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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
FORT
to
EFhave borneS fruitstimulate business
in the Fifth Fed­
eral reserve district, and basic condi­

AUGUST 31, 1933

tions appear to be better than they
have been for several years. Much of
the improvement is just getting under
way, and it is too early to judge as to
its continuance, but there has been a
definite upward trend during the past
two months. The Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond’s rediscounts for
member banks declined slightly last
month, contrary to seasonal trend at a
time when early marketing of agricul­
tural products normally requires coun­
try banks to borrow. Federal reserve
note circulation rose less than usual
just prior to the opening of South Carolina tobacco
markets, but it is probable that the return of funds
from hoarding supplied the banks in tobacco sections
with part of the additional currency they required.
Member banks reported a small decrease in their loans
between the middle of July and the middle of August,
with an accompanying shrinkage in demand deposits,
but time deposits rose during the month, and recent
advances in stock and bond prices materially strength­
ened many banks by reducing book losses in their in­
vestment accounts. Debits to individual accounts fig­
ures in the banks of leading cities showed a smaller
decline than occurs in most years in the four weeks
ended August 9 in comparison with the preceding four
weeks, and figures for the 1933 four weeks were larger
than figures for the corresponding four weeks last year
in sixteen of twenty-three reporting cities. The com­
mercial failure record for July was excellent in the
Fifth district, the number of insolvencies being 41
per cent less and aggregate liabilities involved being
72 per cent less than the number of failures and ag­
gregate liabilities in July 1932. Employment in­
creased in recent weeks in the Fifth district, espe­
cially for industrial workers and clerks in retail es­
tablishments, and there are plans in process of for­




mation which should shortly give em­
ployment to many building tradesmen
and unskilled laborers. Wages of
many people have been raised, thus in­
creasing the ability of the public to
buy consumers’ goods of all kinds.
Production of coal in July was unseasonally high in comparison with other
recent months, reflecting increased de­
mand from industrial consumers. Re­
tail trade as reflected in department
store sales was better in most sections
of the district in July 1933 than in July
1932,
and wholesale trade last month
was in much larger volume, dry goods
sales actually tripling and shoe sales
doubling sales of July last year, while
hardware sales increased over 80 per cent. Activity
in the textile field in July was less than that of May
and June, but was above the level of operations in any
other recent month and was more than double that of
July last year. The mills were so busy last month that
they did not follow their custom of closing a week or
ten days to overhaul machinery or to adjust surplus
stocks to demand. Cotton prices declined after the first
condition report was issued early in August, but the
decline was less than earlier advances, and with a lar­
ger yield of cotton in prospect in the Fifth district this
year cotton farmers are in a much more favorable po­
sition than they were a year ago. Tobacco prospects
for 1933 indicate more than 50 per cent increase in pro­
duction over 1932 in the Fifth district, and prices on
the South Carolina markets have been better than
prices last year. Nearly all crops in the Fifth district
are yielding better this year than last, and in most
cases prices are also higher than those of 1932. Crops
this year were made cheaply, farmers raised relatively
large crops of food and feed products, and on the
whole agriculture appears to be better situated than for
several years, a condition which is already showing it­
self concretely by increased sales of many manufac­
tured products to farmers.

FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

Member Bank Statement

Reserve Bank Statement
000 omitted
ITEMS

Aug. 15
1933

July 15
1933

Aug. 15
1932

Rediscounts held __________ $ 12,443 $ 13,991 $ 28,226
2,767
266
276
Open market paper------------Government securities -------47,133
60,258
58,108
Total earning assets---------78,126
72,967
72,375
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes 137,172 139,801
96,140
Members* reserve deposits___
69,772
49,786
71,608
Cash reserves_____________
80,949
160,843 169,588
Reserve ra tio _____________
61.22
72.58
72.07

The accompanying table shows figures for the prin­
cipal items of condition on the statement of the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond on August 15, 1933,
in comparison with the figures a month and a year
earlier. During the past month, rediscounts for mem­
ber banks declined by $1,548,000, and on August 15
showed a decrease of $15,783,000 during the year.
Holdings of open market paper changed practically
none in the month, decreasing $10,000, but there was
a decline in this item amounting to $2,501,000 during
the year. Government security holdings of the reserve
bank rose by $2,150,000 between July 15 and August
15, and on the latter date totaled $13,125,000 more
than on August 15, 1932. The changes in the several
items nearly balanced each other, total earning assets
on August 15 showing an increase of $592,000 over
total earning assets a month earlier and a decrease of
$5,159,000 in comparison with assets at mid-August
last year. There was an unseasonal decline in the cir­
culation of Federal reserve notes between July 15 and
August 15 amounting to $2,629,000, but the total of
notes in circulation on the latter date was still far
higher than the figures a year ago, a rise of $41,032,000 showing for the year. Note circulation during the
past month reached its lowest point on August 9, since
which time there has been a seasonal rise caused chiefly
by the opening of tobacco markets in South Carolina.
The decline in Federal reserve note circulation during
the past month, at a time when circulation usually in­
creases moderately, may have been caused by a return
of some hoarded funds to trade channels. Member
bank reserve deposits declined by $1,836,000 between
July 15 and August 15, but at the middle of August
reserve deposits were $19,986,000 above the figure on
August 15, 1932. The several changes in the state­
ment of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond re­
sulted in a decline in cash reserves during the past
month amounting to $8,745,000, but during the past
year the cash reserves of the Bank rose by $79,894,000.
The ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabili­
ties combined remained practically unchanged during
the past month, but rose during the year by 10.85
points.




