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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_____________________________________________FEBRUARY 28, 1933
LTHOUGH the period from Jan­
month, but on the contrary probably
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT grew worse, due to unfavorable weath­
uary 1 to the middle of February
er for outside work. Coal production
is normally dull in business circles,
in the Fifth district in January was
there were on the whole some signs of
in smaller volume that in January 1932.
improvement in evidence this year. Re­
Spot cotton prices between the middle
tail trade, for example, was better in
of January and the middle of Febru­
January than in most recent months,
ary ruled somewhat lower than prices
and wholesale trade made the best
during the preceding month. Tobacco
comparative showing in more than
markets practically wound up this sea­
three years. Textile mills not only re­
son’s business with a very small volume
ported a seasonal increase in cotton
of sales, although prices paid for to­
consumption in comparison with De­
bacco were materially better than prices
cember, but also showed materially
paid in January 1932. Tobacco manu­
larger consumption than in January
facturing continued at a lower rate
1932, and for the first time on record
than manufacturing at this season a
the Fifth district consumed half the
year ago. Construction work provided
cotton used in the entire country. To­
bacco prices paid growers were better in January than for in permits issued in leading cities and in contracts
in January last year. Cold weather held back prema­ actually awarded in January 1933 was in very small
ture development of fruit buds, and snow and rain volume, and offered little hope of improvement in em­
put soil in splendid condition for the coming planting ployment conditions for building tradesmen in the near
future. The outlook for agriculture in 1933 is unseason.
During the past month, rediscounts for member banks | favorable, due to the low prices prevailing for farm
held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in­ j products and to the load of debts accumulated from
creased slightly, and there was also an increase in the several unfavorable years by many farmers.
bank’s holdings of Government securities. The circu­
lation of Federal reserve notes showed an unseascnal Reserve Bank Statement
— —
000 omitted
increase between January 15 and February 15, due
Feb. 15 Jan. 15 Feb. 15
ITEMS
chiefly to a desire of some banks in the district to
1933
1933
1932
strengthen their cash position. Member bank reserve
deposits at the reserve bank rose last month, and the
Rediscounts
cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Rich­ Open marketheld ---------------- $ 17,494 $ 16,660 $36,213
1,642
7,990
paper.._________
1,783
mond also increased materially. Loans by member Government securities ______
46,899
14,081
46,031
banks declined moderately between the middle of Janu­ Other earning assets_________
0
700
0
ary and the middle of February, and their demand de­
58,984
66.035
Total earning assets----------64,474
98,367 105,419
posits dropped accordingly, but time deposits rose. Circulation of Fed. Res. notes_ 100,421
62,966
51,022
51,017
Debits to individual accounts figures in leading cities Members’ reserve deposits____ 116,234 96,191
Cash reserves_____________
105,558
of the Fifth district during the four weeks ended Feb­ Reserve ratio ______________
66.21
65.24
61.80
ruary 8 showed a seasonal decline in comparison with
debits in the four weeks ended January 11, and also
Rediscounts for member banks held on February 15
totaled approximately 17 per cent less than debits in by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond were $834,the corresponding four weeks last year, ended February 000 less than rediscounts held a month earlier, January
10, 1932. Employment conditions did not improve last 15, 1933, but there was a decrease in rediscounts




2

MONTHLY REVIEW

amounting to $18,719,000 during the past year. The
Bank’s portfolio of open market paper declined $141,000 between January 15 and February 15, both this
year, and dropped $6,348,000 between February 15,
1932, and the same date this year. Holdings of Gov­
ernment securities rose by $868,000 in the past month
and $32,818,000 in the year. The several changes in
the items mentioned raised the total earning assets of
the Richmond bank on February 15, 1933, to a point
$1,561,000 and $7,051,000 higher than earning assets a
month and a year earlier, respectively. Circulation of
Federal Reserve notes rose by $2,054,000 between the
middle of January and the middle of February, an un­
usual development at this time of year, but the volume
of notes in circulation on February 15 was less by
$4,998,000 than the volume of notes in circulation a
year ago. Member bank reserve deposits on February
15 exceeded reserve deposits on January 15 by $11,949,000, and also showed an increase of $11,944,000
over reserve deposits as of February 15 last year. The
increase of nearly $12,000,000 in reserve deposits dur­
ing the past month was an unusual development. The
several changes in the statement previously enumerated,
with others of less importance, raised the cash reserves
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by $20,043,000 between the middle of January and the middle
of February, and also raised the ratio of reserves to
note and deposit liabilities combined by 4.41 points.
During the year between February 15, 1932, and Febru­
ary 15, 1933, cash reserves advanced $10,676,000, and
the reserve ratio rose 97/100ths of 1 point.

