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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA__________________ ________________________________ DECEMBER 31, 1934
USINESS statistics for 1933 are
not yet complete, but in the Fifth
reserve district the year which is dos­
ing witnessed improved trade in every
line for which data are available in
comparison with trade in 1933. In con­
trast with the earlier year, banks had
no trouble this year, and the public
demonstrated confidence in them by
notably increasing deposits, partly due
of course to the law whereby deposits
are insured to a certain point. In spite
of continued unemployment on a very
extensive scale, retail trade during 1934
was much better than in 1933, whole­
sale trade followed retail trade upward,
commercial failures were at a very low
level, collections were distinctly improved, sales of both
new and used automobiles exceeded those of the pre­
ceding year, and farmers received more money for their
crops than in any recent year. Tobacco growing sec­
tions bertefitted by improved conditions more than
others, but cotton and other farmers also shared in the
high returns from agriculture.
Most of the developments in Fifth district business
between the middle of November and the middle of
December were seasonal in character. In banking, re­
discounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond,
increased very slightly, after a steady decline over many
months. The Bank also increased industrial advances
and commitments, extended under Section 13-B of the
Federal Reserve Act. Federal reserve notes increased
seasonally during the past month, but less than occurs
in most years. Reporting member banks showed little
net change in outstanding loans between the middle of
November and the middle of December, but deposits
showed a moderate decline, partly due to withdrawals
for tax paying and holiday buying. Debits to individ­
ual accounts figures in four weeks ended December 12
showed a seasonal increase in comparison with debits
in the preceding four weeks, ended November 14, and
exceeded by 19 per cent debits in the corresponding
four weeks last year. Employment continued unsatis­




factory last month, but in the cities
there seemed to be somewhat less than
a seasonal increase in unemployment.
Coal production in November, figured
on a daily production basis, exceeded
production in either October 1934 or
November 1933. Business failures in
the Fifth district were fewer in num­
ber and lower in liabilities in November
1934 than in either October this year
or November last year. Textile mills
continued operations at practically full
time during November, and cotton con­
sumption exceeded that of November
last year, when mills restricted output
in order to counteract over production
earlier in 1933. Auction tobacco mar­
kets handled less tobacco last month than in November
1933, but the cash returns from sales this year were
much larger than returns last year. Tobacco manu­
facturing in November was about 35 per cent above
November 1933, cigarettes accounting for most of the
increase. Construction work continues to lag, and little
new work is being undertaken, but the Government has
stimulated some repair and alteration work. Retail
trade in November exceeded the volume of trade in
November 1933 by more than 17 per cent, and pre­
liminary reports indicate that the first half of Decem­
ber witnessed the largest volume of trade since 1929.
Wholesale trade last month, while seasonally below
the level of October in all lines for which figures are
available, was well above the level of trade in Novem­
ber 1933.

Industrial Loans
Under Section 13-B of the Federal Reserve Act, as
amended, the Federal Reserve banks were authorized
to make loans direct to industry in cases where credit
could not be obtained in regular channels. The loans
are intended primarily to furnish working capital, and
have a maximum maturity of five years. In each re­
serve district an Industrial Advisory Committee of five

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

business men was set up, and loans are applied for and
investigated through this Committee. In the Fifth
Reserve district, the Advisory Committee meets every
Thursday afternoon, carefully examines loan applica­
tions, and makes recommendations thereon to the re­
serve bank. The officers of the bank then carefully
study the applications and the recommendations of the
Committee before passing finally on the loans. Through
December 12, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
received 271 applications for loans totaling $9,922,000,
of which 74 loans totaling $5,148,000 were recom­
mended by the Industrial Advisory Committee, with or
without conditions, and 30 applications for $1,551,000
are still under consideration. Of the 74 loans recom­
mended by the Committee, 72 were approved by the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and $1,367,000
was actually advanced to borrowers. In addition, the
reserve bank committed itself to assume $204,000 of
industrial loans made by member banks, in the event
that the lending banks wish to secure funds on the loans
before expiration of the commitment.

Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

Dec. 15
1934

000 omitted
Nov. 15 Dec. 15
1934
1933

Rediscounts h eld ---------------- $ 148 $ 110 $ 5,587
209
5,469
209
Open market paper------------1,289
1,369
0
Industrial advances -----------599
0
0
Foreign loans on gold----------78,563
Government securities ---------- 103,563 103,563
89,619
Total earning assets---------- 105,289 105,770
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes- 173,972 173,141 159,434
Circulation of Fed. Res. bank
4,559
0
0
notes --------------------------77,062
Members’ reserve deposits------ 116,674 128,110
Cash reserves-------------------- 209,305 203,001 165,378
68.27
66.31
67.26
Reserve ratio --------------------

=
3

and the middle of December, but on the latter date
totaled $25,000,000 above holdings at mid-December
1933. As a result of the changes in individual asset
items, total earning assets showed a net decrease of
$481,000 during the past month but rose by $15,670,000
during the past year. Federal reserve notes in actual cir­
culation rose between November 15 and December 15 by
$831,000, a smaller than normal seasonal increase due
to needs for additional currency in connection with
holiday buying and marketing of crops, especially to­
bacco and cotton. On December 15, the total of notes
in circulation exceeded the total for December 15,1933,
by $14,538,000. Last year $4,559,000 in Federal Re­
serve bank notes were in circulation, but all of them
have since been retired. Member bank reserve deposits,
which are much higher than actual requirements, de­
clined by $11,436,000 during the past month, chiefly
due to investments by member banks in Government
securities issued during the month. At the middle of
December reserves exceeded those of December 15,
1933, by $39,612,000. The several changes in the state­
ment mentioned, with others of less importance, in­
creased the cash reserves of the Richmond reserve bank
by $6,304,000 between November 15 and December 15,
and raised the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit
liabilities combined by approximately one point. Re­
serves on December 15, 1934, were higher by $43,927,000 than reserves on December 15, 1933, but the ratio
of reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined de­
clined 1.01 points.

Statement of 28 Member Banks
ITEMS

Dec. 12
1934

000 omitted
Nov. 14 Dec. 13
1934
1933

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ------- $ 60,869 $ 60,190
All other loans------------------ 107,619 108,370
Total loans and discounts— 168,488 168,560
Investments in securities_____ 189.317 190,614
57,642
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.. 49,466
12,187
13,553
Cash in vaults..........................
Demand deposits __________ 232,779 240,038
Time deposits -------------------- 132.317 133,499
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.—
0
0

$ 58,706
113,952

172,658
In the accompanying table, principal items from the
163,931
statement of condition of the Federal Reserve Bank
32,033
of Richmond are shown for three dates, December 15
11,424
and November 15, 1934, and December 15, 1933, thus
194,720
126,872
affording opportunity for study of the changes during
0
the past month and the past year. It should be under­
stood that the figures are not necessarily the highest or
lowest which occurred during the periods under re­
Twenty-eight member banks in ten leading cities of
view, but reflect the condition of the Bank on the dates
the Fifth Federal reserve district make weekly reports
mentioned.
Rediscounts for member banks increased slightly of condition to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond,
during the past month, rising by $38,000, but the and the accompanying table shows principal items for
amount outstanding on December 15 was negligible, three dates, December 12 and November 14, 1934, and
and was $5,439,000 less than the relatively small volume December 13, 1933.
of borrowing a year ago. The portfolio of open mar- j Between November 14 and December 12, both this
ket paper showed no change between November 15 and year, there were greater changes in the statement than
December 15, this year, but declined by $5,260,000 in any other recent month. The total loans and dis­
during the year. Foreign loans on gold amounting to counts showed a net decline of $27,000, loans on stocks
$599,000 on November 15 were paid off during the and bonds rising by $679,000 while all other loans de­
past month. On December 15, 1934, loans to industry creased by $751,000. The reporting banks also de­
by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond totaled $1,- ; creased their investments in securities by $1,297,000,
369,000, an increase of $80,000 between November 15 and reduced their reserve balance at the reserve bank
and December 15. Government security holdings re­ by $8,176,000 between the middle of November and
mained unchanged between the middle of November the middle of December. Cash in vaults rose by $1,-




