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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

C h a ir m 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______________________________________________________ AUGUST 31, 1934
RADE during the Summer was in
actually awarded in the district last
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT month totaled more than three times
the main of seasonal proportions,
the amount of contracts awarded in
and basic conditions are improved. The
the corresponding month last year.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s
Coal production declined in July in
rediscounts declined farther during the
comparison with June production, and
past month, at a time when early mar­
was also smaller than output in July
keting of agricultural products creates
a need for additional funds in member
1933. Textile mills in the Fifth dis­
trict continued a policy of restricted
banks, but this year banks have suffi­
cient funds of their own to finance
operations in July, but increased pro­
crop marketing without calling on the
duction in August in preparation for
reserve bank for assistance. Circula­
Fall demand for textile products. Re­
tion of Federal reserve notes showed a
tail trade in department stores was
seasonal rise between the middle of
about up to seasonal level during July,
July and the middle of August, chief­
and averaged slightly more than 16 per
ly due to the opening of tobacco mar­
cent above the dollar volume of trade
kets in South Carolina. Regularly re­
in July last year. There was some fall­
porting member banks showed some reduction in their ing off in wholesale trade last month in comparison with
loans during the past month, and at the same time re­ the same month of last year, especially in dry goods
ported an increase in deposits. Debits to individual and shoes, but cumulative sales in the first seven months
accounts figures in the banks of leading cities showed of this year were well ahead of sales in the first seven
about the customary decrease in the five weeks ended months last year. In agriculture, prospects in the Fifth
August IS in comparison with the preceding five weeks, reserve district are good this year. Production of many
which contained quarterly and semi-annual payments crops is smaller than last year, due chiefly to acreage
around July 1, and figures for the 1934 five weeks were reduction, but in most cases prices are sufficiently im­
12.2 per cent larger than figures for five weeks ended proved to make smaller yields more profitable than
August 16 last year. Commercial failures in the Fifth 1933 yields. For example, the cotton crop in the dis­
district in July were more numerous than failures in trict is smaller than last year’s crop, but at present
June, but numbered 40 per cent less than failures in prices this year’s crop will bring growers more money.
July 1933. Liabilities last month totaling $1,718,339 The same applies to the tobacco crop, but to an even
exceeded both June 1934 and July 1933 liabilities, fig­ greater degree, early season prices being nearly twice
ures for both earlier months being low. On the whole, as high as 1933 prices. All crops are good in Virginia
the insolvency record in the district last month was sat­ and the two Carolinas, although prospects are not nearly
isfactory, in spite of adverse comparison in liabilities so good in Maryland and West Virginia. Due to acre­
with those of July last year. Employment conditions age reduction, crops this year cost less to make than
did not show any material improvement during July crops in any recent year.
and early August. The chief large group of workers
unable to obtain more or less steady employment is Reserve Bank Statement
building tradesmen, but there are some indications of
slight improvement in construction fields. Estimated
The accompanying table shows the principal items
valuation for building permits issued in leading Fifth of condition of the Federal Reserve Bank of Rich­
district cities in July 1934 exceeded valuation for per­ mond for three mid-month dates, August 15 and July
mits issued in July 1933 by 31 per cent, and contracts 15, this year, and August 15 last year. During the




MONTHLY REVIEW

2

000 omitted
ITEMS

Aug. 15
1934

July 15
1934

Aug. 15
1933

Rediscounts held --------------- $ 723 $ 833 $ 12,443
193
266
Open market paper------------193
60,258
Government securities -------- 103,563 103,563
Total earning assets---------- 104,479 104,589
72,967
Circulation of Fed, Res. notes.. 143,256 142,133 137,172
69,772
Members’ reserve deposits---- 124,049 118,274
160,843
Cash reserves-----....------------ 170,321 165,651
72.07
62.04
62.81
Reserve ra tio --------------------

ITEMS

Aug. 15
1934

000 omitted
July 11 Aug. 16
1934
1933

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding governments)_____ $ 57,103 $ 59,504 $ 61,433
All other loans______ ______
103,585 106t999 112,353
Total loans and discounts.... 160,688 166,503 173,786
Investments in stocks & bonds 185,973 178,610 161,898
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.... 51,093
25,662
46,776
Cash in vaults_____________
9,134
10,202
11,657
Demand deposits _________
221,873 217,033 178,528
Time deposits ____________ 134,313 134,574 131,822
Borrowed from F. R. Bank._
287
0
0

past month, changes in the items were small. Re­
discounts for member banks declined by $110,000, and
total earning assets dropped by the same amount, no
changes occurring in, holdings of open market paper
and Government securities. Circulation of Federal
reserve notes rose by $1,123,000 between July 15 and
August 15, a seasonal increase of somewhat less amount
than occurs in most years when South Carolina and
border North Carolina auction tobacco markets open.
Member bank reserve deposits rose by $5,775,000 dur­
ing the past month, carrying reserves farther in ex­
cess of, legal requirements. Aggregate cash reserves
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond increased
by $4,670,000 between the middle of July and the mid­
dle of August, and the ratio of cash reserves to note
and deposit liabilities combined rose about threequarters of a point.

