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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

C h a irm a n a n d F e d e r a l R e s e r v e A g e n t

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
INCE the middle of July some
improvement in conditions in
the Fifth reserve district have been
noticed. Two influences which ap­
pear to have been instrumental in
bringing about the change are the
activity and improvement in the
security market and the recent rise
in prices for cotton and some other
agricultural products. Most of the
basic business statistics which are
now available cover the month of
July, and show little change from
other recent months, but neverthe­
less there is much more optimism
than was the case previously. The
Department of Labor's figures for
July show price advances in both wholesale and
retail indexes, the first checks reported in many
months to steadily falling commodity prices. In
the Fifth district labor conditions have changed for
the better in some industries and localities, a num­
ber of industrial plants having taken on additional
workers and opening of tobacco markets requiring
the help of several hundred men. Textile mills
have increased operating time materially since the
first of August, and orders for their products have
increased also. As is customary at this season of
the year, the circulation of Federal reserve notes
rose during the past month, but member banks in
rural districts did not increase their rediscounts at
the reserve bank as they usually do when crops
begin to move to market. Member banks in the
larger centers slightly decreased their loans but
increased their investments in securities between the
middle of July and the middle of August, and in­
creased moderately their borrowing at the reserve
bank. Bank deposits changed little during the past
month. Debits to individual accounts figures in
the four weeks ended August 10 showed a seasonal
reduction in comparison with the preceding four
weeks, which included the July 1 payments. Com­
mercial failures in the Fifth Federal reserve district
in July were more numerous and liabilities involved




AUGUST 31, 1932
were greater than in any other July
on record, but were not up to the
figures of several earlier months
this year. Coal production showed
some seasonal increase in July in
comparison with June and W est Vir­
ginia continued to lead all States in
production of bituminous coal. Cot­
ton consumption in both the United
States and the Fifth district was
relatively small in July because
many mills were closed a consider­
able part of the month, but since
August 1 nearly all textile mills
have resumed operations, and higher
cotton prices have improved the out­
look for both the mills and the cot­
ton growers. Tobacco markets opened in August
in South Carolina and border counties in North
Carolina, and prices for lower grades were better
than prices last year. Tobacco manufacturing in
July was at a lower rate than in July last year but
compared favorably with other recent months.
Crop prospects insofar as quantity of yields is con­
cerned declined materially in July because of dry
and hot weather throughout the entire district, but
the outlook for better prices improved in several
lines and on the whole the farmers appear to be in
a stronger position than they were at this time a
year ago. Building permits issued in Fifth district
cities in July provided for a very small amount of
construction work, but contracts actually awarded
in the district, including rural as well as urban
projects, exceeded in amount the contracts awarded
in either June this year or July last year. Retail
trade as reflected in department store sales last
month averaged nearly 28 per cent less in dollar
amount than trade in July 1931, and five representa­
tive lines of wholesale trade also showed materially
lower sales this year. I t should be remembered
that lower price levels in many lines this year
account for part of the decline in the aggregate
value of retail and wholesale sales.

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

Member Bank Statement

Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS
Rediscounts held ---------------Open market paper....................
Government securities----------Other earning assets..................
Total earning assets...............
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes..
Members’ reserve deposits........
Cash reserves ...........................
Reserve ratio --------------------

000 omitted
Aug. 15 July 15 Aug. 15
1931
1932
1932
$28,226
2,767
47,133
0
78,126
96,140
49,786
77,632
51.83

$29,957
3,659
47,133
0
80,749
91,918
50.487
79.768
51.27

$19,008
4,010
31,558
60
54,636
68,782
60,133
91,037
65.13

ITEMS

Aug. 10
1932

000 omitted
July 13 Aug. 12
1932
1931

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ........ $119,454 $123,485 $158,700
All other loans......................... 203,568 204,210 248,448
Total loans and discounts.... 323,022 327,695 407,148
Investments in stocks and bonds 257,718 247,200 227,548
41,063
34,665
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank..
34,753
12,781
Cash in vaults____________
12,840
12,690
Demand deposits __________
273,702 277,071 333,702
Time deposits ____________
228,860 229,315 263,281
3,368
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.__
7,208
7,871

