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MONTHLY

REVIEW

of Financial and Business Conditions

%. W w ifto nd a

F i fth

va

_

reserve

r ......4

FEDERAL

Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond 13, Va.

ff

w

__

TV/T O D E R A T E improvement was recorded in November
in the productive output of mines and principal man­
ufacturing industries of the District. The output in war
installations, as reflected by employment and payrolls, how­
ever, is still receding, so that on balance the trend o f total
production in the District is probably downward.
Cotton textile output as measured by average daily cot­
ton consumption rose 4 per cent from October to Novem­
ber. This is a disappointing performance but reflects the
industry's difficulty in securing labor.
Bituminous coal output on an average daily basis in
November recovered notably from the month of October
when strikes had reduced that month’s output. The daily
output of coal in November was higher than in any other
month this year and the highest since August, 1944.
Cigarette output for the District in October, seasonally
adjusted, established a new high record for any month.
In fact, those close to the industry question its ability to
maintain production at October levels now that Arm y and
Navy purchases have shrunk to low levels, and store in­
ventories have been replenished.
All indexes o f trade reflect a continuation o f the up­
ward trend in evidence since the war began. Department
store sales seasonally adjusted rose 2 per cent from O c­
tober to November and were 10 per cent ahead o f N o­
vember, 1944. Wholesale grocery sales in November,
reflecting the end of meat rationing, rose 7 per cent from
October on a seasonally adjusted basis and were 17 per
cent higher than in November, 1944. Wholesale drugs
gained 1 per cent in sales during the month of November
and were 8 per cent above a year ago, but wholesale dry­
goods, despite the dearth in supplies, were 36 per cent
ahead of a year ago. Wholesale hardware sales have begun
to recover but have not yet passed the level o f the previous

D I S T R IC T

________________

December 31, 1945

_______

year. Retail furniture sales seasonally adjusted in N ovem ­
ber set a new high level for any month by a wide margin,
despite the limited selection available to customers.
Building activity in prospect, as represented by permits,
held close to the greatly expanded October level, despite
the fact that little in the way on site action can be ac­
complished because o f a dearth o f labor and materials.
Commercial, industrial and agricultural loans of the
weekly reporting member banks rose $51 million from the
summer low to December 12. This compares with a gain
of $35 million in approximately the same period o f 1944,
and a gain o f $29 million in 1943.
Loans made by these banks to others than brokers and
dealers for purchasing or carrying securities increased $39
million during the V ictory Loan Drive. This compares
with a gain of $29 million in the Seventh W ar L oan; a
gain o f $55 million in the Sixth W ar L oa n ; and $89 mil­
lion in the Fifth W ar Loan.
Real estate loans have risen moderately since summer
and are moderately higher than last year but they are still
somewhat below the levels o f late 1941 and 1942. “ Other”
loans have increased notably over much o f the year and
on December 12 these were $12 million higher than a year
ago.
Total investments o f the weekly reporting banks rose
$105 million during the Victory Loan. This compares
with a gain o f $164 million in comparable periods o f the
Seventh W ar Loan, $157 million in the Sixth, and $170
million in the Fifth. O f the $105 million increase in se­
curity holdings during the Victory Loan Drive, bills in­
creased $35 million, Certificates $67 million, and bonds
$42 million. These gains were in part offset by a decline
of $39 million in notes.

BUSINESS IN DE XES— FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
Average Daily 1935-39 = 100
Seasonally Adjusted

Bank Debits ......... .......................
Bituminous Coal Production*
Building' Permits Issued ...
Cigarette Production .
Cotton Consumption* .................
Department Store Sales ....... .
Department Store Stocks ......

Wholesale Trade—Four Lines
Retail Furniture Sales ..........

* Not seasonally adjusted.



