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H M IT H L I
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND
R IC H M O N D 13, V IR G IN IA

APRIL 3D, 1 9 4 9

Business Conditions
U SIN ESS conditions in the Fifth Federal Re­
serve District during March, as measured by the
available seasonally adjusted statistics, showed no unan­
imity of movement; some rose, some fell, and some
were unchanged, but the underlying situation, based on
employment trends, weakened further. Total building
contract awards in March rose 1 per cent more than
seasonal from February, but residential awards failed to
rise by seasonal proportions and the adjusted index fell
17 per cent in the same period. Total awards in March,
however, were 19 per cent below a year ago, while resi­
dential awards were down 21 per cent. Coal production
fell 43 per cent from February to March, mainly because
of the work holiday. Cigarette production, adjusted,
gained 12 per cent over February and was 2 per cent
above last year. Cotton consumption held at February
levels after seasonal adjustment, but was 16 per cent
under a year ago. Seasonally adjusted spindle hours
operated, however, decreased 2 per cent from February
and were also 16 per cent below a year ago. Department
store sales did not rise by seasonal proportions from
February to March, and the adjusted index fell 3 per
cent to a level 4 per cent under March, 1948. Adjusted
life insurance sales gained 5 per cent from February to
March, in which month sales exceeded those o f a year
ago by 4 per cent. There were gains and losses in whole­
salers’ adjusted sales from February to March, but all
lines showed smaller sales than a year ago except gro­
ceries, which were at the same level.

B

Textiles
The outstanding development in this District has been
the very substantial curtailment at cotton and rayon mills
which got under way toward the end of March and
gained momentum in April. There had been a consider­
able amount of loom shifting in the cotton-goods indus­
try from one construction to another during February
and March, but steady erosion of the price structure
prevailed throughout this period. When it became obvi­
ous that no price above the cost of production would in­
duce a better volume of business, mills began curtailing
and the process is still under way. About the only prod­
uct in which anyhing resembling volume is still attain­
able is the 80 square print cloths. Some mills continue
to operate five days a week on three shifts, but many
have dropped to four days, and a few are down to three
days. In some cases third shifts have been eliminated
or materially reduced.



INDEXES OF DEPARTMENT STORE SALES

FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

(1942-100)

200
K

jJ

iu/ i V \
i

-V|

|'

J
n

1

¥

I

ry
CHILDREN'S ANC)WON lEN’ H0SIE:
S
i
i
i
1
___ 1

50
250

L
\
\

n j

I
r v

1

u

¥
r

r*
J
WO MEN’> AND MISSIES’DIRESSE■S
i
_
. 1 __ i

The effects o f these curtailments, which mainly con­
cern the Carolinas, can be seen in the seasonally adjusted
sales of department stores and the sales of Series E sav­
ings bonds as follow s:
M A R CH — P E R C E N T C H AN GE FR O M Y E A R AGO
Departm ent
S tore
______Sales
Maryland
D istrict o f Columbia
V irginia
W est V irginia
N orth Carolina
South Carolina

— 3.6

+ 6.6

2.2
+ 1.3
— 15.9
— 15.5
—

Series E
Savings Bond
Sales______
+
+
+
+
—
—

16.3
4.8
4.6
15.2
4.0
2.4

Unlike the cotton textile producers, who have cut
prices drastically before curtailing, the rayon yarn pro­
ducers are leaving their price structur basically intact
except for competitive adjustments, and are meeting the
slack in demand by curtailment of operations. March
shipments o f the industry dropped 29 per cent from a
year earlier, bringing the first quarter 13 per cent under
last year. Staple fiber production is being cut most, with
acetate filament next. Viscose filament yarn producers
in April were scheduled to operate at 81 per cent of ca­
pacity and staple fiber at 50 per cent. It is probable that
acetate output is off about one-third. Quite a number of
rayon weaving mills in this area are now operating on a
short week for the first time in their history. Some mills
which had been running six days, three shifts, have cut
to five days, three shifts; some which had been running
five days, three shifts, have cut to four days, three shifts;
and there are a few mills on a three-day, three-shift basis.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

Unless the inventories of both cottons and rayons in
the intermediate stages of production are very much
higher than the market assumes, it is fairly safe to pre­
dict that the supply, cut back as it now stands, will bring
a supply-demand balance in a very few months. With the
price situation as it was late in April, it is also becoming
increasingly obvious that there will be no further de­
clines of consequence in gray cotton goods until a lower
price of raw cotton occurs, or until lower cost resulting
from greater labor efficiency can be passed on.
H osiery
There is a perceptible improvement of late in the hos­
iery business but this has been centered mainly in 51
guage, 15 denier women’s full fashioned; other types of
hosiery have not done as well. In the men’s hosiery in­
dustry around Hickory, North Carolina, according to
the Daily News Record, about half of the small mills
are shut down, while the larger mills are operating at
about three-fourths of capacity, and none of the mills in
this area has written any fall business to speak of. In the
High Point, North Carolina, area the Daily News Record
reports men’s hosiery mills are averaging about 60 per
cent of normal capacity with some mills running 75 per
cent and others 50 per cent.

Sales of women’s hosiery in department stores in the
nation in February were 8 per cent lower than a year a g o;
in the Fifth District the decrease was 7 per cent. The
iatest figures for the industry are for February, which
show mill shipments 13.6 per cent below a year earlier,
with women’s full-fashioned down 5.5 per cent; total
women’s down 10.2 per cent; men’s half hose and slack
socks down 15.6 per cent; crew and athletic socks down
14.5 per cent; bundle goods down 7.8 per cent; children’s
and infants’ hose down 16.7 per cent; and anklets down
16.0 per cent.
Lumber
There has been some improvement in the demand for
lumber from the mills of this area, but it is no more than
seasonal. New orders for the large mills have been run­
ning moderately ahead of shipments and prices have
temporarily stabilized, but employment trends are down
because many small mills are closing down. With new
residential construction commitments running under
those of a year ago in both the District and the nation
there is a strong feeling in the consuming industries that
by summer real price weakness in lumber will be seen.
This outlook is primarily responsible for the conserva­
tive inventory policy being exercised by retail yards.
Continued on page 7

BUSINESS IN D E X E S —F IF T H F E D E R A L R E S E R V E D IS T R IC T
A V E R A G E D A IL Y , 1935-39=100^-SEASON ALLY A D JU STE D
Mar.
1949
Automobile Registration 1.............................................
Bank Debits.......................- .............................................
Bituminous Coal Production.........................................
Building Contracts Awarded.......................................
Commercial Construction Contracts..........................
Manufacturing Construction Contracts.....................
Public Works and Utilities Contracts ....................
Residential Construction Contracts...........................
Apartments and Hotels..................................................
One and Two Family Houses......................................
Building Permits Issued................................................
Business Failures _ No................................................
—
Cigarette Production......................................................
Cotton Consumption.......................................................
Cotton Spindle Hours....................................................
Department Store Sales 3..............................................
Department Store Stocks.............................................
Electric Power Production...........................................
Employment — Mtg. Industries 1...............................
Furniture Orders 3.... .................. ...................................
Furniture Shipments 3.....................................................
Furniture Unfilled Orders 3.........................................
Furniture Sales — Retail...........................................
Gasoline Consumption....................................................
Life Insurance Sales.......................................................
Wholesale Trade:
Automotive Supplies 2...............................................
Drugs...............................................................................
Dry Goods 3..................................................................
Electrical Goods 1........................................................
2
Groceries................................................................... .....
Hardware.......................................................................
Industrial Supplies 2............................ ......................
Paper and Its Products 2...........................................
Tobacco and Its Products 2...................................... .
1 Not seasonally adjusted.
1938-41=100.
8 Revised Series—back figures available on request.

