbia, S. C._____
Cumberland, Md.......
Danville, Va. ______
Durham, N. fC._____
Greensboro, N. C.___
Greenville, S. C.____
Hagerstown, M d .__
Huntington, W. Va__
Lynchburg, Va. ____
Newport News, Va.....
Norfolk, Va.............
Portsmouth, Va....... .
Raleigh, N. C.-------Richmond, Va. *
____
Roanoke, V a.______
Washington, D. C.__
Wilmington, N. C.__
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 8,658
243,493
10,539
33,667
45,720
14,859
5,054
4,508
18,989
9,590
12,988
5,429
10,362
.12,411
5,670
36,751
2,923
20,821
100,967
16,729
164,922
8,269
26,325

$ 7,347
232,802
9,993
35,045
39,641
14,860
4,919
4,769
19,567
8,453
13,628
4,626
10,262
12,509
33,266
52,749
15,146
102,878
17,094
151,922
6,799
25,049

$ 7,294
221,467
7,122
28,558
31,893
* 3,235
4,807
3,976
15.054
2,510
6,522
3,303
9,640
11,087
6,500
31,006
3,079
14,732
89,616
16,603
164,962
4,218
28.055

Fifth District Totals

$819,644

$779,100

$715,239

5,776

♦
Banks open three weeks only in 1933 period.
Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
figures in the table reported for three equal periods of
four weeks by clearing house banks in twenty-three
leading Fifth district cities show a seasonal increase
during the period ended April 11 in comparison with
the figures for four weeks ended March 14, owing to
quarterly payments on April 1. Aggregate debits in
the reporting cities totaled $819,644,000 during the four
weeks ended April 11, an increase of $40,544,000, or
5.2 per cent, over the total of $779,100,000 reported for
the preceding period this year. Among the twenty-three
reporting cities, fourteen reported higher figures for
the later period while nine reported lower figures.
In comparison with debits reported for four weeks
ended April 12,1933, those reported for the correspond­
ing period this year show an increase of $104,405,000,
or 14.6 per cent, nineteen of the twenty-three cities
showing higher figures for the 1934 period. All of the
five largest cities reported higher figures in 1934 except
Washington, which showed a very small decrease of
2/100th of 1 per cent. Figures in Columbia, S. C., and
Greensboro, N. C., in April 1933 were exceptionally
low, due to late reopening of banks after the holiday
or to restrictions under which some of the banks re­
sumed operations.

Business Failures
Commercial failures in the Fifth Federal reserve dis­
trict and in the United States in March 1934 continued
to show a notable improvement over figures for all
other recent years, according to statistics in Dun &
Bradstreet Monthly Review for April. There were
only 50 insolvencies in the Fifth district in March, a




3

decrease of 40.5 per cent, under 84 failures in March
last year, and last month’s aggregate liabilities totaling
$877,219 showed a decrease of 42.4 per cent in com­
parison with $1,523,870 in March 1933. The United
States had 1,102 bankruptcies and liabilities totaling
$27,227,511 in March this year, decreases of 43.4 per
cent and 43.9 per cent, respectively, in comparison with
1,948 failures and $48,500,212 liabilities in March last
year. Statistics for the first quarter of 1934 shows the
lowest figures for twenty years, except for three post­
war years 1918, 1919 and 1920, when conditions were
very unusual. Bankruptcies in the first three months
of 1934 in the Fifth district totaled only 210, compared
with 421 in 1933 and 541 in 1932, and liabilities this
year totaled $3,492,301 for the quarter, compared with
$14,362,675 last year and $17,166,460 in 1932. A very
unusual feature of the quarterly statistics for both the
Fifth district and the Nation is that the number of in­
solvencies and the aggregate liabilities involved were
lower than the corresponding figures in the last quarter
of 1933.

Employment

The suspension of CWA work increased unemploy­
ment during the past month in the Fifth reserve dis­
trict, relatively few of the workers thus released being
absorbed by private industry. Agricultural work, es­
pecially in the lower half of the district, provided for
some people who have been employed on rural CWA
projects, but city workers on similar jobs as a whole
have not been able to find other employment. Cam­
paigns for crop reduction in certain crops will reduce
the number of laborers needed on farms this year.
Construction work continues at a low level, thereby
prolonging widespread unemployment among building
tradesmen.