Nov.
1945
237
149
156
209
131
258
201
210
214

Oct.
1945
222
90
160
233
126
248
196
197
193r

Sep.
1945
243
142r
83
209
127
225
200
163
167

Nov.
1944
226
146
48
162
149
230
189
182
166

% Change
Nov. 1945 from
Oct. 45
Nov. 44
+ 7
+66
— 3
—10
4- 4
+ 4
+ 3
+ 7
+11

+ 5
+ 2
+225
+ 29
— 12
+ 12
+ 6
+ 15
+ 29

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS

(All Figures in Thousands)
December 12
Change in Amount from
1945
11-14-45
12-13-44

ITEMS

Total Gold Reserves .. . j. . .
Other Reserves ................
Total Reserves ..............
Bills Discounted.............
Industrial Advances ........
Gov. Securities, Total
Bonds ..............................., .
Notes ............................. .
Certificates ..................... .
Bills ..................................
Total Bills & Securities . =.
Uncollected Items .............
Other Assets .......................
Total Assets ...................

$1,123,550
14,150
1,137,700
4,124
65
1,343,803
58,116
129,234
493,049
663,404
1,347,992
165,411
27,662
$2,678,765

+
5,652
+
319
+
5,971
— 14,600
0
— 17,414
— 1,922
+
8,828
+ 42,682
— 67,002
— 32,014
— 18,412
+
9,174
— 35,281

+ 150,204
+
1,727
+ 151,931
+
3,574
—
67
+ 149,916
— 5,663
+ 49,698
+ 275,504
— 169,623
— 153,423
+ 10,071
+ 15,208
+ 330,633

Fed. Res. Notes in Cir. .. .
Deposits, Total ...................
Members’ Reserves ........
U. S. Treas. Gen. Acct. .
Foreign .............................
Other Deposits .............
Def. Availability Items .. .
Other Liabilities .............
Capital Accounts ...............
Total Liabilities ...........

$1,741,351
771,955
702,514
30,840
35,216
3,385
137,132
595
27,732
$2,678,765

+
—
—
+
+
—
—
—
+
—

+ 252,910
+ 54,995
+ 67,427
— 2,557
— 9,510
—
365
+ 16,943
—
106
+
5,891
+ 330,633

20,002
32,657
33,707
3,749
1,539
4,238
23,249
1
624
35,281

41 REPORTING MEMBER BANKS— 5TH DISTRICT
(All Figures in Thousands)

December 12
1945

ITEMS

Change in Amount from
11-14-45
12--13-44

Total Loans ........................... $ 394,672
169,155
Bus. & Agri. Loans ..........
49,586
Real Estate Loans ............
175,931
All Other Loans ................
Total Security Holdings .. .
1,818,713
U. S. Treasury B i l l s ..........
71,350
U. S. Treasury Certificates
379,604
U. S. Treasury Notes — .
249,294
U. S. Gov. Bonds ..............
1,053,198
Obligations Gov. Guarant’d
152
Other Bonds, Stocks & Sec.
65,115
Cash Items in Process of Col.
134,239
Due from Banks ....................
196,363
Currency and Coin ................
42,749
Reserve with F. R. Bank . .
344,506
75,040
Other Assets .........................
Total Assets . . . . . . . . . .
$3,006,282

+ 63,612
+ 17,846
26
+
+ 45,740
+ 94,054
+ 18,140
+ 68,771
30,512
+ 36,792
1
864
+
18,355
+ 41,832
1,538
+
20,212
1,453
+
+ 163,922

+ 35,947
+ 25,209
1,294
+
9,444
+
+ 209,751
— 50,185
+ 66,250
55,811
+ 253,956
— 15,855
+ 11,396
+ 27,804
+ 10,873
827
+
7,987
+
4- 6,737
+ 299,926

Total Demand Deposits ........
Deposits o f Individuals .. .
Deposits o f U. S. Gov. . . .
Dep. o f State & Local Gov.
Deposits of Bank ..............
Certified & Officers’ Checks
Total Time Deposits ..........
Deposits of Individuals . . .
Other Time D e p osits..........
Liabilit’s for Borrow’d Money
All Other Liabilities ..........
Capital Accounts .............. ..
Total Liabilities ..................