The figures in the accompanying table show the
Forty-nine member banks in twelve leading cities
principal items on the condition statement of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond as of August of the Fifth Federal reserve district make weekly
15, 1932, in comparison with corresponding figures reports of condition to the Federal Reserve Bank
a month and a year earlier. Rediscounts for mem­ of Richmond, and the accompanying table shows
ber banks, contrary to seasonal trend, declined by the totals of the principal items for the latest avail­
$1,731,000 during the past month, but at the middle able date, August 10, 1932, in comparison with cor­
of August showed an increase of $9,218,000 over responding figures a month and a year earlier. It
rediscounts held on the corresponding date last should be understood that the figures reflect the
year. Holdings of open market paper on the latest composite condition of the reporting banks on the
date were smaller than holdings on either July 15 report dates only, and are not necessarily the high­
this year or August 15 last year. Government est or lowest figures that occurred during the
securities held by the Federal Reserve Bank of period under review.
Total loans is the forty-nine reporting member
Richmond remained unchanged during the past
month, but totaled $15,575,000 more than on August banks declined by $4,673,000 between July 13 and
15, 1931. Total earning assets of this Bank de­ August 10, this year, nearly all of the decrease
creased by $2,623,000 between July 15 and August being in loans on securities. Investments of the
15, but on the latter date exceeded earning assets as reporting banks in stocks and bonds rose $10,518,000
of August 15 last year by $23,490,000. There was during the past month, all of which was in owner­
a seasonal increase in the circulation of Federal ship of Government securities. Aggregate reserve
Reserve notes amounting to $4,222,000 during the balances of the reporting banks at the reserve bank
past month, partly due to a need for currency in showed only a daily fluctuation between July 13
connection with the opening of South Carolina and August 10, increasing by $88,000. On the other
auction tobacco markets, but the increase in circu­ hand, cash in vaults declined $150,000 during the
lation during the past two months was greater than month, and deposits dropped $3,824,000, demand de­
usually occurs. It is probable that part of the in­ posits declining $3,369,000 and time deposits de­
crease is due to the influence of the new tax on creasing $455,000. The reporting banks increased
checks, which has caused many people to pay cur­ their borrowing at the reserve bank by $663,000
rent bills with currency. This is borne out by the duiing the month under review. On August 10,
fact that the number of checks handled by the re­ 1932, twenty-one of the forty-nine institutions were
serve bank has notably decreased. At mid-August rediscounting at the Federal Reserve Bank of
the volume of notes in actual circulation showed an Richmond.
increase of $27,358,000 over the amount in circula­
Comparison of the August 10, 1932, figures with
tion a year earlier, an increase due at least in part those for August 12, 1931, shows a decrease of
to hoarding, which although not increasing has not $84,126,000 in total loans during the year, and an
materially decreased. Member bank reserve de­ increase of $30,170,000 in investments in securities.
posits dropped $701,000 between the middle of July Aggregate reserve balance with the Federal Re­
and the middle of August, and showed a decline serve Bank of Richmond totaled $6,310,000 less on
amounting to $10,347,000 during the past year, both the 1932 date than a year earlier, and cash in vaults
decreases being due to lower requirements against declined $91,000 during the year. Total deposits
materially smaller deposits in member banks. The declined $94,421,000 between the middle of August
several changes in the statement of the Federal last year and this, of which $60,000,000 was in de­
Reserve Bank of Richmond resulted in declines in mand and $34,421,000 was in time deposits. On
cash reserves during last month and last year, the August 10, 1932, the reporting banks were borrow­
decrease during the month amounting to $2,136,000 ing $4,503,000 more from the reserve bank than
and the drop during the year to $13,405,000. The they were borrowing on August 12, 1931. Twentyratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities one of the forty-nine banks were rediscounting at
combined rose 0.56 points last month, but declined I the reserve bank on the 1932 date, while last year
13.3 points during the past year.
at the same time only nine were borrowing.




MONTHLY REVIEW

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in forty-nine regularly reporting
member banks and aggregate deposits in twelve
mutual savings banks in Baltimore totaled $440,607,538 at the end of July 1932, a slightly lower
figure than $442,717,818 at the end of June this
year and materially less than $473,216,490 a year
ago.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

Asheville, N. C-----Baltimore, Md............
Charleston, S. C----Charleston, W. Va.....
Charlotte, N. C.-----Columbia, S. C.-----Cumberland, Md.........
Danville, Va.............
Durham, N. C_____
Greensboro, N. C___
Greenville, S. C.____
Hagerstown, M d.___
Huntington, W. Va...
Lynchburg, Va...........
Newport News, Va._
Norfolk, Va..............
Portsmouth, Va.........
Raleigh, N. C______
Richmond, Va. ____
Roanoke, Va..............
Spartanburg, S. C_
_
Washington, D. C_
_
Wilmington, N. C_
_
Winston-Salem, N. C.
Fifth District Totals

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Aug. 10,
July 13,
Aug. 12,
1932
1932
1931
$

6,499
272,689
7,356
22,624
24,730
10,415
4,464
3,502
11,766
8,398
6.969
4,934
8,749
10,066
5,899
31,047
2,997
11,490
88,535
15,352
3.970
177,266
5,644
19,285