MONTHLY REVIEW
366.000 during the month, a seasonal increase due to a
need for additional cash with which to carry on the
holiday trade. Demand deposits declined $7,259,000
during the month under review, and time deposits
dropped $1,182,000, the latter a usual development at
this time of year when withdrawals from savings ac­
counts are made for payment of taxes and holiday pur­
chases. None of the twenty-eight reporting banks were
rediscounting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Rich­
mond on either November 14 or December 12.
During the year between December 13, 1933, and
December 12, 1934, material changes occurred in some
of the items. Total loans declined $4,170,000, an in­
crease of $2,163,000 in loans on stocks and bonds being
more than offset by a decrease of $6,333,000 in all other
loans. Aggregate deposits in the twenty-eight banks
rose by $43,504,000 during the year, demand deposits
gaining $38,059,000 and time deposits rising $5,445,000.
The reporting banks were unable to lend these addi­
tional funds to commerce and industry, and therefore
they increased their investments in securities by $25,386.000 during the year, and also raised their reserve
deposits at the reserve bank by $17,433,000. Higher
prices for agricultural products and increased demand
for money in retail trade caused a rise of $2,129,000 in
cash in vaults between December 13 last year and
December 12 this year.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Dec. 12,
Nov. 14,
Dec. 13,
1934
1934
1933

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

$ 8,762
242,646
12,079
40,404
45,979
17,079
6,298
11,482
28,361
11,725
14,648
5,915
12,008
13,212
8,079
43,593
3,636
21,803
126,434
19,238
165,442
8,102
31,274

$ 8,475
236,895
10,503
37,835
44,718
18,579
5,816
14,009
37,168
10,767
13,160
5,955
10,307
11,705
5,944
38,342
3.012
22,518
130,064
16,956
154.087
7,607
28,968

$ 7,337
194,283
9,212
33,329
32,573
12,619
4,989
11,276
34,573
7,047
11,582
4,398
8,876
12,340
7,316
36,356
3,470
16,370
109,551
17,437
146,427
6,425
25,431

District Totals____

$898,199

$873,390

$753,217

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 twentythree leading Fifth district cities show a seasonal in­
crease during the period ended December 12 in com­
parison with the figures for four weeks ended Novem­




3

ber 14. Aggregate debits in the reporting cities totaled
$898,199,000 during the four weeks ended December
12, an increase of $24,809,000, or 2.8 per cent, above
the total of $873,390,000 reported for the preceding
period this year. Among the twenty-three reporting
cities, seventeen reported higher figures for the later
period, while six reported lower figures. The declines
in three of the six cities, Danville, Durham, and Ra­
leigh, were probably due to a decrease in tobacco sales
on auction markets.
In comparison with debits reported for four weeks
ended December 13, 1933, those reported for the cor­
responding period this year show an increase of $144,982,000, or 19.2 per cent, twenty-two of the twentythree cities showing higher figures for the 1934 period.
Durham was the only city which failed to register an
increase in 1934 debits.

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in twenty-eight reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings
banks in Baltimore totaled $328,105,896 at the end of
November 1934, a lower figure than $329,235,051 re­
ported at the end of October this year but above $311,706,039 on November 30, 1933. The decrease during
the past month occurred in reporting member banks,
the mutual savings banks showing a small increase in
deposits. Both member banks and savings banks re­
ported increased deposits during the year.

Business Failures
The Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review for Decem­
ber says, “After the temporary increase in business
insolvencies in October, the downward trend was again
resumed in November, for which month the number of
business defaults in the United States was close to the
lowest for any month of the year, with the exception
of September.” Failures in the Nation in November
1934 numbered 923, with liabilities totaling $18,349,791,
compared with 1,237 failures and liabilities totaling
$25,353,376 in November 1933, decreases of 25.4 per
cent and 27.6 per cent in insolvencies and liabilities,
respectively. In the Fifth Federal reserve district,
bankrupties last month totaled only 39, the lowest num­
ber for any month except September since July 1920,
and 39 per cent less than 64 failures reported for No­
vember 1933. Liabilities last month totaling $550,602
showed a decline of 63 per cent in comparison with
$1,495,124 in November 1933, and was the lowest total
of liabilities for any month except August and Sep­
tember 1934 since June 1920. The district record in
November was better than the National record in both
number of failures and liabilities involved, declines for
the district being larger than declines for the United
States in comparison with November 1933 figures.