changes during the past month and the past year. It
should be understood that the figures reflect condi­
tions on the report dates only, and are not necessarily
the highest or lowest figures that occurred during the
periods under review.
Most of the items on the statement declined during
the past month. Loans on securities decreased by
$2,401,000, and all other loans, which are largely com­
mercial or agricultural, dropped by $3,414,0(5), giving
a total decline in loans and discounts amounting to
$5,815,000. Deposits rose during the month, an in­
crease of $4,840,000 in demand deposits contrasting
with a slight drop of $261,000 in time deposits. Time
deposits frequently decline somewhat during the vaca­
tion season. The reporting banks decreased their cash
in vaults between July 11 and August 15 by $1,455,000.
With the funds secured from repaid loans and increased
During the year between August 15, 1933, and Au­ deposits, the reporting banks increased their invest­
gust 15, 1934, there were some material changes in the ments in securities by $7,363,000, and added $4,317,000
items on the statement. Rediscounts for member banks, to their aggregate reserve balance at the Federal Re­
which were very small a year ago, declined by $11,720,- serve Bank of Richmond.
000 to less than three-quarters of a million dollars at
In comparison with condition figures for August 16,
the middle of August this year, and the portfolio of
1933, those for August 15, 1934, show decreases of
open market paper also dropped below the low figure
of last year. On the other hand, the Bank increased its $4,330,000 in loans on securities and $8,768,000 in all
holdings of Government securities by $43,305,000 dur­ other loans, a total drop in loans and discounts of $13,ing the year, this change bringing a net increase of 098,000. The reporting banks increased their reserve
$31,512,000 in total earning assets. Circulation of Fed­ balance at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by
eral reserve notes increased by $6,084,000 over August $25,431,000 during the year, practically doubling last
15 last year. Member banks, apparently being unable year’s figure. They also increased their investments
to invest their funds profitably in satisfactory securities, in stocks and bonds by $24,075,000, chiefly in Govern­
built up their reserve balances at the Federal Reserve ment securities. Cash in vaults on August 15 this
Bank of Richmond to a very high point during the year, year showed an increase of $1,068,000 over the total
this item on the statement rising by $54,277,000, most on August 16 last year. Total deposits rose by $45,of the amount being in excess of minimum legal re­ 836,000 during the past year, of which $43,345,000 was
quirements. Total cash reserves of the Richmond re­ in demand deposits and $2,491,000 in time deposits.
serve bank rose by $9,478,000 during the year, but the None of the twenty-eight banks were rediscounting at
greatly increased deposit liability lowered the ratio of the reserve bank at the middle of August this year,
cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined while two of them were borrowing a total of $287,000
a year earlier.
by 9.26 points.

Statement of 28 Member Banks
The principal items of condition reported by twentyeight regularly reporting member banks in leading Fifth
district cities are shown in the table for three dates,
August 15 and July 11, 1934, and August 16, 1933,
thus affording opportunity for comparison of the




Time and Savings Deposits

Time deposits in twenty-eight regularly reporting
member banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual
savings banks in Baltimore totaled $326,603,107 at the
end of July 1934, a lower figure than $327,654,854 in
time and savings deposits at the end of June this year
but a higher figure than $318,066,733 at the end of July

MONTHLY REVIEW
last year. Both reporting member banks and mutual
savings banks showed declines in time deposits during
the past month, but both groups of banks increased
deposits during the year.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, five weeks ended
Aug. 16,
Aug. 15,
July 11,
1933
1934
1934

Asheville, N. C.-----Baltimore, Md. — ....
Charleston, S. C.---Charleston, W. Va.....
Charlotte, N. C.-----Columbia, S. C.------Cumberland, Md. —
Danville, V a .-------Durham, N. C.------Greensboro, N. C.—
Greenville, S. C-----Hagerstown, Md..... Huntington, W. V aLynchburg, Va..........
Newport News, Va...
Norfolk, V a .--------Portsmouth, Va.........
Raleigh, N. C______
Richmond, Va. -----Roanoke, Va............ Washington, D. C.—
Wilmington, N. C.~..
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 10,438
307,907
11,280
49,239
50,918
21,717
6,794
5,893
26,362
12,153
12,579
7,447
13,015
14,054
7,346
49,899
3,640
38,624
129,869
21,332
190,146
8,389
32,135

$

9,722
310,958
12,907
61,268
52,688
19,235
8,329
6,018
25,081
12,264
13,968
7,822
14,168
16,210
7,672
48,799
4,197
30,325
138,521
22,705
222,132
8,931
35,617

District T otals----

$1,031,176

$1,089,537

$

10,285
299,303
10,211
30,579
45,608
14,775
6,509
6,561
23,291
4,643
13,717
6,149
11,581
14,831
6,669
39,358
3,444
15,460
121,938
20,221
173,213
6.678
34*164

$ 919,188

Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
in the banks in twenty-three trade centers in the Fifth
Federal reserve district are shown in the accompanying
table for three equal periods of five weeks, ended
August IS and July 11 this year and August 16 last
year. These figures reflect the volume of business
which passed through the banks in the several cities
during the periods under review.
During the five weeks ended August 15 this year,
aggregate debits to individual, firm and corporation
accounts in the reporting cities totaled $1,031,176,000,
a decrease of $58,361,000, or 5.4 per cent, under aggre­
gate debits in the preceding five weeks, ended July 11,
1934. A decline at this time is seasonal, due chiefly to
large quarterly and semi-annual payments occurring in
the earlier period, around July 1, and this year the
decline was about normal. Five of the twenty-three
cities reported higher figures for the more recent five
weeks, these being Asheville, Columbia, Durham, Nor­
folk and Raleigh.
A comparison of the figures reported for the five
weeks ended August 15 this year with the figures for
the corresponding period ended August 16,1933, shows
an increase of $111,988,000, or 12.2 per cent. Nineteen
of the twenty-three cities reported higher debits figures
for the 1934 five weeks. The decreases reported for
Danville, Greenville, Lynchburg and Winston-Salem
were probably due in large part to restricted operations
in the textile field, and were all small declines.