$ 764,646

6,541
259,227
8,671
30,497
28,585
12,336
6,985
4,482
12,127
9,847
7,769
6,332
9,738
11,659
6,394
33,850
3,231
14,543
106,738
16,790
4,980
195,842
6,508
25,702

10,182
373,602
18,590
30,885
34,588
16,009
7,078
5,907
19,411
14,769
11,958
6,796
12,995
11,961
9,777
42,326
3,770
21,941
101,393
22,480
7,006
189,371
8,291
26,312

$ 829,374

$1,007,398

$

Aggregate payments by checks drawn on clearing
house banks in twenty-four cities of the Fifth Fed­
eral reserve district are shown in the accompanying
table for three equal periods of four weeks, ended
August 10, 1932, July 13, 1932, and August 12, 1931,
thus affording opportunity for comparison of the
latest available figures with those of the preceding
like period this year and the corresponding period
a year ago. Lower price levels this year in many
lines affect the comparison of the 1932 figures with
those for 1931, and account for part of this year’s
decline.
During the four weeks ended August 10 this
year, aggregate debits to individual, firm and cor­
poration accounts in the reporting cities totaled
$764,646,000, a decrease of $64,728,000, or 7.8 per
cent, under aggregate debits in the preceding four
weeks, ended July 13, 1932, every city on the re­
porting list except Baltimore showing lower figures
for the more recent period. A decline at this time
is seasonal, due chiefly to large semi-annual and
quarterly payments occurring in the earlier period,
around July 1. Last year the decline between the
two periods was 8.4 per cent, somewhat more than
the 7.8 per cent decrease this year. Baltimore
showed an increase of 5.2 per cent.




3

A comparison of the figures reported for the
four weeks ended August 10 this year with the
figures for the corresponding period ended August
12, 1931, shows a decline of $242,752,000, or 24.1
per cent, but at least part of this decrease was due
to lower price levels this year. Every one of the
twenty-four reporting cities show materially lower
figures for the 1932 period.

Commercial Failures
Commercial insolvencies in the Fifth Federal
reserve district in July 1932 totaled 173, with aggre­
gate liabilities amounting to $4,545,602, an increase
in number of 94.4 per cent and a rise in liabilities
of 244.2 per cent in comparison with 89 failures and
estimated liabilities totaling $1,320,725 in July 1931.
Both the number of failures and the aggregate
liabilities involved in Fifth district failures last
month were larger than for any other July since
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond began its
insolvency record in 1919, but both figures last
month were below those of June this year. The
Fifth district record for July 1932 was much worse
than the average record for the United States,
which showed increases in number of insolvencies
amounting to 30.9 per cent and in liabilities totaling
42.9 per cent in comparison with July 1931, but the
unfavorable comparison was due in part to the
relatively good record of the Fifth district in July
last year. All of the twelve reserve districts re­
ported more failures in July 1932 than in July 1931,
and all except two districts, Philadelphia and St.
Louis, reported greater liabilities this year.

Employment
In July and the first half of August some im­
provement was reported in employment conditions
in the Fifth Federal reserve district. A consider­
able number of industrial plants took on additional
workers, and one large corporation announced the
restoration of wages to the level from which a cut
was made last winter. The opening of tobacco
markets in South Carolina and border North Caro­
lina towns gave employment to several hundred
persons.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal production in the United States
in July 1932 totaled 17,830,000 net tons, a larger out­
put than 17,749,000 tons dug in June this year but
much lower than 29,790,000 tons brought to the sur­
face in July 1931. Total production of soft coal
during the present calendar year to August 6
amounted to 166,806,000 tons, the lowest figure in
many years. The July 23 report of the Bureau of
Mines, Department of Commerce, gave coal pro­
duction figures by States for the month of June
1932, and also for the first six months of this year
in comparison with other recent years. W est Vir­
ginia mines led in production in June with 5,682,000
net tons, Pennsylvania ranking second with 5,052,-

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

000 tons and in the first half of this year W est Vir­
ginia mined 39,965,000 tons against 36,741,000 tons
mined in Pennsylvania.

