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MONTHLY

REVIEW

CREDI T, B U S I N E S S AND A G R I C U L T U R A L CONDI T I ONS

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
US I N ESS made greater strides
toward recovery in 1936 than in
any other year since the beginning of
the depression late in 1929, but an­
nual statistics for the current year are
not yet available. Banks were in a
strong position during the year, and
in the second half of the year there
was a moderate but steady increase in
“All other loans/’ which are business
loans to commerce and industry. Un­
employment continued to be a serious
problem during 1936, but distinct im­
provement occurred and a larger num­
ber of persons obtained work than in
other recent years, especially in private
industry. Retail trade in department
stores was about 10 per cent greater in dollar volume
than in 1935, and wholesale trade in five leading lines
for which figures are available showed approximately
the same rate of increase. Tobacco manufacturing
reached record figures in 1936, and output of cotton
textile mills was much above the 1935 production.
Construction work, which was especially hard hit by
the depression, increased notably in 1936, although nor­
mal volume has not yet been reached. A marked in­
crease in residential construction during the past year
is a favorable sign of recovery. In agriculture the
results of the year’s operations were moderately sat­
isfactory, improved prices and unusually favorable
weather in the latter part of the growing season off­
setting to a great extent the poor start crops made last
spring.
Between the first of November and the middle of
December the activity noted earlier in the fall con­
tinued, although most of the developments were sea­
sonal in character. At the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond, the volume of Federal Reserve notes in
actual circulation rose as the needs for currency grew
with the increase in holiday buying, and there was a
moderate decline in member bank reserve deposits.
Reporting member banks further increased outstand­
ing loans and cash in vaults, and a slight gain occurred




DECEMBER 31, 1936

in demand deposits, but time deposits
dropped moderately with payment of
Christmas Clubs and withdrawal ot
funds for holiday needs. Debits to
individual accounts in the banks of
twenty-four Fifth district cities in the
four weeks ended December 9 exceed­
ed debits in the corresponding four
weeks last year by nearly 23 per cent,
every one of the reporting cities show­
ing larger figures for the 1936 period.
The record of commercial failures in
the district in November was relative­
ly poor, the number of insolvencies
and the aggregate of liabilities in­
volved being larger than November
1935
figures, while for the Unit
States as a whole the 1936 month witnessed fewer
failures and reduced liabilities. Improvement in em­
ployment conditions, which had been steady for sev­
eral months, was probably checked during the past
month, due chiefly to unfavorable weather for work
on outside projects of all kinds. Labor trouble is in
evidence at a few points in the district. Coal produc­
tion in November exceeded production in November
last year, and was also greater on a daily basis than
output in October. Textile mills in the Fifth Reserve
district continued to run at or near capacity in No­
vember, and cotton consumption exceeded consumption
in November 1935. Spot cotton prices advanced be­
tween the middle of November and the middle of
December, and the final estimate of cotton production
for this year showed that the Fifth district grew a
larger crop than in 1935. Tobacco markets sold less
tobacco in November 1936 than in 1935, but average
prices realized for this year’s crop were somewhat
higher. Tobacco manufacturing in November was not
up to levels reached earlier in the year, but continued
ahead of 1935. Building permits issued in November
totaled 31 per cent more in estimated valuation than
permits issued in the corresponding month last year,
and contracts actually awarded last month were 27 per
cent greater in amount than contracts awarded in No­

2

MONTHLY REVIEW

vember 1935. Retail trade as reflected in department
store sales last month exceeded November 1935 sales
by 5 .1 per cent, and all five lines of wholesale trade
for which data are available also reported larger sales
than a year ago.
Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

Dec. 15.
1936

000 omitted
Nov. 15 Dec. 15.
1936
1935

24 $
82
34 $
Discounts held ......................... $
121
121
173
Open market paper......... — ,—
3,360
3,223
4,443
Industrial advances..................
125,510
116,716
Government securities............. 125,833
121,414
129,201
129,025
Total earning assets... ......
186,082
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 209,667 205,813
173,241
Members’ reserve deposits...... 212,412 220,898
Cash reserves............. ............... 311,564 324,575 252,878
72.63
Reserve ratio............. ...............
71.78
68.91