Mar.
1948

256

117
329
148
260
348
188
259
277
308
248
237
45
227r
128
130
299
304r
270
128
209
217
444
264
.....
243

134
318
152
236
437
171
208
250
188
281
232
43
214
126
127
301
316
267
129
204
199
488
271
197
226

140
320
92
326
304
498
316
290
173
378
274
61
248
153
152
303
340
265
136
354
295
784
265
179
246

— 13
+
1
— 43
+
1
— 1
+ 52
— 15
— 17
— 10
+
6
— 6
+124
+ 12
0
— 2
— 3
4- 4
+
1
— 1
+
2
+
9
— 9
— 5
+ 2
4- 5

+
+
—
—
+
—
—
—
+
—
—
+
+
—
—
—
—
+
—
—
—
—
4+

283
256
151
71
247
133
279
134
84

265
259
157
84
236
127
394
132
96

280
267
114
96
241
145
399
134
97

341
265
196
83
247
140
317
155
87

4- 7
— 1
— 4
- 15
4" 5
+
5
— 29
4- 2
— 13

— 17
— 3
— 23
— 14
0
— 5
— 12
— 14
— 3

......
250

2




% Change— Latest Mo.
Previous
Year
Month_________Ago

Jan.
1949

332
85
263
346
286
219
230
278
263
222
101
254
128
128
290
315

r2 1

Feb.
1949

9
4
8
19
14
43
31
21
61
30
19
66
2
16
16
4
7
7
4
33
24
41
6
11
4

APRIL 1949

MONTHLY REVIEW

Competition and Business Failures
The chart presented below for business failures
shows clearly one of the interesting consequences of
the sellers’ market and the inflationary conditions that
have characterized a good part of the post-war period.
Whereas almost 15,000 business firms failed in the
United States during 1939, in 1947 only about 3,500
failures were recorded, and in 1948 the number had
increased to less than 5,300.* The latter figure is over
six times as large as the record low recorded in 1945,
but it constituted a rate of failure o f only about 20
per 10,000 active businesses, considerably under the
monthly average of 54 in 1939 and 63 in 1940. This
has been a unique experience in relation to the results
of competition during periods of high business activity
in the past. Equally unique has been the rate of entry
into the economy since 1944 of new business enter­
prises. The Department of Commerce has estimated
that following the end of the war the annual rate of
entry o f new businesses during the last half of 1945
ran about 152 for every thousand firms in operation.
This was well above the pre-war high of 135 in 1941,
but in the first six months of 1946 the rate of entry
climbed to around 227 per 1,000 firms in operation at
the beginning of that year. According to Dun and
Bradstreet the 1,855,000 commercial and industrial bus­
inesses listed by them in 1944 had increased by the end
of 1948 to a record number of 2,640,000.
This tremendous influx2 o f new business enterprises
has a direct bearing on the rate o f failures in a number
of ways. In the first place, many of the new entre­
preneurs were without previous experience on the poli­
cy-making level, and many of them had had only a
limited training in the financial, operating, and distri­
bution problems of management. It might be pointed
out also that this has swelled very considerably the total
number of managements that are without “ hard times”
experience. Secondly, it is probable that many of these
business starts were made with insufficient capital for
any conditions other than the abnormally high level of
business activity and the sellers’ market characteristic
of the first phase of the post-war period. Thus, there
is ordinarily a direct relation between the influx of new
businesses and failure rates by reason of the heavy
mortality generally experienced among infant concerns.
For example, it has been reported that enterprises born
since the war made up 61 per cent of the 1948 failures
in the United States and that 21 per cent were busi­
nesses begun during the war years. (W all Street Jour­
nal, February 25, 1949.) Similarly, New York credit
men have pointed out that more than 75 per cent of
xThe source o f the failu re data used in these notes Is D un1 Statis­
8
tical R eview , published m onthly by Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. A failure
is defined as a concern which is involved in a court proceeding or a
voluntary action which is likely to end in loss to creditors.
2F or the reasons behind the unprecedented rate o f establishm ent o f
new concerns, see “ The Postw ar Business P opulation ,’ S urvey o f Cur­
ren t B usiness (U . S. D epartm ent o f C om m erce), January, 1947.




the failures last year were among companies that were
organized in the last five or six years and that com­
paratively few were among old line or long-established
firms. (New York Times, January 30, 1949.)
It has been held that one of the factors operating
during the post-war period to keep the number of busi­
ness failures at such low levels has been the steady rise
in the value of inventories. Thus, fundamental weak­
nesses of many concerns have been concealed and tem­
porarily bolstered, and a large number of businesses
have survived “ only on the strength of inflation.” (Mr.
M. T. Harl, Report o f the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation to insured banks, October 3, 1948.) In
view, then, o f the factors stated in the preceding para­
graph it is only to be expected that business failures
will increase from the abnormally low levels of the war
years and of the first three years of the post-war period.
However, it is likely that what would otherwise be a
“ normal” rate of increase will be accelerated by the
conditions of a changing business environment, namely,
the tightening strife of greater competition and de­
clining prices, that mark a new phase of the post-war
period.
Bankers in particular are studying the data on busi­
ness failures in view of the evidence that began to
accumulate toward the end of 1948 indicating that the
inflationary boom had peaked and that 1949 would be
a period of adjustment to more highly competitive busi­
ness conditions. It has been found that although the
number of failures in the Fifth Federal Reserve Dis­
trict declined slightly more from 1939 to 1945 than
was the experience in the country as a whole (96.3 per
cent as against 94.5 per cent), the percentage increase
from 1945 through 1948 was very much greater in this
District than it was in the United States (852 per cent
as against 548 per cent). Nevertheless, in comparison
with 1939 the number of failures in this District during
the post-war period has been running lower than the
comparable figure for the nation. This is shown in the
following chart. As a consequence of the higher rate
of casualties in the Fifth District during this period, it
will be noticed that the spread in favor o f this District
has been narrowing to the disappearing point. Thus,
the 200 failures reported in this District last year
amounted to 34.8 per cent of the number in 1939, while
the 14,768 throughout the United States was 35.6 per
cent of the 1939 total.
The other side of the picture, the current liabilities
involved in failures, presents a much different compari­
son. As in the case o f number of failures, the per­
centage decline in the amount of liabilities involved was
greater in the District from 1939 to the low point of
the war period than it was in the United States.3 Dur3The term “ liabilities” is used herein to m ean current liabilities
inasmuch as it is the latter that are reported by Dun & B radstreet, Inc.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