ITEMS

Aug. 9
1933

000 omitted
Ju ly 12 Aug. 10
1932
1933

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments)____ $ 61,781 $ 62,219
All other loans____________
111,023 112.866
Total loans and discounts__ 172,804 175,085
Investments in stocks & bonds 155,217 151,979
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank..
28,936
28,941
Cash in vaults_____________
9,759
10,360
Demand deposits _______
180,096 183,090
Time deposits_____________
133,148 131,842
Borrowed from F. R. Bank__
321
240

$ 65,196
1121,838
187,034
126,832
19,313
8,345
153,946
133,065
2,119

Thirty member banks in ten leading cities of the
Fifth Federal reserve district make weekly reports of
condition to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond,
and the accompanying table shows the totals of the
principal items for the latest available date, August 9,
1933, in comparison with corresponding figures a month
and a year earlier. It should be understood that the
figures reflect the composite condition of the reporting
banks on the report dates only, and are not necessarily
the highest or lowest figures that occurred during the
period under review. Total loans in the thirty report­
ing member banks declined by $2,281,000 between July
12 and August 9, this year, nearly all of the decrease
being in commercial or agricultural loans. Investments
of the reporting banks in stocks and bonds rose $3,238,000 during the past month, all of which was in
ownership of Government securities. Aggregate re­
serve balances of the reporting banks at the reserve
bank showed a daily fluctuation between July 12 and
August 9, decreasing by $5,000, while cash in vaults
declined $601,000 during the month. Demand deposits
declined by $2,994,000 between July 12 and August 9,
in keeping with the decline in loans previously men­
tioned, but this decrease was partly offset by a rise of
$1,306,000 in time deposits during the month. The
reporting banks decreased their borrowing at the re­
serve bank by $81,000 during the month under review.
On August 9, 1933, only two of the thirty institutions
were rediscounting at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond.
Comparison of the August 9, 1933, figures with those
for August 10, 1932, shows a decrease of $14,230,000
in total loans during the year, of which $3,415,000
was in loans on securities and $10,815,000 was in all
other loans, which are largely agricultural or commer­
cial. Investments in securities by the reporting banks
rose $28,385,000 during the year, the rise consisting
chiefly of Government obligations. Aggregate reserve
balance with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
totaled $9,623,000 more on the 1933 date than a year
earlier, and cash in vaults rose $1,414,000 during the
year. Total deposits increased $26,233,000 between
the middle of August last year and this, of which
$26,150,000 was in demand deposits and $83,000 was
in time deposits. On August 9, 1933, the reporting
banks were borrowing $1,879,000 less from the reserve

MONTHLY REVIEW
bank than they were borrowing on August 10, 1932.
Only two of the thirty banks were rediscounting at the
reserve bank on the 1933 date, while last year at the
same time nine of the thirty were borrowing.

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in thirty regularly reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings
banks in Baltimore totaled $319,392,733 at the end of
July 1933, a lower figure than $325,617,214 at the end
of June this year and materially less than $344,548,888
on July 31, 1932.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Aug. 10,
Aug. 9,
July 12,
1932
1933
1933

Asheville, N. C.-----Baltimore, Md...........
Charleston, S. C.----Charleston, W. Va—
Charlotte, N. C-----Columbia, S. C.-----Cumberland, Md.......
Danville, Va............ Durham, N. C-------Greensboro, N. C.---Greenville, S. C.-----Hagerstown, Md.......
Huntington, W. Va—
Lynchburg, Va.........Newport News, Va—
Norfolk, Va...............
Portsmouth, Va. ____
Raleigh, N. C.-------Richmond, Va............
Roanoke, Va..............
Washington, D. C_
_
Wilmington, N. C.__
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 8,038
232,452
8,490
25,285
35,715
11,875
5,233
5,373
17,574
4,056
10,608
4,930
9,349
12,049
5,447
31,807
2,742
11,697
96 775
16,458
139,622
5,468
23,614

$ 7,997
205,779
7,766
35,574
35,818
10,094
6,510
4,616
18,563
3,108
12,009
5,353
8,777
12,362
5,538
33,307
3,174
11,092
97,344
17,218
175,916
5,829
31,498

$ 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
177,266
5,644
19,285

Fifth District Totals..

