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FEDHRAy RESERVE BANK/oF} RICHMOND

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February 1
955

MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT

RETAIL FURNITURE STORES NET SALES

DEPARTMENT STORE SALES

TOTAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AWARDS

300
250
200

150
100

50
0

BITUMINOUS COAL PRODUCTION

COTTON CONSUMPTION

150

140

120

120

90

100

60

80

30
0

1

140

•

120

.

100

80
..vV '
(S«osonttiy Adjus M )
J7-I94 9 .1 00)

60
oi

1946

1947

1948

1949

In This Is s u e

1950

1951

1952

1953

60
i

1954

0

-----------

M o n th ly

R e v ie w

is de­

voted chiefly to brief studies of performance in the
major sectors of the Fifth District economy in
1954.

The charts above illustrate some of the

more important economic activities in this area.




Retail T r a d e ____ Page

2

Durable G o o d s __Page

Coal ____________ Page

h
T his number of the

6

3

A g ricu ltu re _____ Page

7

Construction ___ Page

4

B a n k in g _________Page

8

Nondurable
G o o d s ________ Page

5

N onmanuf acturing
Em ploym ent -P a g e

9

Business Conditions and Prospects __________Page 10
Statistical D a t a _______________________________ Page 12

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Retail Trade-the ’54 Level Was Unexpectedly Good
than in the same months of 1953, as compared with a
7% decline nationally. The best sales performance for
new passenger cars came in Virginia which showed an
increase of 3% in the eleven-month period compared
with a year earlier. The District of Columbia showed
a decline of 2 % , Maryland 3 % , South Carolina 20% ,
W est Virginia 18% and North Carolina 17%.

e a s u r e m e n t s of retail trade at the regional level,
though admittedly inadequate, seem to indicate
that this sector in the Fifth District economy did re­
markably well in 1954— a year characterized by indus­
trial recession and growing unemployment. The rela­
tively good showing at retail undoubtedly acted as a
strengthening factor for the whole economy.

New commercial car registrations in 1954 did not
In 1954 District department store sales were off about
1% from 1953’s high level, as compared with a national
fare as well as passenger cars. Fifth District registra­
decline of 1% . Excepting Winston-Salem, North Car­
tions in eleven months of 1954 declined 15% while
olina, and Columbia, South Carolina, the sales level in
national registrations were off 12% from 1953. V ir­
1954 was better sustained in the three large cities,
ginia registrations held best of any of the District states
Washington, Baltimore and Richmond, than elsewhere
with a decline of only 1% . W est Virginia showed a
in the District. Most other
drop of 2 8% , South Caro­
areas of the District showed
lina 19% , the District of
declines in sales ranging
Columbia 15% , and M ary­
RETAIL TRADE
from 2 to 8 % . Thus, while
land 11%.
Percentage Change 1953 to 1954
sales in the District in the
In the case of both pas­
aggregate were not far be­
Television Soles to Dealers
senger cars and trucks in
low last year, in many areas
1954 the sales decline was
Gasoline Consumption
they suffered more than a
indeed moderate compared
nominal reduction.
with slack periods of the
Department Store

On a major geographic
breakdown, Washington, D.
Retail Furniture Store Sales
C., fared best in department
New Passenger Car Registrations
store sales in this District
with a gain of 2% in 1954
New Commercial Car Registrations
compared with 1953. Sales
by Maryland stores broke
even with 1953 while in
Virginia they declined 3 % , in W est Virginia 8 % , in
North Carolina 3% and in South Carolina 1%.
During the first three quarters of 1954 average daily
seasonally adjusted department store sales in the Dis­
trict seesawed back and forth at levels just below similar
months of 1953. In the fourth quarter, however, sales
began to pick up and by December had reached the alltime high established in May 1953. Sales in the Christ­
mas shopping period were the greatest ever.

past, and there were impres­
sions of high activity near
year end as the new models
appeared and were more
aggressively promoted than
ever before.
Household a p p l i a n c e
store sales in the District in­
creased 7% in 1954 compared with 1953. In the first
quarter of 1954 sales of these stores were 10%smaller
than the first quarter of 1953. By the end of the sec­
ond quarter sales were only 3% under the first half of
1953 and by the end of the third quarter sales were 2%
higher than in the nine months of 1953. Progressive
improvement was thus shown throughout the year.
Retail sales of television sets are not available, but
industry shipments to dealers are available on a state
basis. In the first ten months of 1954 shipments to
dealers in the Fifth District rose 4.7% over ten months
of 1953 compared with a 1.1% national gain.