3

Commercial Failures
The Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review for August
says that commercial failures in the United States in
July numbered only 912, a decrease of 11.7 per cent
under 1,033 insolvencies in June this year and 35.8 per
cent fewer failures than 1,421 in July last year. Liabili­
ties in July 1934 totaled $19,325,517, compared with
$23,868,293 in June 1934 and $27,481,103 in July 1933,
decreases of 19.0 per cent during the month and 29.7
per cent during the year. In the Fifth Federal reserve
district, the July insolvency record was less favorable
than the National record, 61 failures in the district last
month showing an increase of 32.6 per cent over 46
failures in June this year, although a decrease of 40.2
per cent under 102 bankruptcies in July 1933. Liabili­
ties in the Fifth district last month totaled $1,718,339,
showing increases of 203.2 per cent over the very low
total of $566,699 in June 1934 and of 36.1 per cent
over $1,262,789 in July 1933. All of the twelve re­
serve districts reported fewer failures in July 1934
than in July 1933, and all except the Fifth district
reported lower liabilities. In spite of the poor compari­
son of the Fifth district with others in July, the dis­
trict’s showing for the month was good, the number of
failures being the smallest for any month back to No­
vember 1920, with the exception of three earlier months
this year, March, April and June.

Employment
Employment conditions in the Fifth reserve district
changed very little during July, and in August are rela­
tively good in comparison with the country as a whole.
Throughout the United States there was an average
decline in industrial payrolls of 6.8 per cent in June
and July, but Virginia’s decline was only 7/10th of 1
per cent. Other Fifth district states compared favor­
ably with the Nation, although restricted operations in
the textile industry affected payrolls in the Carolinas.
There are a few local strikes in the district, and a
general textile strike to begin September 1 has been
threatened. Construction work is showing some signs
of increased activity, but as yet no large number of
building tradesmen have been reemployed.

Coal Production
Production of bituminous coal in the United States
in July 1934 totaled 25,280,000 net tons, a smaller out­
put than 26,424,0001 tons dug in June this year and
materially less than 29,482,000 tons mined in July
1933. Total production of soft coal during the present
calendar year to August 11 amounted to 217,191,000
tons, a higher figures than 187,467,000 tons mined to
the same date last year. The August 4 report of the
Bureau of Mines, Department of Commerce, gave coal
production figures by states for the month of June 1934.
West Virginia mines were first in production in June
with 8,140,000 net tons, Pennsylvania ranking second
with 7,560,000 tons, and in the first half of this year
West Virginia mined 50,994,000 tons against 48,369,000

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

tons mined in Pennsylvania. In the first half of 1934
Hampton Roads ports shipped 9,624,106 net tons of
bituminous coal, compared with 8,392,186 tons shipped
in the first half of 1933. Stocks of coal in the hands
of consumers increased during June, and at the end of
that month were sufficient to last 37 days at current
rates of consumption, compared with 30 days’ supply
in consumers’ hands on July 1 last year.

Textiles
The textile industry continued the policy of restrict­
ing operations about 25 per cent during July, to pre­
vent accumulation of manufactured goods during the
dull season, but output increased materially in August.
Fifth district cotton mills consumed 165,504 bales of
cotton last month, of which North Carolina mills used
83,987 bales, South Carolina mills used 72,114 bales,
and Virginia mills used 9,403 bales. Fifth district mills
used 161,616 bales in June 1934 and 274,957 bales in
July 1933. July 1934 consumption in Virginia and the
Carolinas was 46.05 per cent of National consumption,
a higher figure than either 44.47 per cent of National
consumption in June 1934 or 45.78 per cent in July
1933.
On July 20, the Department of Commerce issued a
report on spindles in place, spindles active in June,
total spindle hours of operation in June, and average
hours of operation per spindle in place in June. On
June 30, 1934, there were 31,002,964 spindles in place
in the United States, North Carolina leading all states
with 6,146,708, or 19.8 per cent of the total, South
Carolina ranking second with 5,787,270 spindles, or
18.7 per cent, and Massachusetts third with 5,703,956
spindles, or 18.4 per cent. The Fifth district as a
whole had 40.6 per cent of total spindles in place in
the United States at the end of June 1934. In actual
spindle hours of operation, South Carolina led all
states for June with 1,297,606,997 hours, or 24.7 per
cent of the National total of 5,253,454,142 hours, and
North Carolina ranked second with 1,095,515,492 hours,
or 20.9 per cent. The Fifth district, with 40.6 per
cent of total spindles in place in the United States in
June, showed 48.1 per cent of total hours of opera­
tion. In actual hours of operation per spindle in place,
South Carolina ranked first last month with 224 hours,
Virginia with an average of 208 hours ranked second,
and North Carolina with 178 hours ranked fourth, all
of these being above the National average of 169 hours.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices for middling grade cotton on ten
Southern markets advanced during the past month to
a high of 13.45 cents per pound on August 10, but
declined to 13.09 cents on August 17, the latest date
for which official figures are available. On August 8
the Department of Agriculture’s first production fore­
cast of the season caused cotton to advance sharply, but
since that time unfavorable factors have caused some
recession. Reduced consumption and exports during
the last two months of the 1933-1934 cotton year tended
to reduce cotton prices, and the action of union labor