Textiles
It is customary for Southern textile mills to
close for a week or ten days in July to give em­
ployees a vacation and to enable the management to
overhaul machinery, and in July this year the re­
striction in operating time was extended further to
prevent the accumulation of manufactured goods.
However, since the first of August nearly all mills
have started up again, and orders have increased,
chiefly due to the influence of the Department of
Agriculture’s first cotton condition report of this
season, which was issued on August 8. The outlook
for the textile industry is now considered better
than it has been for many months. Cotton con­
sumption in the Fifth district mills in July 1932
totaled only 129,389 bales, a lower figure than 144,892 bales used in June this year, and 36 per cent
less than 202,187 bales consumed in July 1931. Last
month North Carolina mills used 66,144 bales, South
Carolina mills used 56,729 bales, and Virginia mills
used 6,516 bales, all lower figures than those re­
ported for July 1931. July 1932 consumption in Vir­
ginia and the Carolinas was 46.4 per cent of National
consumption, a higher figure than either 45.2 per
cent of National consumption in June 1932 or 44.9
per cent in July 1931.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices continued to range around
5y2 cents per pound during the second half of July
and the first week in August, but when the Depart­
ment of Agriculture’s first condition report of the
year on the 1932 cotton crop was issued on August
8 prices of cotton rose more than a cent a pound,
and has held the gain to the present writing. In
our Review last month we quoted 5.53 cents per pound
as the average paid for middling grade upland cot­
ton, % inch staple, on leading Southern markets on
July 15. The price rose to 5.65 cents on August 5.
On August 12, the first date for which official aver­
ages were obtainable after the release of the Aug­
ust 8 condition report, the price was 6.82 cents, and
on August 19, the latest date for which figures are
available, the average price was 7.11 cents. Quo­
tations are now higher than prices at this time
last year.
The Department of Agriculture’s first report on
this year’s probable production of cotton, issued on
August 8, estimated the crop at only 11,306,000
equivalent 500-pound bales, which was about a mil­
lion bales lower than private observers expected.
As previously stated, the report immediately raised
cotton prices more than a cent a pound. The De­
partm ent said that prospects for this year’s crop
are more uncertain than usual because boll weevils
are present in greater numbers than in any year
since 1928. Mention is also made of a material re­




duction in the use of fertilizer this year, with re­
sulting small plants in many sections of the cotton
belt. The condition of the crop on August 1 was
65.6 per cent of a theoretical normal, and the pro­
spective yield per acre was given as 149.6 pounds,
both figures lower than the averages for the past
ten years. The indicated yield of 11,306,000 bales
compared with 17,096,000 bales ginned from the
1931 crop, a decrease this year of 5,790,000 bales,
or 34 per cent. This year’s yield, if realized on the
basis of the August 1 condition, will be 3,352,000
bales less than average annual production during
the past ten years.
In the cotton growing states of the Fifth reserve
district, production this year is forecast to be ma­
terially smaller than last year, the decline aver­
aging 37 per cent in comparison with the National
decline of 34 per cent. South Carolina is expected
to grow only 590,000 bales this year, a decrease of
41 per cent in comparison with 1,005,000 bales gin­
ned in 1931. North Carolina’s crop this year is fore­
cast as 509,000 bales, showing a decline of 33 per
cent from 756,000 bales grown last year. The Vir­
ginia cotton crop this year of 35,000 bales shows
a decline of only 17 per cent under 42,000 bales
ginned in 1931. Total figures for the district are
1,134,000 bales this year, compared with 1,803,000
bales gathered last year. Every cotton growing
state in the United States shows a reduction in
probable production this year.
Consumption of cotton in the United States in
July 1932 totaled 278,656 bales, compared with 320,783 bales used in June this year and 450,884 bales
in July 1931. Total consumption for the cotton
year ended July 31, 1932, amounted to 4,869,103
bales, compared with 5,262,974 bales consumed in
the corresponding period of the 1930-1931 season.
Manufacturing establishments held 1,218,863 bales
on July 31, compared with 1,322,793 bales held on
June 30 and 995,526 bales on July 31, 1931. Pub­
lic warehouses and compresses held 6,703,453 bales
in storage at the end of July this year, compared
with 7,154,241 bales so held a month earlier and
4,524,467 bales on July 31 last year. July exports
totaled 449,476 bales, compared with 360,205 bales
sent abroad in June 1932 and 259,059 bales exported
in July 1931. Exports during the cotton year end­
ed July 31 totaled 8,707,548 bales, compared with
6,759,927 bales shipped over seas during the cor­
responding year ended July 31, 1931. Spindles ac­
tive at some time in July numbered 19,758,252,
compared with 20,561,914 in June this year and
25,825,718 in July 1931.
Cotton consumption in the cotton growing states
totaled 239,186 bales in July, compared with 274,687 bales used in June and 353,944 bales in July
1931. Last month’s consumption in the cotton
growing states amounted to 85.4 per cent of N at­
ional consumption, a lower percentage than 85.6
per cent in June this year but higher than 78.5 per
cent in July last year. Of the 239,186 bales of cot­
ton consumed in the cotton growing states in July,