1939 total. Even with such an adjustment, however,
the average amount of liabilities per failure in the
United States in 1948 would be well over double the
1939 figure. Actually, the average current liabilities of
failures per firm were about $59,000 in 1948 as com­
pared with about $15,000 in 1939. This reflects the
larger scale of operations and the higher prices of the
later year, but the increase is a result also of a shift in
the composition of total failures, as explained in the
following section.

ing the post-war period, however, the rate of growth in
liabilities of business failures in the United States has
far outstripped the rate of increase in the Fifth Dis­
trict. In fact, although the number o f failures in both
the United States and in the District in 1948 was only
a little more than one-third of the 1939 totals, the
amount o f liabilities involved in the United States fail­
ures was 1.7 times the amount in 1939, while in the
District it was only about three-fourths of the earlier
figure. The $310.6 million of liabilities connected with
failures throughout the country in 1948 was the largest
volume since 1935. In October, 1948, for example,
liabilities amounted to $101 million, the highest volume
on record except for April 1932. This was due to a
failure of a transportation company with liabilities of
$75 million, but even if this faialure is excluded, lia­
bilities that month were larger than in any October
since 1935.
CURRENT LIABILITIES OF BUSINESS FAILURES
UNITED STATES AND FIFTH DISTRICT

1939

1940

1
941

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

1948

The relatively high level o f liabilities is, of course,
accounted for to a considerable extent by the much
higher prices at which debts were incurred during 1948.
If a rough allowance is made for the rise in prices, the
amount of liabilities, so adjusted, of failures in the
country in 1948 would be 10-20 per cent less than the




Failures by Industrial Groups
Prior to the war less than 20 per cent of business
failures in the United States was accounted for by
manufacturing enterprises; in 1946 the proportion was
41 per cent, and for the first time in our history the
number of failures in this field exceeded the number
in retail trade. This situation prevailed through the
first half o f 1947, but since then the percentage of total
failures occurring in retail activity has again exceeded
the percentage accounted for by manufacturing. The
proportion accounted for by the latter in 1948 (28 per
cent), however, was still well in excess o f the pre-war
figure. The significance of the greater prevalence of
manufacturing failures to total liabilities and to aver­
age liabilities per failure lies in the fact that the capital
requirements in manufacturing are, on the whole, con­
siderably larger than they are in the other industry
groups as a whole. Thus average liabilities of failures
in maanufacturing have been consistently larger than
the average for all industries together, and when, as
during the post-war period, the number o f manufac­
turing failures is relatively very large, the effect is to
increase the amount o f liabilities for all industries as a
whole well out of proportion to the increase in the total
number o f failures.
In the Fifth District the distribution o f failures in
1948 followed a pattern that has always differed con­
siderably from that of the United States. That is, the
percentage of total failures occurring in manufacturing
was less than that for the United States while the per­
centage accounted for by retail failures was higher
than the national figure. Thus, the number of failures
in this District is relatively low in the manufacturing
field in which liabilities per firm run very large and
high in retail activity where liabilities per failure are
generally the lowest among the various industrial
groups. Accordingly, the rate o f growth of liabilities,
as shown in the curve of liabilities of failures in the
preceding chart, has been slower for the Fifth District
than it has been for the United States during the post­
war period. The number o f manufacturing failures has
increased, of course, in the District, but the rate of in­
crease was less than that for the United States. Thus,
in 1939 manufacturing failures in the District amounted
to 3.5 per cent of the total of such failures in the coun­
try ; in 1948 the proportion was only 2.4 per cent.
Ordinarily in this District, retail failures account for
the largest percentage o f total liabilities of all failures,

f 4l

MONTHLY REVIEW

APRIL 1949

but in 1948 the highest percentage, 36 per cent, oc­
curred in manufacturing, and retail failures were re­
sponsible for only 32 per cent of the District total. This
was an unusual situation in the pattern of failures in
the District and was due to a large decline from the
preceding year in the amount of liabilities of retail fail­
ures, despite an increase in the number of such defaults.
As a consequence, the average liabilities of retail fail­

ures dropped from $31,826 in 1947, an unusually high
figure, to $14,971 in 1948. The net result was that
although the total number o f failures in this District
in 1948 amounted to 4.3 per cent of the United States
total, slightly less than the proportion in 1939, the lia­
bilities involved were but 1.8 per cent of the nation’s
total, as compared with 4.6 per cent in 1939.

NUMBER AND CURRENT LIABILITIES OF FAILURES
BY INDUSTRIAL GROUPS
FIFTH DISTRICT AND UNITED STATES
1939 and 1948
Fifth District
Failures
% of
No. Total

United States

Current Liabilities
% of
Amt. Total

Per
Fail.

No.

% of
Total

Amt.

1,481
2,167

28.2
19.0

($000)
130,292
66,895

42.0
39.8

87,976
30,870

Mfg. and

1948
1939

35
75

($000)
17.5 1,736
35.5 49,600
14.2 2,110
33.3 28,133

Wholesale

1948
1939

29
53

14.5
10.0

Retail

1948
1939

104
355

1948
1939

13
29

1948
1939

19
17

1948
1939

200
529

Commercial

lrThese unusually high figures were due to the failure o f
transportation com pany w ith liabilities o f $75 m illion.

Failures
% of
Per
Total Failure

952
697

19.4
11.0

32,828
13,151

669
1,256

12.7
11.0

26,066
22,352

8.4
13.3

38,963
17,796

52.0 1,557
67.1 2,622

31.8
41.3

14,971
7,386

2,185
6,925

41.6
60.7

39,819
59,714

35.5
12.8

18,224
8,623

6.5
5.5

282
411

5.8
6.5

21,692
14,172

439
582

8.4
5.1

15,609
10,806

5.0
6.4

35,556
18,567

7.5
3.2

369
501

7.5
7.9

19,421
29,471

478
478

9.1
4.2

98,780i
8,437

100.0 24,480
100.0 11,987

5,252
11,408

100.0
100.0

310,566
168,204

100.0 4,896
100.0 6,341

31.8i 206,653!
5.0 117,651
100.0
100.0

59,133
14,744

large

S o u rce : Dun & Bradstreet, In c.

During 1948 the largest percentage increase in the
number o f failures in the Fifth District occurred among
wholesale trade firms, failures of which were 190 per
cent above the 1947 number. The smallest percentage
increase was in the construction field where failures
were 44 per cent greater than the number in 1947. In
the United States the situation was just about the re­
verse of the foregoing;construction failures experienced
an increase during 1948 of 84 per cent, the highest rate
of increase among the five industrial groups shown in
the preceding table. Wholesale trade firms, on the other
hand, experienced an increase of 50 per cent in number
of failures, next to the lowest rate o f increase among
the industrial divisions. Other rates of expansion in
number o f failures from 1947 to 1948 were: manu­
facturing, 59 per cent in the Fifth District and 16 per
cent in the United States; retail trade, 51 per cent and
79 per cent; and commercial service, 46 per cent and
63 per cent.
The District Pattern by States
Information is not available that will permit us to
present a table o f failures by industrial groups on a
state basis. The largest number o f failures in 1948
occurred in North Carolina, but the largest amount of
liabilities involved was found in Maryland. In the lat­




ter state the average liabilities per failure amounted to
$40,000, considerably higher than the average of $24,000 for the District as a whole. This is a conse­
quence, probably, of the relatively greater number of
failures in producer goods manufacturing industries in
Maryland and of the larger scale of operations in such
enterprises than is characteristic of the industrial ac­
tivity in the other states of the District. The increased
industrialization of North Carolina is reflected in
the comparison with 1939 when failures in this state
amounted to 18 per cent of the District total and ac­
counted for 18 per cent of the total liabilities of failures
in the District; in 1948 North Carolina had 28 per cent
of the failures and 25 per cent of the total liabilities.
The following table shows that the range of average
liabilities per failure among the states of the Fifth Dis­
trict was not very great in 1948. The highest average,
occurring in Maryland, was only about twice as large
as the lowest average, which was found in Virginia.
In 1939, by way of comparison, the range was much
greater, with the highest average over four times as
large as the lowest average among the five states and
the District of Columbia. In no state of this District
was the average amount of liabilities per failure as
large as the average for all industries in the United
States.

r51

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

NUMBER AND CURRENT LIABILITIES OF FAILURES BY STATES
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
1939 and 1948
Current Liabilities
No.

