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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. /