$724,657

$755,242

$760,676

Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
at clearing house banks in twenty-three cities of the
Fifth Federal reserve district include all checks drawn
against these accounts, whether or not they pass through
the clearing house. Checks for cash pay rolls, checks
cashed over the counters, checks deposited in the banks
upon which drawn, and checks sent out of town and
returned direct by correspondent banks or through the
Federal reserve bank transit letters are all included in
the figures. Debits figures therefore give a fair pic­
ture of transactions through the banks in the reporting
cities, and, if allowance is made for price changes,
offer opportunity for comparison of the latest figures
shown in the accompanying table with corresponding
figures a month and a year earlier.
During the four weeks ended August 9 this year,
aggregate debits to individual, firm and corporation
accounts in the reporting cities totaled $724,657,000,
a decrease of $30,585,000, or 4.0 per cent, under ag­




3

gregate debits in the preceding four weeks, ended July
12,1933. A decline at this time is seasonal, due chiefly
to large quarterly and semi-annual payments occurring
in the earlier period, around July 1, but this year the
decline was smaller than usual, and eight of the twentythree cities reported higher figures for the more recent
four weeks. The eight cities which showed larger
debits for the four weeks ended August 9 were Ashe­
ville, Baltimore, Charleston, S. C., Columbia, Danville,
Greensboro, Huntington and Raleigh.
A comparison of the figures reported for the four
weeks ended August 9 this year with the figures for
the corresponding period ended August 10, 1932, shows
a decline of only $36,019,000, or 4.7 per cent, the best
comparison made with the preceding year for several
years. Sixteen of the twenty-three cities actually re­
ported higher debits figures for the 1933 four weeks,
but the declines in Baltimore and Washington were
more than sufficient to offset the gains reported else­
where. The marked decreases in Baltimore and Wash­
ington figures were due chiefly to smaller numbers of
reporting banks this year, several important institu­
tions in each city having failed to open after the March
banking holiday.

Commercial Failures
Commercial insolvencies in the Fifth Federal reserve
district in July 1933 totaled 102, with aggregate lia­
bilities amounting to $1,262,789, a decrease in number
of 41 per cent and a decline in liabilities of 72 per
cent in comparison with 173 failures and estimated lia­
bilities totaling $4,545,602 in July 1932. The number
of defaults reported last month was not unusually low
for July, but total liabilities involved were not only
the lowest for any other July since 1919, but were also
the lowest for any month since August 1930. The
Fifth district record for July 1933 was about equal to
the average record for the United States, which showed
decreases in number of insolvencies amounting to 45
per cent and in liabilities totaling 69 per cent in com­
parison with July 1932. All of the twelve reserve
districts reported fewer insolvencies in July 1933 than
in July 1932, and all except the Minneapolis district
reported lower liabilities this year. Dun & Bradstreet
Monthly Review, from which these figures are taken,
states that improvement was greatest in the Boston,
Philadelphia and Atlanta districts, in which failures
numbered less than half the failures in July last year,
and liabilities also totaled much less than half the pre­
vious year’s figures.

Employment
There has been marked improvement in employment
conditions since the beginning of July, but it is difficult
to secure accurate figures on the number of additional
people who have obtained work. Some of the improve­
ment has been due to increased activity in industrial
plants arising from a larger volume of orders for
merchandise, but a considerable amount of it is due
to co-operation with the NRA. It appears that more

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

increases in wages have been made than additions to
working forces, a condition which increases total pur­
chasing power but does not assist unemployed people.
A number of firms and corporations seem to be wait­
ing until codes are adopted or rules are clarified before
adding materially to their working forces. Most of
the people who obtained employment in the oast six
weeks were industrial workers or retail trade employ­
ees, and building tradesmen have as yet experienced
practically no improvement in the demand for their
services. Labor troubles in the Fifth district, which
were in evidence in several towns a month ago, have
nearly all been settled.

Coal Production
Production of bituminous coal in the United States
in July 1933 totaled 29,482,000 net tons, a larger out­
put than 25,320,000 tons dug in June this year and
much more than 17,857,000 tons mined in July 1932.
Total production of soft coal during the present cal­
endar year to August 5 amounted to 180,092,000 tons,
a higher figure than 164,922,000 tons mined to the
same date last year. The July 22 report of the Bureau
of Mines, Department of Commerce, gave coal produc­
tion figures by states for the month of June 1933, and
also for the first six months of this year in comparison
with other recent years. West Virginia mines were
second in production in June with 7,467,000 net tons,
Pennsylvania ranking first with 7,520,000 tons, but
in the first half of this year West Virginia mined 38,050,000 tons against 37,835,000 tons mined in Penn­
sylvania. In the first half of 1933, Hampton Roads
ports shipped 8,351,000 net tons of bituminous coal,
compared with 8,471,000 tons shipped in the first half
of 1932. Fifth district ports handled approximately
69 per cent of all tidewater coal shipments in the first
six months of this year.

