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MONTHLY

REVIEW

CREDI T, B U S I N E S S AND A G R I C U L T U R A L C ONDI T IONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

D ECEM BER 31, 1930

RICHMOND, V IRG IN IA

N

OVEMBER and the first half of December did
not witness as much seasonal increase in general
business as occurs in most years, the period mak­
ing on the whole a relatively poor record. In addition
to the generally depressed conditions which have been
more or less prominent throughout the year, the ill
effects of the summer drought and low prices for agri­
cultural products became more in evidence as farmers
failed to liquidate this year’s indebtedness in normal
volume. This latest influence adversely affected supply
merchants, banks in agricultural sections, and both re­
tailers and wholesalers of general merchandise. Mem­
ber banks materially increased their borrowing at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond between the mid­
dle of November and the middle of December, caused
in part by a desire on the part of the banks to strength­
en their cash positions rather than by any additional
demand for commercial credit. For the same reason
that the reserve bank’s discounts for member banks in­
creased, the volume of Federal reserve notes in actual
circulation also rose by much more than the average
amount at this season. On the other hand, member
banks reduced their outstanding loans slightly during
the past month, but less than in most years. Deposits
in member banks declined considerably during the
month. Debits to individual accounts showed a sea­
sonal increase during the four weeks ended December
10, 1930, in comparison with the preceding four weeks
this year, but were 8.6 per cent less than debits in the
corresponding period a year ago. Commercial failures
in the Fifth district in November were more numerous
than in November last year, but this year’s liabilities
were less. Employment conditions did not improve in
November and early December, but on the contrary
there seems to have been an increase in the number
of persons seeking work. Bituminous coal production
last month was in less volume than in either October
1930 or November 1929, and was probably not up to
seasonal level. West Virginia dropped below Pennsyl­
vania in production in October and continued in second
place through November. The textile industry in the
Fifth district made no further progress last month, but
appears to have held the slight gain reported in October.
Cotton prices, after firming up somewhat between the
middle of October and the middle of November, turned




downward again and went below 9 cents per pound at
the middle of December, the lowest figure since the
early part of the World War. Final crop production
figures now being released confirm earlier fears of
drought damage, and the price situation for the chief
money crops of the Fifth district continues unsatis­
factory. Construction work planned or contracted for
in November was in less volume than in November
1929. Retail and wholesale trade in November was
considerably below earlier months this year, and also
compared unfavorably with trade in November 1929.
Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

Dec. 15
1930

Rediscounts held ......................... $37,039
Open market paper.......................
11,796
Government securities ................
12,261
Total earning assets.......... .......
61,096
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.... 106,241
Members’ reserve deposits..........
60,578
Cash reserves .............................. 119,028
Reserve ratio ................................
71.11

000 omitted
Nov. 15 Dec. 15
1930
1929
$19,005
11,151
16,983
47,139
68,903
64,171
96,229
70.66

$41,122
18,163
5,817
65,102
96,986
63,998
102,422
63.39

Contrary to seasonal trend, rediscounts for member
banks held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
rose materially between November 15 and December
15, nearly doubling during the month. The increase
of $18,034,000 was, as stated above, due in part to the
desire of some member banks to strengthen their cash
positions. As a corollary, the volume of Federal re­
serve notes in actual circulation rose by $37,338,000
during the month, much more than the usual seasonal
expansion attributable to holiday shopping needs. A
considerable portion of the increased volume of notes
in circulation did not pass into channels of trade, but
was stored for the time being in the vaults of com­
mercial banks as an emergency fund with which to meet
any unusual calls for currency. Member bank reserve
deposits declined by $3,593,000 last month, partly due
to lower reserve requirements on reduced deposits and
partly as a result of the desire to increase vault cash.
The reserve bank reduced its holdings of Government
securities by $4,722,000 between November 15 and
December 15, and cash reserves increased by $22,799,-