+ 183,494
— 42,574
+ 248,172
— 9,113
— 12,893
98
—
— 6,254
— 6,751
497
+
— 9,500
— 4,216
398
+
+ 163,922

+ 211,657
+ 144,416
+ 37,013
282
+ 21,565
8,945
+
+ 61,549
+
— 61,601
52
1,500
+
9,597
+
+ 15,623
+ 299,926

$2,429,223
1,324,862
524,212
77,319
472,706
30,124
351,428
337,637
13,791
1,500
91,227
132,904
$3,006,282

* Net figures, reciprocal balances being eliminated.

DEPOSITS IN M U TUAL SAVINGS BANKS
8 Baltimore Banks

Total Deposits ..............

Nov. 30, 1945
$337,643,189

Oct. 31, 1945
$337,725,426

Nov. 30, 1944
$292,785,086

(000 omitted)

District of Columbia
Washington ............
Maryland
Baltimore ................
Cumberland ............
Frederick ...............
Hagerstown ............
North Carolina
Asheville ................
Charlotte ................
Durham .................
Greensboro ............
Kinston ...................
Raleigh ...................
Wilmington ............
Wilson ...................
Winston-Salem
South Carolina
Charleston ..............
Columbia ...............
Greenville ..............
Spartanburg ..........
Virginia
Charlottesville ___
Danville ..................
Lynchburg ..............
Newport News ___
Norfolk ..............
Portsmouth ............
Richmond ................
Roanoke ..................
West Virginia
Bluefield ................
Charleston ..............
Clarksburg ..............
Huntington ............
Parkersburg ..........
District Totals

.

November % chg. from
1945
Nov. 1944




11 Mos.’ 44

$ 564,804

+

9

$ 6,073,944

+ 14

758,727
16,137
13,951
18,955

—
+
+
+

5
19
6
15

8,666,344
162,473
136,719
191,128

+ 3
+ 12
+ 1
+ 2

314,447
146,348
104,134
43,117
14,591
66,104
33,574
23,555
95,806

+ 39
+ 11
— 2
+ 8
— 25
+ 11
— 16
— 26
+ 15

317,760
1,526,757
939,316
446,896
139,968
643,409
394,151
192,226
803,423

+ 21
+ 9
+ 13
+ 17
+ 14
+ 7
— 6
+ 16
+ 9

42,917
67,270
49,855
30,055

+ 3
+ 14
+ 7
+ 21

456,771
600,711
466,990
272,590

+ 6
+ 10
+ 10
+ 12

22,640
41,775
25,694
23,834
129,73*6
22,042
353,076
51,134

+ 21
+ 11
+ 14
+ 3
+ 6
+ 37
— 1
+ 15

225,800
249,179
247,877
255,402
1,338,529
188,778
3,792,545
500,789

+
+
+
—
+
+
+
+

32
22
6
9
1
9
4
9

27,439
92,662
22,772
35,112
22,028

+ 26
+ 2
+ 33
— 2
+ 13

272,860
968,127
199,561
412,138
212,564

+
+
+
+
+

7
^
17
20
17

$31,295,725

+

8

$2,994,291

MONTHS
November 1945 , ........
.
October 1945 ... ......
.
November 1944 , .....
11 Months 1945 . , ,
11 Months 1944

+

4

Number Failures
District
U. S.
2
60
1
62
1
75
12
768
13
1,129

Total Liabilities
District
U. S.
$ 19,000
$ 1,268,000
3,114,000
9,000
8,000
3,008,000
$1,537,000
$28,571,000
29,856,000
660,000

Source: Dun & Bradstreet.