Furniture store sales in the Fifth District in 1954
were 7% lower than in 1953. In the first quarter they
were 11% under that period of 1953. By the end of
the second quarter the loss in sales had been reduced
to 9 % and by the end of the third quarter it had been
reduced to 7 % , which is also the reduction for the year
as a whole. There has been no upward movement in
sales of furniture stores resembling that of department
stores in this District. On a state basis, furniture store
sales fared poorest in W est Virginia, where unemploy­
ment was greatest, and best in Maryland where the
sales level in 1954 was even with that in 1953. Losses
in other states varied between 3 and 6 % .
Registrations of new passenger automobiles in the
Fifth District in eleven months of 1954 were 9% smaller



Stores reporting departmentally in the Fifth District
showed a sales gain of 1.8% in 1954 compared with 1953
with both main store and basement showing the same
increase. Departments which showed largest gains
were headed by furs up 17.4%, major appliances up
9.8% , silverware and jewelry up 9.2% , cotton yard
goods up 9.0% , toys and games up 8.7% , woolen yard
goods up 7.6% , men’s and boys’ shoes up 6.4% , and
candy up 6.3% . Losses in sales were also fairly promi­
nent, but most of them were not large. The largest de­
crease in sales from 1953 to 1954 came in laces, em­
broideries, ribbons, and trimmings, off 9.6% .

{ 2

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February 1
955

Bituminous Coal—
Dark First Half But Brighter Second
coal production in the Fifth District
reflected quickly and fairly closely the declining
rate of national industrial activity in late ’ 53 and early
’54. True, it accounted for 34.3% of the national out­
put in 1954, or slightly more than the 33.2% share in
1953, but this seeming gain was deceptive since national
output in 1954 was about 14% smaller than in 1953
and the District’s output was more than 11% smaller.

72.7% . It may seem like carrying coals to Newcastle
but the consumption of gas by public utilities in W est
Virginia in the first ten months of 1954 was 468%
higher than in those months of 1953 while coal con­
sumption by that state’s utilities was down 7.5% and
oil consumption was off 79.8% .

Public utilities in the Fifth District showed an in­
crease of 3.4% of fuel-generated kilowatt-hour output
(first ten months of 1954 over the same period 1953),
but consumption of coal was down 2.3% , consumption
of oil was down 76.6% , and consumption of gas was up

373.000 tons (an increase of 11.2% ) and Baltimore
601.000 tons (a 63% decrease). New England cargo
out of Hampton Roads was 5,070,000 tons, a decline of
11.5%, while other coastal shipments amounted to 7,477.000 tons, a decrease of 18.5%.