vaults by $2,385,000. Demand deposits showed a ma­
terial decline during the period under review, falling
$10,129,000, but time deposits rose by $3,636,000, leav­
ing a net decrease in aggregate deposits amounting to
$6,493,000. The forty-nine banks increased their bor­
rowing at the reserve bank by $2,346,000 last month,
but eleven banks which were rediscounting on Februa* y
15 showed an increase of only one over ten banks
which were borrowing on January 11, 1933.
In comparison with condition figures reported for
February 10, 1932, those for February 15, 1933, show
material changes in all items. Total loans and dis­
counts in the forty-nine banks decreased $75,184,000
during the year, loans on securities declining by $37,080,000 and all other loans by $38,104,000. On the
other hand, during the year the banks increased their
investments in bonds and securities by $22,863,000,
their reserve balances at the Federal reserve bank by
$13,160,000, and their cash in vaults by $1,204,(X ).
X
Aggregate deposits declined by $10,793,000, demand
deposits declining $21,775,000 while time deposits in­
creased $10,982,000. The reporting banks were bor­
rowing less at the reserve bank on the 1933 date, re­
discounts being lower by $9,643,000 than on the corre­
sponding date last year. On February 15, 1933, only
eleven of the forty-nine banks were borrowing at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, compared with
twenty-four banks which were borrowing from the
same source on February 10, 1932.

Member Bank Statement

Time deposits in forty-nine reporting member banks
and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings banks
in Baltimore totaled $441,968,813 at the end of Janu­
ary 1933, a higher figure than either $438,844,061 re­
ported at the end of December 1932 or $436,006,095
reported at the end of January 1932. All of the increase both last month and last year occurred in the
reporting member banks, savings deposits in the mutual
savings banks being lower on January 31 this year than
on either of the earlier dates.

ITEMS

Feb. 15
1933

000 omitted
Jan. 11 Feb. 10
1933
1932

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ------- $111,153 $112,518 $148,233
All other loans------------------- 182,686 186,653 220,790
293,839 299,171 369.023
Total loans and discounts—
Investments in stocks & bonds.... 256,670 266,949 233.807
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank....
46,959
35.334
33.799
Cash in vaults_____________
14,933
12.548
13.729
Demand deposits __________
271.999 282,128 293,774
Time deposits _____________
234,702 231,066 223.720
Borrowed from F. R. Bank___
5,068
2,722
14,711

The figures in the accompanying table are totals of
the principal items of condition as of three dates for
forty-nine member banks in twelve cities of the Fifth
Federal reserve district. It should be understood that
the figures shown reflect the condition of the reporting
banks on the report dates only, and are not necessarily
the highest or lowest figures that occurred during the
period under review.
In the five weeks between January 11 and February
15, 1933, total loans and discounts decreased $5,332,000
in the forty-nine reporting banks, loans on securities
decreasing $1,365,000 and all other loans falling $3,967,000. The banks also reduced their investments in
stocks and bonds by $10,279,000 during the month, but
they increased their reserve balances at the Federal
reserve bank by $11,625,000 and increased cash in




Time and Savings Deposits

Debits to Individual Accounts
Aggregate payments by check drawn on clearing
house banks in twenty-four cities of the Fifth Federal
reserve district are shown in the accompanying table
for three equal periods of four weeks, thus affording
opportunity for comparison of the latest figures, for
the four weeks ended February 8, 1933, with those for
the preceding like period this year and the correspond­
ing period a year ago.
Aggregate debits in the four weeks ending February
8 totaling $734,901,000 showed a decrease of 10.7 per
cent in comparison with $823,236,000 of debits in the
preceding period, ended January 11, every city except
Spartanburg reporting lower totals for the later period.
Decreased debits are seasonal at this period, because of
the large volume of annual payments contained in the
four weeks ended January 11.
Debits for the period ended February 8 this year
show a decline of 16.9 per cent in comparison with
debits in the corresponding period last year, ended

MONTHLY REVIEW
February 10, 1932, a smaller decrease than some recent
months showed. Every city reported lower 1933 fig­
ures, the five largest cities showing the following de­
clines: Baltimore, 21.0 per cent; Washington, 12.9 per
cent; Richmond, 7.9 per cent; Norfolk, 23.7 per cent;
and Charlotte, 14.5 per cent.

CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Jan. 11,
Feb. 10,
Feb. 8,
1933
1932
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---------Spartanburg, S. C.—
Washington, D. C.—
Wilmington, N. C.—
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 6,408
221,072
8,830
26,009
28,288
14,295
4,187
4,587
13,749
9,507
8,683
4,400
8,567
10,724
5,784
28,137
2,681
15,065
103,153
16,931
4,110
162,468
6,186
21,080

$ 7,384
235,718
10,098
36,457
30,607
14,646
4,775
5,204
15,702
10,895
10,268
4,996
11,421
12,308
6,895
32,254
3,280
23,866
111,543
17,908
3,992
182,465
7,069
23,485

$ 9,193
279,986
10,248
29,595
33,094
17,135
5,675
5,433
14,466
11,714
11,539
5,363
11,830
12,711
8,137
36,868
4,093
15,741
111,974
21,844
6,478
186,435
7,935
27,104

Fifth District Totals..

$734,901

$823,236

$884,591

Commercial Failures
The business failure record in the Fifth reserve dis­
trict in January compared unfavorably with the record
for the United States as a whole, the number of insol­
vencies in the district increasing 17.6 per cent and
aggregate liabilities involved rising 27.1 per cent in
comparison with failures in January 1932, while the
United States totals showed decreases in number of
insolvencies and in liabilities of 15.6 per cent and 18.3
per cent, respectively. Business failures tend to rise
in January because of the pressure of year-end settle­
ments, but this year the increase over failures in De­
cember was somewhat larger than occurs in most years.
There were 187 bankrupties, with estimated liabilities
totaling $3,056,287, in the Fifth district in January
1933, compared with 148 failures and $2,741,688 re­
ported for December 1932 and 159 failures and $2,404,390 in January 1932. The Richmond and Minneapolis
districts were the only ones of the twelve reserve dis­
tricts to show more failures in January than in January
last year, and only five of the twelve districts reported
increased liabilities for the later month, these five being
Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, and Minne­
apolis.




3

Employment
There was no improvement in employment condi­
tions between the middle of January and the middle of
February, and the task of caring for the needy became
more difficult. In the first two years of the depression
private funds and agencies working with voluntary sub­
scriptions took care of the unemployed who had no
surplus funds, but during the past year the local and
I state political units have been forced to assume a stead| ily increasing share in relief work. The need for re­
lief has risen much faster than the increase in the
; number of unemployed, due to exhaustion of surplus
funds with which many idle people cared for themselves
in the earlier part of the depression. Further, many
people who contributed to relief funds a year or two
ago have suffered salary cuts and other reductions in
income and are therefore less able to help others at
present. Severe weather in January and the first half
of February laid an additional burden on welfare
agencies by stopping nearly all outside work and in­
creasing demands for fuel and clothing.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal production in the United States
totaled approximately 27,093,000 net tons in January
1933, in comparison with 31,110,000 tons in December
and 27,892,000 tons in January 1932. Total production
during the present coal year to February 11 amounts
to 256,008,000 net tons, a much smaller figure than
for any other recent year. Shipments of coal through
Hampton Roads this calendar year, through February
11, totaled 2,278,317 net tons, compared with 2,172,524
tons shipped to the same date in 1932 and 2,615,825
tons in 1929.
In its February 4 report, the Bureau of Mines, De­
partment of Commerce, gave annual production figures
of soft coal by states for the past year. In 1932 West
Virginia mined 83,765,000 net tons, leading all states.
Virginia produced 8,025,000 tons, and Maryland dug
1,370,000 tons. Total production in 1932 in the Fifth
district was 93,160,000 net tons, or 30.5 per cent of
National production totaling 305,667,000 tons. Last
year’s percentage of total production was higher in the
Fifth district than 29.5 per cent for 1931 and 28.9 per
cent for 1930, and was also above 28.8 per cent in 1929,
before the depression set in.

