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MONTHLY REVIEW CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS WILLIAM W. HOXTON, Chairman and F e d eral R eserve A gent FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND RICHMOND, VIRGINIA n e te e n t r y w o an not available Ni nualthisstatisticsh iaret but- tsome gen as is written, eral trends of business during the year can be pointed out. The depression continued progressively during the first two-third® of the year, but about the beginning of September the de scending curves on business charts be gan to level off, and in a few lines of trade and industry turned slightly up ward. On the whole, these moderate gains were maintained until the end of the year, with the result that some annual statistics when compiled will show up better than was indicated in the first half of the year. After the first quarter of 1932, bank failures in the Fifth dis trict declined sharply, but commercial failures contin ued in large numbers. Some progress was made in overcoming hoarding after bank failures were checked, and a considerable volume of funds was added to cir culation during the closing months of the year from other sources than banks. Textile mills rather sud denly increased their operations during the late sum mer, when it appeared that this year’s cotton crop would be much smaller than the yield of 1931, and, although the crop turned out considerably larger than early season estimates, the mills held to the scale of operations established in August and September. In textile sections, the increased activity of the mills and larger pay-rolls was reflected in improved business in many other lines, especially in retail trade. Employ ment did not improve during the year except in a few scattered industries, but on the contrary, the number of unemployed persons slowly increased. Building declined still further in the Fifth district in 1932, especially in city construction, but road and highway work continued at about the usual rate and in the closing weeks of the year plans were made for ex tensive road and bridge work as a relief measure. Ag ricultural yields turned out much worse than yields last year, and the price level for farm products failed DECEMBER 31, 1932 to advance in keeping with reduced production, thus further reducing the purchasing power of the rural popu lation. Examining specifically the develop ments in the Fifth reserve district be tween the first of November and the middle of December, most of them appear to be seasonal in character. Re discounts for member banks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond decreased moderately between Novem ber 15 and December 15, and member bank reserve balances increased. There was an increase in the volume of Fed eral reserve notes in actual circulation, a normal development at this season when holiday itrade increases the need for currency. Reporting member banks reduced both loans and in vestments between the middle of November and the middle of December, and their deposits also dropped slightly during the month. Debits to individual ac counts figures in five weeks ended December 14 failed to show a normal seasonal increase in comparison with debits in the preceding five weeks, ended November 9, but on the contrary declined 2.5 per cent. Employ ment showed no improvement in November and early December; there was some seasonal rise in unemploy ment, chiefly as a result of inclement weather.-. Coal production in the United States in November exceeded production in November 1931, the first month since the depression began in which production exceeded production of the preceding year. Textile mills in the Fifth reserve district consumed more cotton last month than they used in either October 1932 or November 1931. Spot cotton prices, which declined in November, resisted the influence of an unexpectedly large esti mate of production released on December 8 and since that date advanced slightly over the price prevailing just prior to the report. Tobacco markets in North Carolina and Virginia sold much less tobacco in No vember than in the same month last year, the decrease being due in part to later opening of some markets this MONTHLY REVIEW 2 year but chiefly to a much lower production in 1932 in both states. Average prices realized by growers last month were moderately higher than November 1932 prices, and the quality of tobacco sold was also slightly better. Tobacco manufacturing declined further in November except for snuff, which showed an increase in production over November last year. Construction work provided for in November building permits and contract awards was in very small volume. Retail trade in department stores in November was relatively better than trade in October, and wholesale trade was up to seasonal level in most lines in comparison with trade in recent months. Reserve Bank Statement ITEMS Dec. 15 1932 000 omitted Nov. 15 Dec. 15 1932 1931 cash reserves, and a rise of 5.32 points in the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined. Member Bank Statement ITEMS Dec. 14 1932 000 omitted Nov. 9 Dec. 9 1932 1931 Loans on stocks and bonds (including Governments)__ $115,090 $118,178 $144,415 191,370 194,787 233,640 All other loans____________ Total loans and discounts.... 