it u m in o u s




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National consumption of bituminous coal, both do­
mestic and export (partly estimated) was 399 million
tons for 1954— a drop of 13.2% from 1953. Consump­
Soft coal output in the District last year totaled 134,tion in 1954 was 7 million tons larger than production,
400.000 tons of which W est Virginia accounted for
which therefore reduced stocks by the same amount.
116.300.000 or 86.5% of the District total. Virginia’s
Last year’s industrial consumption of 313 million tons
output of 17,700,000 was 13.2% of the District total
was 40.2 million tons under a year ago. Retail de­
with Maryland accounting for the remaining portion.
liveries of 56 million tons
W est V i r g i n i a bore the
were down 8.2% and ex­
brunt of the decline with
ports of 30 million tons were
DEMAND FOR BITUMINOUS COAL
1954 output 11.9% smaller
down 11.6%. Electric util­
than in 1953 while V ir­
Percentage Change 1953 to 1954
ities, the largest coal con­
ginia’s output was off 9.2% .
suming group in the coun­
This drop in District coal
flP+l.5
%
Electric
try, utilized 114 million
output hardly writes the
Cement Mills
tons of coal in 1954, a gain
~2.t
story of what happened dur­
1
of 1.5% from 1953. The
ing 1954. In the first six
Retail Deliveries
steel industry’s consumption
months of 1954, output was
of around 90 million tons
£ -116°/3
Bunker and Exports
running 20% behind the
was down 24% . Cement
same months of 1953 but
- 14-9%
mills used 2% less, other
Other Industrials
considerable im p r o v e m e n t
industrials 15% less, and
f
-23-8%
Steel and Coke
3
was experienced in the last
Railroads 38% less.
half of 1954 which reduced
Average monthly employ­
-38.1%
the year’s loss to 11.6%.
ment in the coal mines of
Source U S Bureau of Mines
Average daily production
Virginia and W est Virginia
declined 19,900 or 18.3% in
between July and December
the first eleven months of 1954 compared with those
actually showed a sharp increase of 23% .
months of 1953. Employment in Virginia mines aver­
The competitive position of coal improved relative to
aged 12,000 in 1954 compared with 14,700 in 1953, a
fuel oil during 1954 but apparently remained unfavor­
decline of 18.3%. In W est Virginia 1954 employment
able relative to gas. Bituminous coal prices in 1954,
averaged 72,700, also a decrease of 18.3% from 1953.
according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, were
On the basis of total employment in the coal mines
5.4% lower than in 1953 while bunker oil prices were
of the two states, output per man, for eleven months
up 6.3% . Consumption figures for the three fuels are
of 1954, was 136.9 tons, or 6.2% higher than in the
are available for public utilities. They showed that for
same months of 1953. Output per man in Virginia in
the first ten months of the year coal consumption in­
the same period was 133.7 tons or 9.0% higher; in
creased 1.1% in all public utilities of the United States
W est Virginia it was 137.4 tons or 5.9% higher.
compared with a drop of 13.2% in the consumption of
oil and an increase of 7.5% in the consumption of gas.
Movement of bituminous coal through Baltimore and
Kilowatt-hour output generated by fuels in the first
Hampton Roads ports in 1954 through December 18
ten months of 1954 was 6.7% higher than in the same
totaled 26,522,000 tons, a decrease of 7.1% from a
months of 1953, which indicates a continued marked in­
similar period of 1953. Foreign cargo shipments in the
crease in the efficiency of fuel burning when compared
same period amounted to 13,975,000 tons, a gain of
with fuel consumption figures.
2.5% , with Hampton Roards ports accounting for 13,-

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Construction’s Banner Year Was ’54
For nonresidential building, contract awards in the
Fifth District were down 2% in 1954 compared with
1953. In this sector of the industry some fairly violent
differences were shown in the various types of con­
struction. Awards for manufacturing plants were down
29% , and for educational buildings 11% despite a press­
ing need for this type of construction. Awards for com­
mercial buildings were up 38% while all other non­
residential awards rose 11%. Virginia showed a 25%
decline in nonresidential building awards from 1953 to
1954 and South Carolina showed a minus 8 % . Other
states had gains running from 5% in North Carolina
to 26% in W est V irginia; in Maryland they were up
9 % , and in the District of
Columbia 18%.

money readily available in capital and mort­
gage markets and terms of financing quite easy,
the construction industry in the Fifth District estab­
lished an all-time record in 1954. Contract awards for
all types of construction in 1954 were 13% larger than
in 1953 and compares with a gain in 37 Eastern states
of 11%.
ith

The District gain over 1953 was not shared by all of
its component states. Awards in the District of Co­
lumbia were off 11.2% and in W est Virginia 13%.
Gains were mainly accounted for in Maryland and V ir­
ginia, with the former showing an increase of 27% and
the latter an increase of 19%. North Carolina’s gain
amounted to 7% and South
Carolina’s 4 % .
The only sector of the
construction industry in the
Fifth District to show gains
in all states was in one- and
two-family houses. In all
other types of construction,
at least one of the District
states showed a trend con­
trary to the average.