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

000 during the same period as a result of the changes
enumerated in the statement and others of a more tech­
nical nature. The ratio of cash reserves to note and
deposit liabilities combined rose about half a point dur­
ing the month under review.
The changes which occurred in the statement of the
Richmond bank last month brought the figures on De­
cember 15 rather closely in line with the figures of the
preceding year. At the middle of December this year
rediscounts for member banks were only $4,083,000
less than on December 15, 1929, and total earning assets
were only $4,006,000 less on the 1930 date. The re­
serve bank’s holdings of open market paper decreased
$6,367,000 during the year, but this decline was prac­
tically balanced by an increase of $6,444,000 in hold­
ings of Government securities. The volume of Federal
reserve notes in actual circulation on December 15 was
$9,255,000 above the amount on December 15, 1929,
Member bank reserves were $3,420,000 lower on the
1930 date. The several changes mentioned, with others
not discussed, raised the cash reserves of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond by $16,606,000 during the
year, and also increased the ratio of reserves to note
and deposit liabilities combined by 7.72 points.
Member Bank Statement
000 omitted
ITEMS

Dec. 10
1930

Nov. 12
1930

Dec. 11
1929

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) .............. $171,397 $174,372 $191,049
089,272 292,969 314,677
All other loans..........................
505,726
Total loans and discounts........ 460,669 467,341
188,809 156,978
Total inv. in stocks and bonds.... 182,401
38,367
38,861
38,934
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank......
11,852
14,058
13,376
Cash in vaults..................... ..........
354,130
Demand deposits........................... 344,875 354,121
Time deposits .................. ........... 245,375 256,825 233,107
6,465
20,543
14,042
Borrowed from Fed. Res. Bank..

The accompanying table shows the principal items of
condition of fifty-four regularly reporting member
banks in the Fifth reserve district as of three dates,
thus affording an opportunity for comparison of the
latest available figures with those of the corresponding
dates a month and a year earlier. It should be under­
stood that the figures in the table reflect conditions as
of the report dates only, and are not necessarily the
highest or lowest figures that occurred during the in­
tervals between the dates.
During the month between November 12 and De­
cember 10, total loans and discounts held by the fiftyfour reporting banks decreased by $6,672,000, loans
on securities declining $2,975,000 and commercial and
agricultural loans declining $3,697,000. A decrease in
loans at this time of year is seasonal, especially in com­
mercial and agricultural loans, sales of farm products
and fall merchandise putting farmers and merchants in
funds with which to liquidate at least part of their
obligations. In the latter part of November and early
December the closing of a considerable number of
banks, a large majority being small non-member banks,
caused some member banks to increase their vault cash;
a withdrawal of deposits in some localities also called
for additional funds. These funds were secured by




sale of $6,408,000 investments in securities, and an
increase of $7,577,000 in rediscounts at the reserve
bank. Cash in vaults rose by $2,206,000 during the
month under review, while total deposits declined $20,696.000, demand deposits falling $9,246,000 and time
deposits $11,450,000. Some decline in deposits occurs
at this season in most years, partly due to liquidation
of loans and partly for holiday trade, but this seasonal
decline was considerably augmented this year.
A comparison of December 10, 1930, figures with
those for December 11, 1929, shows total loans out­
standing to be $45,057,000 less this year, loans on se­
curities declining $19,652,000 and all other loans de­
creasing $25,405,000. On the other hand, the invest­
ments in securities held by the fifty-four reporting
banks rose by $25,423,000 during the year, and they
reduced their rediscounts at the reserve bank by $6,501.000. Notwithstanding recent declines, aggregate
deposits increased by $3,013,000 between December
11, 1929, and December 10, 1930, a decline of $9,255,000 in demand deposits being more than offset by
an increase of $12,268,000 in time deposits. Reserve
balance of the reporting banks at the reserve bank and
cash in vaults changed little during the year, the for­
mer declining by $567,000 while the latter rose $682,-

000.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Nov. 12
Dec. 11,
Dec. 10,
1929
1930
1930