Textiles
After the record breaking month of June, activity
in the textile field in both the United States and the
Fifth district declined about 13 to 14 per cent in July,
but continued far above the level of operations in the
past two or three years. Fifth district cotton mills
consumed 274,957 bales of cotton last month, a de­
crease of 13.8 per cent under 318,835 bales consumed
in June 1933 but an increase of 112.5 per cent over
129,389 bales used in July 1932. Last month North
Carolina mills used 152,620 bales, South Carolina mills
used 110,452 bales, and Virginia mills used 11,885
bales. July 1933 consumption in Virginia and the
Carolinas was 45.82 per cent of National consumption,
a slightly higher percentage than 45.78 per cent of
National consumption in June 1933 but lower than
46.45 per cent in July 1932. On July 21, the Depart­
ment of Commerce issued a report on spindles in place,
spindles active in June, total spindle hours of opera­
tion in June, and average hours of operation per spin­
dle in place in June. On June 30, 1933, there were




30,918,758 spindles in place in the United States, North
Carolina leading all states with 6,142,964, or 19.9 per
cent of the total, Massachusetts ranking second with
5,824,052 spindles, or 18.8 per cent, and South Caro­
lina third with 5,681,388 spindles, or 18.4 per cent.
The Fifth district as a whole had 40.4 per cent of total
spindles in place in the United States at the end of
June 1933. In actual spindle hours of operation, South
Carolina led all states for June with 2,431,494,565
hours, or 26.1 per cent of the National total of 9,299,175,026 hours, and North Carolina ranked second
with 2,047,695,331 hours, or 22.0 per cent, while Mas­
sachusetts showed only 1,039,128,278 spindle hours, or
11.2 per cent. The Fifth district, with 40.4 per cent
of total spindles in the United States in June, showed
50.3 per cent of total hours of operation. In actual
hours of operation per spindle in place, South Carolina
ranked first last month with 428 hours, North Caro­
lina with an average of 333 hours ranked fifth, and
Virginia with an average of 301 hours ranked sixth.
The average hours of operation per spindle in place
for the United States in June was 301 hours, much
lower than the averages in the Carolinas but exactly
equal to the Virginia average.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices declined steadily during the past
five weeks, dropping from an average of 11.34 cents
per pound on ten Southern markets on July 14 to
8.90 cents on August 18, the latest date for which
official figures are available. The decline was due to
prospects for a materially larger yield this year than
had been expected, in spite of plans for the destruction
of about 10,000,0(X) acres of cotton.
The Department of Agriculture’s first report on this
year’s probable production of cotton, issued on August
8, estimated the crop at 12,314,000 equivalent 500pound bales, which was about a million bales more than
private observers expected, although allowance was
made for the contemplated destruction of 10,000,000
acres of growing cotton. The Department of Agri­
culture states that if part of the crop had not been
plowed up, the probable yield would have been 16,561,000 bales. After the appearance of this report
the price of cotton declined by about a cent a pound.
Prospects for this year’s crop are much better than
usual, growing conditions having been particularly fav­
orable in the Atlantic Seaboard States, where the crop
is early, well fruited, and where weevils are less active
than usual. In the central part of the belt, and in
Texas and Oklahoma, conditions have been less fav­
orable but are still above average. The condition of
the crop on August 1 was 74.2 per cent of a theoreti­
cal normal, the highest figure except one for any Aug­
ust 1 since 1915, and the prospective yield per acre was
given as 198.4 pounds, a much higher figure than the
ten-year average. The indicated yield of 12,314,000
bales compares with 13,002,000 bales ginned from the
1932 crop, a decrease this year of only 688,000 bales,
or 5.3 per cent.

MONTHLY REVIEW

5

In the cotton growing states of the Fifth reserve dis­
trict, production this year is forecast to be more than
last year, the increase averaging 8.7 per cent in com­
parison with the National decline of 5.3 per cent. South
Carolina’s crop this year is expected to yield 791,000
bales, an increase of 10.5 per cent over 716,000 bales
ginned last year. North Carolina’s crop is forecast
as 696,000 bales, showing an increase of 5.5 per cent
over 660,000 bales grown last year. The Virginia
cotton crop this year of 45,000 bales shows a rise of
32.4 per cent over 34,000 bales ginned in 1932. Total
figures for the district are 1,532,000 bales this year,
compared with 1,410,000 bales gathered last year.
Consumption of cotton in the United States in July
1933 totaled 600,143 bales, compared with 696,472 bales
used in June this year and 278,568 bales in July 1932.
Total consumption for the cotton year ended July 31,
1933, amounted to 6,135,525 bales, compared with 4,866,016 bales consumed in the corresponding period
of the 1931-1932 season. Manufacturing establish­
ments held 1,351,033 bales on July 31, compared with
1,400,804 bales held on June 30 and 1,217,886 bales
on July 31, 1932. Public warehouses and compresses
held 5,739,100 bales in storage at the end of July this
year, compared with 6,318,944 bales so held a month
earlier and 6,699,868 bales on July 31 last year. July
exports totaled 692,007 bales, compared with 614,561
bales sent abroad in June 1933 and 449,476 bales ex­
ported in July 1932. Exports during the cotton year
ended July 31 totaled 8,419,399 bales, compared with
8,707,548 bales shipped over seas during the corres­
ponding year ended July 31, 1932. Spindles active at
some time in July numbered 26,069,158, compared
with 25,540,504 in June this year and 19,758,252 in
July 1932.
Cotton consumption in the cotton growing states
totaled 483,230 bales in July, compared with 565,644
bales used in June and 239,069 bales in July 1932.
Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
amounted to 80.5 per cent of National consumption, a
lower percentage than either 81.2 per cent in June this
year or 85.8 per cent in July last year. Of the 483,230 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton growing
states in July, Fifth district mills used 274,957 bales,
or 56.9 per cent, compared with 54.1 per cent of South­
ern consumption attained by Fifth district mills in
July last year.