306,460 312,965 378,055 Investments in stocks & bonds 267,118 273,902 237,023 34,136 35,483 Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.. 35,757 Cash in vaults-------------------13,361 15,438 13,631 Demand deposits __________ 281,809 287,145 310,958 226,355 231,072 231,769 Time deposits ____________ Borrowed from F. R. Bank 3,976 5,735 16,515 The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition of forty-nine regularly reporting member Rediscounts held ........_............. $ 15,935 $ 18,310 $ 36,081 banks in twelve cities of the Fifth reserve district as 1,969 1,945 11,528 Open market paper------------of three dates, thus affording an opportunity for com 47,133 47,133 25,025 Government securities -------700 parison of the latest available figures with those of the 0 0 Other earning assets----------67,388 73,334 65,037 corresponding dates a month and a year earlier. It Total earning assets--------99,046 Circulation of Fed. res. notes.. 102,653 100,889 should be understood that the figures in the table 55,381 55,082 49,006 Members’ reserve deposits---reflect conditions as of the report dates only, and are 94,124 93,727 102,819 Cash reserves ____________ not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that oc 58.86 60.22 64.18 Reserve ratio -------------------curred during the interval between the dates. Rediscounts for member banks held by the Federal Most of the changes during the past month in the Reserve Bank of Richmond decreased seasonally by combined statement of the forty-nine reporting mem $2,375,000 between November 15 and December 15, ber banks were seasonal in character. Between No but there was a very small increase of $24,000 in the vember 9 and December 14, both this year, loans by portfolio of open market paper. No change occurred these banks decreased $6,505,000, about equally di in the holdings of Government securities during the vided between security loans and all other loans. Total month under review, but the reduction in rediscounts investments in bonds and securities also declined, by held lowered the total earning assets of the Richmond $6,784,000, and aggregate reserve balances of the re bank by $2,351,000. Between November 15 and De porting institutions at the Federal Reserve Bank of cember 15, the circulation of Federal reserve notes Richmond decreased by $1,621,000. Cash in vaults rose $1,764,000, a seasonal increase due to needs for declined $270,000 during the past month. Between additional currency in connection with holiday buying. November 9 and December 14, deposits in the report Member bank reserve deposits at the Federal Reserve ing banks declined a total of $10,053,000, demand de Bank of Richmond rose by $6,076,000 last month. The posits decreasing $5,336,000 and time deposits drop several changes in the statement enumerated, with ping $4,717,000. The several changes mentioned en others of less importance, raised the cash reserves of abled the banks to reduce thier borrowing at the re the Richmond bank by $9,092,000 during the past serve bank by $1,759,000 during the past month. Thir month, and also raised the ratio of reserves to note teen of the forty-nine reporting banks were borrow and deposit liabilities combined by 3.96 points. ing at the reserve bank on December 14, compared A comparison of the figures on the statement for with sixteen banks which were borrowing on Novem December 15, 1932, with the figures for December 15, ber 9. Condition figures for December 14, 1932, were low 1931, shows a decrease of $8,297,000 in the bank’s total earning assets this year. Rediscounts for member er in all items except investments than corresponding banks dropped $20,146,000 during the year, the port figures for December 9, 1931. Loans in the forty-nine folio of open market paper declined $9,559,000, and banks declined by $71,595,000 during the year, loans miscellaneous earning assets decreased $700,000. On on stocks and bonds dropping $29,325,000 and all the other hand, holdings of Government securities rose other loans decreasing $42,270,000. On the contrary, by $22,108,000 during the year. Federal reserve notes investments in bonds and securities increased by $30, in circulation on December 15 this year totaled $3,- 095,000 between December 9 last year and December 607,000 more than notes in circulation