Asheville, N. C............. $ 13,044
414,943
Baltimore, Md........... ....
18,858
Charleston,, S. C...........37,394
Charleston, W. Va.......
43,223
Charlotte, N. C.............
23,241
Columbia, S. C..............
8,445
Cumberland, Md...........
10,732
Danville, Va..................
26,030
Durham, N. C...............
19,415
Greensboro, N. C.........
16,520
Greenville, S. C...........
8,510
Hagerstown, Md...........
19,494
Huntington, W. Va.....
17,448
Lynchburg, Va..... ..........
12,217
Newport News, Va.....
51,679
Norfolk, Va..................
5,426
Portsmouth, Va.............
20,121
Raleigh, N. C...............
138,411
Richmond, Va..............
30,641
Roanoke, Va.................
11,763
Spartanburg, S. C..........
214,474
Washington, D. C.......
12,262
Wilmington, N. C.......
32,237
Winston-Salem, N. C.~
District T otals..........

$1,206,528

$

28,125
389,863
20,873
33,303
42,575
23,068
8,421
8,338
26,411
18,262
15,682
8,193
16,953
15,257
10,238
50,092
4,198
23,040
135,316
25,549
11,717
218,339
13,582
32,324

$1,179,719

$

24,918
397,600
24,400
44,173
52,092
23,376
9,347
14,155
29,579
24,506
21,070
10,582
24,490
19,011
11,258
68,670
5,225
20,954
148,219
32,946
15,807
239,299
15,804
42,064

$1,319,545

Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
figures in the table, reported for three equal periods of
four weeks each by clearing house banks in twentyfour leading Fifth district cities, show the usual in­
crease during the period ended December 10, in com­
parison with the four weeks ended November 12.
Aggregate debits in the reporting cities totaled $1,206,528,000 during the four weeks ended December
10, an increase of $26,809,000, or 2.3 per cent, over the

MONTHLY REVIEW

total of $1,179,719,000 reported for the preceding pe­
riod this year. Among the twenty-four reporting cities,
only seven failed to show the seasonal increase. Ports­
mouth showed the greatest percentage increase, 29.3
per cent, Danville ranking second with an increase of
28.7 per cent. Baltimore and Richmond gained 6.4
per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively, during the later
period, but Washington figures declined 1.8 per cent.
The unusually large decrease in Asheville was due to
bank failures, three of the seven banks which furnished
figures for the period ended November 12 having been
closed during the later period.
In comparison with debits totaling $1,319,545,000
reported for the four weeks ended December 11, 1929,
the total for the corresponding four weeks this year
showed a decrease of $113,017,000, or 8.6 per cent, a
part of which was due to lower price levels in many
lines this year. The decline this year was quite general,
only three cities, Baltimore, Newport News and Ports­
mouth, showing higher figures for the 1930 period.
Washington reported a decline of 10.4 per cent this
year, and Richmond’s figures were 6.6 per cent below
those of the 1929 period.
Savings and Time Deposits
Twelve mutual savings banks in Baltimore reported
total deposits at the close of business November 30,
1930, amounting to $198,623,483, a slightly lower
figure than $198,704,801 of deposits at the end of Octo­
ber this year but a higher figure than $187,526,332 re­
ported for November 30, 1929. Time deposits in fiftyfour regularly reporting member banks totaled $245,375,000 on December 10, 1930, in comparison with
time deposits aggregating $256,825,000 on November
12 this year and $233,107,000 on December 11, 1929.
Some decline in savings and time deposits occurs in
most years during November and December, due chief­
ly to withdrawals for holiday shopping, but the de­
crease reported for member banks between November
12 and December 10 was larger than usual.
Commercial Failures
Business failures in the Fifth reserve district num­
bered 12 1 in November, exactly the same number re­
ported for October this year but 23.5 per cent above
98 insolvencies in the district in November 1929. In
aggregate liabilities involved, November showed a total
of $1,718,380, a higher figure than $1,430,900 in Octo­
ber 1930 but 9.9 per cent less than $1,907,499 in No­
vember last year. The district increase in number of
bankruptcies last month in comparison with those of
the corresponding month last year was greater than
the average increase of 13.1 per cent for the United
States, but the decrease in Fifth district liabilities was
much better than a National increase averaging 6.2 per
cent.
Employment
Employment conditions did not improve during the
past month insofar as regular work was concerned, but
in some cities temporary jobs were given to a consider­
able number of heads of families by relief organiza­
tions. Plans for unemployment relief are numerous,