Employment
There were no changes of importance in employment
conditions between the middle of November and the
middle of December. There was some decrease in

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

employment on outside work, as is usual at this season,
but this year the decrease in cities appears to have been
somewhat less than in most years, probably due to the
Government’s stimulation of repair and alteration work
on buildings. This work has given employment to a
considerable number of painters, carpenters, and other
workers in building trades. Coal production in Novem­
ber on a daily basis was slightly above October pro­
duction, and miners therefore were better employed
during the later month. In the textile field, mills oper­
ated practically full time under code rules, employing
the full number of workers provided for under the code.
Work on highways is largely being postponed on ac­
count of unfavorable weather for paving, and this
delay in road work has reduced employment in rural
sections materially.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal mined in the United States in No­
vember this year totaled 30,298,000 net tons, a decrease
under 32,573,000 tons mined in October 1934 and also
less than 30,582,000 tons dug in November 1933. On
a daily basis, however, output in November 1934 total­
ing 1,227,000 net tons exceeded either 1,204,000 tons
per day mined in October this year or 1,223,000 tons
per day mined in November last year. Total output of
bituminous coal in the United States during the present
calendar year to December 8 amounted to 333,906,000
net tons, compared with 306,957,000 tons mined to the
same date last year. Shipments of coal through Hamp­
ton Roads in November totaled approximately 1,497,396
tons, and total shipments from January 1 through No­
vember 30 totaled 16,373,000 tons.
The November 24 report of the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal pro­
duction by states for the month of October 1934. West
Virginia led all states with 8,735,000 net tons, Pennsyl­
vania ranking second with 7.690,000 tons and Illinois
third with 3,850,000 tons. West Virginia’s production
in October was slightly below the October 1933 figure,
in contrast with an increase in total production in the
United States amounting to 9.8 per cent. In October
1934, the Fifth district coal states of West Virginia,
Virginia and Maryland produced 29.9 per cent of all
bituminous coal dug in the Nation, compared with 33.4
per cent mined in the same three states in October 1933.

Textiles
Fifth district cotton textile mills continued operations
in November at about the same level as in October, and
above the level of November 1933. Last month North
Carolina mills used 114,235 bales of cotton, South
Carolina mills used 98,582 bales, and Virginia mills
used 12,953 bales, a district total of 225,770 bales, com­
pared with 235,752 bales consumed in the district in
the longer month of October 1934 and 217,461 bales
used in November 1933. The district decrease of 4.2
per cent in cotton used in November in comparison with
October was less than the National decrease of 8.3 per
cent, and the increase last month in the district over
consumption in November 1933 amounting to 3.8 per