representatives in authorizing their officers to call a
strike of textile workers in the near future also affected
cotton prices adversely. On the other hand, press dis­
cussion of the possibility of Government loans to en­
able farmers to hold 1934 cotton in the event of a pro­
longed strike has exerted a sustaining influence on the
market.
The Department of Agriculture’s first cotton con­
dition report, in which probable production in 1934 was
forecast, was issued on August 8. Production was esti­
mated at 9,195,000 equivalent 500-pound bales, the
smallest crop, except for that of 1921, since 1896, and
about half a million bales less than most private ob­
servers had expected. Prospects for this year’s cotton
crop are much poorer than the average for the past ten
years, chiefly due to the disastrous drought in the
Middle West. Per acre yield this year is forecast as
materially lower than the ten-year average in all major
cotton growing states west of the Mississippi River,
while forecasts for all major states east of the river are
higher. Conditions in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas
are especially bad. The average condition of the crop
on August 1 was 60.4 per cent of a theoretical normal
and the prospective yield per acre was given as 160.9
pounds, both much lower figures than the ten-year
average. The indicated yield of 9,195,000 bales com­
pares with 13,047,000 bales ginned from the 1933 crop,
a decrease this year of 3,852,000 bales, or 29.5 per
cent.
In the cotton growing states of the Fifth reserve
district, production this year is forecast to be less than
last year, the decrease averaging 13.4 per cent in com­
parison with the National decline of 29.5 per cent.
South Carolina’s crop this year is expected to yield
620,000 bales, a decline of 15.6 per cent under 735,000
bales ginned last year. North Carolina’s crop is fore­
cast at 606,000 bales, showing a decrease of 11.4 per
cent from 684,000 bales grown last year. The Virginia
cotton crop this year of 35,000 bales shows a drop of
5.4 per cent under 37,000 bales grown in 1933. Total
figures for the district are 1,261,000 bales this year,
compared with 1,456,000 bales picked last year. Con­
dition figures on August 1 were about the same in
Virginia and North Carolina as on August 1 last year,
but the condition of South Carolina cotton was not up
to the 1933 level. All three Fifth district cotton grow­
ing states showed materially higher condition figures
than the ten-year average.
Consumption of cotton in the United States in July
1934 totaled 359,372 bales, compared with 363,414 bales
used in June this year and 600,641 bales in July 1933.
Total consumption for the cotton year ended July 31,
1934, amounted to 5,700,558 bales, compared with
6,137,395 bales consumed in the corresponding period
of the 1932-1933 season. Manufacturing establish­
ments held 1,230,369 bales on July 31, compared with
1,326,480 bales held on June 30 and 1,348,236 bales on
July 31, 1933. Public warehouses and compresses held
5,565,140 bales in storage at the end of July this year,
compared with 5,985,715 bales so held a month earlier
and 5,736,398 bales on July 31 last year. July exports
totaled 305,820 bales, compared with 459,226 bales sent
abroad in June 1934 and 692,007 bales exported in July

MONTHLY REVIEW
1933. Exports during the cotton year ended July 31
totaled 7,534,415 bales, compared with 8,419,399 bales
shipped over seas during the corresponding year ended
July 31, 1933. Spindles active at some time in July
numbered 24,417,682, compared with 24,690,312 in
June this year and 26,085,300 in July 1933.
Cotton consumption in the cotton growing states
totaled 289,557 bales in July, compared with 292,621
bales used in June and 483,846 bales in July 1933. Last
month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
amounted to 80.6 per cent of National consumption, a
higher percentage than either 80.5 per cent in June
this year or 80.4 per cent in July last year. Of the
289,557 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton growing
states in July, Fifth district mills used 165,504 bales,
or 57.2 per cent, compared with 56.8 per cent of South­
ern consumption attained by Fifth district mills in
July last year.