a year earlier, 14 this year. Aggregate reserve balances of the fortybut member bank reserve deposits at the Federal Re nine reporting banks at the Federal Reserve Bank of serve Bank of Richmond declined by $229,000 during Richmond declined by $1,347,000 during the year the year, the latter change a mere daily fluctuation. under review, and cash in vaults dropped $2,077,000. These changes in the statement, with others, resulted There was a decrease of $34,563,000 in total deposits in an increase of $8,695,000 in the Richmond bank’s in the reporting banks in the period, demand deposits MONTHLY REVIEW declining by $29,149,000 and time deposits falling $5,414,000. A decrease in loans approximately double the drop in deposits provided the funds for the increase in investments previously mentionsd, and also enabled the reporting banks to decrease thier borrowings at the reserve bank by $12,539,000 during the year. On December 14, 1932, only thirteen of the forty-nine banks were borrowing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, compared with twenty-eight borrowing institutions on December 9, 1931. Time and Savings Deposits Time deposits in forty-nine reporting member banks and aggregate deposits in twelve mutual savings banks in Baltimore totaled $433,285,126 at the end of No vember 1932, a lower figure than either $438,683,140 reported at the end of October this year or $444,717,740 reported at the end of November last year. The percentage of decrease in time deposits in reporting member banks last month was about 2 per cent, while savings deposits in mutual savings banks declined only 3/10ths of 1 per cent. Debits to Individual Accounts CITIES Asheville, N. C.-----Baltimore, Md........... Charleston, S. C.---Charleston, W. Va..... Charlotte, N. C.-----Columbia, S. C.____ Cumberland, Md....... Danville, Va............ ~ Durham, N. \C.____ Greensboro, N. C.__ Greenville, S. C____ Hagerstown, M d .__ Huntington, W. Va... Lynchburg, V a .-----Newport News, Va__ Norfolk, V a .______ Portsmouth, Va. ___ Raleigh, N. C Richmond, Va........... Roanoke, Va.............. Spartanburg, S. C..... Washington, D. C... Wilmington, N. C__ Winston-Salem, N. C. Fifth District Totals 000 omitted Total debits, five weeks ended Dec. 14, Nov. 9, Dec. 9, 1932 1932 1931 $ 9,124 287,582 11,116 31,937 37,654 14,104 6,205 7,040 21,585 11,154 11,685 6,452 11,758 14,167 8,174 42,324 4,188 19,659 124,380 20,475 5,818 203,709 8,006 24,645 $ 942,941 $ 8,578 302,226 12,179 30,450 39,084 13,854 5,826 6,283 22,113 14,806 13,540 6,002 10,819 13,941 7,033 37,981 3,371 17,264 128,263 21,498 6,856 209,092 8,230 27,404 $ 966,693 $ 12,671 357,873 11,400 40,896 #3,641 24,272 8,005 9,820 28,918 20,275 J 6,666 7,302 16,757 17,404 11,836 52,340 6,037 27,038 140,181 30,345 10,171 250,095 ,10,665 02,641 $1,187,249 Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts figures in the table reported for three equal periods of five weeks each by clearing house banks in twentyfour leading Fifth district cities, show an unseasonal decrease during the period ended December 14, in com parison with the five weeks ended November 9. Ag gregate debits in the reporting cities totaled $942,941,000 during the five weeks ended December 14, a de crease of $23,752,000, or 2.5 per cent, under the total of $966,693,000 reported for the preceding period this year. Among the twenty-four reporting cities, exactly 3 half increased and half decreased during the five weeks Among the larger cities, Norfolk reported increased debits, but Baltimore, Richmond and Washington all failed to register seasonal increases. In comparison with debits totaling $1,187,249,000 reported for the five weeks ended December 9, 1931, the total for the corresponding five weeks this year showed a decrease of $244,308,000, or 20.6 per cent. A part of the reduction is due to lower price levels in some lines this year, and the influence of the tax on checks also tended to lower 1932 debits figures, but a generally lower level of business activity probably ac counted for most of the decline. Every one of the twenty-four cities reported lower debits figures for the 1932 period. The three largest cities declined as follows: Baltimore 19.6 per cent, Washington 18.5 per cent, and Richmond 11.3 per cent. Commercial Failures The month of November 1932 witnessed 147 insol vencies in the Fifth reserve district, with aggregate liabilities totaling $4,250,000, compared with 139 in solvencies and liabilities totaling $2,570,911 in Novem ber 1931, and only 119 failures and $1,933,670 in lia bilities in October 1932. The district therefore shows an increase of 5.8 per cent in the number of failures and a rise of 65.3 per cent in liabilities involved in November 1932 in comparison with November 1931. On the other hand, there were 2,073 