COTTON CONSUMPTION AND ON HAND—BALES
November November Aug. 1 to Nov. 30
1945
1944
1945
1944
Fifth District States:
Cotton consumed ............
366,868
418,171 1,435,477 1,627,643
Cotton Growing States:
Cotton consumed ...............
671,073
738,437 2,611,953 2,881,038
Cotton on hand Nov. 30 in
consuming establishments 1,926,555 1,972,320
storage and compresses.. 10,506,568 13,032,802
United States:
Cotton consumed ...............
743,450
836,438 2,944,067 3,261,577
Cotton on hand Nov. 30 in
consuming establishments 2,202,498 2,208,291
storage and compresses.. 10,623,198 13,174,894
Spindles, active, U. S............ 21,605,060 22,257,040

RAYON YARN DATA
Nov. 1945

Oct. 1945

Nov. 1944

Rayon Yarn Shipments, Lbs. .. .
Staple Fiber Shipments, Lbs. .. .

51,900,000
15,000,000

53,200,000
15,100,000

48.300.000
13.900.000

Rayon Yarn Stocks, Lbs.............
Staple Fiber Stocks, Lbs..............

6,700,000
4,400,000

7,300,000
4,600,000

8,600,000
2,700,000

In Bales

S. Carolina
153,071
151,948
172,578
1,717,035
1,842,013

% chg. from

COMMERCIAL FAILURES

COTTON CONSUMPTION—FIFTH DISTRICT
MONTHS
N. Carolina
November 1945 ..........
197,607
October 1945 ...............
198,080
November 1944 ___ _
225,508
11 Months 1945 .......... 2,251,253
11 Months 1944 .......... 2,404,526

11 Mos.
1945

Virginia
16,190
16,273
20,085
196,872
208,860

District
366,868
366,301
418,171
4,165,160
4,455,399

Source:

Rayon Organon.

MONTHLY REMEW

3

BUILDING PERMIT FIGURES

WHOLESALE TRADE, 225 FIRMS

Total Valuation
November 1944
November 1945
Maryland
Baltimore .................................... . . .
Cumberland .................................
Frederick ....................................
Hagerstown .................................
Salisbury ......................................

$

$ 1,376,845
16,500
75,100
63,505
67,189

532,930
1,946
7,620
12,455
43,091

Virginia
Danville ......................................
Lynchburg ....................................

142,400
124,459

Petersburg ..................................
Portsmouth ..................................
Richmond ....................................
Roanoke ........................................

26,250
62,091
919,399
121,222

9,135
16,101
145,885
1,080
20,540
101,142
23,555

West Virginia
Charleston ....................................
Clarksburg ...................................
Huntington ..................................

20,845
157,555

49,550
1,971
78,085

North Carolina
Asheville ......................................
Charlotte ......................................
Durham ........................................
Greensboro ...................................
High Point ...................................
Raleigh ........................................
Rocky Mount ...............................
Salisbury ......................................
Winston-Salem ...........................

210,981
251,850
197,157
69,227
743,739
25,150
44,050
93,678

23,500
84,601
80,640
11,779
45,584
14,950
2,950
6,475
125,940

86,981
370,482
47,561
41,820

53,137
34,840
33,530
6,590

3,543,585

1,436,467

$ 9,762,022
$64,104,999

$ 3,006,069
$28,602,221

South Carolina

Spartanburg .................................
District of Columbia
District Totals ........................... . .
11 Months .....................................

Net Sales
Nov. 1945
compared with
Nov.
Oct.
1944
1945

LINES
Auto Supplies ( 1 1 ) * ........
Drugs (9)* .......................
Dry Goods (7)* ..............
Electrical Goods (9)* . . .
Groceries (75)* ...............
Hardware (14)* ..............
Industrial Supplies (6 )*.
Paper & Products (7)* .
Tobacco & Products (9)*
Miscellaneous (78)* ........
District Average (225)*

+ 44
+ 8
+ 14
— 4
+ 13
+ 20
+ 15
+ 1
— 2
+ 7
+ 10

Stock
Nov. 30, 1945
compared with
Nov. 30 Oct. 31
1944
1945
+ 33
— 5
— 9
+ 49
— 1
+ 1
+ 16

2
2
7
7
0
— 5
— 2
— 14
— 8
+ 5
0

+ 6
— 2
— 18
+ 15
+ 5
+ 5
— 3

+ 18
— 2
+ 2

+
—
—
+

Ratio Nov.
collections I
to accts.
outstand’g
Nov. 1
97
128
93
83
166
108
88
103
145
110
116

— 17
+ 10
+ 2

Source: Department o f Commerce.
* Number of reporting firms.