3

but are largely in formative stages and have thus far
shown few results. Inclement weather for outdoor
work and unusually depressed conditions in many agri­
cultural sections are adding to the number of persons
seeking employment. The textile strike at Danville
continues, but the mills involved are operating with
reduced forces.
Coal Production
Bituminous coal mines in the United States dug 38,122.000 net tons of coal in November this year, a de­
crease from 44,150,000 tons mined in the longer month
of October 1930 and also less than 46,514,000 tons
mined in November 1929. Total output of bituminous
coal in the United States during the present calendar
year to December 6 (approximately 287 working days)
amounts to 431,540,000 net tons, compared with 497,980.000 tons mined to the same date last year and
465.836.000 tons- in 1928. Shipments of coal through
Hampton Roads in November totaled approximately
1,733,883 tons, and total shipments from January 1
through November 30 totaled 19,660,911 tons.
The November 22 report of the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal pro­
duction by states for the month of October. West Vir­
ginia was in second place with 11,134,000 tons, Penn­
sylvania ranking first with an output of 11,429,000
tons.
Textiles
The textile industry made no material progress in
November, but held the slight gain reported in October.
Nearly all Fifth district mills are on full daylight shifts,
but few are running at night. The mills in the Carolinas and Virginia consumed 191,245 bales of cotton in
November, of which North Carolina mills used 104,377
bales, South Carolina mills 82,319 bales, and Virginia
mills only 4,549 bales, the last figure being unusually
small because of the strike at Danville. In the longer
month of October 1930 Fifth district mills consumed
195,520 bales of cotton, and in November 1929 used
243,209 bales. Consumption of cotton in the Richmon reserve district in November this year totaled 46.1
per cent of National consumption, compared with 44.0
per cent in October 1930 and 44.7 per cent in Novem­
ber 1929.
Cotton Statistics

Cotton prices turned downward again at the middle
of November on ten leading Southern spot markets,
and reached the lowest level in fifteen years at the mid­
dle of December. From an average price of 10.23
cents per pound on November 14 for 7/8 inch staple,
middling basis, the price dropped to 10.05 cents on
November 21, to 9.74 cents on November 28, to 9.66
cents on December 5, and to 8.99 cents on December
12, the latest date for which figures are available. On
December 13, 1929, the average price for cotton on
the same markets was 16.61 cents, and on December
14, 1928, the average was 19.14 cents.
Condition figures in the Department of Agriculture’s
final report of the year, issued on December 8, esti­
mated this year’s production of cotton as 14,243,000
bales, a decrease of 195,000 bales under the November

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

1 forecast and 585,000 bales less than final ginning
figures on the 1929 crop. The report stated that final
ginning figures for this season would depend upon
whether the various factors were favorable for picking
the part of the crop still in the fields. The production
estimate for the Fifth district was reduced below the
November 1 figure, all of the decline occurring in
North Carolina. North Carolina’s probable production
for 1930 was given in the latest estimate as 795,000
bales, a lower figure than 840,000 bales forecast a
month earlier but more than 747,000 bales ginned in
1929. South Carolina’s forecast of 1,040,000 bales
shows an increase over 1,030,000 bales predicted a
month earlier, and is materially larger than final gin­
nings of 830,000 bales last year. The Virginia yield
for 1930 is 42,000 bales, compared with 39,000 bales
expected on November 1 and 48,000 bales grown last
year. Total production in the Fifth district is there­
fore expected to be about 252,000 bales larger this year
than in 1929, but in spite of the larger yield this year,
prices have been so much lower that the total receipts
from cotton in the Fifth district will be from 25 to 35
per cent less this year than for the shorter crop of 1929,
calculations being based on December 1 prices.