CONSTRUCTION

CONTRACTS AWARDED

Percentage Change 1953 to 1954

f

M a r y la n d

Seasonally adjusted con­
tract awards for this Dis­
trict began moving up early
in 1954, r e m a i n e d high
throughout the Spring and
Summer, and in the last
quarter of the year estab­
lished a new high level by
a wide margin. Prospectively, this level will be difficult to sustain.
All types of residential construction in the Fifth
District in 1954 shared in contract awards that ran
30% higher than in 1953 and compared with an in­
crease in 37 Eastern states of 28% . Awards for oneand two-family houses in the District were up 42%
compared with a 37 state increase of 34% . Awards for
apartments and hotels declined 10% , the same decline
as in the 37 states. The District of Columbia was the
only major geographical area of the Fifth District to
show a decrease in total residential construction awards
from 1953 to 1954 and this was due to a 35% shrinkage
in apartment and hotel awards. Virginia showed the
largest percentage increase in residential awards from
1953 to 1954 with a gain of 39% . Maryland showed
the second largest increase in residential awards with
a gain of 37% , while South Carolina had the third
largest increase, 27% . W est Virginia marked up the
fourth largest gain in residential contract awards, 21%
in 1954 over 1953. North Carolina’s increase, 1954
over 1953, was 10%.



A 4 y

+ 2 7 .0 ^

Commercial b u i l d i n g
awards in the District rose
a sharp 38% in 1954 and
were highlighted by W est
Virginia’s 147% increase
and M a r y l a n d ’s 101%.
Gains in the District of Co­
lumbia were 19% and in
South Carolina 19% . North
Carolina had a modest 6%
increase while Virginia ac­
tually declined 1% .

In the factory building
sector contract awards in
1954 fell off 29% from
1953,
54% , Maryland 35% and
W est Virginia 21% . North
Carolina gained 9 % and South Carolina was about even
with 1953. Though small in dollar total, awards in
the District of Columbia were up 87% .
A s noted, awards for educational buildings in the
Fifth District were down 11% in 1954 from the previ­
ous year, but variations were marked— the District of
Columbia showed a plus 58% and W est Virginia was
up 61% . Other states showed declines of 30% in V ir­
ginia, 21% in South Carolina, 15% in Maryland and
6% in North Carolina.
For public works and utilities there was a District
increase of 13% from 1953 to 1954, largely accounted
for by gains of 82% in Virginia and 36% in Maryland,
North Carolina was up 6% and South Carolina 7 % ,
while W est Virginia declined 54% and the District of
Columbia 46% .
Industrial outlays for eleven new plants in excess of
$5 million were announced in 1954 and most of these
were in durable goods lines.
Important among them
were a $68 million aluminum plant in W est Virginia,
and a $34 million plate glass plant in Maryland.