% of
Dist.

Maryland ........................................................................................................................ 1948
1939

45
147

19.7
24.3

$1,805,000
1.593.000

31.5
20.8

$40,111
10,837

District of Columbia .................................... .................................................................1948
1939

17
46

7.5
7.6

438.000
719.000

7.7
9.4

25,765
15,630

Virginia .......................................................................................................................... 1948
1939
West Virginia1 ............................................................... .............................................. 1948
1939

55
172

24.1
28.4

1.065.000
1.500.000

18.6
19.6

19,364
8,721

32
81

14.0
13.4

641.000
2.145.000

11.2
28.0

20,031
26,481

64

111

28.1
18.3

1.455.000
1.400.000

25.4
18.3

22,734
12,613

15
49

8.1

322.000
300.000

5.6
3.9

21,467
6,122

100.0
100.0

5.726.000
7.657.000

100.0
100.0

25,114
12,635

North Carolina ............................................................................................................ 1948
1939
South Carolina .............................................................................................................. 1948
1939
Fifth District ........................................................................................................... 1948
______________
1939
in c lu d e s 6 counties not in F ifth D istrict.
D istrict totals
therefore, different from those in the p receding table.
Computed from data published b y Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.

228
606

6.6

Amount

Per
% of
Dist. Failure

are,

Conclusion
It has been pointed out that it is a normal result to
have an increasing rate of failures in view of the tre­
mendous influx of new business enterprises during the
past few years. Had it not been for the high level of
demand and the supporting force of steadily rising
prices, the large number of new businesses with in­
experienced managements and the likely large number
commencing operations with inadequate permanent cap­
ital would have produced a larger number of failures
than was actually the case. Thus, although there was
a sharp increase in the number of failures during 1947,
it reflected the great expansion in the number of active
business units and the mortality associated with infant
concerns rather than adverse business conditions.

During 1948, however, fundamental changes began
to take place in the business economy, and by the third
quarter there was a definite transition from a sellers’
to a buyers’ market with the attendant heightening of
competition and a declining price trend. Thus it is likely
that these changes will accentuate the operation of the
normal forces mentioned in the preceding paragraph
and result in a sharply increased rate o f business fail­
ures. Although the large number of new business
starts of recent years will continue to be a primary
factor in the rising rate of casualties, it is likely that
the rate of failures will be very sensitive to adverse
changes in business conditions and reflect such changes
as indicated.

PRINCIPAL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

AVERAGE D A IL Y TO TAL DEPOSITS* OF
M EMBER BANKS
% of
$ thousands U. S.
Last Half of Feb.

FIFTH DISTRICT MEMBER BANKS
Billions of Dollars




Billions of Dollars

Maryland
Reserve city banks
Country banks
District of Columbia
Reserve city banks
Country banks
Virginia
Reserve city banks
Country banks
West Virginia
North Carolina
Reserve city banks
Country banks
South Carolina
Fifth District
U. S. (millions)

1,009,323
94
.59
630,877
.35
378,446
916,854
.86
894,516
.84
.02
22,338
1,304,084
1.22
.29
307,117
996,967
.93
.58
614,757
.75
804,951
361,762
.34
.41
443,189
.40
428,717
4.75
5,078,686
106,912 100.0

’•'Excluding interbank demand deposits.

f6l

% of
$ thousands U. S.
Last Half of Mar.
1,010.087
632,758
377,329
920,032
897,440
22,592
1,298,291
311,292
986,999
613,835
795,136
366,264
428,872
430,878
5,068,259
106,205

•95
.60
.35
.87
.85
.02
1.22
.29
.93
.58
.75
.35
.40
.41
4.77
100.0

APRIL 1949

MONTHLY REVIEW

Business Conditions
Continued from page 2

Bituminous Coal
The March level of production in this District was
down 43 per cent from February, on a seasonally ad­
justed basis, but only 8 per cent below March, 1948. In
both years work stoppages were in effect at the mines.
This year it was estimated that miners would lose $68
million in wages due to the shut-down. About $18-$20
million of this can be allocated to the Fifth District. Op­
erators in the tri-state area, which includes Pennsylvania
and West Virginia, confronted with increasing trouble,
both labor and consumer, have adopted a four-point pol­
icy which they intend to carry out. This policy is t o :
1. Cut prices.
2. Cut production costs.
3. Hunt new markets.
4. Resist union efforts to increase labor costs.
The price-cutting policy to maintain coal as a competitive
fuel has already begun, and it is expected that further
cuts will be made later on.
Furniture
Shipments of furniture factories in this area show a
decline from January to February, but not as much as
the usual seasonal. February shipments, however, com­
pare unfavorably with those of February 1948, being
down 31 per cent. New orders received were at the same
level as shipments, and with adjusted furniture sales in
this District at retail in March off 5 per cent from Feb­
ruary, and 6 per cent below a year ago, it does not seem
probable that nearby improvement in furniture manu­
facturing would be seen. Employment in the industry in
Virginia during March continued the downward trend
that has been in evidence in this state for more than a
year.
Department Store Sales
The trend o f department store sales in the Fifth Dis­
trict continued down in March, declining 3 per cent from
February on a seasonally adjusted basis. April sales as
represented by weekly reporting stores indicate a fur­
ther decline in the index for that month. While these
weekly figures showed gains over last week in the four




weeks to April 16, owing to the shift of Easter from
March 28 in 1948 to April 17 in 1949, it appears doubt­
ful whether total April sales will exceed April 1948
sales sufficiently to hold the adjusted index at the March
level.
Downward trends since October are noted in women’s
and misses’ apparel and accessories, piece goods and ma­
jor household appliances, china and glassware, and base­
ment sales of men’s and boys’ wear. Small wares show a
slow up-trend, and sporting goods have leveled off at a
high plateau. Basement store total sales give some evi­
dence of leveling, while basement sales of women’s and
misses’ ready-to-wear continue on an up-trend. Sales of
linens and domestics have maintained a flat trend for the
past two years. Floor coverings, though trending down
for the past three months, are still at a very high level,
while draperies, curtains, upholstery, etc., have been in
an upward trend since the middle of 1948.
Agriculture
Cash farm income in the Fifth District in the first two
months of 1949 was still ahead of a year ago, despite the
downward trend of farm prices on a countrywide basis.
The January-February total of $195.5 million was 8.3
per cent above those months last year, but the largest
gains were made in crop marketings in Maryland and
South Carolina. Income in these months in livestock and
products was below that of last year in Virginia and
North Carolina, but the District total shows a small in­
crease.
Prospective plantings of major crops in the District
show a gain in 1949 when compared with 1948 of 5 per
cent in tobacco; 11 per cent in cotton; 22 per cent in oats;
and 5 per cent in barley. Hay acreage in 1949 is indicated
at the same level as in 1948, while all other crops show
reduced acreages ranging from 3 per cent in sorghums to
15 per cent in peanuts.
Unless the season turns unusually bad, the increased
acreages of the two principal cash crops— cotton and to­
bacco— will likely bring a little larger income this year
because of larger production which could offset a slightly
lower price support for cotton.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS OF SPECIFIED CROPS IN 1949 COMPARED W ITH THOSE IN 1948
FIFTH DISTRICT BY STATES
____________Fifth D istrict
1948