cent was greater than the National increase of 4/10ths
of 1 per cent. Consumption of cotton in the Richmond
reserve district in November this year totaled 47.32
per cent of National consumption, compared with 45.31
per cent in October 1934 and 45.76 per cent in No­
vember 1933.
On November 20, the Department of Commerce is­
sued a report on spindles in place, spindles active in
October, total spindle hours of operation in October,
and average hours of operation per spindle in place in
October. On October 31, 1934, there were 30,882,570
spindles in place in the United States, North Carolina
leading with 6,152,756, or 19.92 per cent of the total,
South Carolina ranking second with 5,819,924 spindles,
or 18.85 per cent, and Massachusetts third with 5,607,292 spindles, or 18.16 per cent. The Fifth district as a
whole had 40.88 per cent of total spindles in place in
the United States at the end of October. In actual
spindle hours of operation, South Carolina led all
states for October with 1,854,276,420 hours, or 25.81
per cent of the National total of 7,184,521,524 hours,
and North Carolina ranked second with 1,536,094,312
hours, or 21.38 per cent. Massachusetts ranked third
in actual spindle hours of operations, but attained only
12.1 per cent of total hours, although having 18.16 per
cent of all spindles in place. The Fifth district, with
40.88 per cent of total spindles in the United States in
October, showed 49.94 per cent of total hours of oper­
ation. In actual hours of operation per spindle in
place, South Carolina with an average of 319 hours
per spindle was in the lead, while Virginia ranked sec­
ond with 303 hours and North Carolina sixth with 250
hours. The average hours of operation for the United
States was 233 hours per pindle in place.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices changed relatively little between
the middle of November and the middle of December,
but the trend was upward. On November 16 the aver­
age price for middling grade cotton on ten Southern
spot markets was 12.48 cents per pound, and on Decem­
ber 14, the latest available date, the average was 12.61
cents per pound. The Government’s agreement to lend
12 cents per pound on middling cotton has practically
pegged the price at a level between 12 and 13 cents.
Final production figures on this year’s cotton crop,
released by the Department of Agriculture on Decem­
ber 8, totaled 9,731,000 equivalent 500-pound bales, an
increase of 97,000 bales over the estimate made on
November 1, but 3,316,000 bales below 1933 production.
Weather was favorable for cotton picking, and the final
yield was higher in most of the cotton belt than was
expected during the growing season. Starting with an
estimate of 9,195,000 bales on August 1, increases of
57,000 bales were made for September, 191,000 bales
for October, 191,000 bales for November, and 97,000
bales for December, a total increase of 536,000 bales,
or 5.8 per cent, between the August 1 and December 1
reports. The total production figure for the Fifth re­
serve district was raised in the December estimate, the
Virginia estimate being increased by 4,000 bales. South

MONTHLY REVIEW
Carolina’s probable production for 1934 was given in
the latest estimate as 695,000 bales, the same figure
forecast a month earlier but below the final ginnings
of 735,000 bales in 1933. North Carolina’s forecast
of 650,000 bales shows no change from the November
1 estimate, but falls short of the 1933 production of
684.000 bales. The Virginia yield for 1934 is 39,000
bales, compared with 35,000 bales expected on Novem­
ber 1 and 37,000 bales grown last year. Total pro­
duction in the Fifth district is therefore to be about
72.000 bales less this year than in 1933.
Ginning figures to December 1, released by the Cen­
sus Bureau on December 8, showed 9,029,792 bales
ginned from this year’s crop, compared with 12,106,377
bales of last year’s crop ginned before December.
Cotton consumption in American mills in November
totaled 477,060 bales, according to the report of the
Census Bureau released on December 14. This figure
shows a decrease under 520,310 bales consumed during
the month of October this year, but is slightly more
than 475,247 bales consumed in November 1933. Total
consumption during the four months of the present cot­
ton year amounted to 1,714,279 bales, compared with
2,067,686 bales consumed during the four months ended
November 30, 1933. Cotton on hand at manufacturing
establishments on November 30 this year totaled 1,293,763 bales, compared with 1,139,721 bales held on
October 31 this year and 1,572,740 bales held on No­
vember 30 last year. Bales in public warehouses and
compresses numbered 9,794,811 at the end of Novem­
ber, 9,381,428 at the end of October, and 10,404,394
on November 30, 1933. Exports of cotton totaled
572,359 bales in November, compared with 615,593
bales sent abroad in October this year and 915,304
bales in November 1933. Total exports during the
four months of the present cotton year—August 1November 30, inclusive—totaled 1,894,210 bales, a
much lower figure than 3,359,999 bales shipped over
seas during the corresponding four months last year.
Spindles active at some time during November num­
bered 25,050,778, compared with 25,095,480 in Octo­
ber this year and 25,420,584 in November 1933.
Cotton growing states consumed 385,449 bales in
November, compared with 379,238 bales used in No­
vember last year. Last month’s consumption in the
cotton growing states amounted to 80.8 per cent of
National consumption, compared with 79.8 per cent of
National consumption used in the cotton growing
states in November last year. Of the 385,449 bales of
cotton consumed in the cotton growing states in Novem­
ber, the Fifth district mills used 225,770 bales, or 58.57
per cent, a higher figure than 57.34 per cent of Southern
consumption attained by Fifth district mills in Novem­
ber last year.