{o
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February 1955

Nondurable Goods-A Modest Slide In ’54
eleven months of 1954 compared with 1953. The main
goods industries of the Fifth Federal
loss came in Virginia (1 5 .7 % ) though W est Virginia
Reserve District show a man-hour decline of just
was down 5.7% and Maryland 3.4% . South Carolina
under 6% during the first eleven months of 1954 com ­
showed an increase of 14.6% and North Carolina an
pared with those months of 1953. All states in the
increase of 0.7% . These latter increases undoubtedly
District showed declines ranging from 4% to nearly
resulted from expansion in output of synthetic fibers
7 % . Maryland and W est Virginia decreased 6.8% ,
other than rayon.
North Carolina 6.6% , Virginia 5.6% and South Caro­
Paper industries in the District recorded a slight
lina 4.2% .
slump of 3.1% . Declines of 5.7% were witnessed in
The smaller decline in nondurable goods (there was
South Carolina and 5% in Virginia, while Maryland
a 7.1% decrease in all manufacturing) brought the per­
was off 1.0% and North Carolina 0.8% .
centage of nondurable goods man-hours in 1954 to
64.4% of the total compared with 63.4% in 1953.
The food industries operated fairly close to 1953 levels
Largest decline in the nondurable goods sector was
during the first eleven months of 1954 except in W est
7.7% in textile mill prod­
Virginia a n d Maryland.
ucts. Here the largest por­
Livestock slaughter in the
N O N D U R A BLE GOODS MANUFACTURING
former was off from a year
tion of the decline took place
ago and canning crops in
MAN HOURS
in the yarn and thread mills
Percentage Change - 1954 vs. 1953
both states were affected by
— 13.4%. Yarn and thread
Tobacco Manufactures
-0.1%
drought. Man-hours in the
mills were not only affected
food products industries of
by inventory and sales re­
Food and Kindred Products
—1.3%
the District in the first
duction at the customer lev­
Knitting Mills *
-2.5%
eleven months of 1954 were
el, but also faced competi­
but 1.3% smaller than in the
tion from integrated mills
Paper and Products
-3.1% f~
same months of 1953. W est
which were sellers of yarn
Virginia recorded a decline
as a consequence of declin­
Total
of 6.5% , Maryland one of
ing d e m a n d for broadChemicals
f~ """— 3 %
"g^
2.8% , Virginia 0.8% , and
woven fabrics. The latter
South Carolina 0.7% . North
showed a decrease in manApparel
Carolina s h o w e d a 2.0%
hours in the eleven months
gain.
of 1954 (compared with
Broad Woven Fabrics'*
1953) of 7.3% . This appears
The District’s tobacco in­
Textile Mill Products
to have resulted from inven­
dustry, perhaps surprising­
tory liquidation and reduced
ly, fared best of any of its
Yarn and Thread *
industrial usage. Available
manufacturing in d u s tr ie s .
* Components of Textile Mill Products
Man-hours in Virginia and
figures on sales of textiles
at the retail trade level do
North Carolina plants (the
only states where these industries are important) were
not reflect a decline of more than nominal proportions.
down 0.1% in the first eleven months of 1954 from the
Knitting mills fared best among the textile groups.
same months of 1953. This near balance, however, rep­
Their decline in the first eleven months was a mere
resented an increase of 4.3% in Virginia and a decrease
2.5% . Both fullfashioned and seamless hosiery mills
of 2.3% in North Carolina. The Virginia increase was
in North Carolina managed to show small gains in 1954
probably due to increased labor demands to handle the
over 1953.
larger crop of the Old Belt. Despite a decline of about
Declines in textile mill products man-hours in the
5% in cigarette output in the District, the man-hour to­
period under review were largest in Maryland, down
tal was 2.4% larger than in 1953-—in Virginia, up 7.0% ,
25.8% due largely to a substantial reduction in the de­
and in North Carolina, down 0.3% . This implies some
mand for cotton duck. North Carolina showed an
reduction in operating efficiency with the new filter tips
8.8% decline, to which broad-woven fabrics mills con­
having something to do with it.
tributed 10.4% and yarn and thread mills 13.4%, and
Nondurable manufacturing industries of the District
knitting mills only 2.0% . South Carolina’s decrease
established their low point of the year in May, and by
in textile man-hours was 6.1% , with yarn and thread
August a considerable recovery was under way. The
mills down 13.6% and broad-woven fabrics mills 6.4% .
high point of the recovery thus far was in October 1954
Virginia showed an increase of 0.1% in broad-woven
when operations were within 2.5% of the August 1953
fabrics mills but a decrease of 6.7% in knitting mills.
peak. This pattern was characteristic of most of the
o n d u r a b le

Chemical industries reduced man-hours 6.3% in the



individual industries.
^5

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Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Durable Goods-Output Fell During ’54
that shown by the industry as a whole, it seems that
North Carolina’s newer plants were operating at higher
capacity last year while those elsewhere were operating
at a substantially lower rate.

n periods of recession, activity in manufacturing in­
dustries is customarily affected more substantially
than in other areas of the economy. Historically, this
has been particularly true in the durable goods indus­
tries for two reasons: first, in a period of falling sales
business men in this area prefer to pare inventories with
the consequence that production falls more than sales.
Secondly, in unfavorable business weather manufac­
turers usually reduce their outlays for maintenance as
well as new plant and equipment.