Coal Production

Production of bituminous coal in the United States
showed a marked increase in March in comparison with
both February this year and March last year, the in­
crease over February being an unseasonal development.
Tonnage mined in March amounted to 38,392,000 net
tons, an increase of 62 per cent over 23,685,000 tons
mined in March 1933, both months having the same
number of working days. March 1934 production
showed an increase of 20 per cent over February pro­
duction of 31,970,000 tons, but on a daily basis the
March increase was only 6.8 per cent above the Feb­
ruary output. Total production of soft coal during the
present calendar year to April 1 amounted to 103,278,000 net tons, an increase of nearly 33 per cent
over 77,879,000 tons mined to the same date in 1933.
Coal shipped through Hampton Roads ports during the
present calendar year to April 1 totaled 5,109,630 tons,
compared with 4,570,633 tons shipped prior to April
last year and 4,643,835 tons in the corresponding pe­
riod of 1932.

Textiles
Production in the textile industry in the Fifth dis­
trict increased during March, daily consumption of cot-

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

ton by Fifth district mills during the month being about
1 per cent more than daily consumption in February,
but on the other hand the district consumption lacked
1 per cent of equalling consumption in March last year.
Fifth district mills consumed 239,588 bales of cotton
in March 1934, of which North Carolina mills used
126,772 bales, South Carolina mills used 100,825 bales,
and Virginia mills 11,991 bales. In February 1934
Fifth district mills consumed 210,481 bales and in
March 1933 they used 242,009 bales. Consumption in
the Fifth district was 44 per cent of National con­
sumption in both March and February this year, a
materially lower figure than 48.9 per cent used in the
district in March 1933. The lower percentage for the
Fifth district this year is due chiefly to the fact that
mills in the Carolinas and Virginia declined in operatons materially less than mills in some other sections
during the worst years of the depression.
The Bureau of the Census issued a report on March
21 on spindles in place in February, spindles active at
some time during that month, and average hours of
operation per spindle in place. On February 28, 1934,
there were 30,992,496 spindles in place in the United
States, of which 12,558,264, or 40.5 per cent, were in
the Carolinas and Virginia. Active spindles in Febru­
ary totaled 26,355,498 in the United States, of which
11,891,960, or 45.1 per cent, were in the Fifth district.
Active hours of operation per spindle in place aver­
aged 216 hours in the United States in February, but
all three cotton manufacturing states in the Fifth dis­
trict were above the average, South Carolina leading
all states with 290 hours. Virginia averaged 242 hours
of operation per spindle, and North Carolina averaged
222 hours.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices declined further between the mid­
dle of March and the middle of April, continuing the
downward tendency which began at the middle of
February. In our Review last month, we quoted 12.15
cents per pound as the average price paid on March 16
on ten markets for upland, short staple, middling grade
cotton. The price declined to 11.90 cents on March 23,
but then recovered somewhat and advanced to 12.03
cents on March 30 and further to 12.11 cents on April
6. After that date there was a decline to 11.87 cents on
April 13, the latest date for which official figures are
available. On the corresponding date a year ago, April
14,1933, the average price paid on the ten markets was
6.70 cents.
Cotton consumption in the United States in March
1934 totaled 543,690 bales, compared with 477,890 bales
used in February this year and 495,183 bales in March
1933. Total consumption for the eight months of the
present cotton year—August 1 to March 31—amounted
to 3,945,304 bales compared with 3,748,573 bales con­
sumed in the corresponding period ended March 31,
1933. Manufacturing establishments held 1,649,807
bales on March 31, compared with 1,654,369 bales held
on February 28 this year and 1,343,114 bales on March
31, 1933. Public warehouses and compresses held 7,-




852,780 bales in storage at the end of March this year,
compared with 8,638,995 bales so held a month earlier
and 8,901,203 bales on March 31 last year. March
exports totaled 550,104 bales, compared with 628,457
bales sent abroad in February this year and 487,988
bales exported in March last year. Exports during the
eight months of this cotton year totaled 6,098,011 bales,
compared with 6,084,734 bales shipped over seas during
the corresponding eight months ended March 31, 1933.
Spindles active in March numbered 26,503,876,, com­
pared with 26,355,498 in February this year and 23,488,134 in March 1933.
Cotton growing states consumed 429,441 bales in
March 1934, compared with 376,211 bales used in Feb­
ruary and 413,292 bales in March 1933. Last month’s
consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to
79 per cent of National consumption, compared with
83.5 per cent of National consumption used in the cot­
ton growing states in March last year. Of the 429,441
bales of cotton used in cotton growing states in March,
the Fifth district mills consumed 239,588 bales, or 55.8
per cent, compared with 58.6 per cent of Southern con­
sumption attained in the district in March last year.