Ginning figures to December 1, released by the
Census Bureau on December 8, showed 12,834,970 bales
ginned from this year’s crop, compared with 12,853,166
bales of last year’s crop ginned before December.
Cotton consumption in American mills in November
totaled 414,887 bales, according to the report of the
Census Bureau released on December 13. This figure
shows a decrease from 444,494 bales consumed during
the longer month of October this year, and is approxi­
mately 21 per cent below 541,153 bales consumed in
November 1929. Total consumption during the four
months of the present cotton year amounted to 1,606,037 bales, compared with 2,285,500 bales consumed
during the four months ended November 30, 1929.
Cotton on hand at manufacturing establishments on
November 30 this year totaled 1,566,854 bales, com­
pared with 1,352,885 bales held on October 31 this
year and 1,655,071 bales held on November 30 last
year. Bales in public warehouses and compresses num­
bered 8,397,000 at the end of November, 7,542,596 at
the end of October, and 5,812,658 on November 30,
1929. Exports of cotton totaled 907,649 bales in No­
vember, compared with 1,004,120 bales sent abroad in
October this year and 1,048,760 bales in November
1929. Imports last month totaled 3,409 bales, com­
pared with 1,747 bales imported in October this year
and 35,502 bales in November last year.
Cotton growing states consumed 333,041 bales in No­
vember, compared with 424,437 bales used in November
last year. Last month’s consumption in the cotton
growing states amounted to 80.3 per cent of National
consumption, compared with 78.4 per cent of National
consumption used in the cotton growing states in No­
vember last year. Of the 333,041 bales of cotton con­
sumed in the cotton growing states in November, the
Fifth district mills used 191,245 bales, or 57.4 per cent,
a slightly higher figure than 57.3 per cent of Southern
consumption attained by Fifth district mills in Novem­
ber last year.




Tobacco Marketing

North Carolina auction tobacco markets sold 141,608,883 pounds of producers’ tobacco in November
1930, at an average price of $13.92 per hundred
pounds,' compared with 117,224,132 pounds sold for
growers in November 1929 at $21.43 per hundred
pounds. Total sales this season on North Carolina
markets reached 415,481,856 pounds, compared with
400,083,645 pounds sold on the same markets prior to
December 1, 1929. Last month Wilson led in sales
with 19,352,243 pounds, but Greenville was a close
second with sales totaling 18,586,166 pounds. Mebane
led all North Carolina markets in average price paid
in November with $17.53 per hundred pounds, Fuquay
Springs ranking second with $17.00 and Durham third
with $16.74 per hundred. In season sales Wilson re­
ports 61,566,015 pounds, Greenville being second with
52,469,560 pounds.
Virginia tobacco markets sold 35,172,540 pounds for
growers in November this year, practically the same
amount as 34,721,246 pounds sold in November last
year. O f the November 1930 sales, flue-cured sales
totaled 30,261,415 pounds, fire-cured sales totaled
4,682,650 pounds, and sun-cured totaled 228,475
pounds. Prices received for tobacco last month were
much lower than those received in November a year
ago. Flue-cured tobacco brought $9.37 per hundred
pounds in November 1930, compared with $18.97 in
November 1929; fire-cured tobacco brought $8.03 last
month and $14.53 last year; sun-cured tobacco sold
for $7 and $10.23 per hundred in November 1930 and
1929, respectively. Warehousemen estimated that the
quality of tobacco sold last month graded only 12 per
cent good, 27 per cent medium, and 61 per cent com­
mon, compared with November 1929 sales averaging 29
per cent good, 41 per cent medium, and only 30 per
cent common.
Agricultural Notes
Most of the farm work for the 1930 season has been
completed, but final figures on crop production are not
yet available. In the next issue of this Review a table
will be printed, containing production figures for the
leading crops of the Fifth district for 1930 and 1929.
On the whole, 1930 has been one of the most un­
satisfactory years on record for agriculture in the
states embraced in the Fifth district. Yields vary
widely in different sections, the Carolinas harvesting
crops about equal to or somewhat above those of aver­
age years, while in Virginia, West Virginia and Mary­
land the long drought of the past summer reduced
yields to the lowest levels in many years, and in a few
instances to the lowest figures ever recorded. The
benefits which normally would have come to the Caro­
lina farmers from good yields were prevented this
year by very low prices for their money crops, and of
course the low prices intensified the disastrous effects
of the drought in the upper half of the Fifth dis­
trict.
Construction