Textiles
In January 1933, the three textile manufacturing
states in the Fifth reserve district, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Virginia, consumed slightly more
I than half the total consumption of cotton in the United
States, the first month in which the district has reached
the half way mark. The three states used 235,897 bales
of cotton in January, 50.1 per cent of National con­
sumption totaling 471,202 bales. North Carolina used
113,902 bales in January, South Carolina 109,873 bales,
and Virginia 12,122 bales. In December 1932 the Fifth
district used 219,212 bales, or 49.8 per cent of the
United States total, and in January 1932 the district

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

consumed 213,891 bales, or 49.2 per cent of the Na­ Tobacco Marketing
tional total. January 1933 consumption of cotton rose j
Virginia sales of leaf tobacco during January
7.6 per cent above December consumption and 10.3 per |
cent above that of last January, higher figures in both amounted to 19,096,922 pounds, and the average price
instances than 7.1 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respec­ was $8.61 per hundred, according to reports to the
Commissioner of Agriculture. In January 1932, sales
tively, reported for the United States.
amounted to 28,258,405 pounds, at an average price
of $5.73 per hundred. Prices for fire-cured, burley and
Colton Statistics
sun-cured types of tobacco improved during January
Spot cotton prices changed little between the middle and the average price for the month was higher than
of January and the middle of February, but on the in December, and prices for all types averaged higher
whole the trend was downward. In our Reviezv last than in January 1932. Total sales of all types through
month we quoted 6.03 cents per pound as the average January 31 this year amounted to 55,743,902 pounds, at
price of middling grade upland cotton on ten Southern an average of $9.04 per hundred, compared with 90,markets on January 13. The average price rose to 6.06 979,264 pounds at an average price of $6.89 for the
cents on January 20, but then dropped to 6.02 cents same period a year ago. Flue-cured sales last month
on January 27 and further to 5.79 cents on February 3. amounted to 9,413,527 pounds, at an average price pf
On February 10 the price recovered slightly, rising to $6.42 per hundred. This was an increase over the
5.97 cents, but declined to 5.91 cents on February 17, December sales but the price was about $2.00 per hun­
dred lower. During January 1932, sales amounted to
the latest date for which figures are available.
Cotton consumption in American mills in January 12,760,641 pounds at an average price of $5.57 per
1933 totaled 471,202 bales, according to the report of hundred. Fire-cured sales increased during January
the Bureau of the Census made public on Februarv 14. and the total for the month was 6,397,708 pounds at
This figure shows a seasonal increase over 440.062 an average price of $8.91 per hundred, while in Janu­
bales consumed during the month of December 1932 ary 1932 sales amounted to 9,718,903 pounds at an
and is 8.4 per cent higher than 434,726 bales consumed average price of $4.70 per hundred. Burley sales dur­
in January 1932. Total consumption during the six ing January amounted to 2,865,338 pounds, at an aver­
months of the present cotton year amounted to 2,811,- age price of $15.40 per hundred, compared with 4,427,486 bales, compared with 2,625,743 bales consumed 873 pounds at an average of $8.4/ for the same month
during the six months ended January 31, 1932. Cot­ last year. Sun-cured sales were unusually light, amount­
ing to only 420,349
at
ton on hand at manufacturing establishments on Janu­ $6.70 per hundred, pounds last an average price of
while
year January sales
ary 31, 1933, totaled 1,495,527 bales, compared with amounted to 1,350,988 pounds at an average of $5.62.
1,530,110 bales held on December 31, 1932, and 1,638- The burley markets closed in January and the flue136 bales held on January 31, 1932. Bales in public cured markets closed about the middle of February.
warehouses and compresses numbered 10,020,760 at Warehousemen estimated that the sales during Janu­
the end of January, against 10,349,808 bales at the ary graded 15 per cent good, 36 per cent medium, and
end of December, and 10,039,427 bales on January 31, 49 per cent common, compared with 14 per cent good,
1932. Exports of cotton totaled 793,666 bales in Janu­ 32 per cent medium, and 54 per cent common in Janu­
ary, compared with 1,039,795 bales sent abroad in De­ ary 1932. Among the individual markets, Danville led
cember 1932 and 919,815 bales in January 1932, and in total sales in January and for the entire season with
exports in the six months of the present cotton year— 5,271,867 pounds and 22,899,491 pounds, respectively,
but Abingdon, a burley market, led in average price
August 1-January 31, inclusive—totaled 5,039,714 paid last month with $15.40 per hundred pounds. South
bales against 4,956,981 bales shipped over seas in the Hill led the flue-cured markets in price with $7.44 per
corresponding six months ended January 31, 1932. Im­ hundred, and Blackstone led the fire-cured markets
ports last month totaled 21,352 bales, compared with with $9.68.
10,742 bales imported in December and 12,718 bales
North Carolina tobacco markets sold 13,007,833
in January 1932. Spindles active in the United States pounds of producers’ tobacco in January 1933, at an
at some time in January 1933 numbered 23,766,968, average price of $8.67 per hundred pounds, compared
compared with 23,775,136 in December 1932 and 25,- with 35,145,640 pounds sold for $6.13 per hundred
004,760 in January 1932. Consumption of cotton in pounds in January 1932. Total sales this season to
the cotton growing states totaled 397,774 bales in Janu­ February 1 amounted to 281,429,709 pounds, for an
ary, compared with 358,048 bales used in January average of $12.02 per hundred pounds, compared with
1932. Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing 458,129,286 pounds sold prior to February 1, 1932, at
states amounted to 84.42 per cent of National con­ an average of $8.93 per hundred. Winston-Salem with
sumption, compared with 82.36 per cent of National 4,405,196 pounds led in January 1933 sales, Durham
ranking second with 1,956,970 pounds. Asheville, the
consumption used in the cotton growing states in Janu­ only burley market in North Carolina, led in price
ary a year ago. Of the 397,774 bales consumed in paid in January, selling 1,039,154 pounds at an aver­
the cotton growing states last month, Fifth district age of $16.02 per hundred, but Durham led the fluestates used 235,897 bales, or 59.3 per cent, compared cured markets in price with $9.33 per hundred pounds.
with 59.74 per cent in January 1932.
In season sales, Wilson with 33,891,258 pounds and