Total earning assets of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond rose by $176,000 between the middle of
November and the middle of December, an increase in
Government security holdings amounting to $323,000
more than offsetting declines of $ 10,000 in discounts
and $137,000 in loans to industry for working capital.
A seasonal increase of $3,854,000 occurred during the
month in Federal Reserve notes in actual circulation,
due to increased needs for currency for holiday shop­
ping. Member bank reserve deposits dropped by $ 8 ,486,000 between November 15 and December 15, but
continued far above minimum requirements. Cash re­
serves of the Richmond bank declined by $13,011,000
during the month, and the ratio of cash reserves to
note and deposit liabilities combined dropped 85/100ths
of a point.
In comparison with condition figures on December
15 last year, the figures in the accompanying statement
for December 15 this year show increases in all but
three items. Discounts declined by $58,000 during
the year, open market paper held decreased by $52,000.
and industrial advances for working capital dropped by
$1,220,000. However, these decreases in assets were
more than offset by a rise of $9,117,000 in holdings of
Government securities, and total earning assets showed
a net increase of $7,787,000 during the year. Federal
Reserve notes in actual circulation rose by $23,585,000
during the period under review, due in part to in­
creased business activity this fall and in part to re­
placement of some national bank notes with Federal
Reserve notes. Member bank reserve deposits, which
were materially above legal requirements last year, in­
creased further by $39,171,000 on the 1936 date. The
changes during the year in the statement resulted in
an increase of $58,686,000 in cash reserves of the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond, and a rise of 2.87
points in the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit
liabilities combined.
Statement of 41 Member Banks

Forty-one regularly reporting member banks in
twelve cities in the Fifth Federal Reserve district
increased their loans and discounts by $10,073,000




ITEMS

Dec. 9
1936

000 omitted
Nov. 11 Dec.111
1935
1936

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments)-------- $ 75,190 $ 70,379 $ 71,008
128,487
All other loans.........................
151,931 146,669
199,495
Total loans and discounts_ 227,121 217,048
363,270
398,983 446,907
Investments in securities.........
122,024
Reserve bal. with F. R. bank.... 140,967 141,578'
19,682!
18,425
18,919
Cash in vaults..........................
471,598 469,1621 401,483
Demand deposits.....................
190,123
192,801 196,999
Time deposits..........................
0
0
0
Money borrowed......... ....... .....

during the four weeks between November 11 and De­
cember 9, 1936, loans on securities rising by $4,811,000
and “All other loans” increasing by $5,262,000. “All
other loans” have been steadily, though moderately,
increasing since about the middle of August as busi­
ness expanded and caused a rise in the demand for
bank credit. Cash in vaults also rose by $763,000
during the month. On the other hand, the reporting
institutions reduced their investments in securities by
$47,924,000 during the month, and also lowered their
reserve deposits at the Reserve bank by $611,000, the
latter decrease being only a daily fluctuation. Demand
deposits rose by $2,436,000 between November 1 1 and
December 9, but time deposits dropped $4,198,000. The
decrease in time deposits was probably due chiefly to
payment of Christmas Savings funds and other with­
drawals for holiday shopping.
Between December 11, 1935, and the corresponding
date this year, December 9, total loans and discounts
at the forty-one banks rose by $27,626,000, of which
$23,444,000 was in “All other loans” which are largely
commercial or industrial in character. Nearly 90 per
cent of the increase in “ All other loans” occurred in
the past four months.' During the year investments in
securities rose by $35,713,000, and the reporting banks
added $18,943,000 to their reserve deposits at the
Federal Reserve bank. Cash in vaults shows a rise of
$1,257,000 between the middle of December last year
and this. Deposits in the forty-one banks rose $72,793,000 during the year, of which $70,115,000 repre­
sented demand deposits and only $2,678,000 time
deposits. None of the reporting banks borrowed at
the Federal Reserve bank or at any other bank at any
time during the year.
Time and Savings Deposits