Building permits issued in the leading cities of the
Fifth reservei district in November continued in small

MONTHLY REVIEW

volume in both number and estimated valuation. In No­
vember this year only 795 permits for new construction
were issued in 32 cities, compared with 1,137 permits
issued for similar work in November 1929, while valua­
tion figures for new work last month totaled only $4,777,062, compared with $5,092,899 in November last
year. Combined valuation figures for both new con­
struction and alteration or repair work totaled $5,990,074 in November 1930 and $6,109,206 in November
1929, a decrease of $119,132, or 2 per cent, for the
current month. The 2 per cent decrease last month
does not tell the story of the real extent of curtailment
in building, however, unless attention is called to the
fact that the November 1929 valuation figures were 57
per cent below those of November 1928. In November
this year, only 11 of the 32 reporting cities showed
higher valuation figures than in November 1929, and
several of these 1 1 increases were due to unusually
small figures last year.

Contracts awarded

in November for construction
work in the Fifth district, including both rural and
urban propects, totaled only $15,067,295, compared
with $22,870,261 awarded in November 1929 and $33,621,418 in November 1928, according to figures col­
lected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the awards
in November thi§ year, $3,721,005 was for residential
work, compared with $7,830,381 for this type of work
in 1929.
Retail Trade, 34 Department Stores
Baltimore

Washington

Other Cities

District

5

stores showed a seasonal increase during November,
but at the end of the month were 9.7 per cent less than
stocks on hand on November 30, 1929, part of this de­
crease being due to lower prices in many lines this
year. The reporting stores turned their stocks .3 times
in November, and between January 1 and November 30
the average turnover was 3.041 times, a higher figure
than 2.969 times stock was turned in the corresponding
1 1 months in 1929.
Collections during November in 33 of the 34 report­
ing stores averaged 28.3 per cent of receivables out­
standing on November 1, a slightly higher figure than
28.2 per cent reported for October 1930 but less than
29.3 per cent in November last year. Collections in
Washington last month were slightly better than in
November 1929, but Baltimore and the Other Cities
showed lower percentages for the current month.
Wholesale Trade, 67 Firms
24
Groceries

9
Dry Goods

7
Shoes

15
Hardware

12
Drugs

November 1930 sales, compared with sales in November 1929:
— 15.6
— 16.9
—12.6
—24.1
—14.7
November 1930 sales, compared with sales in October 1930:
—18.0
—25.1
—28.1
—
—22.3
— 12.0
Jan.-Nov. 1930 sales, compared with Jan.-Nov. 1929 sales:
— 6.7
— 17.2
— 9.4
—16.1
— 6.1
Nov. 30, 1930 stocks, compared with Nov. 30, 1929 stocks:
..........
— 7.0(9*) —19.9(4*) — 6.6(6*) — 13.8(8*)

November 1930 sales, compared with sales in November 1929:
— 15.2
— 6.1
— 13.7
— 11.6

Nov. 30, 1930 stocks, compared with Oct. 31, 1930 stocks:
_
.6(9*) -4 7.9(4*) —21.5(6*) — 3.0(8*)
..........

Jan.-November 1930 sales, compared' with Jan.-November 1929:

Percentage of Nov. 1, 1930 receivables collected in November:
60.3(15*)
34.5(6*)
45.8(7*)
31.6(12*)
49.4(8*)

—

1.8

—

1.8

—

8.1

—

3.0

Nov. 30, 1930, stock, compared with stock on Nov. 30, 1929:
— 6.4
— 11.5
— 12.4
— 9.7
Nov. 30, 1930, stock, compared with stock on Oct. 31, 1930:
.6
5.1
3.0
2.7
Number of times stock was turned in November 1930:
.325
.323
.218
.3
No. times stock was turned between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 1930
3.227
3.241
2.398
3.041
Percentage of Nov. 1, 1930, receivables collected in November
28.3
24.6
32.0
32.0

Retail trade in the Fifth reserve district in Novem­
ber, as reflected in sales by 34 department stores, was
considerably below seasonal volume in comparison with
earlier months this year, and averaged 11.6 per cent
less than in November 1929 in dollar amount. Only
6 of the 34 reporting stores showed larger sales in
November this year than in November last year, and
3 of these 6 increases were probably due to store ex­
pansion and larger stocks. Washington stores as a
whole reported smaller decreases in sales last month
than the stores in other sections. Cumulative sales in
the first 11 months of 1930 totaled 3.0 per cent less
than sales in the corresponding period in 1929.
Stocks of goods on the shelves of the reporting




* Number of reporting firms.