Tobacco
The tobacco crop in the Fifth district this year is
estimated at 545,680,000 pounds on the basis of the
August 1 condition, a decrease of 27 per cent under
1933 production of 748,327,000 pounds. Most of the
lowered yield this year is due to reduced acreage, al­
though the August 1 condition of the crop, except in
Virginia, was also lower than a year ago. West Vir­
ginia shows the poorest prospects, a condition of 44
per cent of normal on August 1 comparing with 63
per cent last year. Maryland’s prospective yield this
year is 22,185,000 pounds, compared with 20,400,000
pounds in 1933 and a five-year average of 23,638,000
pounds. Virginia growers expect to harvest 78,745,000
pounds, against 97,046,000 pounds last year and a fiveyear average of 114,122,000 pounds. West Virginia,
an unimportant tobacco state, will grow only about
3,000,000 pounds, while last year the state produced
4.322.000 pounds. North Carolina, the largest tobacco
growing state in the country, has a crop forecast at
393.650.000 pounds, against 537,979,000 pounds in 1933
and a five-year average production of 506,763,000
pounds. South Carolina’s 1934 crop of 48,100,000
pounds is not much more than half last year’s yield of
88.580.000 pounds, and only 57 per cent of the fiveyear average crop of 83,820,000 pounds. Tobacco auc­
tion markets in South Carolina and border markets in
North Carolina opened on August 9, and prices were
nearly double opening prices last year. No official
market averages will be available until next month, but
the price has been running around 22 to 24 cents per
pound against about 12 cents on the early sales in 1933.
Lower grades of tobacco are reported as selling espe­
cially well. If present prices continue when the bulk
of the North Carolina and all Virginia markets open,
this year’s tobacco crop will bring the growers more
money than their 1933 crop, in spite of the large re­
duction in acreage.

Tobacco Manufacturing
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued a re­
port on taxes collected in July 1934 on manufactured




5

tobacco products. July production of cigarettes in the
United States numbered 11,355,398,860, compared with
9,526,101,183 cigarettes manufactured in July 1933.
Smoking and chewing tobacco decreased from 25,977,179 pounds in July last year to 25,917,013 pounds in
July this year. Cigars manufactured dropped from
400,511,453 in July 1933 to 378,055,584 in July 1934.
Snuff production decreased from 2,805,228 pounds to
2,773,989 pounds during the year. During the month
of July 1934, taxes on cigarettes totaled $34,068,307,
compared with $28,579,841 collected in the correspond­
ing month last year. Taxes on smoking and chewing
tobacco decreased during the same period from $4,676,012 to $4,665,394. Although taxes collected on all
forms of tobacco except cigarettes in July this year
declined in comparison with taxes in July 1933, the
increased collections on cigarettes raised total receipts
on tobacco products to the Federal Treasury from
$34,784,236 in July 1933 to $40,199,326 in July 1934.

Agricultural Notes
In comparison with farmers in many other sections
of the United States, Fifth reserve district farmers
are in a very favorable position this year. Although
acreage planted to cash crops was generally smaller
than in any recent year, the condition figures for nearly
all crops on August 1 compared well with five or tenyear averages. The extreme drought which has been
so disastrous in the Middle West and Southwest did
not seriously affect growing crops in the Fifth district
except in West Virginia, but on the other hand higher
prices for agricultural products which will probably
result from the National shortage will directly benefit
farmers along the Atlantic seaboard. With average
August 1 conditions for 32 leading crops during the
ten years 1921-1930 as a base, or 100, average con­
dition figures on August 1, 1934, were as follows in
Fifth district states: Maryland 97.3, Virginia 101.5,
West Virginia 74.0, North Carolina 107.4, and South
Carolina 110.7. The average for the United States
was 77.7.
Maryland weather in July was hot and dry, and most
crops deteriorated to a point below the ten-year aver­
age. Corn production, forecast on August 1 at 14,420.000 bushels, shows declines from 16,480,000 bush­
els forecast on July 1 and 16,240,000 bushels harvested
in 1933. The average production of com in Maryland
for five basic years 1927-1931 was 15,187,000 bushels.
Wheat turned out better than anticipated, a yield of
7.852.000 bushels comparing with the July forecast of
7.277.000 bushels and the 1933 yield of 6,320,000 bush­
els. The five-year average production is 9,375,000
bushels. Oats turned out 1,144,000 bushels, a decline
from 1,188,000 bushels forecast last month but above
1933 production of 1,100,000 bushels. There was no
change in the hay forecast of 524,000 tons last month,
but a slight decrease is indicated from 529,000 tons cut
last year. Hay is the only Maryland crop which prom­
ises a larger production in 1934 than the five-year aver­
age yield. Pastures declined in condition last month
from 80 per cent on July 1 to 49 per cent on August 1.
The Maryland Irish potato crop of 3,038,000 bushels