RETAIL FURNITURE SALES
Percentage changes in Nov. and 11 Mos. 1945
Compared with Compared with
November 1944
11 Mos. 1944
+ 14
+ 17
+ 39
+ 8
+ 33
+ 15
+ 43
+ 21
+ 23
+ 17
+ 30
+ 6
+ 28
+ 13

STATES
Maryland (5)* .....................
District of Columbia (6)*,
Virginia (22)* .......................
West Virginia (10)* ..............
North Carolina (15)* ............
South Carolina (14)* ............
District (72)* ................... .
Individual Cities
Baltimore, Md. (5)* .............
Washington, D. C. (6)*
Lynchburg, Va. (3)* ............
Richmond, Va. (7)* .............
Charleston, W. Va. (3)*
Charlotte, N. C. (4)* ............
Columbia, S. C. (4)* ............

+
+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+
+

17
39
40
36
61
47
27

14
8
22
21
29
14
2

* Number of reporting stores
AUCTION TOBACCO MARKETING
Producers’ Tobacco Sales, Lbs.
November
November
1945
1944
182,150,83)3
North Carolina . . . . . 102,160,492
51,422,702
43,886,038
Virginia .................
233,573,535
District Total . .. . 146,046,530
888,848,252*
Season Through . . 997,591,487*
STATES

Price per hundred
1945
1944
$44.54
$46.20
44.62
47.17
$46.49
$44.56
44.18
42.93

* Includes South Carolina sales.

DEPARTMENT STORE TRADE
Richmond
Baltimore
Washington
Other Cities
District
Percentage change in Nov. 1945 sales, compared with sales in Nov. ’ 44:
+ 19
+7
+5
+12
+ 8
Percentage change in 11 mos. sales 1945, compared with 11 mos. in '44:
+ 15
+ 9
+ 9
+14
+10
Percentage chg. in stocks on Nov. 30, ’ 45, compared with Nov. 30, ’ 44:

0

TOBACCO MANUFACTURING
% change
November
from
1945
Nov. 1944
Smoking & chewing tobacco
(Thousands of lb s.)..
23,341
Cigarettes (Thousands) 25,405,900
Cigars (Thousands) . . .
468,404
Snuff (Thousands of lbs.)
3,750

— 28
+24
+ 5
— 5

% change
11 Mos.
from
1945 11 Mos. '44

257,724
244,845,874
4,061,415
40,661

+12
+109
+ 3
+ 5

—

2

+ 6

+ 2

+ 2

Percentage chg. in outstand’g orders Nov. 30, ’ 45 from Nov. 30, ’ 44:
+ 37
+20
- +34
+26
+30
Percentage chg. in receivables Nov. 30, 1945 from those on Nov. 30, ’ 44:
+ 19
+12
+ 4
+11
+10
Percentage of current receivables as of Nov. 1, 1945, collected in N ov .:
60
61
60
60
60
Percentage o f instalment receivables as of Nov. 1, 1945, collected in N ov .:
37
39
29
39
34
Maryland Dist. of Col. Virginia W estVa. No. Carolina So. Carolina
Percentage change in Nov. 1945 sales from Nov. 1944 sales, by States:
+ 8
+5
+14
+14
+10
+1
Percentage change in 11 mos. sales 1945 from 11 mos. sales 1944:
+ 9
+9
+11
+19
+12
+7