Time deposits in forty-one reporting member banks
and aggregate deposits in ten mutual savings banks in
Baltimore totaled $404,607,375 at the end of Novem­
ber, 1936, a lower figure than $408,847,824 reported
at the end of October this year but above $393,097,841
on November 30, 1935. Both member and savings
banks reported drops in time and savings deposits
during the past month, but both classes of banks
showed higher deposits than a year earlier. A mod­
erate decline in time and savings deposits usually occurs
around the first of December, when Christmas Clubs
are paid and many depositors withdraw funds for holi­
day buying.

3

MONTHLY REVIEW
Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended_
Dec. 9
I Nov. 11
Dec. 11
1936
!
1936
1935

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.............
Spartanburg, S. C___
Washington, D. C.....
Wilmington^ N. C.....
Winston-Salem, N. G

11,624
367,264
16,695
49,268
61,586
33,622
7,635
13,892
34,531
16,815
22,648)
7,813
18,730
16,558
10,048
49,533
4,652
30,656
163,240
30,391
10,317
243,695
10,074
41,328

District Totals ....

$1,272,615

$

10,643
312,678
15,846
39,917
54,983
26,487
8,300
14,371
41,899
15,183
22,475
6,694
15,898
14,382
42,565
3,322
32,235
169,759
27,860!
9,287
231,194
10,579
35,963

9,349
278,253
13,480
44,871
52,902
20,966
6,828
12,489
30,116
14,143
15,638
6,785
14,367
13,934
8,964
46,304
4,181
21,985
142,433
20,963
7,493
204,693
8,525
37,074

$1,170,632

$1,036,736

8,112

$

Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
figures in the table reported for three equal periods
of four weeks by clearing house banks in twenty-four
leading Fifth district cities show a seasonal increase
during the period ended December 9 in comparison
with the figures for four weeks ended November 11.
Aggregate debits in the reporting cities totaled $1,272,615,000 during the four weeks ended December 9, an
increase of $101,983,000, or 8.7 per cent, above the
total of $1,170,632,000 reporte for the preceding period
this year. Among the twenty-four reporting cities,
eighteen reported higher figures for the later period,
while only six cities reported lower figures.
In comparison with debits reported for four weeks
ended December 11, 1935, those reported for the cor­
responding period this year show an increase of $235,879,000, or 22.8 per cent, all of the twenty-four cities
showing higher figures for the 1936 period.
Commercial Failures

In spite of a well marked improvement in business
in the Fifth Federal Reserve district in comparison
with a year ago, commercial failures in the district
were more numerous and liabilities involved were
greater in November 1936 than in November 1935,
There were 44 bankruptcies in the district last month,
with liabilities totaling $1,201,000, compared with 32
failures and liabilities totaling $392,000 in the same
month last year. The number of failures therefore
rose 37.5 per cent and liabilities 206.4 per cent. On
the other hand, failures in the United States number­
ing 688 in November 1936 showed a decline of 23.4
per cent under 898 failures in November 1935, and
last month’s liabilities totaling $11,532,000 were 19.8




per cent less than liabilities totaling $14,384,000 in
November last year. Statistics for the district and the
United States for several periods are shown in the ac­
companying table.
Period

Number of Failures
District
U. S.

November 1936
November 1935
November 1934
11 Months, 1936
11 Months, 1935
11 Months, 1934

44
32
39
435
439
597

Total Liabilities
District
U. S.