MONTHLY REVIEW

5

the fifth district mills used 129,389 bales, or 54.1 production shows the greatest decline, July 1932
per cent, a lower percentage than 572 per cent of production being approximately 25 per cent less
Southern consumption attained by Fifth district than the output in July 1931.
mills in July last year.
Agricultural Notes
Tobacco
Maryland crops declined seriously in condition dur­
Prospects for the tobacco crop in the Fifth dis­ ing July, due to dry weather. Corn held its own,
trict on August 1 indicate a yield of approximately but production forecasts of all other crops were
385.771.000 pounds in comparison with 684,996,000 lower on August 1 than a month earlier. The
pounds produced in the district in 1931, a reduction wheat crop, in particular, turned out light in
of 43.7 per cent in comparison with a National de­ weight, and only 4,940,000 bushels were harvested
crease of 3&3 per cent. In North Carolina, which in comparison with 9,696,000 bushels in 1931, this
leads in tobacco production in the Fifth district, a year’s yield being the smallest since 1872. Fruit
yield of about 2w>,560,000 pounds is expected this crops suffered ereatly in July, and the apple crop,
year, compared with 479,526,000 pounds in 1931. forecast at 1,444,000 bushels on August 1, compared
The Virginia crop on August 1 indicated a yield of quite unfavorably with 3,458,000 bushels gathered
57.812.000 pounds, compared with 97,920,000 pounds last year. A peach crop of 312,000 bushels this
grown last year. South Carolina tobacco is expect­ year compares with 820,000 bushels in 1931. This
ed to yield 32,000,000 pounds, compared with 70,- year’s corn crop is forecast at 16,058,000 bushels,
070.000 pounds in 1931. The Maryland crop of 26,- in comparison with 20,710,000 bushels grown in
064.000 pounds is below 32,160,000 pounds last year. 1931. A 1932 oat crop of 1,500,000 bushels is 25
Prospects in West Virginia are for a yield of 3,- per cent less than 2,010,000 bushels last year. Irish
335.000 pounds this year, compared with 5,320,000 potatoes this year amounting to 3,230,000 bushels
pounds grown in 1931. Tobacco auction markets compare better with 3,360,000 bushels dug in 1931
m South Carolina and border counties in North than most other crops, but the 1932 sweet potato
Carolina opened early in August. Prices paid in crop of 1,480,000 bushels is 26 per cent below the
^'the early days of the present season were about 1931 yield of 2,013,000 bushels. The only Mary­
the same as those of last year on the better grades land crops which show larger yields this year than
: of tobacco, but low grades are selling higher than last are barley and hay.
they did in 1931. As is the case in nearly all years,
Virginia crops declined during July as a result of
t;he tobacco brought to market in the first weeks
c*f the season was chiefly primings and lugs. The unfavorable weather conditions throughout most
drastic reduction in tobacco yield this year has in­ sections of the State. The poorest conditions are
fluenced prices on auction markets less than would reported in the Central and Southern counties where
be the case in most years, chiefly because recent the rainfall was very light. Corn suffered more
larg e crops have built up an unusually large sur­ than any other crop and many fields were seriously
plus of tobacco from which manufacturers can draw damaged by the hot, dry weather during the latter
if thvs year’s crop turns out as short as is now in­ part of the month. Showers since August 1 have
improved conditions in many sections, but some
dicated.
parts of the State continue dry. The final produc­
tion of such crops as corn, cotton, tobacco and pea­
Tobacco Manufacturing
nuts will depend upon weather conditions during
On August 19, the Commissioner of Internal Rev­ August as this is the critical month in the develop­
enue issued a report on taxes collected in July 1931 ment of these crops. Early threshing reports show
on manufactured tobacco products. July produc­ that the wheat yield was even less than had been
tion of cigarettes in the United States numbered estimated on July 1. Heads were poorly filled and
9,534.022.443, compared with 10,699,528^523 ciga­ the grains were small and in some cases shriveled.
rettes mupufactured in July 1931. Smoking and Total production of wheat is estimated at 6,520,000
chewing tobacco declined from 27,253,731 pounds bushels, compared with 13,266,000 bushels harvested
in July last year to 24,296,142 pounds in July this last year. The August 1 condition of com indi­
year. Cigars manufactured dropped from 478^00,- cates a production of 31,500,000 bushels, compared
849 in July 1931 to 361,240,267 in July 1932. Snuff with 43,061,000 bushels harvested last year. Pros­
production fell from 3,407,519 pounds to 2,437,112 pects for late hay crops declined considerably dur­
pounds. During the month of July 1932, taxes on ing July. The yield of hay harvested in June and
cigarettes totaled $28,605,438, compared with $32,- July was fairly good, however, so total production
103,234 collected in the corresponding month last of hay is estimated at 894,000 tons, compared with
year. Taxes on smoking and chewing tobacco de­ 993,000 tons harvested last year. The condition
creased duruM the same period from $4,905,963 to of pastures declined rapidly during July and on
r
$4,373,874. Cigarette manufacture dropped approx­ August 1 the condition was reported at 64 per cent
imately 11 per cent below the production in July of normal, compared with 90 per cent last year.
1931, and other manufactured tobacco, exclusive Rains since August 1 have revived pastures in many
of cigars, is off between 12 and 13 per cent Cigar sections of the State, but generally frequent show-