Indicated
1949

Crop

1000 Acres
Tobacco*.............................
Flue-cured (Type 11)..
(Type 12)..
(Type 13)..
Total
(Types 11-13).,
Va. Fire-cured
(Type 21)..
Burley
(Type 31)..
Maryland (Type 32)..
Va. Sun-cured
(Type 37)..

Maryland
1949
as % of
1948

1948

Per Cent

320.0
290.0
174.0
784.0

339.0
304.0
184.0
827.0
10.1
25.2
48.0

92
103
102

1949
as % of
1948
Per C
<

1000 Acres

106
105
106
105

11.0
24.4
47.0

Indicated
1949

3.4

3.4

Total Tobacco...............

913.7

105

Cotton..................................
Corn, All.............................
Barley**..............................
Hay, All*............................
Peanuts***..........................
Soybeans***......................
Cowpeas***.........................
Sorghums**........................
Irish Potatoes**................
Sweet Potatoes..................

1,882
5,642
1,262
250
4,409
501
663
219
95
191.0
125.5

2,082
5,428
1,545
263
4,413
428
625
201
92
174.9
121.0

111
96
122
105
100.1
85
94
92
97
92
96

Total (12 Crops).........

16,109.3

16,286.6

101

* 4 8 .0

102

47.0

48.0

102

100

869.8

47.0

O a ts* * ..........................................

480
54
83
477

65
3

60
3

15.0
8.5

13.9
8.0

93
94

1,215.5

1,226.9

101

Indicated
1949

Crop

Total Tobacco..............
Cotton..................................
Corn, All.............................
Oats**.................................
Barley**...............................
Hay, All*...........................
Peanuts***..........................
Soybeans***......................
Cowpeas***.........................
Sorghums**........................
Irish Potatoes**................
Sweet Potatoes..................
Total (12 Crops)......... .




1949
as % of
1948

1948

Per Cent

1000 Acres
Tobacco*.............................
Flue-cured (Type 11)..
(Type 12)..
(Type 13)..
Total # (Types 11-13).
Va. Fire-cured
(Type 21)..
Burley
(Type 31)..
Maryland (Type 32)..
Va. Sun-ciired
(Type 37)..

. .
92
100

West Virginia

Virginia
1948

"98
115
108
103

490
47
77
463

87.0

94.0
94.0
10.1
12.1

92
103

P
<sr Cent

1000 Acres

108

11.0
11.7

1949
as % of
1948

108

87.0

Indicated
1949

3.4

3.4
119.6

106

2.8

104

2.7

2.8

104

100

113.1

2.7

24
1,185
178
96
1,414
167
140
17
13
63
26

27
1,126
178
100
1,414
145
140
18
13
58
26

3,436.1

3,364.6

[8]

112
95
100
104
100
87
100
106
100
92
100
98

297
75
10
802

270
76
12
802

91
102
120
100

14

12

88

2
23

2
22

100
96

1,225.7

1,198.8

98

APRIL 1949

MONTHLY REVIEW

PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS OF SPECIFIED CROPS IN 1949 COMPARED W ITH THOSE IN 1948
FIFTH DISTRICT BY STATES

1948
Crop

North Carolina___________
1949
Indicated
as % of
1949
1948

1000 Acres
Tobacco*.............................................
Flue-cured (Type 11)................. ..................
(Type 12)................. ..................
(Type 13)................. ..................
Total
(Types 11-13)................. ..................
Va. Fire-cured
(Type 21).................
Burley
(Type 31)................. ..................
"
\ *•J J ^
* r
/ ......................
Maryland (Type 32).................
Va. Sun-cured
(Type 37).................
Total Tobacco.................. ........... .................
Cotton.................................................. ..................
Corn, All...............................................................
Oats**.................................................. ..................
Barley**.............................................. ..................
Hay, All*..............................................................
Peanuts***.......................................... .................
.................................. ..................
Soybeans***.—
Cowpeas***......................................... ..................
Sorghums**........................................ ..................
Irish Potatoes**................................ ..................
Sweet Potatoes................................. ...................
Total (12 Crops)......................... ..................

___________ South Carolina
1948

Per Cent

233.0
290.0
71.0
594.0

245.0
304.0
75.0
624.0

105
105
106
105

10.0

10.3

105

1949
as % of
1948
Per Cent

1000 Acres

103

634.3

Indicated
1949

604.0

103.0
103.0

103.0

109.0
109.0

106
106

109.0

106

725
2,248
356
41
1,230
305
384
55
45
71
49

805
2,158
449
43
1,205
259
353
50
45
64
47

111
96
126
105
98
85
92
91
100
90
96

1,133
1,422
606
26
500
29
60
144
35
19
42

1,250
1,394
788
25
515
24
60
130
32
17
40

110
98
130
96
103
84
100
90
91
90
95

6,113.0

6,112.3

100

4,119.0

4,384.0

106

* Acreage harvested.
** Includes Acreage planted in preceding fall.
*** Grown alone for all purposes.
Sources: USDA, BAE, Crop Production (Washington, March 1949); Cotton data from the Fairchild Survey published in
The Daily News Record, February 3, 1949.