Tobacco Marketing
Virginia auction tobacco markets sold 10,416,845
pounds of producers’ tobacco in March, at an average
price of $7.42 per hundred, according to warehouse re­
ports to the Commissioner of Agriculture. In March
1933, total sales amounted to oiSy 502,280 pounds at
an average price of $5.48. The flue-cured and burley
markets closed March 2, consequently the sales of both
types were very light. Including March sales of 53,672
pounds, total sales of flue-cured tobacco for the season
amounted to 80,954,143 pounds at an average price of
$16.17 per hundred. During the 1932-1933 season only
42,796,623 pounds were sold, and the average price was
only $8.11 per hundred. Sales for the past season were
the largest since 1930 and the price the highest since
1929. Fire-cured sales during March amounted to 9,955,175 pounds, which is the largest March sales for
this type since 1921. The average price of $7.38 per
hundred showed some improvement over the February
average and was considerably better than the average
of $5.54 in March last year. Markets for this type re­
mained open during April. Total sales of burley to­
bacco for the season amounted to 12,834,240 pounds,
including 58,912 pounds sold in March, and the aver­
age price was $10.61 per hundred. Sales for the 19321933 season amounted to 5,755,418 pounds at an aver­
age price of $14.74. Sun-cured sales during March
amounted to 349,086 pounds at an average price of
$8.59 per hundred pounds. The amount of tobacco
i
sold was somewhat larger than in February, but the
price averaged lower. The average price for the sea­
son to date is the highest since 1929. Warehousemen
estimated that March sales graded 16 per cent good, 36
per cent medium, and 48 per cent common, compared
with a small amount of medium and common grades
sold last year in March.
North Carolina tobacco markets nearly all closed in

MONTHLY REVIEW
February, and the rest in March. Total sales during
the season of 1933-1934 amounted to 516,376,445
pounds—all of flue-cured types except 3,734,847 pounds
of burley tobacco—compared with 283,495,702 pounds
sold in the 1932-1933 season. The average price dur­
ing the past season was $15.93 per hundred pounds,
compared with $11.98 per hundred pounds the preced­
ing year. Among the individual market, Wilson led in
season sales for 1933-1934 with 65,354,715 pounds,
Greenville being a close second with 64,552,038 pounds
and Winston-Salem third with 46,750,308 pounds.
Durham paid the highest average price for the past sea­
son, $18.67 per hundred pounds, Henderson ranking
second with $17.84 per hundred and Mebane, a small
market, third with $17.63.

Agricultural Notes
Agriculture is getting a late start in the Fifth Federal
reserve district this year, due to extremely cold weather
in February and most of March, and to frequent rains
which kept the ground too wet to cultivate during the
entire spring. Last fall winter grains got a relatively
poor start because of a deficiency of moisture in most
of the district, and when that handicap was overcome
the temperatures were so low that grains did not grow
normally. It is too early to estimate probable results
from this year’s fruit trees, but peaches appear to have
been seriously damaged by cold weather. Prospects
for apples are much better than for peaches. Planting
of early truck crops was delayed considerably, and in
the lower half of the district much truck had to be
abandoned or replanted. Cotton planting is under way
in South Carolina, and is reported progressing nicely.
Farmers are in better financial position this year to
make their crops than they were last year, and they
have bought many mules and some new farm machinery
this spring. Fertilizer sales have been good this season.
Although crops are getting a late start, the ground is
full of moisture and there is plenty of time to overcome
the relatively backward conditions of April if favor­
able weather occurs during the balance of the growing
season.