Wholesale trade in the Fifth Federal reserve dis­
trict was poor in November, a large majority of sixtyseven reporting firms in five leading lines showing
smaller sales than in either October this year or Novem­
ber 1929. Part of the decrease in comparison with
October was seasonal, and part in comparison with No­
vember 1929 was due to lower price levels this year, but
the declines last month were greater than can be ac­
counted for by these two influences. In cumulative
sales since January 1, all five lines show lower figures
than in the same period of 1929, drugs making the
smallest decrease with 6.1 per cent and dry goods the
largest decrease with 17.2 per cent.
Stocks carried by the reporting firms decreased in
November, and at the end of the month were lower in
all lines for which data are available than at the end of
November 1929.
The percentages of collections in November to ac­
counts receivable on the first of the month were lower
in all lines than the percentages in October, and were
also lower in all lines except shoes than the percentages
in November 1929.

(Compiled December 20, 1930)

MONTHLY REVIEW

BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF NOVEMBER 1930 AND 1929.
Permits Issued
o

fc

New

Repairs

1930 1929

~1
2

3
4
5
6
7
8
9

10

11

12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

22

23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32




319
10
6
20
17
3
18
86
2
9
42
18
6
29
9
9
3
21
9
13
4
11
5
1
7
26
8
6
9
4
5
60
795

539
11
15
19
20
4
14
35
7
7
55
29
7
28
19
20
*4
33
11
25
17
14
9
5
14
15
23
17
18
9
13
81

1930

1929

New Construction

Alterations

o

fc
1930

1929

1930

1929

763 1,064 $ 1,579,920 $ 1,720,080
22,865
1
5
13,818
9
7,175
1
19,092
0
26,340
1
26,910
8
17,995
10
22,425
2
15,900
8
215
13
11
328,435
37,955
46
298,348
67
184,665
6
9
8,000
21,300
16
13
3,500
10,770
56
63
194,143
329,863
14
25
28,632
93,238
1
3
f*7,760
9,465
6
12
28,260
46,165
11
8
20,472
9,417
5
3
17,795
151,000
28
42
9,135
22,840
43
45
141,670
136,178
8
5
184,229
59,162
18
19
17,300
647,236
7
0
13,500
144,500
7
7
18,038
287,925
4
3
1,060
5,975
3
0
7,000
15,100
11
5
7,000
53,350
38
89
13,945
35,645
33
34
234,060
19,140
28
39
106,300
53,900
13
18
^30,095
131,850
6
10
"1,805
8,810
14
23
r 10,900
38,350
358
332
1,243,550
868,495

$ 366,240
675
5,172
0
2,155
840
3,940
23,343
5,500
9,280
118,786
4,585
150
304,325
9,800
16,000
11,050
17,083
*7,450
13,765
3,860
3,800
2,185
280
3,700
18,646
6,665
9,680
5,385
1,725
3,277
233,670

512,720
1,875
5
150
3,000
5,071
3,755
14,015
5,195
7,165
92,926
6,773
2,310
11,300
3,935
“ 1,830
16,110
48,615
4,400
9,555
0
4,450
2,200

1,137 1,576 SI,974 $ 4,777,062 $ 5,092,899

$1,213,012

T
2

$1,016,307

1,750
15,050
34,870
17,060
6,110
3,287
10,000
171,825

the above table reflect the amount of work provided for in the corporation
>unt of suburban developments.