688 $1,201,000
898
392,000
923
550,602
8,493 $7,725,000
10,600 6,074,000
11,052 8,409,000

$ 11,532,000
14,384,000
18,349,000
$133,965,000
163,124,000
234,926,000

Employment

No outstanding changes were noted in employment
conditions in the Fifth Federal Reserve district in
November and early December, but seasonal influences
probably checked the decrease in unemployment which
had been under way for several months. Industries con­
tinued to operate at a high level, and retail outlets took
on additional workers to handle holiday trade, but un­
favorable weather for outside work interfered with
construction, highway building, farm work and other
out-of-door projects. A strike of workers at a large
manufacturing plant in Cumberland, Md., was settled
early in December, but it will be some time before all
employees can be put back to work, and meanwhile
another strike of glass workers has developed in
Charleston, W. Va.
Coal Production

Bituminous coal mined in the United States in No­
vember this year totaled 40,615,000 net tons, a de­
crease under 43,284,000 tons mined in October, but
more than 33,404,000 tons dug in November 1935.
The decrease in production last month in comparison
with October output was due to a smaller number of
working days in November, daily production in No­
vember of 1,758,000 net tons exceeding October daily
production of 1,603,000 tons. Total output of bitumi­
nous coal in the United States during the present cal­
endar year to December 5 amounted to 394,961,000
net tons, compared with 340,696,000 tons mined to the
same date last year. Shipments of coal through Hamp­
ton Roads in November totaled approximately 1,680,000 tons, and total shipments from January 1 through
November 30 amounted to 17,567,395 tons.
The December 5 report of the Bureau of Mines,
Department of the Interior, gave bituminous coal pro­
duction by states for the month of October 1936. West
Virginia led all states with 11,629,000 net tons, Penn­
sylvania ranking second with 10,745,000 tons and
Illinois third with 5,087,000 tons. West Virginia’s
production in October was 7.2 per cent above produc­
tion in October 1935, while the National increase
during the same period averaged 14.6 per cent. In
October 1936 the Fifth district coal states of West
Virginia, Virginia and Maryland produced 30 per
cent of all bituminous coal dug in the Nation, com­
pared with 32 per cent mined in the same three states
in October 1935.

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

Textiles

Cotton textile mills in the Fifth Reserve district
increased operations further in November, and a num­
ber of mills are sold up several months ahead. Cotton
consumed by Fifth district mills in November totaled
294,686 bales, a smaller number than 304,419 bales
used in October, but the earlier month contained more
working days and on a daily basis the November con­
sumption was the larger. In November 1935 the dis­
trict used 244,429 bales. Last month North Carolina
mills consumed 162,092 bales, South Carolina mills
used 119,761 bales, and Virginia mills 12,833 bales, all
larger figures than those for November last year.
On November 20, the Department of Commerce
issued 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, 1936, there were 27,911,666
spindles in place in the United States, North Carolina
leading with 6,064,044, or 21.7 per cent of the total,
South Carolina ranking second with 5,697,438 spindles,
or 20.4 per cent, and Massachusetts third with 4,281,416 spindles, or 15.3 per cent. The percentages for
the Carolinas were higher than a year earlier, while
the Massachusetts percentage declined during the year*
The Fifth district as a whole had 44.5 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 2,077,158,593 hours, or 24.9 per cent of the National total
of 8,328,468,743 hours, and North Carolina ranked
second with 1,943,958,064 hours, or 23.3 per cent.
Massachusetts, with 15.3 per cent of spindles in place,
showed only 10.6 per cent of total hours of operation
in October. The Fifth district, with 44.5 per cent of
total spindles in the United States in October, showed
50.6 per cent of total hours of operation. In actual
hours of operation per spindle in place, South Carolina
with an average of 365 hours per spindle was in the
lead, while North Carolina ranked fifth with 321 hours
and Virginia ranked eighth with 300 hours. The aver­
age hours of operation for the United States was 298
per spindle in place, compared with 251 hours per
spindle in October last year.
Cotton Statistics

Spot cotton prices on ten Southern markets advanced
during the past month, rising from an average of
11.99 cents per pound on November 13 for middling
grade upland cotton to 12.64 cents on December 11,
the latest date for which official figures are available.
Part of the advance followed the final crop estimate
of the season, which was not quite as large as was
expected in the trade. On December 13, 1935, the
average price on the ten Southern markets was 11.73
cents per pound, about $4.50 per bale less than this
year’s price on the corresponding date.
Final production figures on this year’s cotton crop,
released by the Department of Agriculture on Decem­
ber 8 , totaled 12,407,000 equivalent 500-pound bales,
an increase of 7,000 bales over the estimate made on