5

Building Permits Issued in March
1934 and 1933
CITIES

Permits Issued
1934
1933

Total Valuation
1934
1933

506
6
12
8
13
17
21
99
6
11
71
25
5
39
9
16
45
23
20
23
9
7
3
7
46
21
28
27
9
21
311

395
5
4
10
19
15
25
89
2
31
70
19
3
78
8
16
14
16
11
32
5
10
6
1
35
20
26
19
8
12
306

$ 618,936 $ 270,240
2,050
820
13,003
10,960
4,435
6,380
28,075
8,425
7,002
19,787
54,683
33,050
74,445
22,735
8,765
540
9,945
8,810
62,071
78,730
7,507
25,937
1,425
6,735
21,116
10,030
3,217
5,785
37,553
3,980
13,085
7,560
19,760
27,176
14,330
42,820
10,495
35,387
4,754
18,300
13,613
1,410
5,960
2,750
3,825
500
16,935
27,958
7,195
231,277
6,182
22,339
7,820
22,995
3,025
6,375
4,885
4,760
455,645
302,940

Totals --------------- 1,464

1,310

$1,857,246 $ 951,982

Baltimore, Md............
Cumberland, Md.........
Frederick, Md............
Hagerstown, Md.........
Salisbury, Md............
Danville, Va..............
Lynchburg, Va...........
Norfolk, Va............—
Petersburg, Va...........
Portsmouth, Va. ___
Richmond, Va............
Roanoke, Va. --------Bluefield, W. Va----Charleston, W. Va.....
Clarksburg, W. Va....
Huntington, W. Va...
Asheville, N. C.____
Charlotte, N. C.-----Durham, N. C..........
Greensboro, N. C.---High Point, N. C —
Raleigh, N. C.-------Rocky Mount, N. C...
Salisbury, N. C.-----Winston-Salem, N. C
Charleston, S. C..... ..
Columbia, S. C.____
Greenville, S. C.-----Rock Hill, S. C .... ..
Spartanburg, S. C.....
Washington, D. C.—

Construction

permits issued in March last year. The improvement
was district wide, twenty-one of the thirty-one cities
reporting a larger number of permits in March 1934
and twenty-five cities reporting higher valuation fig­
ures. Charleston, S. C., made the best record for the
past month, population figures being taken into consid­
eration, due to one large permit for a public works
project. Baltimore, Washington and Richmond re­
ported higher figures for March 1934 than for March
1933, but their figures are still very low for cities in
their population groups.

Building permits issued in thirty-one Fifth district
cities in March 1934 showed some progress from the
very low figures reported for March last year. Last
month 1,464 permits were issued for all dasses of
work, compared with 1,310 permits issued in March
1933, an increase of 11.8 per cent. Total valuation
figures for March 1934 amounted to $1,857,246, an in­
crease of 95.1 per cent over the total of $951,982 for

Contracts actually awarded for construction work
in the Fifth reserve district in March this year totaled
$15,880,592, including both rural and urban projects,
compared with only $4,945,000 in contracts awarded in
March 1933, according to figures collected by the F. W.
Dodge Corporation. Of the March 1934 contracts,
$3,012,127, or 19 per cent, was for residential types of
construction.




MONTHLY REVIEW

6

Retail Trade, 30 Department Stores_________

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

March 1934 sales, compared with sales in March 1933:
+56.5
+57.8
+40.7
+74.2
+51.8
Jan.-Mar. 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Mar. 1933:
+3 62
+28.8
+20.4
+41.0
+27.1
Mar. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Mar. 31, 1933:
+22.0
+27.3
+21.4
+ 4.9
+21.9
March 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 28, 1934:
+10.2
+ 6.0
+ 4.4
+ 5.0
+ 5.7
Number of times stock was turned in March 1934:
.406
.341
.346
.35
.35
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
.953
.783
.839
.802
.824
Percentage of March 1, 1934, receivables collected in March:
31.7
28.7
28.2
30.3
29.0

Retail trade in March as reflected in sales by thirty
department stores in the Fifth reserve district was 51.8
per cent above the trade of March 1933, and was 8.3
per cent more than in March 1932, which is probably a
better comparison because the 1933 figures were held
down by the banking holiday and the late date of
Easter. Total sales in the thirty reporting stores in the
first quarter of 1934 were 27.1 per cent larger than
sales in the first quarter of 1933.
Stocks in the reporting stores increased seasonally
during March, rising by 5.7 per cent over those on hand




at the end of February, and on March 31 this year
stocks averaged 21.9 per cent above stocks on hand a
year earlier. The reporting stores turned their stocks
an average of .35 times during March, and between
January 1 and March 31 stocks were turned .824 times,
both of these averages being higher than those for the
corresponding periods in 1933.
The percentage of collections in March 1933 to total
accounts receivable on March 1 was much higher than
the percentage for March 1933, owing to the banking
holiday last year which tied up funds and prevented
prompt payment of current accounts.