failures in the United States in November, with liabilities totaling $53,621,127, compared with 2,195 failures and $60,659,612 in liabilities in November last year, decreases last month of 5.6 per cent in number of insolvencies and of 11.6 per cent in aggregate liabilities. In the United States, seven of the twelve reserve districts reported fewer failures in November 1932 than in November 1931, and six of the twelve districts re ported lower aggregate liabilities. Employment Weather in late November and the first half of De cember was unfavorable for outside work, and there was some seasonal increase in unemployment. To counteract this increase, a number of localities are un dertaking emergency work, partly by the use of funds borrowed from the Reconstruction Finance Corpora tion. City governments are making part time work for unemployed heads of families, having parks clean ed and planted, trees set out, streets and alleys cleaned more frequently, etc. Textile employees continue fair ly well employed, and there has been some seasonal increase in coal mining, but otherwise all recent in creases in work have been artificially stimulated as re lief measures, and are as a rule being paid for either directly or indirectly from public funds. Calls for relief from charitable agencies and public welfare de partments are heavier this winter than in any other winter since the depression set in, but this does not necessarily prove that more people are unemployed than last winter. Part of the increased distress is un doubtedly due to the length of the depression, many 4 MONTHLY REVIEW families with means to care for themselves for awhile j price had advanced to 5.66 cents, and on December 16, the latest date for which figures are available, it was now having exhausted their surplus funds. 5.80 cents. The advances noted on December 9 and 16 Coal Production were unusual in view of the Department of Agricul Bituminous coal mined in the United States in No tures’ final estimate of cotton production for this year, vember this year totaled 30,634,000 net tons, a decrease ! which increased the figure issued a month earlier by from 32,677,000 tons mined in October 1932 but an j a little more than three-quarters of a million bales. increase over 30,110,000 tons dug in November 1931. | Production figures on this year’s cotton crop, re Total output of bituminous coal in the United States j leased by the Department of Agriculture on December during the present calendar year to December 1 j 14, totaled 12,727,000 equivalent 500-pound bales, an amounts to 274,559,000 net tons, compared with 347,- j increase of 780,000 bales over the estimate made on 850.000 tons mined to the same date last year. Ship- j October 1, but 4,369,000 bales below 1931 production ments of coal through Hampton Roads in November l Weather was favorable for cotton during most of the totaled approximately 1,421,000 tons, and total ship 1932 growing season, and the Department of Agricul ments from January 1 through November 30 totaled ture increased its estimate of production every month. Starting with an estimate of 11,306,000 bales on Aug 14.830.000 tons The November 26 report of the Bureau of Mines. ust 1, increases of 4,000 bales were made in Septem Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal pro ber, 115,000 bales in October, 522,000 bales in Novem duction by states for the month of October 1932 West ber, and 780,000 bales in December, a total increase Virginia led all states with 8,784,000 net tons, Penn of 1,421,000 bales, or 12.6 per cent, between the Aug sylvania ranking second with 7,680,000 tons and Ken ust 1 and December 1 reports. The latest report stated tucky third with 4,038,000 tons West Virginia’s pro that the large increase in the December estimate over duction in October was 11.3 per cent below October earlier estimates was due in part to a larger per acre 1931 figures, while the United States total output de yield than was expected and in part to an unusually small abandonment of acreage this year. Along with clined only 8.5 per cent in October this year. the National figures, the production estimate for the Fifth district was raised above the November 1 figure, Textiles increases occurring in both Carolinas. North Caro Fifth District cotton textile mills continued opera lina’s probable production for 1932 was given in the tions during November at recent levels, which amounts latest estimate as 640,000 bales, a higher figure than to more than full time on a day-light basis. There 575.000 bales forecast a month earlier but less than was some decline in forward orders, but not sufficient 756.000 bales raised in 1931. South Carolina’s fore to cause curtailment in output for the present. Con cast of 695,000 bales shows an increase over 650,000 sumption of cotton in Fifth