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AWARDED

STATES
Maryland .....................
District of Columbia ..
Virginia .......................
West Virginia ............
North Carolina ..........
South Carolina ............
Fifth District ..........
Source:

Oct. 1945
$13,431,000
7,693,000
11,692,000
5,158,000
7,589,000
1,524,000
$47,087,000

F. W. Dodge Corporation




% chg.
from
Oct. 1944
+ 203
+ 145
+ 96
+ 305
+ 3'89
+ 694
+ 185

% chg.
from
10 Mos.’ 45 10 Mos/44
$ 88,063,000
+15
35.718.000
+52
94.586.000
— 2
21.010.000
— 3
57.732.000
+53
15.618.000
— 17
$312,727,000
+14

SOFT COAL PRODUCTION IN THOUSANDS OF TONS
REGIONS
West Virginia . . . .
Virginia .................
Maryland ...............
Fifth District .. .
United States . .
% in District .

Nov.
1945
13,426
1,576
161
15,163
50,720
29.9

Nov.
1944
13,380
1,676
142
15,198
50,819
29.9

%

chg.
0
— 6
+ 13
0
0

11 Mos.
1945
138,383
16,583
1,677
156,643
527,430
29.7

11 Mos.
1944
152,566
18,532
1,839
172,937
574,226
30.1

%

chg.
— 9
— 11
— 9
— 9
— 8

MONTHLY REVIEW

4

BUSINESS IN DE XES—-FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
Average Daily 1935-39==100
Seasonally Adjusted
Oct.
1945

222
Bituminous Coal Production* ...................................
Building Contracts Awarded....................................
Building Permits Issued ............................................
Cigarette Production ....... ..........................................
Cotton Consumption*..................................................
Department Store Sales .............................................
Department Store Stocks ..........................................
Electric Power Production ......................................
Furniture Shipments .............................................
Furniture Unfilled Orders ................................... —Life Insurance Sales ..................................................
Wholesale Trade— Four Lines .................................
Wholesale Trade— Drugs ..........................................
Wholesale Trade— Dry Goods .................................
Wholesale Trade— Groceries .....................................
Wholesale Trade— Hardware ....................................
Retail Furniture Sales ...............................................

90
206
160
233
126
248
196
206
151
116
547
179
197
248
133
218
84
195

Sep.
1945
243
142r
106r
83
209
127
225

200
210
127

111
374
149
163
230
95
180
61
167r

Aug.
1945
231
134r
123
92
205
124
235
198
217
129
133
376
159
170
218
130
187
64
126

Oct.
1944
205
145
72
48
152
142
228
187

211
160
132
459
146
175
239
115
188
92
163

% Change
Oct. 1945 from
Sept. 45
Oct. 44
— 9
+ 8
—37
— 38
+94
+186
+93
+233
+ 53
+11
— 1
— 11
+10
+ 9
— 2
+ 5
— 2
— 2
+ 19
— 6
— 12
+ 5
+ 46
+ 19
+20
+ 23
+21
+ 13
+ 8
+ 4
+40
+ 16
+21
+ 16
+38
— 9
+17
+ 20

* Not seasonally adjusted.