3
4
5
6
7
8
9

10
11

12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

22

23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32

sev-

MONTHLY REVIEW

7

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

Volume of industrial production and factory employ­
ment decreased further in November and wholesale
commodity prices continued to decline. Distribution
of commodities by department stores increased less than
is usual for November.
Production and Employment.
Industrial production declined about 4 per cent in
November, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s
seasonally adjusted index. Output of iron and steel
decreased further while the number of automobiles
produced per working day continued at a low level.
Daily average cotton consumption increased further by
somewhat more than the usual seasonal amount and
activity at silk mills continued to increase, while wool
consumption decreased by an amount substantially
larger than is usual in, November. Production at ce­
ment mills was reduced considerably, daily output at
meat packing establishments increased less than the
usual seasonal amount, and output of minerals de­
clined.
Factory employment and payrolls showed decreases
in November, reflecting in part changes of a seasonal
character. The number employed in the clothing and
shoe industries decreased by more than the usual
amount, while employment at silk mills showed an
increase contrary to the ordinary seasonal movement.
In the industries producing building materials, includ­
ing lumber, cement, and brick, declines: in employment
exceeded the usual seasonal proportions. In the auto­
mobile industry employment declined further but by an
amount considerably smaller than is usual in Novem­
ber.
Value of contracts awarded for residential building
and for public works and utilities, as reported by F. W.
Dodge Corporation, declined in November and con­
tracts for commercial and industrial building continued
at the low levels of other recent months. In the first
two weeks of December the daily average of total con­
tracts awarded was somewhat smaller than in No­
vember.
According to the December crop report of the De­
partment of Agriculture, output of corn in 1930 was
2,081,000,000 bushels, about 500,000,000 less than last
year, and 600,000,000 bushels less than the five year
average, while the total wheat crop of 851,000,000
bushels was about equal to the 1924-1928 average.
The cotton crop of 14,243,000 bales was slightly small­
er than in the two previous seasons. Total crop pro­
duction was about 5 per cent smaller than a year ago.
Distribution.
Freight car loadings decreased further in November
by more than the ordinary seasonal amount. Expan­




sion of department store sales from October to Novem­
ber was smaller than usual, following a growth in
October that was larger than usual.
Wholesale Prices.
The general level of wholesale commodity prices de­
clined further in November, according to the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, and there were additional price
declines in the first half of December, when several
commodities, including silver and cotton, reached new
low levels. From the end of October to the middle of
December there were substantial decreases in prices of
many other commodities, including corn, hogs, pork,
hides, tin, and coffee, while prices of copper and rubber
fluctuated widely, declining at the end of the period.
Bank Credit.
Loans and investments of reporting member banks
in leading cities declined by about $250,000,000 during
the three week period ending December 10, reflecting
a further reduction of $69,000,000 in loans on securi­
ties, and a decline of $196,000,000 in all other loans,
offset in part by a further small increase in invest­
ments. There was also a decline in time deposits, re­
flecting* in large part withdrawal of Christmas funds.
In the! following week, December 10 to December 17,
changes in the figures for reporting banks reflected in
part the closing of a large reporting bank in New
York city. This resulted in a decline in the reported
assets and liabilities of New York city banks.
Reserve bank credit outstanding increased by about
$294,000,000 during the four weeks ending December
17, and there was also an addition of $30,000,000 to
the country’s stock of gold. Discounts for member
banks increased by $126,000,000, acceptance holdings
of the reserve banks by $74,000,000, and their holdings
of United States securities, including one day Treasury
certificates issued in connection with December 15 fiscal
operations, by $96,000,000. The increase in reserve
bank credit outstanding reflected a large growth in the
demand for currency by the public and by banks, re­
sulting in part from the currency requirements for the
holiday trade, and in part from demand for cash from
banks and from the public in regions where important
bank failures occurred during the period.
During November and the first two weeks of De­
cember money rates continued fairly steady at ex­
tremely low levels, with prime commercial paper at a
range of 2%-3 per cent, and bankers’ acceptances at
1% per cent. In the third week of December there
was a slight increase in rates for call and time loans on
the New York Stock Exchange. The yields of highgrade bonds increased during the latter part of the
period.