Wholesale Trade, 58 Firms________________
21 #

7

Groceries Dry Goods

6

Shoes

13

Hardware

11

Drugs

March 1934 sales, compared' with sales in March 1933:
+33.6
+90.9
+822
+61.2
+37.6
March 1934 sales, compared with sales in February 1934:
+10.3
+ 6.2
+46.3
+16.2
+13.7
Jan.-Mar. 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Mar. 1933:
+31.8
+89.4
+67.4
+66.1
+24.1
Mar. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Mar. 31, 1933:
+25.0(8*) +1132(3*) +29.5(4*) +19.7(7*)
Mar. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 28, 1934:
+ 7.3(8*) +11.8(3*) + 1.6(4*) + 2.0(7*)
Percentage of March 1, 1934, receivables collected in March:
78.4(12*) 39.7(4*)
56.5(6*)
42.3(11*) 62.7(7*)
♦Number of reporting firing

(Compiled April 21,1934)

MONTHLY REVIEW

7

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
(Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board)

Volume of industrial production increased further in
March and there was considerable growth in factory
employment and payrolls. The general level of com­
modity prices showed little change between the middle
of March and the middle of April but in the third
week of April there was a sharp decline in grain prices.

Production and Employment
Output of manufactures and minerals, as measured
by the Federal Reserve Board’s seasonally adjusted
index of industrial production, advanced from 81 per
cent of the 1923-1925 average in February to 84 per
cent in March. This advance reflected chiefly increases
of more than the usual seasonal amount in the output
of steel, automobiles, and lumber and an increase con­
trary to seasonal tendency in the output of coal. Pro­
duction of textiles showed little change in volume on a
daily average basis. In the early part of April, activity
at steel mills and automobile factories increased further,
according to trade reports, while coal production de­
clined by a more than seasonal amount.
Volume of employment at factories increased fur­
ther between the middle of February and the middle
of March by about 4 per cent, an amount larger than is
usual at this season. Employment on the railroads and
at mines also showed an increase. The number on the
payrolls of the Civil Works Administration was re­
duced from about 3,700,000 in the middle of February
to about 2,400,000 in the middle of March and 1,900,000
at the end of the month.
The value of construction contracts awarded in
March, as reported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation,
showed a considerable increase from the low level of
February, followed, in the first half of April, by a
decline. For the first quarter as a whole, the value
of contracts was somewhat smaller than in the last
quarter of 1933; publicly-financed projects continued to
make up about three-fourths of the total.

Distribution
Volume of freight-car loadings showed a further in­
crease in March, reflecting chiefly seasonal increases in
shipments of merchandise and miscellaneous freight
and a continued large volume of coal shipments, which
usually decline in March. In the early part of April,




total car loadings showed a decline, reflecting a sharp
reduction in coal shipments. Dollar volume of trade at
department stores increased in March by considerably
more than the estimated seasonal amount, after allow­
ance for the early date of Easter this year.

Prices
The general level of wholesale commodity prices, as
measured by the index of the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics, was 73.3 per cent of the 1926 average in the week
ending April 14 as compared with 73.8 per cent in the
week ending March 10. During this period prices of
steel, copper, and automobiles advanced, while prices of
farm products decreased somewhat. In the third week
of April, wheat prices declined sharply and there were
also declines in the prices of other grains, cotton and
silver.

Bank Credit
During the four weeks ending April 18 member bank
reserve balances increased by $220,000,000, raising the
volume of reserves in excess of legal requirements to
$1,600,000,000. This increase reflected a growth of
$105,000,000 in the monetary gold stock and further
disbursements by the Treasury of funds from its cash
holdings and its deposits with the reserve banks.
At reporting member banks in leading cities an in­
crease of $400,000,000 in net demand and time deposits
for the four-week period ending April 11 reflected
chiefly the deposit by the public of funds disbursed by
the Treasury, as well as a growth in bankers’ balances.
Government deposits were reduced by about $200,000,000. Holdings by these banks of securities, other than
United States Government obligations, increased by
$64,000,000, and their loans both on securities and all
other also increased slightly, with the consequence that
total loans and investments showed a growth of $100,000,000 for the period.
Money rates in the open market declined further in
April. Rates on prime 4-6 month commercial paper
were reduced from a range of 1—1 1/4 per cent to 1
per cent, and rates on 90-day acceptances were reduced
from 1/4 per cent to a range of 1/8—1/4 per cent.
Yields on Government securities also declined.