district mills slightly in bales predicted a month earlier, but is less than final creased in comparison with October, and materially ginnings of 1,005,000 bales last year. The Virginia exceeded consumption in November 1931. In Novem yield for 1932 is 28,000 bales, compared with 28,000 ber this year, North Carolina mills used 124,126 bales bales expected on November 1 and 42,000 bales grown of cotton, South Carolina mills used 110,077 bales, last year. Total production in the Fifth district is and Virginia mills used 12,572 bales, a district total of therefore expected to be about 440,000 bales less this 246,775 bales, compared with 242,038 bales consumed year than in 1931. in the district in October 1932 and 212,884 bales used Ginning figures to December 1, released by the Cen in November 1931. The district increase of 2.0 per sus Bureau on December 8, showed 11,631,361 bales cent in cotton used in November in comparison with ginned from this year’s crop, compared with 15,018,403 October was larger than the National increase of bales of last year’s crop ginned before December. 3/10ths of 1 per cent, but the increase last month in Cotton consumption in American mills in Novem the district over consumption in November 1931 ber totaled 503,722 bales, according to the report of amounting to 15.9 per cent was less than the National the Census Bureau released on December 14. This increase of 18.5 per cent. Consumption of cotton in figure shows an increase over 502,244 bales consumed the Richmond reserve district in November this year during the month of October this year, and is approxi totaled 48.99 per cent of National consumption com mately 18.5 per cent above 425,228 bales consumed pared with 48.19 per cent in October 1932 and 50.06 in November 1931. Total consumption during the per cent in November 1931. four months of the present cotton year amounted to 1,900,222 bales, compared with 1,775,616 bales con Cotton Statistics sumed during the four months ended November 30, Spot cotton prices declined further after the middle 1931. Cotton on hand at manufacturing establishments of November, but in the first half of December re on November 30 this year totaled 1,456,913 bales, com gained some of the ground lost in the preceding month. pared with 1,266,816 bales held on October 31 this In our November 30 Review we quoted the average year and 1,446,941 bales held on November 30 last price paid for middling cotton on ten Southern mar year. Bales in public warehouses and compresses num kets on November 18 as 6.15 cents per pound. The bered 10,677,362 at the end of November, 9,826,875 price declined during the next two weeks to an average at the end of October, and 10,704,371 on November of 5.62 cents on December 2. On December 9 the 30, 1931. Exports of cotton totaled 1,012,411 bales MONTHLY REVIEW in November, compared with 1,008,023 bales sent abroad in October this year and 1,070,643 bales in November 1931. Total exports during the four months of the present cotton year—August 1-November 30, inclusive—totaled 3,206,253 bales, a higher figure than 2,854,045 bales shipped over seas during the corres ponding four months last year. Spindles active at some time during November numbered 24,349,506, compared with 24,587,732 in October this year and 24, 870,182 in November 1931. Cotton growing states consumed 421,499 bales in November, compared with 355,347 bales used in No vember last year. Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to 83.68 per cent of National consumption, compared with 83.57 per cent of National consumption used in cotton growing states in November last year. Of the 421,499 bales of cot ton consumed in the cotton growing states in Novem ber, the Fifth district mills used 246,775 bales, or 58.55 per cent, a lower figure than 59.91 per cent of Southern consumption attained by Fifth district mills in No vember last year. 5 estimate that the quality of tobacco sold in November graded 18 per cent good, 36 per cent medium, and 46 per cent common, compared with 16 per cent good, 38 per cent medium, and 46 per cent common for tobacco sold in November 1931. Tobacco Manufacturing Tobacco factories further reduced output in Novem ber, and continued operations at a level below that of 1931. Stamp taxes paid to the Federal Treasury on all tobacco products in November this year totaled $29,186,635, compared with $31,564,443 in October 1932 and $30,208,135 in November 1931. In quantity of production, cigarettes manufactured dropped from 7,850,253,728 cigarettes in November 1931 to 7,614,246,565 cigarettes in November 1932, cigars dropped from 477,458,157 to 419,173,428, and manufactured tobacco for smoking and chewing dropped from 25,229,734 pounds to 25,148,846 pounds. On the other hand, snuff production rose from 2,705,103 pounds in