November 1 and 1,769,000 bales above the 1935 pro­
duction of 10,638,000 bales. The report pointed out
that on August 1, when the first estimate of the season
was made, prospects in the Carolinas and other At­
lantic Coast states were decidedly poor, due to drought
conditions in May and June which delayed germination
of seed, caused much replanting, and retarded plant
growth so much that it appeared quite unlikely that
the crop could mature fully before frost. Prospects
in Texas and other Southwestern states, on the other
hand, were good in August. But during August
drought conditions became serious in the Southwest,
and prospects for cotton declined during that month
by more than 800,000 bales in Texas and 200,000 bales
in Oklahoma, while weather on the Atlantic Coast was
excellent. Rains in September came too late to bring
back the crop in Texas and Oklahoma, but saved it in
states along the Mississippi River, and in the Eastern
section of the belt weather continued so favorable that
frost did not occur until ten days or two weeks later
than usual, and late bolls all matured. The droughts
also kept weevil damage to a minimum. As a result
of these weather conditions, the loss in the crop after
August 1 in Southwestern states was nearly balanced
by improvement in Central and Eastern states. The
August 1 forecast of production was for 12,481,000
bales, but the September 1 forecast was only 11,12 1,000 bales. On October 1, however, the estimate was
raised to 11,609,000 bales, and continued upward stead­
ily to 12,400,000 bales on November 1 and to 12,407,000 bales on December 1. The net change between
August 1 and December 1 was a decline of 74,000
bales, or less than 1 per cent.
Total production of cotton in the Fifth Reserve dis­
trict was lowered in the December estimate from the
November 1 figures, declines of 13,000 bales in North
Carolina and 5,000 bales in South Carolina offsetting
an increase of 1,000 bales in Virginia. South Caro­
lina’s yield of 820,000 bales this year compares with
744,000 bales in 1935, North Carolina grew 625,000
bales in 1936 and 572,000 bales in 1935, and Virginia
picked 34,000 bales this year and 30,000 bales last year.
Total production of 1,466,000 bales in the district this
year was 8.9 per cent above 1935 production of 1,346,000 bales.
Ginning figures to December 1, released by the Cen­
sus Bureau on December 8 , showed 11,494,170 bales
ginned from this year’s crop, compared with 9,356,921
bales of last year’s smaller crop ginned before De­
cember.
Cotton consumption in American mills in November
totaled 626,695 bales, according to the report of the
Census Bureau on December 14. This figure shows
a seasonal decrease from 646,499 bales consumed dur­
ing the longer month of October this year, but is more
than 512,312 bales consumed in November 1935. Total
consumption during the four months of the present
cotton year amounted to 2,477,210 bales, compared
with 1,924,124 bales consumed during the four months
ended November 30, 1935. Cotton on hand at manu­
facturing establishments on November 30 this year
totaled 1,792,250 bales, compared with 1,402,916 bales

MONTHLY REVIEW

held on October 31 this year and 1,348,830 bales held
on November 30 last year. Bales in public warehouses
and compresses numbered 8,418,408 at the end of
November, 8,028,140 bales at the end of October, and
8,629,078 bales on November 30, 1935. Exports of
cotton totaled only 689,815 bales in November, com­
pared with 861,016 bales sent abroad in* October this
year and 1,134,874 bales in November 1935. Total
exports during the four months of the present cotton
year—August 1-November 30, inclusive^—
totaled 2,302,942 bales, a lower figure than 2,574,786 bales
shipped over seas during the corresponding four
months last year. Spindles active at some time during
November numbered 23,805,520, compared with 23,638,270 in October this year and 23,193,538 in No­
vember 1935.
Cotton growing states consumed 528,513 bales in
November, compared with 430,785 bales used in No­
vember last year. Last month’s consumption in the
cotton growing states amounted to 84.3 per cent of
National consumption, compared with 84.1 per cent
of National consumption used in the cotton growing
states in November last year. Of the 528,513 bales
of cotton consumed in the cotton growing states in
November, the Fifth district mills used 294,686 bales,
or 55.8 per cent, a lower figure than 56.7 per cent of
Southern consumption attained by Fifth district mills
in November last year.
Tobacco Marketing