MONTHLY REVIEW
Winston-Salem with 31,353,097 pounds are far ahead
of other markets.

Tobacco Manufacturing

5

Building Operations for the Months of January
1933 and 1932
CITIES

Permits Issued i

Total Valuatipn

The Internal Revenue Bureau of the Treasury De­
1932
1932 1 1933
1933
partment issued a report on January 27 on taxes col­
$ 964,200
$ 590,880
879
lected by the United States on tobacco manufacturing Baltimore, Md. ....._... 556
3,900
17,871
14
2
Cumberland, Md. ........
in 1932. Total taxes collected on all tobacco products Frederick, Md.
410
19,629
11
5
1,275
11,855
amounted to $387,271,269, and of this sum $282,820.- Hagerstown, M d.___
8
10
5,400
20,425
31
9
508, or 73 per cent, was paid in the Fifth Federal re­ Salisbury, Md. ....___
. 8,505
3,116
Danville, Va. __.._
_
14
9
serve district, chiefly in North Carolina #nd Virginia* Lynchburg, Va. ..........
27,067
182,365
24
19
ItV-comparison with taxes paid to the United States in Norfolk, Va. _______
65,190
101,832
98
65
2,500
450
2
1931, those for the country as a whole declined 8.8 Petersburg, Va..........
4
10,285
21,840
23
19
per cent in 1932, but the taxes paid last year in the Portsmouth, Va.........
53,230
75,668
Va...........
52
86
Fifth district declined 14.4 per cent Taxes on cigar­ Richmond,Va. ....____.
9,874
31,580
22
16
Roanoke,
ettes paid to the United States in 1932 totaled $310,- Bluefield, W. Va..__
550
1,020
3
4
10,320
15,610
573,823, of which $254,937,847, or 82.1 per cent, was Charleston, W. Va.....
76
33
3,186
2,515
7
11
paid in the ‘Fifth district. On cigars, the Government Clarksburg, W. Va.....
7,415
5,253
Huntington, W. Va.....
12
17
collected $12,562,288 last year, of which the Fifth dis­ Asheville, N. C.____
15,435
4,470
14
13
trict paid only $1,003,598, or 8.0 per cent. Manu­ Charlotte, N. C. ___
50,291
45,631
21
43
326.075
3,550
factured tobacco, including chewing tobacco, smoking Durham, N. C.____
10
6
35.700
8,087
22
mixtures and snuff, brought in a total to the Treasury Greensboro, N. C..... ~ 27
2,600
4,450
N, C.— ...
5
5
of $62,737,420, of which the Fifth district paid $26,- High Point, C--------6,040
1,895
Raleigh, N.
11
13
879,063, or 42.8 per cent. North Carolina was far Rocky Mount, N. C...
0
850
0
3
2,800
in the lead in cigarette production with tax payments Salisbury, N< C.____
5,200
3
3
10,800
39,000
8
12
totaling $171,864,395, Virginia ranking second with Wilmington, N. C__
16.950
21,628
N. C.
26
42
payments totaling $83,073,211. North Carolina also Winston-Salem, C___
14,170
12.323
Charleston, S.
19
33
led in taxes paid on manufactured tobacco, with $21,- Columbia, S. C.____
14.157
17,738
25
62
7,030
505,025, but Ohio ranked second with $8,856,877. The Greenville, S. C.........
19,350
32
19
1,385
1,850
3
8
actual number of cigarettes produced in 1932 in the Rock Hill, S. C____
2.837
9.852
Spartanburg, S. C_
_
10
9
United States was 103,524,608,000, of which the Fifth Washington, D. C__ 328
392.080
1,304.725
722
district made 84,979,282,000. North Carolina manu­
District Totals____ 1.409
2,289 $1,698,337
$2,975,828
factured 57,288,132,000 cigarettes in 1932, and Vir­
ginia produced 27,691,070,000 cigarettes. South Caro­
lina paid more tobacco taxes to the Federal Treasury in 1933, with estimated valuation amounting to $1,698,337,
1932 than in 1931, but all other Fifth district states compared with 2,289 permits and valuation figures total­
paid less.
ing $2,975,828 in January 1932, decreases of 38.4 per
cent and 42.9 per cent in number of permits and in
Agricultural Notes
valuation, respectively. Eight cities issued more per­
January and February are between-seasons months, mits in the 1933 month, and ten cities reported higher