November last year to 2,850,789 pounds in November this year. Tobacco Marketing Agricultural Notes North Carolina auction tobacco market sold 61,440,005 pounds of growers’ tobacco in November 1932, at an average price of $12.68 per hundred pounds, com pared with 116,419,691 pounds sold in November 1931, at $8.81 cents per hundred pounds. Total sales this season on North Carolina markets reached 244,577,776 pounds prior to December 1, compared with 358,269,502 pounds sold on the same markets prior to De cember 1931. Last month Winston-Salem led in sales with 10,653,914 pounds, Greenville ranking second with 7,943,852 pounds. Durham led all North Carolina markets in average price paid in November with $15.20 per hundred pounds, Fuquay Springs ranking second with an average of $14.58 per hundred. In season sales Greenville reports 33,251,274 pounds, Wilson ranking second with 31,483,924 pounds. Virginia leaf tobacco sales in November amounted to 15,434,328 pounds, for a total of $1,400,569, com pared with 24,564,905 pounds sold for $1,951,126 in November 1931, according to warehouse reports to the Commissioner of Agriculture. The average price for all types of tobacco sold in November was $9.08 per hundred pounds, compared with $7.94 last year and $9.14 two years ago. Flue-cured sales amounted to 14,491,003 pounds, with an average of $9.23 per hun dred pounds, while for the same month last year sales of this type amounted to 22,951,514 pounds at an aver age price of $8.16 per hundred. Flue-cured prices im proved slightly during November and the average for the month was about 3 per cent above the October av erage. Fire-cured markets did not open until about the middle of November, and therefore sales for last month were much less than usual, the total for this type being 914,863 pounds at an average of $6.64 per hundred pounds. In November last year, 1,512,939 pounds of fire-cured tobacco were sold for an average price of $4.76 per hundred. Burley and sun-cured markets did not open until December. Warehousemen Harvests for 1932 are practically completed, but final production figures are not yet available. In the next issue of this Review a table will be printed, con taining production figures for the leading crops of the Fifth reserve district for 1932 in comparison with figures for some earlier years. On the whole, 1932 was disappointing to farmers, yields of many crops being low on account of hot, dry weather during the growing season, and prices contin uing very low. Material reductions were made in acreages planted to cash crops, but previously accumu lated surpluses, together with lessened demand as a result of the world-wide depression, prevented much advance in prices. Crops were made cheaply, much less fertilizer than in normal years being used, but returns in many cases failed to pay even the relatively low ex pense of production. Farmers raised large crops of food and feed crops this year, and are therefore pre pared to live at home to a considerably greater degree than is the case when prices for cash crops are better. Construction Building inspectors in thirty-two Fifth district cities issued 1,894 permits in November this year, compared with 2,338 permits issued in November last year. Esti mated valuation figures last month totaled only $1,908,504, a decrease of 53.7 per cent in comparison with $4,122,775 valuation for November 1931. Nine of the thirty-two cities reported higher valuation figures for the 1932 month, but the three largest cities reported low figures, Richmond actually falling below several much smaller cities. Contracts awarded in November for construction work in the Fifth district, including both rural and urban projects, totaled $9,809,965, compared with $19,644,097 awarded in November 1931 and $15,067,295 in November 1930, according to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the awards in No- MONTHLY REVIEW 6 vember this year, $2,263,735, or 23.1 per cent, was for residential work, compared with $3,791,522, or 19.3 per cent, for this type of work in 1931. Building Permits Issued, Fifth District Cities, November 1932 and 1931 CITIES Total Valuation 1932 1931 $1,772,040 1,025 $ 903,840 3,370 1,970 10 5,726 510 11 6,155 30,710 9 8,575 6,200 13 23,982 6,020 8 45,212 25,302 28 72,115 117,225 119 2,100 31,253 5 5,394 23,239 37 40,185 115,485 103 57,672 10,660 43 5.120 2,595 2 18,884 41,377 45 12,655 8,888 18 4.120 19,830 29 12,699 7,390 24 11,965 115,513 36 16,640 21,675 8 25,729 79,415 37 5,925 17,590 16 17,310 240,624 18 1,550 11,510 11 1,050 6,600 4 10,850 18,800 17 27,360 21,353 48 42,855 18,789 33 26,631 73,102 46 7,745 18,665 15 9,890 8,475 10 5,425 1,650 14 520,585 1,197,510 496 Permits Issued 1932 1931 Baltimore, Md. — Cumberland, Md....... Frederick, Md............ Hagerstown, Md......Salisbury, Md......... Danville, Va.............. Lynchburg, Va.......... Norfolk, Va.............. Petersburg, Va......... Portsmouth, Va......... Richmond, Va......... 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.-----Wilmington, 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.. 889 7 6 8 10 7 39 117 5 21 59 16 7 59 13 16 25 15 11 29 7 13 2 2 16 38 33 39 21 10 11 343 Totals _________ 1,894 2,338 $1,908,504 $4,122,775 Retail Trade, 33 Department Stores_____________ Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District November 1932 sales, compared with sales in November 1931: —14.3 —14.6 —15.1 —18.4 —15.1 Jan.-Nov. 1932 sales, compared with Jan.-Nov. 1931: —19.7 —19.6 —16.0 —24.1 —18.6 Nov. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with stocks on Nov. 30, 1931: —15.8 —14.0 —13.0 —24.2 —15.0 Nov. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with stocks on Oct. 31, 1932: + 3.1 + 2.1 + 7.3 + 1.9 + 4.2 Number of times stock was turned in November 1932: .297 .316 .301 .221 .298 Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1932: 3.171 3.198 3.319 2.303 3.139 Percentage of Nov. 1, 1932, receivables collected in Nov.: 29.5 22.1 27.7 26.9 25.2 Department store trade in November in the Fifth Federal reserve district was about up to seasonal level, but averaged 15.1 per cent less in dollars than sales in November 1931, according to reports from thirty-three leading stores in thirteen cities. Richmond stores as a whole reported smaller declines in sales last month than stores in other sections, with Baltimore in second place. Cumulative sales in the first eleven months of 1932 totaled 18.6 per cent less than sales in the cor responding period of 1931, Washington leading the other cities. During the first three weeks in December, for which no actual figures are yet available, weather was highly unfavorable for retail trade, and prelim inary reports indicate that the stores have suffered accordingly in their holiday business. Stocks of goods on the shelves of the reporting stores showed a seasonal increase during November, but at the end of the month were 15.0 per cent less than stocks on hand on November 30, 1931, part of this increase being due to lower prices in many lines this year. The figures are reported in dollars, at retail selling prices. The reporting stores turned their stocks .298 times in November, and between January 1 and November 30 the average rate of turnover was 3.139 times, a lower figure than 3.335 times stock was turned in the cor responding eleven months in 1931. Collections during November averaged 25.2 per cent of receivables outstanding on November 1, exactly the same figure reported in October 1932 but lower than 27.3 per cent of outstanding receivables collected in November 1931. Wholesale Trade, 62 Firms 22 9 6 13 12 Groceries Dry Goods Shoes Hardware Drugs November 1932 sales, compared with sales in November 1931: —12.4 — 4.9 — .9 — 2.5 —13.3 November 1932 sales, compared with sales in October 1932: — 5.3 —15.4 —36.4 — 3.4i — 3.5 Jan.-Nov. 1932 sales, compared with Jan.-Nov. 1931 sales: —16.5 —20.8 —11.2 —19.0 —18.2 Nov. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with Nov. 30, 1931, stocks: —14.2(8*) — 5.4(4*) —37.1(5*) —13.4(7*) ____ Nov. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with Oct. 31, 1932, stocks: — 7.5(8*) — 5.4(4*) —15.5(5*) — 1.6(7*) , ____ Percentage of Nov. 1, 1932, receivables collected in Nov.: 56.9(13*) 35.5(6*) 40.1(6*) 32.1(11*) 43.3(8*) —Denotes decreased percentage. ♦Number of reporting firms. Wholesale trade in five leading lines was in smaller volume in November than in either October this year or November last year, but the decrease under the preceding month was chiefly seasonal and the drop in comparison with the corresponding month of 1931 was less than in earlier months this year. In cumu lative sales since January 1, all five lines show lower figures than for the like period of 1931, shoes decreas ing least with 11.2 per cent, and dry goods most with 20.8 per cent. Stocks carried by the reporting firms decreased sea sonally in November, and on November 30, 1932, all firms were carrying smaller stocks than on November 30, 1931, shoes showing the greatest decline and dry goods the least. The percentages of collections in November to ac counts receivable on the first of the month were higher in groceries and hardware and lower in dry goods, shoes and drugs than the percentages for October 1932. In comparison with the collection percentages reported for November 1931, those reported for No vember this year were higher in groceries, dry goods and hardware, but were lower in shoes and drugs. (Compiled December 21, 1932) MONTHLY REVIEW 7 BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES (Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board) Industrial