grown last year. South Carolina tobacco is expected
to yield 71,300,000 pounds, compared with 39,236,000
pounds in 1932. The Maryland crop of 23,562,000
pounds is slightly larger than 22,750,000 pounds last
year. Prospects in West Virginia are for a yield of
4.830.000 pounds this year, compared with 2,312,000
pounds grown in 1932. Tobacco auction markets in
South Carolina opened on August 10, and prices paid
since the opening have been pleasing to most of the
Carolina growers. Good grades are bringing somewhat
higher prices than a year ago, and low grades are sell­
ing considerably higher this year. Large stocks of
tobacco were carried over from previous years, and
tend to keep prices relatively low, and in addition to
these reserves the big increase in 1933 production fur­
ther handicaps the farmer from a price standpoint. In
view of these adverse factors, most of the growers
appear to feel that prices are as high as could be ex­
pected, and they are much better situated than they
were a year ago when the yield was only two-thirds
as large as the 1933 yield and prices were materially
lower than they are this year.

Tobacco

Maryland weather was not very favorable for crop
growth in July, but a few crops showed some improve­
ment. Corn production on August 1 was forecast as
18.048.000 bushels, a higher estimate than was made
on July 1, and materially above the yield of 16,440,000
bushels in 1932. The wheat crop also turned out bet­
ter than was expected, and threshing returns indicate
a crop of 6,518,000 bushels, considerably more than the
very short crop of 4,940,000 bushels harvested in 1932
but much below the 1926-1930 average production of
9.690.000 bushels. A 1933 crop of oats totaling 1,348.000 bushels is lower than 1,425,O X bushels in
C)
1932, but this year’s hay yield of 472,000 tons slightly

The August 1 condition of the tobacco crop in the
Fifth district indicated a production this year of 647,602.000 pounds, an increase of 57.5 per cent over last
year’s short crop of 411,132,000 pounds. A National
increase of 27.9 per cent in tobacco production is fore­
cast by the Department of Agriculture. In North
Carolina, which leads in tobacco production in the Fifth
district, a yield of 470,400,000 pounds is expected this
year, compared with 293,750,000 pounds in 1932. The
Virginia crop on August 1 indicated a yield of 77,510.000 pounds, compared with 53,084,000 pounds




Tobacco Manufacturing
On August 19, the Commissioner of Internal Rev­
enue issued a report on taxes collected in July 1933 on
manufactured tobacco products. July production of
cigarettes in the United States numbered 9,526,101,183,
compared with 9,534,022,443 cigarettes manufactured
in July 1932. Smoking and chewing tobacco increased
from 24,296,142 pounds in July last year to 25,977,179 pounds in July this year. Cigars manufactured
rose from 361,240,267 in July 1932 to 400,511,453 in
July 1933. Snuff production increased from 2,437,112
pounds to 2,805,228 pounds. During the month of
July 1933, taxes on cigarettes totaled $28,579,841,
compared with $28,605,438 collected in the correspond­
ing month last year. Taxes on smoking and chewing
tobacco increased during the same period from $4,373,874 to $4,676,012. Although taxes collected on
cigarettes in July this year declined in comparison with
taxes in July 1932, the increased collections on other
forms of manufactured tobacco raised the total receipts
to the Federal Treasury from $34,394,504 in July 1932
to $34,784,237 in July 1933.