and comparatively little work is done on farms. Farm valuation figures. All of the larger cities except
work is less advanced than at this time in most recent Charlotte reported lower valuation figures last month.
years, due to inclement weather. The present winter Durham with $326,075 made the best record of all
has been colder than last winter, and there has been cities, in proportion to population, chiefly due to one
more snow, ice and rain. The cold weather has re­ permit for a new post office building to cost approxi­
tarded development of fruit buds, and therefore the mately $275,000.
danger of frost damage will be less when buds appear.
Contracts awarded in January for construction work
Rain and snow filled the soil with moisture, and the
ground will be in excellent condition when planting in the Fifth reserve district totaled $4,735,493. includ­
time arrives. Acreage planted to most crops will prob­ ing both urban and rural construction, compared with
ably be reduced this year, due partly to the unfavorable $5,615,205 for contracts awarded in January 1932. ac­
price situation for farm products and partly to in­ cording to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge Cor­
poration. Of the January 1933 awards, $1,458,368,
ability of farmers to finance full operations.
or 30.8 per cent, represented contracts for residential
Construction
types of construction, compared with $2,745,005, or
Building permits issued by inspectors in thirty-two 48.9 per cent, in contracts awarded for residential build­
Fifth district cities numbered only 1,409 in January ing in January last year.




MONTHLY REVIEW

6

Retail Trade, 32 Department Stores

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

January 1933 sales, compared with sales in January 1932:
—16.5
—19.8
—16.7
—19.2
—18.1
Jan. 31, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1932:
—14.5
—14.4
—17.4
—18.0
—16.5
Jan. 31, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Dec. 31, 1932:
—10.1
—15.7
— 9.9
— 6.5
—11.4
Number of times stock was turned in January 1933:
242
245
259
.176
242
Percentage of Jan. 1, 1933, receivables collected in January:
29.5
23.7
34.4
26.0
282

W holesale Trade, 60 Firms___________________
22

8

Groceries Dry Goods

5

Shoes

13

Hardware

12

Drugs

January 1933 sales, compared with sales in January 1932:
— 9.4
+ 4.7
+34.8
+ .9
— 32
January 1933 sales, compared with sales in December 1932:
— 7.0
+172
+32.4
+11.4
+ 7.0
Jan. 31, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1932:
- i 21.1 (8s — 6.7(3*) — 7.6(4*) —13.1(7*)
*)
____
j Jan. 31, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Dec. 31, 1932:
-----j + 1.5(8*) + 9.9(3*) +45.5(4*) + .7(7*)
j Percentage of Jan. 1, 1933, receivables collected in January:
j 56.5(13*) 33.9(5*)
44.5(5*)
41.1(11*) 50.8(8*)
—Denotes decreased percentage. *x\ umber of reporting firms.
Sales in thirty-two department stores in the Fifth

district in January made a more favorable comparison
with sales in the corresponding month of the preceding
year than most other recent months. Sales were 18.1
per cent less than sales in January 1932, a considerable
part of the decline being due to price reductions this
year.
Stocks on the shelves qn the reporting stores declined
an average of 11.4 per cent in January, a seasonal re­
duction, and at the end of the month averaged 16.5 per
cent less than stocks on hand a year earlier. Probably
most of the decline in stocks during the year is ac­
counted for by price reductions.
Collections in January 1933 averaged 28.2 per cent
of receivables outstanding at the beginning of the
month, a slightly lower percentage than 28.3 per cent
collected in January 1932.