NATIONAL SUMMARY OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Compiled by the Board o f Governors o f the Federal Reserve System )

Industrial output continued to decline in March and
apparently also in April. Value of department store
trade remained below the corresponding period of last
year. Prices of industrial commodities generally de­
clined in March and April with sharp reductions in
metal scrap and nonferrous metals. Prices of most
farm products and foods showed little change.
Industrial Production
Industrial production declined further in March, and
the Board’s seasonally adjusted index was 184 per cent
of the 1935-39 average. This compares with 189 in
February and with the postwar peak rate o f 195 in
October and November 1948. Output of manufactures
declined about 2 per cent in March and work stoppages
at coal mines for two weeks sharply reduced minerals
production. Although coal output was restored in April,
present indications are that total industrial output has
declined further.
Activity in the machinery and iron and steel fabri­
cating industries showed a substantial additional de­
cline in March. In the automobile industry activity
was maintained at a high level as reductions in output




of trucks and of automotive parts were offset by an
increase in the number of passenger cars assembled.
Production of iron and steel and nonferrous metals, on
the other hand, increased further in March. Open
hearth steel production was up 2 per cent to a new
record level, but output of electric steel declined 5 per
cent from the February peak rate. During the first
three weeks of April, however, steel production has
been scheduled about 4 per cent below the March rate.
Lumber production increased in March from the re­
duced rate reached in February.
Output of nondurable goods receded about 3 per
cent in March, reflecting chiefly marked reductions in
activity in the textile, paper, and chemical industries.
Rayon production and deliveries to textile mills were
sharply curtailed in March, and, according to. trade
reports, have been reduced considerably further in
April. Activity in the woolen and worsted industry
has also declined substantially from the February rate,
according to preliminary indications. Paperboard pro­
duction in March and the first half of April was about
6 per cent below the February rate and 15 per cent

r 9i

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

below the level in the same period a year ago. Output
of most other nondurable goods in March apparently
was maintained at about the February rate.
Minerals production during March was reduced
about 10 per cent, mainly because of the two-week
work stoppage at most coal mines, which curtailed
coal output for the month by 34 per cent. In early
April coal production recovered to a level somewhat
above the February rate. Crude petroleum output in
March declined 4 per cent more and in early April
was reduced further by about the same percentage,
bringing the current rate to a level 13 per cent below
the high rate at the end of 1948.

Employment
Employment in nonagricultural establishments, as
reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, continued
to decline in March, although a small rise is usual at
this season. Manufacturing employment showed a fur­
ther marked reduction and was about 720,000, or 4
per cent, less than in March a year ago.

Construction
Value of contracts awarded, as reported by the F.
W . Dodge Corporation, was one-third larger in March
than in February, owing mainly to seasonal increases
in most types of private contracts. As compared with
a year ago, total private awards were 8 per cent smaller,
while public awards were substantially larger. Private
residential building contracts were 20 per cent smaller
in value than in March 1948.

Distribution
Value of department store sales in March and the
early part of April remained below year-ago levels, af­
ter allowance is made for the later date o f Easter this
year. Sales o f appliances and other durable goods at
department stores continued substantially below the
exceptionally high levels reached in the second and
third quarters o f last year.
Railroad shipments of coal dropped sharply in March
and recovered in early April. Carloadings of other
classes of freight during this period were at an average
level about S per cent below the seasonaally adjusted
volume of shipments last autumn.

Commodity Prices
Prices of scrap metals, which had been at excep­
tionally high levels in the latter part of 1948 and




had declined early this year, showed a further sharp
drop from the early part o f March to the third week
of April. Prices of nonferrous metals were reduced
substantially for the first time since before the war and
prices of a number o f metal products, including some
makes of automobiles, were also reduced. Prices of
most other industrial commodities continued to decline
moderately; gasoline prices, however, were raised.
Meat prices advanced somewhat further from midMarch to mid-April, while prices of most other foods
and farm products showed little change. Prices of
hogs, however, declined again in the third week of
April.
The consumers’ price index rose slightly in March,
reflecting chiefly higher meat prices and further slight
increases in rents and miscellaneous items. Retail prices
of apparel and housefurnishings declined somewhat
further.

Bank Credit
Business loans decreased by nearly 700 million dol­
lars at banks in leading cities during March and the
first half of April and other loans generally declined
moderately. Banks continued to purchase Treasury
bonds, but they sold short-term securities, and their
total portfolio of Government securities declined some­
what. Demand deposits o f individuals and businesses
contracted about 1 billion dollars in the six-week pe­
riod, reflecting the large income tax payments in March
and repayments of bank loans.
The Treasury reduced its deposits at the Reserve
Banks during the first three weeks of April in order
to retire securities and to meet current expenditures in
excess of receipts. Banks were supplied with reserves
as part of these funds were deposited in private ac­
counts. At the same time reserves were absorbed by
Federal Reserve sales of Treasury bonds in response to
a market demand. Federal Reserve holdings of Gov­
ernment securities were also reduced through cash
retirement of System-held bills.

Security Prices
Prices of Treasury and other high-grade bonds
changed little in the first three weeks of April, while
common stock prices declined somewhat near the end
of this period.

FlOl

MONTHLY REVIEW

APRIL 1949

F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K OF RICH M O N D
(A ll Figlires in Thousands)
A pr. 13,Chg. in A m t. from
1949
3-16-49
4-14-48

ITEM S

Total Gold Reserves.................................$1,067,992
Other Reserves ...........................................
16,888
Total Reserves ....................................... 1,084,880
Bills Discounted .......................................
11,582
Industrial Advances ..................... ...........
60
Govt. Securities, T otal............................... 1,381,330
Bonds ........................................................
583,526
Notes ..........................................................
24,690
Certificates .............................................
442,123
330,991
B ills ............................................................
Total Bills & Securities.......................... 1,392,972
U ncollected Items .....................................
193,292
Other Assets ...............................................
35,155
Total Assets ........................................... 2,706,299

+
—
+
—
+
+
—
+
+
+
—
—
*
—
—

14,096
3,285
10,811
1,636
15
1,102
31,976
2,796
25,885
4,397
519
84,890
3,751
78,349

— 16,609
—
3,289
— 19,898
—
1,132
+
14
+ 43,915
+204,573
— 100,428
+ 160,085
— 220,315
+ 42,797
— 65,851
+
7,519
— 35,433

Federal Reserve N otes in C ir............... $1,664,831
Deposits, Total ...........................................
913,885
M em bers’ Reserves ...............................
822,348
U. S. Treas. Gen. A c c t ................. ........
56,042
Foreign ......................................................
29,665
Other Deposits .......................................
5,830
D ef. A vailability Items.............................
181,546
Other Liabilities .........................................
806
Capital A ccounts .......................................
45,231
Total Liabilities ..................................... 2,706,299

—
+
—
+
—
+
—
+
+
—

16,069
4,375
22,815
31,766
6,208
1,632
68,328
142
1,531
78,349

— 62,831
+ 89,737
+100,475
— 19,014
+
9,443
—
1,167
— 68,966
—
185
+
6,812
— 35,433

51 R EPO RTIN G M EM BER B A N K S— 5th D ISTRIC T
(A ll Figures Iti Thousands)
Chg. in A m t. from
4--14-48
3-16-49

1949

IT E M S
Total Lo an s ..............................
Bus. & A g r i ............................
Real Estate Lo a n s.................
A l l Other L o a n s.....................
Total Security H o ld in g s.............
U. S. Treasury B ills ................
U . S. Treasury Certificates .....
U. S. Treasury Notes ..............
U. S. Govt. Bonds ...................
Other Bonds, Stocks & Sec......
Cash Item s in Process of C o l......
Due from B a n k s ........................
Currency & Co in ........................
Reserve w ith F. R. B a n k s .........
Other Assets ............................
Total Assets .........................

$ 845,924
403,566
193,429
257,050
1,630,302
58,984
176,475
42,675
1,218,633
133,535
231,644
172,602+
65,539
529,086
47,737
3,522,834

Total Dem and Deposits.............
Deposits of In d ividu als ...........
Deposits of U. S. Govt...............
Deposits of State
Local Govt.
Deposits of B a n k s .................
Certified & Officer’s Checks .....
Total Tim e Deposits.................
Deposits of In d ivid u als...........
Other Tim e Deposits..............
Liab ilities fo r Borrowed Money...
A ll Other Lia b ilitie s...................
C a p ital Accounts ......................
Total Liab ilities ....................