Agricultural Notes

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

exceeds 470,000 tons cut last year. Pastures were in
better condition on August 1 than on the same date a
year ago. This year’s apple crop of 1,500,000 bushels
compares favorably with 1,368,000 bushels gathered in
1932, and the Maryland commercial apple crop of 280,000 barrels exceeds the 1932 crop of 252,000 barrels.
A peach crop of 450,000 bushels in 1933 is materially
above last year’s crop of 348,000 bushels, and the
peaches this year are of good quality. The Irish po­
tato crop of 2,820,000 bushels is smaller than last
year’s crop of 2,945,000 bushels, but prices this year
are sufficiently high to more than offset the lower yield.
Sweet potatoes are expected to yield 810,000 bushels,
compared with 920,000 bushels dug in 1932.
Virginia crop conditions improved rapidly following
general rains the latter part of July, and on August 1
prospects were much better than a month earlier.
Corn, tobacco, peanuts, cotton and late hay crops made
rapid growth after the rains and these crops now
promise good yields. The wheat yield turned out a
little better than was expected and the total production
is estimated to be 7,425,000 bushels, which is about
19 per cent greater than last year’s crop of 6,253,000
bushels. Early corn in the southern and southwestern
districts was injured by dry weather, but generally
corn has made wonderful improvement since the July
rain, and the yield will probably be above average. The
August 1 condition indicates a production of 34,385,000
bushels compared with 26,388,000 bushels last year.
Late hay crops improved in July and on August 1 a
better than average yield was indicated. Early hay
crops turned out well, so the total supply of hay will
be greater than last year. Production this year is es­
timated to be 858,000 tons, compared with 772,000 tons
last year. The condition of pastures was very poor
during July until the last week when general rains
caused improvement. The August 1 condition of 73
per cent compared with 74 per cent the ten-year aver­
age for August. The peanut crop made little growth
until the last week of July because of dry weather,
but growers were able to cultivate thoroughly and the
fields are free of grass. The condition of the crop
improved rapidly after the rain, and on August 1 was
reported to be 82 per cent of normal compared with
79 per cent last year. No estimate of peanut produc­
tion will be made until the acreage that will be har­
vested can be determined. The yield of early com­
mercial potatoes was greatly reduced by the hot, dry
weather in June and shipments were less than had
been expected. Prices improved considerably and av­
eraged more than twice those of last year. The con­
dition of late potatoes improved during the latter part
of July. Total production of both early and late po­
tatoes is forecast at 8,742,000 bushels, compared with
9.682.000 bushels last year. Sweet potatoes on August
1 indicated a production of 4,255,000 bushels compared
with 3,610,000 bushels last year. The commercial ap­
ple crop of Virginia is estimated to be 2,265,000 bar­
rels, compared with 1,963,000 barrels last year and
2.720.000 barrels the five-year average production. The
actual pack will be smaller than last year because the




poor quality of the fruit in many orchards will ne­
cessitate a much larger percentage than usual being
sold in bulk. Injury from aphis and scab is probably
the greatest on record, and will result in a very small
percentage of the apples making No. 1 grade. Recent
rains caused much improvement in size and with con­
tinued favorable weather apples will be larger than
usual except where aphis and cedar rust has been
severe.
North Carolina crops made some remarkable im­
provement during July. Less than two inches of rain
fell during June, and May was equally as dry. Early
July was also dry, but during the last two weeks of
the month helpful rains occurred over most of the
State. Corn fields revived and produced fair sized
ears. The indicated production is 40,250,000 bushels,
about five million bushels more than was produced
last year and slightly above the past five years’ average
crop. The peanut crop does not seem to have suffered
as much as some others from dry conditions. June
weather developed good root systems in the plants and
top growth is excellent, although the stand is some­
what spotted. Future rainfall will in a large measure
determine the final outcome of the peanut crop. The
outlook for hay crops in North Carolina was rather
serious until the July rains gave grasses a chance to
grow. There was a slight increase in the acreage of
hay crops this year, and the crop indicated is 605,000
tons as compared with 565,000 tons produced last year.
The condition of pastures at 65 per cent on August 1
is 4 points better than the condition on the same date
last year. Most of the late Irish potato crop is pro­
duced in the western half of the State where dry con­
ditions have prevailed, but there has been considerable
improvement during the past three weeks, and a crop
of 7,469,000 bushels is forecast, an increase of about
13 per cent over last year’s production.
South Carolina crops improved in July and the Aug­
ust 1 outlook for cotton, com, tobacco, hay and sweet
potatoes combined was about 17 per cent above the
final outturn last year and 2 per cent above the tenyear average. The indicated production of corn is
22.330.000 bushels, about 25 per cent above the short
crop of 17,885,000 bushels last year. Hay improvel
about 11 per cent in July and is now forecast at 204,000 tons, about 3 per cent less than 210,000 tons cured
in 1932, but 17 per cent above the ten-year average
production. Sweet potatoes also improved 11 per cent
last month, and the August 1 forecast was 4,720,000
bushels. This is much less than last year’s large crop
of 6,072,000 bushels, but is above average production of
4.227.000 bushels for the years 1921-1930. The 1933
oat crop of 6,825,000 bushels is less than 7,794,000
bushels threshed in 1932. The South Carolina peach
crop of 1,725,000 bushels is more than double that of
last year and well above the average of recent years.
The apple crop of 284,000 bushels is larger than last
year’s yield, but somewhat below the average of the
past five years.
West Virginia’s crops generally promise satisfactory