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Compiled by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Output at factories and mines increased considerably in November and
activity continued to expand in most other lines. Value of retail sales reach­
ed new record rates in November and the early part of December reflecting
in part further increases in prices.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
Output in most industries showed important gains in November and the
Board’ s index o f industrial production advanced about 5 per cent. The
index, at a level o f 171 per cent o f the 1935-39 average, was about the
same as in September and in the autumn of 1941. Output for civilian use
in November, especially o f fuels, industrial materials, and producers’ equip­
ment, was larger than in those earlier periods. Production for civilians of
many finished consumer products, however, like automobiles, radios, cloth­
ing, and shoes, while much higher in November than in September, was
still greatly reduced from 1941 levels.
Steel production showed a large rise during November and in the first
three weeks o f December output was scheduled at an average rate of 83
per cent of capacity, which was higher than the November average. A c­
tivity at shipyards continued to decline considerably in November but in­
creases occurred in most other metal fabricating industries. Further increases
in output were indicated in plants producing electrical products and
machinery and in the railroad equipment and automobile parts and assembly
industries. Automobile production, however, was curtailed sharply in the
last week of November and the first half of December by a strike in the
plants of a major producer.
Lumber and glass production were at low levels in November owing
partly also to industrial disputes. In the case of lumber, however, output
in recent months before the West Coast strikes was below 1939 levels
and one-third less than the rate in 1941.
Production o f most nondurable manufactures and of fuels increased
from October to November reflecting increased supplies of materials and
labor and the end of work stoppages in the petroleum and coal industries
as well as strong demand generally for these and most other goods for
civilian use.
Incomes received by agriculture, business, and consumers appear to have
continued to rise in November as a result of the widespread increases in
production and employment and further rises in prices and wage rates.
Payments to unemployed industrial workers and veterans also increased
somewhat in November.
Employment in nonagricultural establishments rose by over 300,000
workers in November, after allowing for seasonal changes, reflecting in­
creases in all major lines except Federal war agencies. A further decline
of about 100,000 workers in munitions industries was more than offset by
gains in employment in other manufacturing industries, mostly in recon­
verted metal-products plants. Employment in the trades and services,
construction, and various other lines showed relatively larger increases
than in manufacturing.




DISTRIBUTION
Department store sales increased sharply in November and the Board’s
seasonally adjusted index rose to a record level of 228 per cent of the
1935-39 average as compared with 213 in October. November sales were
11 per cent larger than last year and in the first half of December sales
continued to show about the same increase. Sales at some other types
o f retail stores, especially those selling automotive supplies, men’ s apparel,
furniture, building materials, and hardware, have recently shown much
larger increases than department stores, while sales of foods and various
other products have shown somewhat smaller increases.
Shipments o f most classes o f railroad revenue freight showed less de­
cline than is usual in November and the early part of December and were
only 4 per cent below last year’s high level. Carloadings o f agricultural
commodities and 1. c. 1. merchandise were considerably above last year’s
level.
COMMODITY PRICES
Wholesale prices o f most groups of commodities increased from the
early part of November to the middle o f December. With most farm
products at ceiling levels, advances in prices of these products were smaller
than in September and October. Ceiling prices were raised for newsprint,
textile fabrics, and building materials, and various other industrial
products, but a general increase in steel prices was turned down.
BANK CREDIT
Loans and investments at banks in 101 leading cities increased by over
7 billion dollars during the six weeks ended December 12 ; this period cov­
ered the m ajor part of the Victory Loan Drive. Government security hold­
ings increased by 3.7 billion dollars—a somewhat smaller rise than had
occurred in the three prior drives. Loans for purchasing or carrying Gov­
ernment securities rose by 2.5 billion dollars, and at their mid-December
levels loans both to brokers and dealers and to other bank customers slightly
exceeded the high points o f the previous drives. Commercial and industrial
loans, ^which had been expanding since early fall, rose by an additional
800 million dollars during the six-week period. The increase in commercial
credit extension has been at a rate substantially greater than at any time
in recent years.
As payments _ for security purchases transferred funds from deposits of
businesses and individuals to reserve-exempt war loan accounts, the average
level of required reserves at all member banks declined by around 500
million dollars during the first half of December. Early in the month,
excess reserves rose to above 1.5 billion dollars on a weekly average basis.
Subsequently, however, excess reserves declined somewhat, as the amount
o f War Loan deposits at many banks reached the maximum limits and
banks turned over to the Treasury current receipts from sales o f Govern­
ment securities.
Currency outflow has continued at a slackened rate compared with
wartime years; money in circulation increased by close to 350 million
dollars during the six weeks ended December 12 compared with over 750
million in the 1944 period. On a seasonally adjusted basis, currency outflow
has recently been at the lowest rate since the early part of 1941.

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