/

Durable goods industries which showed the largest
declines (again, eleven months of 1954 compared with
1953) were headed by the transportation equipment
industries, important only in Maryland and Virginia.
Here the decline was due chiefly to reduced employment
in the shipyards of both areas and did not include a
11.6% decline in employment at the Navy Yards at N or­
folk, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina.

1954’s business climate produced some of these tra­
ditional results, although it should be noted that the
down-trend was halted in July and moderate recovery
A drop of 11.6% in average employment in the Navy
witnessed in s u c c e e d in g
Yards in the South Atlantic
months. Manufacturing ac­
region was the same as that
tivity in the Fifth District’s
for all Navy Yards. In this
D U R A B L E GOODS M ANUFACTURIN G
durable g o o d s industries
area, private yards main­
MAN HOURS
(based on total man-hours
tained a higher level of em­
Percentage Change — 1954 vs. 1953
for eleven months) was
ployment than did those in
Electrical Machinery (Maryland)
f -5 2% ~l)
down 9.1% from the same
the nation as a whole. Em ­
period of 1953, and all man­
ployment in private yards
Fabricated Metals
ufacturing activity in the
in the Fifth District de­
Stone, Clay and Glass
|
______ -8 .0 %
clined 10.3%, in the United
District declined 7.1% .
States, 18.1%. Total em­
W est Virginia showed the
total
f
-9 r% ' 1 iP
‘:
ployment in shipyards in
largest decline in durable
Lumber and Wood Products
f~
-94%
0
goods, 12.8%, compared
this region fared better,
with 1953. This was due
Furniture and Fixtures
-9.4%
therefore, than in the United
mainly to the fairly large
States, showing a decline of
Primary Metals
f
-10.1%
declines in the primary met­
10.8% compared with a de­
Machinery (Excluding Electrical)
f''''
-10 1%
als, stone, clay and glass in­
cline of 15% for the nation.
dustries and to a lesser ex­
Machinery industries in
Transportation Equipment |
_______________ —1
5.4%______
tent in fabricated metals.
the District showed a de­

r~

South Carolina s h o w e d
the second largest decline, 11.8%, due to a fairly sub­
stantial drop in lumber and wood products industries
and lesser declines in furniture and fixtures and ma­
chinery.

cline in activity of 10.1%
and primary metals were down the same amount. The
lumber and furniture industries each showed declines of
9.4% . Fabricated metals were off 6.6% and electrical
machinery industries (represented only by Maryland)
declined 5.2% .
Man-hours in the District’s lumber and wood prod­
ucts industries made their low point in May of last yea r;
by November they had risen approximately 9 % . The
furniture and fixtures industries also reached their low
point in May 1954; by November they had jumped
17%. Stone, clay and glass industries established a
low in July but had expanded 6% between that date
and November. Primary metal industries were at the
year’s lowest level in April and rose 5% between then
and November. Fabricated metal industries established
their year’s low in September and remained near this
figure. The electrical machinery industries of M ary­
land reached their low point in October 1954. Trans­
portation equipment industries established a low point
in October 1954 and slight improvement occurred in
November.

Maryland’s 11% decline resulted from a 26% drop
in furniture and fixtures, 16% declines in machinery
(other than electrical) and in transportation equipment,
and a 7% downturn in primary and fabricated metals.
Virginia’s 6.2% decline was exhibited in transporta­
tion equipment (off 1 4 % ), primary metals (off 6 % ) ,
furniture and fixtures (down 7 % ) , stone, clay and glass
industries (down 3 % ) , and fabricated metals (down
3 % ).
North Carolina’s composite decline of 5.4% was
headed by a drop of 8% in lumber, 8% in furniture, 7%
in stone, clay and glass, 4% each in primary and fabri­
cated metals, and only 1% in machinery. Since North
Carolina’s machinery industries, other than electrical,
are largely textile machinery and since this decline in
machinery man-hours was considerably slighter than