MONTHLY REVIEW

era will be needed daring August to restore pas­
tures to their usual condition. The growth of pea­
nuts was retarded by dry weather but growers were
able to cultivate the fields and there is practically
no grass, which in a wet season causes a heavy re­
duction in the yield of nuts. The stand is good and
the plants have an excellent color, but no estimate
of production can be made until the acreage to be
hogged off is determined by the farmers. Early
commercial potato growers reported a crop of
7,175,000 bushels, compared with 10,639,000 bushels
last year. The condition of sweet potatoes declined
in July and a crop of 4,560,000 bushels is indicated,
compared with 4,750,000 bushels harvested last
year. Weather conditions during August will
largely determine the final yield; The Virginia
commercial apple crop is estimated to be 2,040,000
barrels, compared with 3,500,000 barrels harvested
last year. The quality of apples this season is re­
ported to be very good except for scab injury in
poorly sprayed orchards. Peach prospects declined
last month as weather conditions were unfavorable
and die production will be less titan was estimated
earlier in the season. The total production for the
State is estimated to be 306,000 bushels, compared
with 1,600,000 bushels produced last year. The size
of the fruit is smaller than usual but otherwise the
quality is very good.
North Carolina experienced the hottest and dryest
July in many years, and some sections of the State
had near drought conditions. The rainfall during
the month consisted mostly of light showers which
were of little benefit to plants. The severely hot
ten-day period about the middle of July was seri­
ously harmful to crops. During the last few days
in July and the first of August good rains occurred
generally over the State, but these were not suf­
ficient to relieve the dry conditions. Corn has prob­
ably suffered more from drought than other major
crops, and this year's yield is estimated at 35,520,000 bushels, compared with 48,072,000 bushels har­
vested in 1931. The peanut crop showed a condition
of 71 per cent on August 1, compared with 80 per
cent a year earlier. The crop has a healthy appear­
ance and showers early in August were beneficial,
but no estimate of production can yet be made.
The North Carolina wheat crop of 3,515,000 bushels
compares with 4,407,000 bushels threshed last year,
and the oat crop of 3,978,000 bushels this year com­
pares with 4,531,000 bushels harvested in 1931. The
hay crop of 1932 is estimated at 551,000 tons, com­
pared with 677,000 tons last year. The total apple
crop is forecast at 1,460,000 bushels, compared with




5.328.000 bushels gathered in 1931, and this year’s
peach crop of 1,540,000 bushels compares with 3,128.000 bushels last year. The sweet potato crop
of 6,853,000 bushels in comparison with 6,560,000
bushels dug in 1931 shows the only increase in pro­
duction among the North Carolina crops.
South Carolina suffered from hot, dry weather in
July, and crop prospects declined materially. The
indicated yield per acre of all crops combined on
August 1 was 13.3 per cent below the ten-year av­
erage. However, good rains early in August im­
proved the situation for all crops except corn, most
of which was too far advanced for the rain to help.
Prospects for corn production declined during the
month from a forecast of 23,780,000 bushels on July
1 to 17,220,000 bushels on August 1, a decrease of
28 per cent during July and 25 per cent less than
22.994.000 bushels harvested in 1931. Favorable
weather during the balance of the season may help
late corn to some extent, but the August 1 condition
indicated the smallest yield since ISOl. Hay pros­
pects also were cut by the dry weather in July, and
the forecast of 135,000 tons is 24 per cent less than
178.000 tons cut last year. South Carolina’s apple
crop for this year is only 141,000 bushels, compared
with 320,000 bushels gathered last year, and the
1932 peach crop of 704,000 bushels compares quite .
unfavorably with 1,840,000 bushels in 1931. The*;,
oat crop threshed out 7,974,000 bushels this year,
compared with 9,450,000 bushels harvested in 1931.''
Wheat produced a larger yield this year than last,
703.000 bushels for 1932 comparing with 689,000
bushels in 1931, and this year’s sweet potato crotp
of 4,200,000 bushels is 32 per cent above the sho rt
crop of 3,180,000 bushels dug last year.
West Virginia crops averaged only 847 per cent, of
the ten-year average in condition on August 1, and
prospects were for materially lower yields this year
in nearly all crops. The forecast of corn produc­
tion for 1932 is 11,448,000 bushels, compared, with
12.934.000 bushels harvested in 1931. This year’s
yield of wheat, 1,254,000 bushels, compares; with
2.373.000 bushels last year. Oats turned out 2,584.000 bushels this year and 3,552,000 bushels in
1931, and this year’s hay yield of 583,000 tons com­
pares with 650,000 tons last year. The Irish po­
tato crop this year is estimated at 3,120,000 bushels,
which shows little change from 3,200,000 bushels
last year. The West Virginia apple crop of 5,215,000 bushels is less than half the 1931 yield of 12,954.000 bushels, and the 1932 peach crop yielded
only 176,000 bushels, in comparison with 1,030,000
bushels in 1931.