activity declined in November by some what more than the usual seasonal amount. Changes in factory employment and payrolls, reported for the middle of the month, were largely seasonal in char acter. Prices in wholesale commodity markets were somewhat lower, on the average, in November than in October, and declined further during the first three weeks of December. Production and Employment Volume of industrial production, as measured by the Board’s seasonally adjusted index, declined from 66 per cent of the 1923-1925 average in October to 65 per cent in November, compared with a low level of 58 per cent' in July. Output at woolen mills, silk mills, and shoe factories declined in November from the relatively high levels of the autumn, while cotton mills continued active. Lumber production declined by considerably more than the usual seasonal amount. Steel production decreased during November and the first three weeks of December, while automobile out put increased considerably in connection with the in troduction of new models. The number employed at factories declined some what from October to November, reflecting in large part developments of a seasonal character. Working forces in the woolen, silk, shoe, and canning industries were reduced, while at car-building shops and at fac tories producing automobiles and agricultural imple ments there were increases in employment. Construction contracts awarded up to December 15, as reported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, indicate for the last three months of the year a decline from the third quarter of somewhat more than the usual seasonal amount, following a non*-seasonal increase from the second to the third quarter. Estimates of the Department of Agriculture, based on December 1 reports, indicate a cotton crop of 12,727,000 bales, about 800,000 bales larger than the esti mate a month earlier, but 4,400,000 bales smaller than last year’s unusually large crop. Wheat, tobacco, flax seed, and other leading cash crops are also consider ably smaller than a year ago, while feed crops are sub stantially larger. Acreage of winter wheat planted this fall was slightly smaller than a year ago, and condition of the crop on December 1 was unusually poor, accord ing to the Department of Agriculture. Distribution Distribution of commodities by rail decreased sea sonally from October to November, while the dollar volume of department store sales, which ordinarily ex pands at this season, showed a decline. Wholesale Prices During early November the general level of whole sale commodity prices advanced somewhat, reflecting chiefly increases in prices of domestic agricultural products; in the latter part of the month, however, prices of livestock, cotton, and grains declined consid erably ; and, during the first three weeks of December, further declines in livestock prices were reported. By the third week of December prices of textiles, copper, and silver, as well as of livestock, were substantially lower than in the middle of November and the general average of wholesale prices was at a level slightly be low that prevailing before the advance that occurred last summer. Bank Credit During the four weeks ended December 14 there was an addition of $85,000,000 to the country’s stock of monetary gold. The funds derived from this source were utilized in meeting an increase in the demand for currency, which was smaller than usual at this season, in further reducing by $23,000,000 the indebtedness of member banks to the reserve banks, and in increas ing by $25,000,000 the volume of member bank reserve balances. On December 15 there was a further in crease of $95,500,000 in the stock of monetary gold in connection with the current payment by Great Brit ain on the war debt. This amount of gold was ear marked in London for account of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and an equivalent credit was given by that bank to the United States Treasury. This transaction together with other fiscal operations on December 15 resulted in a temporary addition of $100,000,000 to the reserves of member banks, which were subsequently reduced by Christmas currency de mands, and an increase in Treasury deposits with the reserve banks. Loans and investments of reporting member banks declined by more than $100,000,000 between Novem ber 16 and December 14, reflecting reductions in the banks’ holdings of United States Government securi ties, and in loans other than security loans. Loans on securities increased, both at New York City and at other reporting member banks. Money rates in the open market declined further, rates on 90-day bankers’ acceptances declining from y2 of 1 per cent to % of 1 per cent, and rates on prime commercial paper from a range of lj^ -lj^ per cent to a range of per cent.