North Carolina tobacco markets sold 74,626,112
pounds of tobacco for growers in November 1936, at
an average price of $22.40 per hundred pounds, com­
pared with 108,479,080 pounds sold for an average of
$20.59 per hundred in November last year. Total
sales this season to December 1 amounted to 394,606,290 pounds, compared with 494,698,414 pounds sold
from the 1935 crop prior to December. Among the
individual markets in North Carolina, Winston-Salem
led in November sales with 10,675,498 pounds, Wilson
ranking second with 8,274,828 pounds and Durham
third with 7,834,768 pounds. In season sales to De­
cember, Wilson led all markets with 46,768,668 pounds,
Greenville ranked second with 41,034,643 pounds, and
Kinston third with 36,150,237 pounds. Roxboro led
in average price paid in November with $27.78 per
hundred pounds, Fuquay Springs ranking second with
an average of $27.42 per hundred. It is estimated
that more than 90 per cent of the North Carolina crop
had been sold by the end of November.
Virginia auction markets sold 31,050,638 pounds of
tobacco for an average of $23.25 during November
1936, according to reports to the Commissioner of
Agriculture. Sales in November 1935 totaled 37,214,149 pounds, and the price averaged $21.43 per hun­
dred. Total sales for the season to December 1 were
62,133,880 pounds, at an average price of $23.56 per
hundred, compared with 75,778,917 pounds sold prior
to December 1935 for an average of $21.93 per hun­
dred pounds. Burley and Sun-cured markets did not
open until December, and therefore there were no sales
of those types in November. Burley and Sun-cured




5

types make up a relatively small part of the Virginia
crop, however. Danville led in November sales with
15,013,464 pounds, South Boston ranking a poor sec­
ond with 7,024,153 pounds. Danville led in price in
November with $24.91 per hundred pounds, South
Boston ranking second with $24.77 and Petersburg
third with $24.47. Since Burley tobacco went on sale
early in December prices have been very high, but no
official averages will be available until next month.
Warehousemen estimated that tobacco sold in Virginia
last month graded 29 per cent good, 40 per cent me­
dium, and 31 per cent common, compared with No­
vember 1935 grades of 31 per cent good, 40 per cent
medium, and 29 per cent common.
Tobacco Manufacturing

On December 21, the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue issued a report on taxes collected in No­
vember 1936 on manufactured tobacco products. No­
vember production of cigarettes in the United States
numbered 11,557,116,290, compared with 10,801,258,890 cigarettes manufactured in November 1935. Smok­
ing and chewing tobacco production decreased from
23,890,388 pounds in November 1935 to 23,576,496
pounds in November this year. Cigars manufactured
rose from 457,299,010 in November last year to 489,179,709 in November 1936. Snuff production rose
from 2,796,877 pounds to 3,034,777 pounds during the
year. In November 1936, taxes on cigarettes totaled
$34,673,914, compared with $32,402,371 collected in
the corresponding month last year. Taxes on smoking
and chewing tobacco decreased during the same period
from $4,300,358 to $4,244,103, but cigar taxes rose
from $ 1,2 2 1,113 to $1,303,143. Combined taxes to the
Treasury on all forms of tobacco manufacture totaled
$40,767,420 in November 1936 and $38,427,280 in
November 1935, an increase during the later month of
6 per cent.
Agricultural Notes

The crop season of 1936 is finished and all crops
have been harvested, but final production figures for
the year are not yet available. In the next issue of this
Review a table will be printed for reference, contain­
ing production figures for the leading crops of the dis­
trict in comparison with figures for some earlier years.
Construction

Building inspectors in thirty-one Fifth district cities
issued 2,853 permits in November this year, compared
with 2,142 permits issued in November last year, a
gain of 33 per cent. Estimated valuation figures last
month totaled $6,913,844, an increase of 31 per cent
above the total of $5,267,569 reported for November
1935 and 129 per cent above $3,014,411 reported for
November 1934. Twenty-three of the thirty-one cities
reported higher valuation figures for the 1936 month,
and the eleven largest cities in the Fifth district were
included in the twenty-three.