7

MONTHLY REVIEW

Construction
Building Permits Issued, Fifth District Cities,
July 1932 and 1931
CITIES

Permits Issued
1932
1931

929
Baltimore, Md.....
8
Cumberland, Md.
8
Frederick, Md.....
10
Hagerstown, Md.
12
Salisbury, Md.....
7
Danville, Va........ .....
23
Lynchburg, Va......
91
Norfolk, Va...........
3
Petersburg, Va......
19
Portsmouth, Va. ....
104
Richmond, Va. ___
27
Roanoke, Va............
2
Bluefield, W. Va....
84
Charleston, W. Va..
14
Clarksburg, W. Va.
8
Huntington, W. Va.
21
Asheville, N. C.___
19
Charlotte, N. C__
18
Durham, N. C.......
36
Greensboro, N. C_
_
5
High Point, N. C.
18
Raleigh, N. C,
5
Rocky Mount, N. C...
7
Salisbury, N. C_
_
11
Wilmington, N. C.__
33
Winston-Salem, N. C.
39
Charleston, S. C___
29
Columbia, S. C.___
23
C reenville, S. G __
8
1 ock Hill, S. C.__
6
Spartanburg, S. C...
410
Washington, D. C...
District Totals ...... 2,037

Total Valuation
1932
1931

1,179 $1,022,400
8,710
20
9,928
15
4,635
12
5,200
30
5,888
11
115,665
32
103,030
151
622
7
5,765
35
77,198
140
12,670
29
36,500
5
20,613
40
5,240
12
2,890
13
8,395
26
4,605
50
41,050
21
9,694
29
5,800
20
8,169
18
845
9
13,225
6
5,950
17
11,250
84
30,834
47
30,600
56
12,575
21
5,335
15
1,177
17
648,570
590

$4,989,120
62,865
28,362
20,145
88,775
11,880
77,380
233,093
18,080
21,435
287,285
41,775
12,500
149,828
22,400
8,850
18,300
80,510
70,925
24,565
96.625
25,715
51,800
11,040
32,200
97,500
93,025
61,612
62,035
252,193
12,190
2,305,115

2,757 $2,275,028

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

July 1932 sales, compared with sales in July 1931:
—29.0
—27.8
—27.1
—29.3
—27.8
Total sales Jan.-July 1932, compared with Jan.-July 1931:
—21.2
—20.7
—162
—25.8
—19.5
July 31, 1932 stocks, compared with stocks on July 31, 1931:
—12.9
—15.0
— 7.7
—19.4
—12.7
July 31, 1932 stocks, compared with stocks on June 30, 1932:
— 7.2
—11.4
— 9.4
— 8.1
— 9.8
Number of times stock was turned in July 1932:
.217
.207
.215
.153
.205
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1932:
1.987
2.001
2.088
1.406
1.964
Percentage of July 1, 1932, receivables collected in July:
26.5
21.5
26.5
21.2
23.7

$9,369,123

Building permits issued in July in thirty-two leading
cities of the Fifth reserve district numbered 2,037,
compared with 2,757 permits issued in July 1931,
a decrease this year of 26.1 per cent, and estimated
valuation figures for last month totaled only $2,275,028, a decrease of 75.7 per cent in comparison
with valuation figures totaling $9,369,123 in July
last year. Only three cities, Bluefield, W. Va.,
Lynchburg, Va., and Salisbury, N. C., reported high­
er figures for July 1932, and the three largest cities
in the district, Baltimore, Washington and Rich­
mond, reported relatively small figures.
Contracts awarded in July for construction work in
the Fifth reserve district totaled $20,915,245, com­
pared with $17,449,102 reported for July 1931, ac­
cording to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge
Corporation. Of the July 1932 awards, only $2,387,430 represented residential types of construc­
tion, compared with $5,354,157 for this class of
work in July last year. Contracts for residential
work made up only 11 per cent of all contracts
awarded in July 1932, compared with approximate­
ly 31 per cent of July 1931 contracts.