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

this year is about 12 per cent above 2,700,000 bushels j 4,602,000 bushels the five-year average. The comdug in 1933, but is approximately 17 per cent below the I mercial apple crop based upon August 1 condition is
1927-1931 average yield of 3,646,000 bushels. Pros­ J estimated to be 1,680,000 barrels, compared with the
pects for sweet potatoes are for less than half an aver­ short crop of last year of 1,750,000 barrels, and the
age crop and more than 200,000 bushels below the five-year average production of 2,680,000 barrels. The
1933 yield. The forecast for 625,000 bushels this year number of apples on the trees this year is considerably
compares with 840,000 bushels dug last year and a five- less than last, but owing to the poor quality of last year’s
year average of 1,493,000 bushels. Maryland’s com­ crop a much smaller percentage than usual was sold as
mercial apple crop of 492,000 bushels is much smaller fresh fruit. The quality of this year’s crop is unusual­
than last year’s small crop of 657,000 bushels and only ly good and there has been practically no injury from
about a third of the five-year average yield of 1,355,000 scab and aphis. However, in some sections there has
bushels.
been some worm damage. Weather conditions have
been favorable except in the Shenandoah Valley where
Virginia crop conditions improved during July in all dry weather during July retarded growth. The com­
parts of the state except in the Shenandoah Valley and mercial peach crop is very light in most sections of the
in a few counties in the Northern district. The great­ state, but in the Piedmont district there are some heavy
est change was reported from the Southwestern dis­ crops of excellent quality.
trict where rains caused rapid improvement following
West Virginia crops suffered materially from dry and
the drought during May and June. The production of
many crops, such as corn, tobacco, peanuts and cotton hot weather in July, and nearly all crops declined in
still depends upon weather conditions during the next condition. The com crop on August 1 showed a con­
six weeks. The August 1 forecast of production for dition of 69 per cent of normal, 10 points lower than
wheat, rye, barley, white potatoes and sweet potatoes is the condition a month earlier. The crop is estimated
greater than a year ago, but the estimate for oats, at 10,464,000 bushels, compared with last year’s crop
tobacco, cotton, hay and fruit crops is below last year. of 13,920,000 bushels. The average yield per acre this
The yield of wheat is estimated at 7,784,000 bushels, year of 24 bushels compares with a 30 bushel yield in
compared with 7,425,000 bushels harvested last year 1933. Final threshing returns indicate that the pro­
and the five-year average of 9,582,000 bushels. The duction of wheat exceeded earlier expectations. Indi­
best yields are reported from the Shenandoah Valley. cated production is 1,836,000 bushels this year, com­
Corn prospects indicate production to be 34,680,000 pared with 1,798,000 bushels harvested last year. The
bushels, which is slightly less than last year’s crop of 1933-1934 winter season was favorable for the wheat
36.918.000 bushels but is above the five-year average of crop and although the spring drought caused the heads
33.611.000 bushels. The condition of late hay crops and straw to be shorter than usual, the heads were more
improved during the latter part of July and in most compact and threshed out larger yields that was ex­
sections these crops now promise excellent yields. Ow­ pected. The 1934 oats crop in West Virginia is the
ing to the dry weather during May and June the yield smallest in the past 26 years. Production is estimated
of clover and timothy, which supply the greater part at 1,960,000 bushels, compared with 2,356,000 bushels
of the hay crop, was reduced. Total production of all harvested in 1933 and a five-year average of 3,352,000
hay is estimated to be 854,000 tons, compared with bushels. Except in a few choice locations, most of the
992.000 tons last year and the five-year average of acreage planted to oats this year suffered from drought
921.000 tons. The condition of pastures declined dur­ from the time of seeding until the crop was cut. Dry
ing July because of dry weather in many sections. The weather caused poor seed germination and stands were
late July rains, however, caused great improvement, spotted. The potato crop in West Virginia was quite
especially in the Central part of the state. Pastures are disappointing. With an August 1 condition of only 54
very poor in the Shenandoah Valley and a few North­ per cent of normal, the indicated production of Irish
ern counties, but in the Eastern and Southwestern dis­ potatoes is 2,660,000 bushels, nearly a million bushels
tricts pastures are in splendid condition. The August 1 short of the five-year average production, but 300,000
condition of peanuts was 85 per cent of normal, com­ bushels larger than the very short crop in 1933. Ex­
pared with 82 per cent last year. Vines have made tremely hot weather killed potato vines in many fields
rapid growth and generally have an excellent color. As before the crop had matured. Hay was in poor con­
the yield usually depends upon weather conditions from dition on Augst 1, and the indicated production was
about August 10 to September 15, the August 1 con­ only 368,000 tons, compared with 690,000 tons cured
dition is not a reliable indication of the final yield. last year. The apple crop from both farm and com­
Early commercial potatoes turned out unusually well mercial orchards is estimated at 3,220,000 bushels. The
and total shipments through August 4 amounted to commercial crop of 1,764,000 bushels compares with
16,542 cars, compared with 9,819 cars shipped for the 2,100,000 bushels harvested in 1933 and 3,918,000 bush­
entire season last year. The total production of po­ els the five-year average production. Peach produc­
tatoes, including both early and late crops, is forecast tion is only 66,000 bushels, compared with 396,000
at 13,803,000 bushels compared with 8,649,000 bushels bushels in 1933.
last year and 15,989,000 bushels the five-year average
North Carolina crop conditions on August 1 were not
production. Sweet potatoes indicate a yield above aver­ nearly as ideal as farmers might wish, but the indicated
age and the total production is forecast at 4,080,000 combined yields on 32 important crops show the state
bushels, compared with 3,885,000 bushels last year and ranking fifth highest of all states in average conditions.