Tobacco Marketing
Virginia leaf tobacco markets sold 24,449,251 pounds
of producers’ tobacco during November 1934 for an
average of $27.20 per hundred, according to warehouse
reports to the Commissioner of Agriculture. In No­
vember 1933 sales amounted to 30,493,995 pounds at
an average price of $18.27. Total producers’ sales for




5

the season to December 1 were 62,018,225 pounds, and
the average season price was $30.32 per hundred, com­
pared with 41,258,043 pounds sold for an average of
$17.23 during the corresponding period last year. Fluecured sales during November totaled 22,822,718 pounds
at an average price of $28.14 per hundred. Total fluecured sales for the season amounted to 60,391,692
pounds, which warehousemen estimate to be about 85
per cent of the total crop. The quality of tobacco sold
during November was poorer than in either October
this year or November last year. Warehousemen esti­
mated that sales of flue-cured tobacco graded 29 per
cent good, 39 per cent medium, and 32 per cent com­
mon, whereas for November last year sales graded 42
per cent good, 35 per cent medium and 23 per cent
common. The fire-cured markets opened early in No­
vember and sold 1,626,553 pounds for an average of
$14.09 per hundred. The fire-cured markets were not
open during November last year. The average price
last month was the highest November average since
1929. Warehousemen estimated that sales graded 30
per cent good, 43 per cent medium and 27 per cent
common, indicating a better quality than is usually re­
ported during the first month’s sales. As the burley
and sun-cured markets did not open until December 4,
there were no sales of these types during November.
North Carolina markets sold 49,895,799 pounds of
growers’ tobacco in November 1934, at an average price
of $28.14 per hundred pounds, compared with 146,210,600 pounds sold in November 1933, at $19.57 per
hundred pounds. Total sales this season on North
Carolina markets reached 375,539,778 pounds prior to
December 1, compared with 416,538,789 pounds sold on
the same markets prior to December 1933. Last month
Winston-Salem led in sales with 9,427,901 pounds, Wil­
son ranking second with 5,731,734 pounds. Durham
led all North Carolina markets in average price in No­
vember with $32.38 per hundred pounds, Fuquay
Springs ranking second with an average of $31.58 per
hundred. In season sales Wilson reports 48,198,875
pounds, Greenville ranking second with 46,077,175
pounds.

Tobacco Manufacturing
On December 20, the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue issued a report on taxes collected in November
1934 on manufactured tobacco products. November
production of cigarettes in the United States numbered
9,727,429,603, compared with 6,835,038,693 cigarettes
manufactured in November 1933. Smoking and chew­
ing tobacco production increased from 22,794,824
pounds in November 1933 to 24,643,494 pounds in
November this year. Cigars manufactured rose from
415,347,323 in November last year to 466,163,546 in
November 1934. Snuff production increased from
2,612,169 pounds to 3,125,358 pounds during the year.
In the month of November 1934, taxes on cigarettes
totaled $29,184,986, compared with $20,508,263 col­
lected in the corresponding month last year. Taxes on
smoking and chewing tobacco increased during the
same period from $4,103,197 to $4,435,895, and cigar
taxes rose from $1,170,125 to $1,274,617. Combined

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

taxes to the Federal Treasury on all forms of tobacco
manufacture totaled $35,458,063 in November 1934
and $26,251,776 in November 1933, an increase this
year of 35 per cent.

Agricultural Notes
Harvesting of agricultural products of the 1934 crop
is practically complete, but final statistics on 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 reserve district for
1934 in comparison with figures for some earlier years.
Due chiefly to acreage reduction, yields of the dis­
trict’s two leading money crops, cotton and tobacco,
were lower than in recent years, but prices were suffi­
ciently high to make both crops more remunerative than
last year. Tobacco prices especially were much higher
than in 1933, and business of all kinds showed marked
improvement in tobacco sections. Weather during the
harvesting season was nearly ideal, and crops were
gathered in excellent condition. Farmers in the Fifth
district harvested good supplies of feed, and stored
away large stocks of food for the coming winter.