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February 1955

District Agriculture-Last Year’s Results Were Varied
“ severe drought caused the smallest corn crop since
1901. . . only half that of 1953.” The total outturn
from all Fall-harvested crops in South Carolina was
36% less than in 1953 and 43% below average.

i x e d or varied are the only valid descriptives to
apply to Fifth District farm performance during
1954. Both the range in conditions and the results
achieved were unusually wide. Production of some farm
commodities was higher in 1954 than in 1953 ; of others,
smaller. Similarly, some prices were higher and others
were lower. Farm income for many communities was
larger; in others it was smaller, so differing were the
impacts of drought, crop controls and recession in­
fluences on unit price and crop size.

Price and Income Changes

During 1954 the national index of prices received by
farmers averaged 3% below the level in 1953, with
prices of crops showing an increase of 1% and livestock
and livestock product prices a decline of 6 % . Cotton
prices increased about 2 % , while flue-cured tobacco was
Factors Affecting the Farm Scene
down about 1% . Poultry and eggs dropped 21% and
All of the above influences played important parts
dairy products 8 % .
in the 1954 farm story.
Data on farm income for
Smaller acreage allotments
1954 are not yet available
were almost entirely respon­
for Fifth District states, but
DISTRICT FARM OUTPUT
sible for the 30% cut in
some interesting facts are
harvested acreage of cotton
1954 COMPARED WITH 1953
revealed by data for the first
and the 22% reduction in
10 months. For the District
«
------ D E C R E A S E
wheat. In the case of wheat,
as a whole, total cash re­
the decrease was largely off­
turns from farm marketings
Small Grains
►
" +'22.7% .. . \
set by expanded acreage in
were down about 5% with
Tobacco
► •+64% j
oats and other small grains.
the relative income decline
Soybeans for Beans
► +5.4% |
from both crop and live For cotton farmers, ad­
Milk Production
> m + 3- %
stock and livestock products
justment would have been
7
being about equal. Each
Egg Production
* H +3.1%
very difficult. The harvested
state showed declining in­
acreage of cotton was cut by
-2-3% H
* Hay
come f r o m livestock and
345,000 acres in South Car­
-2 8% | 1 « Hog Slaughter*
livestock products and in to­
olina and 230,000 acres in
[-4.6% < Peanuts
tal cash returns from farm
North Carolina. T o a con­
« Wheat
I
-9 .8 %
marketings. In the case of
siderable extent farmers in
4 Corn
| - 10. 1%
crops, however, Maryland
these states were either un­
4 Cotton
f
- 24.7%
and V irginia had increases
able or unwilling to put the
for the 10-month period,
* E le v e n -m o n th to ta l
diverted acreage to another
S ource-. U.S. D e p a rtm e n t o f A g r ic u ltu r e
while W est Virginia and the
use, revealed by the fact
Carolinas r e g is t e r e d de­
that the total harvested acre­
clines.
age of principal reported crops declined 383,000 acres
In the aggregate, North Carolina fared better than the
( 9 % ) in South Carolina and 171,000 acres ( 3 % ) in
other District states, showing decreases of less than 1%
North Carolina.
in each of the categories of farm income. South Caro­
lina, on the other hand, showed a drop of 19% for the
Weather’s Role
10-month period— 4% for livestock and livestock prod­
Weather “ played favorites” in a big way in 1954.
ucts and 24% for crops. In total income for the 10
On many thousands of Fifth District farms operators
months, the other District states had declines of from
encountered dry spells which threatened serious damage
2% to 6 % .
to crops and profits. For others the rains came and
Serious declines in farm income affect not only the
the danger subsided or disappeared entirely. The Co­
farms but also the communities where such farms are
operative Crop Reporting Service, for example, stated
located. This is particularly true where income has
that “ the crop year of 1954 proved to be the most pro­
been cut for two or three consecutive years by drought
ductive of record for crops produced by W est Virginia
or other causes. In many Fifth District communities,
farmers. . . .Record yields were obtained from all small
some farmers have found it difficult to meet their obli­
grains, corn and tobacco. . . . Production of fruit was
gations when due. Indications are, however, that the
well above last season.”
vast majority of farmers even in the drought areas have
These conditions were in sharp contrast with those
been able to meet or arrange for their obligations.
in South Carolina where the Service reported that



i '7 y

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Banking Was Busy and Profitable In ’54
A

loans started rising rather sharply; for the year as a
whole, however, the gain was nominal.