6

MONTHLY REVIEW
Building Permits Issued in November
1936 and 1935
CITIES

Permits Issued
1936
1935

Total Valuation
1936
1935

936
14
5
18
22
18
58
110
0
19
112
42
17
89
39
36
44
143
31
67
56
24
6
5
112
67
57
75
31
32
568

614
11
7
28
12
11
28
105
3
14
107
40
2
84
31
12
24
95
42
31
5
35
20
2
6
65
46
48
33
16
30
5321

$1,618,080 $1,148,760
19,985
10,863
6,585
85,100
76,257
29,275
26,090
20,425
16,982
44,285
90,966
114,610
171,320
93,340
0
7,550
9,605
5,220
179,272
122,913
62,592
38,968
38,670
3,300
212,920
89,240
30,748
62,144
160,025
22,580
21,769
7,873
384,786
169,434
62,200
71,185
161,298
62,776
39,115
18,973
49,175
90,570
7,750
4,700
14,328
5,103
156,075
60,290
79,318
37,068
177,439
122,035
81,430
26,314
111,500
20,770
36,880
76,049
2,760,970 2,645,570

District Totals...... 2,853

2,142

$6,913,844 $5,267A
569

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...... Winston-Salem, N. C.
Charleston, S. C..... ...
Columbia, S. C.........
Greenville, S. C.......
Rock Hill, S. C........
Spartanburg, S. C.....
Washington, D. C----

Contracts actually awarded in November for con­
struction work in the Fifth district, including both
rural and urban projects, totaled $20,890,500, com­
pared with $16,417,226 awarded in November 1935
and $8,599,431 awarded in 1934, according to figures
collected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the
awards in November this year, $8,441,800, or 40.4 per
cent, was for residential work, compared with $4,427,501, or 27 per cent, for this type of work in Novem­
ber 1935.




Retail Trade, 28 Department Stores
Baltimore

Washington

Other Cities

District

November 1936 sales, compared with sales in November 1935:
+ 8,2
+ 2.3
+ 6.1
+ 5.1
Total sales Jan.-Nov. 1936, compared with Jan.-Nov. 1935:
+ 7.9
+ 9.8
+11.1
+ 9.3
Nov. 30, 1936, stocks, compared with stocks on Nov. 30, 1935:
+ 5.5
+11.7
+ 6 .1
+ 8.3
Nov. 30, 1936, stocks, compared with stocks on Oct. 31, 1936:
+ 2.4
+ 7.1
+ 6.4
+ 5.1
Number of times stock was turned in November 1936:
.349
.367
.292

.347

Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1936:
3.513
4.124
3.339
3.746
Percentage of Nov. 1, 1936, receivables collected in November:
30.5
26.6
32.7
28.8
Note: Figures from two Richmond stores are included in
Other Cities, insufficient returns being available to show Rich­
mond separately.

Wholesale Trade, 57 Firms
21
7
Groceries Dry Goods

6
Shoes

12
Hardware

11
Drugs

November 1936 sales, compared with sales in November 1935:
+ 6.1
+ 24.2
+ 10.0
+ 13.1
+ 10.4
November 1936 sales, compared with sales in October 1936:
— 9.8
— 4.5
— 38.6
— 6.9
— 4.9
Jan.-Nov. 1936 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Nov. 1935:
+ 8.5
+ 16.4
+ 10.7
+ 10.2
+ 8.7
Nov. 30, 1936, stocks, compared with Nov. 30, 1935, stocks:
+ 8.6(8*) + 7.6(3*) + 6.2(4*) + 3.4(7*)
..........
Nov. 30, 1936, stocks compared with Oct. 31, 1936, stocks:
— 1.6(8*) — 16.9(3*) + 2.0(4*) — 2.7(7*)
..........
Percentage of collections in November to receivables Nov. 1:
101.2(12*)
44.6(4*)
69.5(5*)
47.9(11*)
66.5(7*)
* Number of reporting firms. Other figures are percentages.