Construction
Building Permits Issued in November
1934 and 1933
CITIES

Permits Issued
1934
1933

516
8
12
10
12
24
28
69
7
21
115
31
4
80
37
22
27
52
32
34
34
12
8
3
80
56
34
27
19
34
477
District Totals----- 1,925

Baltimore, Md. -----Cumberland, Md. —
Frederick, Md. -----Hagerstown, Md.......
Salisbury, M d.------Danville, Va. -------Lynchburg, V a .-----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.-----Winston-Salem, N. C.
Charleston, S. C.---Columbia, S. C.------Greenville, S. C.-----Rock Hill, S. C-----Spartanburg, S. C.—
Washington, D. C.....

744
4
6
14
19

Total Valuation
1934
1933

8
62
13
9
9
21
12
41
8
7
6
5
52
24
22
21
8
17
387

$ 520,800 $ 524,400
12,146
6,050
9,145
957
9,985
5,045
11,725
13,000
1,630
17,488
26,235
22,474
23,452
32,777
460
2,697
15,575
5,485
65,735
80,420
9,109
22,375
10,085
1,600
18,017
54,715
12,787
53,545
26,549
42,665
6,886
765
15,122
32,876
64,675
30,750
38,324
12,649
46,759
9,150
5.370
1,575
33,162
1,195
2,000
4,561
19,164
33,430
40,824
8,075
196,863
3,655
7,535
34,935
22,940
3,730
8,229
2,935
1,643,565
588,235

1,757

$3,014,411 $1,564,651

13
29

76
2
19
78
21

Building inspectors in thirty-one Fifth district cities




issued 1,925 permits in November this year, compared
with 1,757 permits issued in November last year. Esti­
mated valuation figures last month totaled $3,014,411,
an increase of 92.7 per cent above the low total of
$1,564,651 reported for November 1933. Twenty-one
of the thirty-one cities reported higher valuation figures
for the 1934 month, but of the six largest cities only
Washington and Charlotte gained, Baltimore, Rich­
mond, Norfolk and Huntington reporting lower figures
than for November last year. Columbia made the best
showing last month, in proportion to population, but
several other cities also made very creditable records.
Contracts actually awarded in November for con­
struction work in the Fifth district, including both
rural and urban projects, totaled $8,599,431, compared
with $14,565,990 awarded in November 1933 and $9,809,965 in November 1932, according to figures col­
lected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the
awards in November this year, $1,930,011, or 22.4
per cent, was for residential work, compared with
$3,124,885, or 21.5 per cent, for this type of work in
1933.

Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores_________

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

November 1934 sales, compared with sales in November 1933:
+14.9
+10.9
+25.1
+14.6
+17.4
January-November 1934 sales, compared with Jan.-Nov. 1933:
+19.3
+12.8
+202
+22.4
+17.4
Nov. 30, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Nov. 30, 1933:
+13.0
— 9.1
— 82
+ 1.4
— 5.6
Nov. 30, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on O ct 31, 1934:
+11.7
+ 22
+ 52
+ 3.7
+ 4.5
Number of times stock was turned in November 1934:
.322
.318
.351
277
.328
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
3.502
3.17
3.56
3.066
3.348 *
Percentage of Nov. 1, 1934, receivables collected in November:
32.8
28.6
29.1
30.4
29.5
Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages.

Wholesale Trade,
21

7

Groceries Dry Goods

58

Firms______________ _
6

Shoes

13

Hardware

11

Drugs

November 1934 sales, compared with sales in November 1933:
+12.2
+16.2
+ 7.8
+24.3
+18.0
November 1934 sales, compared with sales in October 1934:
— 82
— .8
—30.4
— 7.3
— .6
Jan.-Nov. 1934 sales, compared with Jan.-Nov. 1933 sales:
+18.1
+26.1
+ 5.0
+29.4
+18.9
Nov. 30, 1934, stocks, compared with Nov. 30, 1933, stocks:
+11.0(8*) — 7.7(3*) —24.6(4*) + 4.9(7*)
Nov. 30, 1934, stocks, compared with Oct. 311 1934, stocks:
— 2.1(8*) —15.4(3*) + 5.4(4*) — 1.4(7*)
___
Percentage of Nov. 1, 1934, receivables collected in November:
83.7(12*) 45.6(4*)
782(5*) 48.0(11*) 55.0(7*)
♦Number of reporting firms. All figures in the table
percentages.