MONTHLY REVIEW
The corn crop in North Carolina is very good. Pros­
pects in the Eastern and Mountain counties are excel­
lent, with drier seasons experienced in the Piedmont
counties. The crop indicated at 48,048,O X bushels is 8
C)
per cent more than 44,252,000 bushels harvested in
1933 and 15 per cent larger than the past five years’
average crop of 40,713,000 bushels. Wheat turned out
well in North Carolina this year, and a yield of 4,253,000 bushels exceeded both last year’s yield of 3,714,000
bushels and the five-year average production of 3,661,000 bushels. The oats crop of 3,440,000 bushels also
exceeded both last year’s and the five-year average
yield. Irish potatoes yielded 10,324,000 bushels this
year, compared with 7,315,000 bushels in 1933 and
average production for 1927-1931 of 7,573,000 bushels.
A sweet potato crop this year of 7,885,000 bushels is
slightly less than the 1933 crop of 7,905,000 bushels,
but exceeds the five-year average production of 6,794,000 bushels. The August 1 condition of 80 per cent
indicates a hay crop of 629,000 tons. The condition is
17 points higher than that of last August and the pros­
pective yield is 14 per cent larger. Pasture conditions
have been good since the 1st of June, and water supply
and pasturage excellent over most of the state. The
peanut condition is generally regarded as being good in
commercial areas. Stands are average or better. How­
ever, developments during August and early September
will determine the final outturn of the crop. The North
Carolina apple crop was damaged heavily by late winter
freezes. The 3,300,000 bushel crop indicated on Au­
gust 1 is about equal to the five-year average but is 37
per cent below the 1933 crop. The peach crop is con­
siderably above an average this year, a crop of 2,210,000 bushels being indicated, which is about 5 per cent
above the 1933 yield and 19 per cent above the fiveyear average.
South Carolines composite condition figure for 32
important crops on August 1 was 110.7, the third high­
est figure in the United States, only Georgia and Ala­
bama showing higher average conditions. Due to the
Western drought the yield prospects for the entire
country show only 77.7 per cent of normal. Prospects
for total outturn in South Carolina are below average,
in spite of fine per acre yields, due to reductions in
acreage in cotton and tobacco and only a fair corn
yield. Com improved during July, but on August 1
the indicated production of 21,324,000 bushels was be­
low the 1933 yield of 22,808,000 bushels, although
above the five-year average of 21,215,000 bushels.
Wheat yielded 765,000 bushels this year, a much larger
figure than last year’s crop of 592,000 bushels or the
five-year average production of 546,000 bushels. This
year’s crop of oats totaled 6,596,000 bushels, compared
with 7,215,000 bushels last year and a five-year aver­
age of 8,117,000 bushels. The 1934 hay yield of 206,000 tons exceeded last year’s yield of 195,000 tons, and
is also above the five-year average of 183,000 tons.
Pastures showed an August 1 condition of 69 per cent,
compared with a condition of 68 per cent a year earlier
and 76 per cent the five-year average. Peanuts on Au­
gust 1 were 65 per cent of normal, compared with 71
*r cent last year and the average for five years of 74
; cent, but it is yet too early to judge the peanut crop.




7

A sweet potato crop of 4,275,000 bushels is below the
1933 yield of 4,648,000 bushels but exceeds the fiveyear average crop of 4,247,000 bushels. Irish potatoes
promised a crop of 2,625,000 bushels on the basis of
the August 1 condition, a much higher yield than last
year’s 1,744,000 bushels, but materially less than 2,944,000 bushels the five-year average. South Carolina’s
peach crop for 1934 of 1,564,000 bushels is slightly
| below the 1933 yield of 1,633,000 bushels, but is tetter
than the five-year average production of 1,172,000
bushels. Apples promise a yield of 244,000 bushels,
compared with 279,000 bushels in 1933 and a fiveyear average yield of 271,000 bushels.

i

Construction
Building Permits Issued in July
1934 and 1933
CITIES

Permits Issued
1934
1933

Total Valuation
1934
1933

664
5
15
14
10
21
14
72
4
19
93
27
10
25
5
15
19
22
31
24
11
7
3
11
52
36
37
21
9
19
472

120
17
19
21
16
28
23
13
12
3
9
37
36
30
18
14
16
528

$ 678,120 $ 464,640
900
3,748
19,320
2,710
25,425
17,745
26,375
35,510
17,995
4,101
7,535
66,340
51,492
90,065
9,062
910
10,390
22,655
140,185
170,292
7,737
16,957
8,165
7,375
10,893
42,216
1,225
8,400
27,450
10,525
18,603
14,328
85,538
30,295
81,585
74,925
31,497
13,361
3,868
19,200
2,000
15,950
1,280
4,150
3,605
13,865
24,315
18,530
48,907
17,353
58,828
19,246
15,275
12,355
3,675
11,325
14,024
4,000
875,390
525,320

District Totals---- 1,787

1,865

$2,310,659 $1,758,392

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

596
5
9
18
13
10
30
80
3
23

90
21
7

Building permits issued in July in thirty-one leading
cities of the Fifth reserve district numbered 1,787, com­
pared with 1,865 permits issued in July, 1933, a de­
crease this year of 4.2 per cent, but estimated valuation
figures for last month totaled $2,310,659, an increase
of 31.4 per cent in comparison with valuation figures
totaling $1,758,392 in July last year. Seventeen of the
31 reporting cities showed higher valuation figures for
the 1934 month. Among the five largest cities, Balti­
more, Washington and Charlotte increased, while Rich­
mond and Norfolk decreased.
Contracts awarded in July for construction work in
the Fifth reserve district totaled $18,091,724, compared
with only $5,479,294 reported for July 1933, according
to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation.

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

Of the July 1934 awards, $2,365,979 represented resi­
dential types of construction, compared with $2,325,924 for this class of work in July last year. Contracts

for residential work made up only 13 per cent of all
contracts awarded in July this year, compared with 43
per cent of July 1933 contracts.

Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores__________ W holesale Trade, 57 Firms
Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District
July 1934 sales, compared with sales in July 1933:
+11.5
+10.9
+22.6
+21.8
+16.4
Jan.-July 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-July 1933:
+22.0
+17.1
+19.1
+28.1
+19.5
July 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on July 31, 1933:
+19.8
+ 6.1
— 3.3
+ 4.6
+ 3.3
July 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on June 30, 1934:
— 8.0
— 8.0
— 7.0
— 7.4
— 7.5
Number of times stock was turned in July 1934:
251
224
242
.219
233
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
2207
1.949
2.154
1.907
2.052
Percentage of July 1, 1934, receivables collected in July:
27.1_______28.6
27.0
27.4
27.6
Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages.

20
7
6
13
11
Groceries Dry Goods
Shoes
Hardware
Drugs
July 1934 sales, compared with sales in July 1933:
+ 62
—32.4
— 9.4
+ 7.4
+15.4
July 1934 sales, compared with sales in June 1934:
—16.5
+ 9.6
+42.4
—113
— .1
Jan.-July 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-July 1933:
+22.3
+26.4
+162
+39.0
+21.7
July 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on July 31, 1933:
+ 1.6(8*) +35.5(3*) +32.5(4*) / +20.0(7*)
___
July 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on June 30, 1934:
+ 3.5(8*) + .4(3*) +15.4(4*) +8.3(7*)
Percentage of July 1, 1934, receivables collected in July:
76.5(11*) 40.9(4*)
59.5(5*)
36.4(11*) 56.6(7*)
♦Number of reporting firms.
All figures in the table are percentages.

(Compiled August 21, 1934)

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
(Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board)
Industrial production declined in July. Factory employ­ D is tr ib u tio n
ment and payrolls also decreased. Diminished output of steel
Total volume of freight-car loadings declined in July, re­
was the chief factor in the decline of industrial activity
chiefly a reduction in miscellaneous
which was larger than is usual at this season of the year. flecting steel shipments, offset in part by an freight, in­
cluding
The general level of wholesale commodity prices showed shipments of livestock. Department store salesincrease in
little net change for July and advanced in the first three decrease of somewhat more than the estimated showed a
seasonal
weeks of August.
amount.

P r o d u c tio n a n d E m p lo y m e n t

Volume of industrial output, as measured by the Board’s
seasonally adjusted index, decreased from 83 per cent of the
1923-25 average in June to 76 per cent in July. This decline
reflected chiefly a sharp reduction in the output of steel, due
in part to previous accumulation of stocks by consumers;
and there was a further decline in steel operations during
the first three weeks in August. Activity in the automobile
industry decreased and there were considerable reductions
in the output of pig iron and anthracite. At textile mills,
where operations had been at a low level in June, activity
showed little change in July. Output of shoes showed a
seasonal increase. Accompanying heavy marketings of cat­
tle from drought areas there was a considerable increase in
activity at meatpacking establishments.
Factory employment decreased between the middle of June
and the middle of July 3 per cent, an amount larger than
is usual at this season. There were reductions in many
industries producing durable manufactures, such as iron and
steel products and building materials, and also at establish­
ments producing knit goods and women’s clothing. At can­
ning establishments the number of employees increased by
less than the usual seasonal amount. Employment on public
projects increased further in July.
Value of construction contracts awarded, as reported by
the F. W. Dodge Corporation, was about the same in July
as in June.
Department of Agriculture estimates, based on August 1
conditions, indicate that yields per acre for principal crops
are 22 per cent smaller than the ten-year average, reflecting
the effects of the drought. The wheat crop is estimated at
491,000,000 bushels, 37,000,000 bushels less than last year’s
small harvest, and the corn crop at 1,607,000 bushels, as
compared with a five-year average of 2,516,000,000 bushels.
The cotton crop estimate is 9,195,000 bales, about 4,000,000
bales less than last season and smaller than in any other
year since 1921.




C o m m o d ity P r ic e s
Wholesale prices of farm products, after fluctuating widely
in July, advanced considerably in the first three weeks of
August. Between the beginning of July and the third week
of August, cotton, wheat and hog prices showed substantial
increases while cattle prices declined somewhat. During this
period prices of commodities other than farm products and
foods as a group showed little change.

B a n k C r e d it
Member bank reserve balances increased further between
the middle of July and the middle of August and on August
15 were about $1,900,000,000 in excess of legal requirements.
The increase in reserve balances reflected principally a fur­
ther growth in monetary gold stock off-set in part during
the first half of August by a seasonal increase in the total
volume of money in circulation. The volume of reserve bank
credit showed little change.
In the four weeks ending August 15, loans and invest­
ments of New York City banks decreased by $141,000,000,
while those of weekly reporting banks in other leading cities
increased by $116,000,000. The decrease at New York banks
reflected a reduction of nearly $200,000,000 in loans to brok­
ers and dealers in securities, following a sharp decline in
security prices in the latter part of July, and a decline of
$52,000,000 in holdings of United States Government securi­
ties. All other loans and holdings of securities other than
United States Government obligations increased substan­
tially at New York banks and at banks outside New York
City. At outside banks holdings of United States Govern­
ment securities also increased.
Average rates of discount on United States Treasury bills
issued rose from .07 per cent in July to .23 per cent on
August 22. Other open-market money rates remained vr
changed at low levels.

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