Retail Trade, 33 Department Stores

Wholesale Trade, 62 Firms
22 #

9

Groceries Dry Goods

6

Shoes

13

Hardware

12

Drugs

July 1932 sales, compared with sales in July 1931
—25.4
—41.3
—37.3
—38.6
—
^30.8
July 1932 sales, compared with sales in June 1932 •
— 72
—16.7
—15.3
—26.6
—16.0
Jan.-July 1932 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-July 1931:
—172
—29.1
—17.2
—21.2
—18.3
July 31, 1932 stocks, compared with July 31, 1931 stocks:
____
—12.2(8*) —262(4*) —31.7(5*) —12.3(7*)
July 31, 1932 stocks, compared with June 30, 1932 stocks:
— 3.3(8*) + 6.9(4*) + 8.1(5*) — 1.7(7*)
____
Percentage of July 1, 1932, receivables collected in July:
55.7(12*) 25.6(6*)
28.7(6*)
22.5(11*) 42.9(8*)

(Compiled August 20, 1932)

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

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

Volume of industrial output declined seasonally
from June to July while factory employment and
payrolls decreased by more than the usual seasonal
amount. In July the general level of wholesale
prices was about 1 per cent higher than in June,
and in the first half of August prices of many lead­
ing commodities advanced considerably. Reserve
bank credit declined somewhat in the four weeks
ending August 17, reflecting chiefly a substantial
growth in the country's stock of monetary gold.

Production and Employment

Industrial production declined by about the usual
seasonal amount in July and the Board's index,
which is adjusted to allow for the usual seasonal
variations, remained unchanged at 59 per cent of
the 1923-1925 average. Activity decreased season­
ally in the steel industry; by slightly more than the
usual seasonal amount in the lumber, cement, news­
print, and meatpacking industries; and by sub­
stantially more than the seasonal amount in the
automobile and lead industries. Output of shoes,
which ordinarily increases in July, declined. At
woolen mills activity increased by a substantial
amount, and at silk mills there was a seasonal in­
crease in production. Activity at cotton mills de­
creased, as is usual in July, while sales of cotton
cloth by manufacturers increased considerably.
Output of coal increased from the low level pre­
vailing in June.
Reports on the volume of factory employment
and payrolls showed substantial declines from the
middle of June to the middle of July. In the ma­
chinery, women's clothing, and hosiery industries,
and at railroad repair shops, the number employed
decreased by considerably more than the usual sea­
sonal amount, and at shoe factories the increase
reported was smaller than usual. In the woolen
goods industry a substantial increase in employ­
ment was reported.
Value of building contracts awarded, as reported
by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, continued at a
low level during July and the first half of August.
Prospects for many leading crops, including corn,
spring wheat, potatoes, and tobacco, were reduced
somewhat during July, according to the Depart­
ment of Agriculture. The estimated total wheat
crop, based on August 1 conditions, is 723,000,000
bushels, a decrease of about 175,000,000 bushels
from last year’s large crop, reflecting a reduction
of 350,000,000 bushels in the winter wheat crop,




offset in part by an estimated increase of 175,000,000 in the spring wheat crop. The first official cot­
ton estimate, as of August 1, was 11,300,000 bales,
as compared with crops of 17,100,000 last season
and 13,900,000 the year before. The indicated pro­
duction of corn is 2,820,000,000 bushels, substanti­
ally larger than the crops of the last two seasons
and slightly larger than the five-year average.

Distribution

Volume of freight traffic decreased somewhat
from June to July, and value of department store
sales was substantially reduced.

Wholesale Prices

The general level of wholesale prices, as meas­
ured by the monthly index of the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, advanced from 63.9 per cent of the 1926
average in June to 64.5 per cent in July. Between
the middle of July and the third week of August
prices of livestock and meats, which had previously
advanced considerably, declined somewhat, while
price increases were reported for many other lead­
ing commodities, including wheat, textile raw ma­
terials and finished products, nonferrous metals,
hides, sugar, coffee, and rubber.

Bank Credit

The total volume of reserve bank credit out­
standing, which had increased by $850,000,000 be­
tween the end of March and the third week of
July, declined by $95,000,000 in the four weeks to
August 17, and in the same period member banks
increased their reserve balances by $45,000,000.
These changes reflected chiefly the addition of $95,000,000 to the country's stock of monetary gold
and an inflow to the banks of $30,000,000 in cur­
rency.
Total loans and investments of reporting mem­
ber banks in leading cities were $250,000,000 larger
on August 17 than four weeks earlier. Total loans
of these banks continued to decline throughout the
period, while their investments increased substan­
tially, reflecting an increase in holdings of United
States Government securities in connection with
Treasury financing operations. Time deposits in­
creased by $95,000,000 and net demand deposits by
$85,000,000.
Money rates in the open m arket remained at low
levels. Successive reductions brought the prevail­
ing rates on prime commercial paper to a range of
2-2% per cent in the first part of August.

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