(Compiled December 20, 1934)

are

MONTHLY REVIEW

7

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

In November the rate of industrial activity showed
little change and the general level of commodity prices
remained unchanged. Distribution of commodities to
consumers was well maintained.

Production and Employment
Volume of industrial production reclined in No­
vember by an amount somewhat smaller than is usual
at this season and consequently the Board’s seasonally
adjusted index advanced from 73 per cent of the 19231925 average in October to 74 per cent in November.
In the steel industry output continued to increase dur­
ing November and the first three weeks of December,
contrary to the usual seasonal tendency. Automobile
production also showed an increase in the early part of
December, following a decline in connection with prep­
arations for new models. In November lumber output
decreased by more than the estimated seasonal amount.
At woolen mills there was a considerable increase in
output, while consumption of cotton by domestic mills
showed a slight decline. Activity at meatpacking es­
tablishments showed less than the usual seasonal in­
crease. Production of the leading minerals was at
about the same level as in October.
Factory employment declined between the middle of
October and the middle of November by the usual
seasonal amount and was at the same level as a year
ago. Declines reported for the automobile, shoe, and
canning industries were smaller than seasonal, while
decreases at railroad repair shops and saw mills, were
larger than are usual at this season. At meatpacking
establishments, where employment has been at a high
level in recent months, there was a considerable decline
but the number on the payrolls in November was larger
than in the corresponding month of other recent years.
Employment at woolen mills showed a substantial
increase. The number employed on construction proj­
ects of the Public Works Administration declined fur­
ther in November, according to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics.
Value of construction contracts awarded, as reported
by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, showed a consider­
able decline in November and the first half of Decem­
ber, following an increase in October. The indicated
decline in awards from the third to the fourth quarter
was somewhat smaller than usual.
Department of Agriculture estimates for December
1 indicate that production of principal crops this season
was about 22 per cent smaller than in 1933 and 32 per
cent below the average for the previous 10 years, re­




flecting reductions in acreage and in yield per acre.
There has been a shortage in feed crops accompanied
by a sharp increase for the year in the slaughter of
livestock. Although output of agricultural commodities
has been smaller than in any other recent year, farm
income has been larger than in either 1932 or 1933,
reflecting chiefly higher prices, and, to a smaller de­
gree, benefit payments.

Distribution
Total freight-car loadings declined in November by
less than the estimated seasonal amount, reflecting
chiefly a smaller decline than is usual in shipments of
miscellaneous freight. Retail sales generally have been
well maintained. Department store sales increased by
slightly less than the estimated seasonal amount in
November; preliminary reports for the first half of
December, however, indicate a more than seasonal in­
crease in Christmas trade.

Commodity Prices
Wholesale commodity prices generally showed little
change during November and the first half of Decem­
ber. Prices of scrap steel continued to increase during
this period, while corn prices, which advanced rapidly
in November, declined somewhat after the first week
of December. Retail food prices declined in Novem­
ber, reflecting lower prices for meats.

Bank Credit
Developments at the Federal Reserve banks in De­
cember reflected largely the seasonal increase in the
demand for currency and the continued inflow of gold
from abroad.
Loans and investments of reporting member banks
in leading cities showed an increase of $150,000,000 in
the four weeks ended December 12, after declining
somewhat in the preceding four weeks. The growth
reflected increases in holdings of United States Govern­
ment obligations and in brokers’ loans. Deposits at
banks showed a further considerable growth.
Yields on short-term Government securities declined
slightly in December, while other short-term openmarket money rates showed little change. On Decem­
ber 15 the discount rate of the Federal Reserve Bank
of Atlanta was reduced from 3 per cent to 2 per cent
and on December 21 a similar reduction was made at
the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.

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