$2,670,269
2,024,739
77,415
159,217
368,264*
40,634
607,566
580,122
27,444
3,150
19,488
222,361
3,522,834

&

____
—
—

+
____
—
—
—

+
+
—

+
+
—
—

___
—
—
—
—
—

+
+
+
—
—

+

6,639
6,076
3,055
2,698
50,462
44,397
9,910
2,051
2,052
3,844
445
7,101
4,102
25,477
1,638
73,458

22,380
2,163
+ 13,133
+ 19,531
—
79,824
9,135
+
6,417
+
39,212
—
63,758
7,594
+
—
21,222
7,628
+
257
+
+ 49,749
—
6,066
— 27,098

89,646
20,892
14,310
32,216
14,149
8,079
19,231
12,745
6,486
1,750
1,982
689
73,458

___

+

+
+
—

+
+
+
+
+
+

40,653
22,836
9,509
69,110
4,820
932
2,467
7,115
9,582
150
2,667
8,271
27,098

M aryland ..................... . $20,040,000
7,309,000
Dist. o f Colum bia.......
20,707,000
V irgin ia .......................
3,484,000
W est V irgin ia ..............
13,684,000
N orth Carolina ...........
South Carolina ........... .... 6,361,000
$71,585,000
F ifth D istrict .........
S ou rce: F. W . Dodge Corp.

from
M arch 1948

3 Mos. *49

% Change
from
3 Mos. ’ 48

— 42
— 44
+ 18
— 6
+ 4
— 4
— 19

$ 54,020,000
15,794,000
51,255,000
6,803,000
29,069,000
18,737,000
$175,678,000

— 26
— 42
+ 11
— 76
— 6
— 11
— 23




757,351

$ 2,187,021

$ 2,123,848

1,041,476
20,043
18,804
27,119

2,787,755
59,966
50,162
78,204

2,831,103
58,258
52,297
77,053

48,848
234,451
91,562
77,589
12,074
111,485
34,058
12,969
129,375

140,599
685,611
255,480
220,995
40,955
370,114
92,690
42,031
357,020

141,640
678,705
261,778
221,291
35,071
284,316
99,439
40,219
353,613

56,041
92,436
81,039
49,132

176,384
283,723
239,945
139,195

160,690
271,741
234,818
143,258

20,919
25,355
38,718
33,762
181,586
19,641
460,480
85,615

66,392
70,736
108,456
97,461
524,993
56,746
1,411,771
265,440

64,460
78,626
113,375
95,924
519,439
58,280
1,276,588
243,690

44,162
137,494
33,276
61,047
27,673

142,984
414,981
88,758
177,634
77,420

126,450
392,874
93,939
171,356
75,239

$11,711,622

$11,379,405

COTTON CON SU M PTIO N A N D ON H A N D — B A L E S
March
1949

March
1948

F ifth D istrict States:
Cotton co n su m e d ....................
368,962
441,247
Cotton G row ing States:
Cotton consumed ..................
648,313
775,727
Cotton on hand M arch 31 in
consum ing establishments 1,334,991 1,895,198
storage & com presses.......
6,583,687 3,605,574
United S tates:
Cotton consumed ..................
720,892
879,967
Cotton on hand M arch 31 in
consum ing establishments 1,559,265 2,287,552
storage & com presses........ 6,615,516 3,675,090
Spindles active, U. S............... 20,425,000 21,711,000

A ug. 1 to Mar. 31
1949
1948
2,826,463

3,137,484

4,972,199

5,564,405

5,565,131

6,311,107

Source: Departm ent o f Comm erce

C OTTON C O N SU M PT IO N — F IFT H D IST RIC T
194,238
176,850
239,785
552,245
681,827

160,421
140,063
181,313
448,923
517,514

V irgin ia

D istrict

14,303
12,459
20,149
42,788
56,340

368,962
329,372
441,247
1,043,956
1,255,681

S ou rce: Departm ent o f Comm erce.

M arch 1949
A verage, 17 constructions....................
Printcloths, average ( 6 ) ......................
Sheetings, average (3)...
T w ill (1) .........................
Drills, average (4)
Ducks, average

Mar. 31, 1949

3 Months
1948

$ 4,065,580

District Totals .............. $ 4,205,241

$

3 Months
1949

P R ICE S OF U N FIN ISH ED COTTON T E X T IL E S

D E PO SITS IN M U T U A L S A V IN G S B A N K S
8 B altim ore Banks

T otal Deposits .......................... $393,301,914

M arch
1948

Dist. o f Columbia
W ashington ............... $ 796,199
Maryland
B altim ore ...................
1.013,928
Cum berland ...............
21,780
F rederick ...................
18,181
H agerstow n ...............
28,176
N orth Carolina
A sheville ....................
47,706
Charlotte ................... .
237,767
Durham ..................... .
89,698
Greensboro ................
76,388
K inston ........................
13,675
Raleigh ........................
153,349
W ilm ington ................
32,381
W ilson ..........................
14,141
W inston-Salem .........
133,661
South Carolina
Charleston ................. .
61,234
Columbia ......................
106,829
Greenville ................... .
84,571
Spartanburg ................
47,381
V irginia
C harlottesville ...........
22,122
Danville ....................... .
22,955
L ynchburg ..................
37,437
N ew port News .........
36,595
N orfolk ........................
184,521
Portsmouth ................
19,378
Richm ond ....................
497,992
Roanoke ......................
94,921
W est V irginia
Bluefield ......................
55,972
Charleston ..................
143,774
Clarksburg ..................
29,971
55,892
H untington ................
Parkersburg ..............
26,666

March 1949 ....................
February 1949 ..................
March 1948 ........................
3 Months 1949..................
3 Months 1948................... ...

CON STR U C TIO N CON TRA C TS A W A R D E D

STATE S

(000 om itted)
M arch
1949

N. Carolina S. Carolina

♦Net Figures, reciprocal balances being eliminated.
♦♦Less losses for bad debts.