Wholesale trade was better in January in the Rich­
mond reserve district than in any other month since the
depression began, in proportion to the volume of busi­
ness done in recent months. Three of the five lines for
which data are available reported larger sales than in
January last year, and four of the five lines reported
seasonally increased sales in comparison with Decem­
ber.
Stocks on hand on January 31, 1933, showed in­
creases in every line over stocks on December 31, but
were smaller in all lines than stocks on January 31,
1932.
Collections in all five lines were better in January
this year than in the corresponding month last year,
shoes and hardware showing the greatest improvement.

(Compiled February 21, 1933)

MONTHLY REVIEW

7

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

Volume of industrial production increased in Janu­
ary by less than the usual seasonal amount and factory
employment and payrolls continued to decline. Prices
of commodities at wholesale, which declined further in
January, showed relatively little change in the first three
weeks of February.

Production and Employment
Industrial activity, as measured by the Board’s in­
dex, which makes allowance for usual seasonal changes,
declined from 66 per cent of the 1923-1925 average
in December to 64 per cent in January, which com­
pares with a low level of 58 per cent last July. Output
of coal declined considerably, contrary to the usual
seasonal tendency. Increases in activity in the cotton
and silk industries were somewhat less than seasonal
in amount, and there was a slight decline in production
at woolen mills. Output of shoes increased seasonally.
Activity in the steel industry showed a seasonal in­
crease during January, and little change during the
first three weeks of February. Automobile production,
which had increased substantially in December, showed
a further slight increase in January.
Factory employment declined between the middle of
December and the middle of January by considerably
more than the seasonal amount. Decreases were re­
ported in most lines except in the cotton, wool, and silk
industries, where employment showed little change,
and in the automobile and shoe industries, where em­
ployment increased.
Construction contracts awarded were in about the
same volume in January as in December, according to
the F. W. Dodge Corporation; in the first half of Feb­
ruary the value of awards showed a decline.

Distribution
Volume of freight traffic was somewhat smaller in
January than in December, reflecting a reduction in
shipments of coal. Sales by department stores de­
creased after Christmas by more than the usual sea­
sonal amount




W holesale Prices
The general level of wholesale commodity prices, as
measured by the index of the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics, declined further from 62.6 per cent of the 1926
average in December to 61.0 per cent in January, re­
flecting substantial reductions in the prices of crude
petroleum, gasoline, textiles, and dairy and poultry
products. Prevailing prices for wheat, cotton, and
hogs in January and the first three weeks of February
were somewhat above the low levels reached in De­
cember.

Bank Credit
Between January 4 and February 21 there was an
increase of $319,000,000 in the demand for currency,
accompanying banking disturbances in different parts
of the country, and a decrease of $64,000,000 in the
country’s stock of monetary gold. These demands
were met by member banks in part by the use of their
balances at the reserve banks, which declined by $243,000,000 during the period, but continued to be con­
siderably above legal requirements. Reserve bank hold­
ings of United States securities declined by $88,000,000
between January 4 and February 1, but increased by
$70,000,000 during the following three weeks; their
holdings of acceptances increased by $141,000,000, and
discounts for member banks increased by $76,000,000.
Loans and investments of reporting member banks in
leading cities declined by about $100,000,000 during
the five weeks ending February 15. The banks’ net
demand deposits declined by $390,000,000, reflecting
largely reductions in bankers’ balances, and time de­
posits showed a decrease of $93,000,000 for the period.
Money rates in the open market were slightly firmer
during the first half of February. Open-market rates
on 90-day bankers’ acceptances, which had been J4 of
1 per cent, had increased to ^ of 1 per cent by Feb­
ruary 20. Rates on prime commercial paper and on
stock exchange loans remained unchanged. The min­
imum buying rate on bills at the Federal Reserve Banks
of Boston, New York, and Chicago was reduced from
1 to xz of 1 per cent.
/

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