(Compiled December 21, 1936)

MONTHLY REVIEW

7

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

Production, wage payments, and the distribution of
commodities to consumers increased considerably from
October to November. Wholesale commodity prices
have advanced steadily since the end of October.
Production and Employment

Distribution

Department store sales increased substantially in
November, and there was also a rise in sales at variety
stores and at chain grocery stores. Sales by general
merchandise stores and mail order houses serving rural
areas declined from the high level reported for October.
Freight-car loadings showed a smaller than seasonal
decrease in November. Loadings of coal, coke, and
grain increased contrary to the usual seasonal tendency,
and shipments of miscellaneous commodities and of
most other classes of freight declined by less than the
seasonal amount.

The Board’s index of industrial production, which
makes allowance for changes in the number of work­
ing days in the month and for the usual seasonal vari­
ations, was 114 percent of the 1923-1925 average in
November, as compared with 109 percent in October.
Output of both durable and nondurable manufactures
showed a considerable rise. Production of steel ingots Commodity Prices
increased further to a rate of 79 percent of capacity in
The general level of wholesale commodity prices
November, and output of automobiles also increased.
Figures for the first three weeks of December indicate continued to advance from the middle of November to
continued expansion in output of both steel and auto­ the third week of December. There were substantial
mobiles. In the plate glass industry, where there has increases in the prices of wheat, flour, non-ferrous
been a strike, production was sharply reduced in No­ metals, and rubber. Prices of wool, cotton yarns, and
vember, and activity at lumber mills declined, reflect­ worsted yarns advanced somewhat further and cotton,
ing the effects of the maritime shipping strike on the pig iron, and steel scrap prices also increased in this
Pacific Coast. Increases in output were reported at period.
meatpacking establishments and textile mills, and sugar
meltings and output of tobacco products declined by Bank Credit
less than the usual seasonal amount. At mines, coal
The reserve position of member banks in recent
production increased and output of crude petroleum
weeks has been influenced largely by temporary sea­
and iron ore showed a smaller than seasonal reduction.
sonal developments in connection with holiday currency
Value of construction contracts awarded, according requirements and mid-December financing by the
to figures of the F. W. Dodge Corporation, continued United States Treasury.
at about the same rate in November as in the previous
Notwithstanding the increased demand for currency
month.
for Christmas shopping, there was a further growth in
Factory employment showed little change from Oc­ demand deposits at weekly reporting member banks
tober to November, although a decrease is usual at this through the first half of December, reflecting additions
season of the year, and the Board’s seasonally adjusted to monetary gold stock, as well as a sharp increase in
index advanced to 96 percent of the 1923-1925 aver­ bank loans.
age. The number employed at factories producing
At reporting banks outside New York City holdings
durable goods continued to increase, with the largest of Government securities increased by $140,000,000 in
expansion in the automobile and machinery industries. the four weeks ending December 16, while at New
There was a decline in employment at lumber mills York City banks they showed a further small decline.
and in the glass industry. In the nondurable goods There was an increase of $100,000,000 in loans to
industries as a group employment showed a smaller de­ brokers and dealers in securities in New York City,
cline than is usual in November. At shoe factories and largely for the purpose of buying United States Gov­
establishments producing wearing apparel smaller than ernment securities. Commercial loans showed a fur­
seasonal declines were reported and there were in­ ther increase of $150,000,000, carrying the total vol­
creases in employment at cotton and woolen textile mills ume of such loans to a level $800,000,000 higher than
a year ago.
and at meatpacking plants.




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