MONTHLY REVIEW
yields this year. The corn crop is forecast at 11,934,000 bushels against last year’s yield of 11,150,000
bushels. Corn planted late made rapid growth in July,
but the stands are somewhat irregular. Threshing re­
turns indicate that the wheat crop is slightly larger
than was expected. A total yield of 1,808,000 bushels
this year is considerably above 1,276,000 bushels thresh­
ed a year ago. West Virginia’s oat crop was not very
satisfactory this year, and the expected yield of 2,751.000 bushels is considerably less than 3,036,000
bushels harvested in 1932. Farmers report the quality
of this year’s hay crop much better than last year’s,
and 1933 production of 650,000 tons exceeds 558,000
tons cured in 1932. The Irish potato crop has been
damaged more than earlier reports indicated, and a
larger acreage is now expected to produce only 3,212,000 bushels, against 3,608,000 bushels dug in 1932.
The size of most of the early potatoes was small. In
general, fruit crops in West Virginia are slightly bet­
ter than they were last year. An apple crop of 5,160.000 bushels compares with 4,191,000 bushels in
1932, but most of the increase was in non-commercial
orchards, the commercial crop estimated at 840,000
barrels showing only a small increase over the 1932
commercial crop of 833,000 barrels. The salable ap­
ples were reduced in number by damage from hail,
scab, aphis, and high temperatures.

Construction
Building Permits Issued in July
1933 and 1932
Total Valuation
Permits Issued
1932
1933
1932
1933
929 $ 464,640 $1,022,400
Baltimore, Md. ------ 596
3,748
8,710
8
5
Cumberland, Md.......
2,710
9,928
8
9
Frederick, Md.......... ..
17,745
4,635
10
18
Hagerstown, Md.......
35,510
5,200
12
13
Salisbury, Md............
4,101
5,888
7
10
Danville, Va..............
66,340
115,665
23
30
Lynchburg, Va.........90,065
103,030
91
80
Norfolk, Va...............
910
622
3
3
Petersburg, Va..........
22,655
5,765
19
23
Portsmouth, Va.........
170,292
104
77,198
90
Richmond, Va............
16,957
12,670
27
21
Roanoke, Va............ .
7,375
36,500
2
7
Bluefield, W. Va.......
42,216
20,613
84
Charleston, W. Va— 120
8,400
5,240
14
17
Clarksburg, W. Va.....
10,525
2,890
8
19
Huntington, W. Va—
14,328
8,395
21
21
Asheville, N. C-----30,295
4,605
19
16
Charlotte, N. C.-----74,925
41,050
18
28
Durham, N. C.-------13,361
9,694
36
23
Greensboro, N. C---19,200
5,800
5
13
High Point, N. C---15,950
8,169
12
18
Raleigh, N. C............
4,150
845
5
3
Rockv Mount, N. C...
13,865
13,225
7
9
Salisbury, N. C-----29,663
5,950
11
16
Wilmington, N. C.....
18,530
11,250
33
37
Winston-Salem, N. C.
17,353
30,834
39
36
Charleston, S. C.......
19,246
30,600
29
30
Columbia, S. C........
12,355
12,575
23
18
Greenville, S. C........
11,325
5,335
8
14
Rock Hill, S. C
4,000
1,177
16
6
Spartanburg, S. C—
525,320
410
648,570
Washington, D. C..... 528
2,037 $1,788,055 $2,275,028
District Totals — 1,881
CITIES




7

Building permits issued in July in thirty-two leading
cities of the Fifth reserve district numbered 1,881,
compared with 2,037 permits issued in July 1932, a
decrease this year of 7.7 per cent, and estimated valu­
ation figures for last month totaled only $1,788,055, a
decrease of 21.4 per cent in comparison with valuation
figures totaling $2,275,028 in July last year. How­
ever, 21 of the 32 reporting cities showed higher valu­
ation figures for the 1933 month, the district total be­
ing kept lower than last year by a relatively large de­
cline in permits in Baltimore. Washington and Nor­
folk also reported lower 1933 figures, but Richmond
reported a gain last month.
Contracts awarded in July for construction work in
the Fifth reserve district totaled $5,479,294, compared
with $20,915,245 reported for July 1932, according to
figures collected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of
the July 1933 awards, $2,325,924 represented residen­
tial types of construction, compared with $2,387,430
for this class of work in July last year. Contracts for
residential work made up approximately 43 per cent of
all contracts awarded in July this year, compared with
only 11 per cent of July 1932 contracts.

Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores
Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District
July 1933 sales, compared with sales in July 1932:
+ 8.2
+ 4.2
— 7.9
+ 2.1
— .3
Jan.-July 1933 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-July 1932:
— 9.0
—13.2
—14.3
—11.3
—13.0
July 31, 1933 stocks, compared with stocks on July 31, 1932:
—11.6
+ 6.3
+ 4.4
—19.7
+ .7
July 31, 1933 stocks, compared with stocks on June 30, 1933 :
— 5.6
+ 3.2
+ 3.9
— 5.3
+ 1.8
Number of times stock was turned in July 1933:
.275
.221
.203
.195
.216
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1933:
2.189
2.016
2.062
1.56
2.003
Percentage of July 1, 1933, receivables collected in July:
27.2
21.8
25.5
24.0
23.8

W holesale Trade, 60 Firms___________________
22

7

6

13

12

Groceries Dry Goods
Shoes
Hardware
Drugs
July 1933 sales, compared with sales in July 1932:
+17.1
+221.3
+102.3
+81.5
+ 4.5
July 1933 sales, compared with sales in June 1933:
+ .5
+ 43.8
+ 13.5
— 4.2
— .2
Jan.-July 1933 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-July 1932:
— 1.3
+ 44.9
+ 17.2
+15.2
—14.6
July 31, 1933 stocks, compared with July 31, 1932 stocks:
+ 4.8(8*) + 68.4(3*) + 6.5(5*) — 4.8(7*)
____
July -31, 1933 stocks, compared with June 30, 1933 stocks:
+ 3.1(8*) + 23.9(3*) + 36.4(5*) + 4.5(7*)
-----Percentage of July 1, 1933, receivables collected in July:
65.9(12*)
31.4(4*)
58.3(6*)
32.7(11*) 48.4(8*)
* Number of reporting firms.

(Compiled August 21, 1933)

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

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

Industrial production increased further from June
to July, contrary to seasonal tendency, and in recent
weeks has continued at a relatively high level. Since
the middle of July there have been reductions in whole­
sale prices of leading raw materials while prices of
many other products have advanced.

Production and Employment
Volume of industrial output, as measured by the
Board’s seasonally adjusted index, advanced from 91
per cent of the 1923-1925 average in June to 98 per
cent in July, which compares with 60 per cent in March.
The principal increase in July was at steel plants where
activity advanced from 46 per cent of capacity to 59
per cent. Production in the lumber and coal industries
was also in larger volume and daily average output of
automobiles showed none of the usual seasonal decline.
Output at shoe factories and woolen mills continued
at an unusually high rate while consumption of cotton
by domestic mills decreased somewhat. Cigarette pro­
duction declined sharply from the high level of May
and June. Since the middle of July a decrease has
been reported in the output of steel.
Working forces and payrolls at factories increased
considerably between the middle of June and the mid­
dle of July. As in other recent months the largest in­
creases were generally at establishments fabricating raw
materials into semi-finished products.
Value of construction contracts awarded, as reported
by the F. W. Dodge Corporation} showed a decline in
July followed by an increase in the first half of Aug­
ust. Total awards during the six weeks were in about
the same volume as in the preceding six weeks and in
larger volume than in earlier periods this year.
Department of Agriculture estimates as of August
1 indicate harvests generally smaller than a year ago.
The cotton crop is forecast at 12,314,000 bales, a re­
duction of 700,000 bales from last season, reflecting
curtailment in acreage as a part of the program of
the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, offset in
large part by an unusually high yield per acre. The
wheat crop is estimated at 500,000,000 bushels, a re­
duction of 225,000,000 bushels from last year’s small
harvest, and feed crops are expected to be unusually
small.

Distribution
Freight traffic increased further from June to July
by a substantial amount, but in recent weeks shipments,
particularly of miscellaneous freight and grains, have




been somewhat smaller. Department store sales de­
clined in July by about the usual seasonal amount; they
were larger than a year ago, however, and trade reports
for the first half of August indicate an increase in
sales.

W holesale Prices
Wholesale prices of commodities increased further
during the first three weeks of July and, according to
the index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has
been little change in their general level since that time.
Prices of grains, cotton, and many imported raw ma­
terials, however, were considerably lower in the third
week of August than in the middle of July while prices
of textiles were higher, reflecting in part the applica­
tion of the processing tax on cotton. Prices of leather
and coal also advanced during this period.

Foreign Exchange
In the exchange market the value of the dollar in
terms of the French franc advanced from a low of 69
per cent of its gold parity on July 18 to 75 per cent at
the beginning of August and since that time has fluc­
tuated between 73 and 75 per cent.

Bank Credit
Net demand deposits of weekly reporting member
banks in 90 cities declined between the middle of July
and the middle of August, owing in large part to fur­
ther withdrawals of bankers’ balances from banks in
New York City and elsewhere. The banks’ loans de­
creased by $71,000,000 during the period, reflecting
chiefly a reduction in loans to brokers and dealers in
securities. Their holdings of United States Govern­
ment securities, after declining between July 19 and
August 9, increased during the week ending August
16 in connection with Treasury financing at that time.
Total reserves of all member banks increased by $81,000,000 during the four week period ending August
16, reflecting chiefly the purchase of $42,000,000 of
United States Government securities by the reserve
banks and a return of $23,000,000 of currency from
circulation. The growth in member bank reserves, oc­
curring at a time when reserve requirements were be­
ing reduced in consequence of a decline in their de­
posits, brought their excess reserves to a level .above
$550,000,000.
Money rates in the open market generally continued
at low levels.

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