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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.