M arch
1949

DEBITS TO IN D IV ID U A L A CC OU N TS

Feb. 28, 1949

Mar. 31, 1948

0,970,880

$392,783,344

(2)

63.70
68.93
57.56
63.35
56.32
87.22
60.41

Feb. 1949

M arch 1948

64.55
70.33
58.23
63.60
56.57
87.99
61.46

92.39
112.28
77.86
116.15
73.14
128.15
63.25

N o te : The above figures are those fo r the approxim ate quantities o f
cloth obtainable from a pound o f cotton with adjustm ent fo r salable
waste.
S ource: Departm ent o f A griculture.

r 11 i.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

B U IL D IN G PE R M IT FIG U R ES

SO FT C O A L P R O D U C TIO N IN T H O U SA N D S OF TON S

F ifth Federal Reserve D istrict
Total Valuation
March 1949
M arch 1948
M aryland
B altim ore ..................
Cumberland ..............
Frederick ....................
H agerstow n ..............
Salisbury ....................
V irginia
D a n ville ......................
Lynchburg .................
N orfolk ......................
Petersburg ................
Portsm outh ................
R ichm ond ................. .
R oanoke .....................
W est V irgin ia
Charleston .................
C larksburg ...............
H untington ................
N orth Carolina
A sheville ...................
Charlotte .................
Durham ..................... .
Greensboro ............... .
High P oint ................
Raleigh .....................
R ocky M ount ............
Salisbury ...................
W inston-Salem ......
South Carolina
Charleston .................
Columbia ...................
Greenville .................
Spartanburg .............
Dist. o f Columbia

$ 4,480,430
34,125
27,765
45,340
65,363

$ 2,897,080
40,350
61,650
66,410
733,556

425,117
243,366
1,187,796
214,550
134,088
1,077,842
1,155,735

143,065
225,570
713,870
131,239
169,615
2,315,118
456,729

684,749
71,860
294,433

1,709,991
428,982
530,965

278,311
1,464,061
407,428
275,208
186,947
1,464,646
135,440
67,420
571,366

229,521
1,694,441
2,866,915
548,045
620,041
510,620
277,200
78,970
904,451

203,941
313,918
334,800
92,337

3,543,728

$19,258,385
$48,486,002

$23,722,936
$60,780,789

..

% in D istrict...... .

March
1948

%
Chg.

3 Mos.
1949

3 Mos.
1948

%
Chg.

8,046
912
55
9,013
32,800
27.5

West V irginia
V irginia ...........
Maryland .........

303,338
1,039,318
320,900
161,258

3,320,003

M arch
1949

R EG ION S

8,520
1,045
110
9,675
34,399
28.1

—
—
—
—
—

34,446
3,530
212
38,188
125,944
30.3

37,740
4,329
398
42,467
141,425
30.0

— 9
— 19
— 47
— 10
— 11

6
13
50
7
5

S ource: Bureau o f Mines

R A Y O N Y A R N SH IPM EN TS A N D STOCKS
M arch
1949
R ayon
Staple
R ayon
Staple

Y arn
fiber
Yarn
fiber

shipm ents....................
shipments....................
stocks...........................
stocks.............................

F ebruary
1949

March
1948

57,100,000
7,700,000
32,200,000
16,200,000

63.500.000
14.700.000
20.300.000
9,700,000

67.900.000
22.900.000
8,800,000
5,400,000

S ou rce: Rayon Organon.

TOBACCO M A N U F A C T U R IN G
% Change
from
M arch 1948

March
1949
Sm oking & Chewing tobacco
16,729
(Thousands o f lb s .)..............
Cigarettes (thousands) ............31,176,505
Cigars (Thousands) .............
457,149
3,761
Snuff (Thousands o f lb s .).......

0
+ 7
+ 6

% Change
from
3 Mos. *48

3 Mos.
1949
45,413
84,540,295
1,305,605
10,430

— 3

— 4

+ 6
—6

— 4

S ource: Treasury Departm ent
R E PO R T ON R E T A IL F U R N IT U R E SA L E S
P ercentage com parison o f sales in
periods named with sales in same
periods in 1948
M arch 1949 3 Mos. 1949

STATES

Maryland (5)* ......................

—
+
—
—
—
—

Dist. of Colum bia (6 )* .........
V ir g in ia (1 9 )* ........................
W est V ir g in ia (1 0 )* .... ...........
N orth C arolin a (1 3 )* ..............
South C aro lin a (1 0 )* ..............
D istric t (6 3 )* ........................

17
30
7
14
23
13

—

— 5
+ 27
— 4

March 1949 .............................
February 1949 ......................
March 1948 .............................
3 Months 1949........................
3 Months 1948........................

— 18
— 15

—1

— 17
+ 30

Baltim ore, Md., (5 )* ..........
W ashington , D. C., (6 )* .....
Richmond, Va., (6 )* ................
Lynchburg, Va., (3 )* ..............
Charleston, W . Va., (3 )* .....
Charlotte, N . C., (3 )* ..............
Colum bia, S. C., (3 )* ..............

—

+ 1
—1
+ 3

6

— 3

+ 2

— 26
+ 15

$1,102,000
518,000
559,000
$2,150,000
818,000

$ 97,444,000
27,567,000
17,481,000
$144,170,000
56,065,000

D E PA R T M E N T STO R E T R A D E

— 28

+21

Richm ond

Baltim ore

W ashington

Other Cities

District

Percentage change in M arch 1949 sales com pared w ith sales in M arch ’ 48
— 12
— 14
— 4
— 18
— 11
Percentage chg. in 3 months sales 1949 com pared w ith 3 mos. in 1948
— 7
— 8
+ 1
— 11
— 5

W H O L E SA L E T R A D E , 195 FIRM S
N et Sales
March 1949
com pared with
Mar.
Feb.
1949
1948
— 17
— 19
— 27
0
— 20
— 1
— 7
+10
— 11
— 7

+ 7
+ i
+ 20
— 23
+ 7
+ 1
+ 16
+ 17
+ 8
+ 7
+ 10

Stock
M arch 31, 1949
com pared with
M arch 31
Feb. 28
1948
1949
+ 9
+ 27
+ 23

Percentage chg. in receivables M ar. 31, ’ 49 from those on Mar. 31, ’ 48
0
— 1
+14
— 3
+ 5

0
+ 2
— 2

— 6
+ 7
+ 5

Percentage chg. in outstanding orders Mar. 31, ’ 49 from Mar. 31, ’ 48
— 2
— 22
— 19
— 58
— 19

— 1
+ 13
— 5

+ "2
— 11
— 5

Percentage chg. in stocks on Mar. 31, '49 com pared w ith Mar. 31. ’ 48
— 9
— 2
+ 2
+17
0

— "*6
— 4
— 2

Percentage o f current receivables as o f Mar. 1, ’ 49 collected in March
34
52
49
45
46
Percentage o f instalm ent receivables as o f M ar. 1, ’ 49 collected in March
18
22
21
24
21
M arlland

Dist. o f Col.

V irg in ia

W . V irgin ia

N . Carolina

S. Carolina

Percentage change in Mar. ’ 49 sales from Mar. *48 sales, by S tates:
-14
— 19
— 14
-14
— 4
— 12

S ou rce: Departm ent o f Comm erce
♦Number o f reporting firms.




849
685
477
2,100
1,250

— 5
+ 27

*N um b er of reporting firms.

A uto supplies ( 7 ) * .................
Electrical goods (7 )* .............
H ardware (1 3)* .....................
Industrial supplies ( 3 ) * .........
Drugs & sundries (8 )* .........
Dry goods (1 3 )*.....................
G roceries (6 0)* .....................
Paper & products (5 )* .........
T ob a cco & products ( 6 )* .... ...
Miscellaneous (7 3 )* .............
D istrict Totals (1 9 5 )*....

48
23
29
95
49

S ou rce: Dun & Bradstreet

Individual Cities

LIN ES

N um ber o f Failures
T otal Liabilities
D istrict
D istrict U.S.
U .S.

M ONTHS

—21

6

COM M ER C IA L F A IL U R E S

P ercentage
— 8

r 12

1

change
+ 1

in

3

months
— 7

1949

from
- 5

months
— 13

194H Bales:
— 5

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