business was a bit less active in the Fifth
Federal Reserve District in 1954, this apparently
did not handicap the member banks. They increased
both time and demand deposits and added to loans and
investments during the year.
lth o u g h

Deposits of all member banks during 1954 rose $416
million compared with a modest $58 million the previous
year. This is the second largest gain in deposits mem­
ber banks of this District have ever experienced. O f
the $415 million gain in total deposits, time deposits
accounted for $153 million. This was the largest in­
crease, by a wide margin, that these deposits have ever
shown. The seasonal decline in deposits of member
banks was not as large in the early months of 1954 as
in the same months of 1953, and the subsequent gains,
as the figures have indicated, have been much larger
than in 1953 or any other
year, for that matter.

Despite some inventory liquidation late in 1953 and
early in 1954 (mainly at the trade level in this District),
the manufacturing industries of the District, which are
dominantly soft-goods producers, had no serious inven­
tory problem in either year. A s a consequence, the
reduction in bank loans resulting from inventory liqui­
dation was not very substantial.

Member bank reserves with the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond were smaller
than a year ago throughout
the first nine months of
D E P O S IT AND LOAN T R E N D S
1954, but this did not pre­
FIFTH DISTRICT MEMBER BANKS
vent an expansion in loans;
and holdings of securities
showed a smaller seasonal
drop in the early months of
the year than was the case
in 1953. Ease in the money
market, initiated by Federal
Reserve action, and the sub­
sequent reactions of member
banks toward their custom­
ers’ loans were important
factors in the voluntary and
orderly in v e n t o r y liquida­
tion that took place. This,
in turn, was an important
element in preventing the
minor recession from devel­
oping into something worse.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Although h o l d i n g s of
Government securities by
Fifth District member banks
recorded a seasonal decline
in the early months of 1954,
the increase in holdings for
the year amounted to $106
million. T h is c o m p a r e d
with a decline of $35 mil­
lion during 1953 and $25
million during 1952, a gain
of $159 million during 1951
and a gain of $126 million
during 1949. Holdings of
other securities in c r e a s e d
$59 million during 1954,
compared with an increase
of $23 million in 1953 and
an increase of $71 million
during 1951. The latter was
the largest increase of these
security holdings for the whole postwar period.

During 1954 D i s t r i c t
member b a n k s e x p a n d e d
their loans $229 million, compared with an increase of
$135 million in 1953. The 1954 increase was almost
as large as that of 1952 but $100 million smaller than

Banking, in the overall, was apparently more profit­
able in 1954 than in 1953. Net profits after taxes dur­
ing the first six months of 1954 were 18.6% higher than
in the similar period of 1953 and this took place before
the sharp loan expansion which occurred in the sec­
ond half. Security holdings, furthermore, averaged
lower in the first half of 1954 than in that period of
1953, while in the last half these holdings increased
considerably. Despite some reduction in interest rates
on Government securities, it is probable that the banks’
rate of return on securities rose because of a substantial
shift in holdings from certificates to bonds.

that of 1950.
The seasonal expansion in business loans of weekly
reporting banks from the end of July to year-end 1954
was greater than any of the postwar years, 1950 ex­
cepted. Real estate loans, which had shown very little
change during 1953, began inching up in the Spring of
1954 and all during the second half expanded at a more
rapid rate than in any year since 1948. “ Other” loans
(largely consumer loans), after having risen fairly
steadily throughout the postwar period to the Fall of
1953, leveled off through the remainder of ’ 53 and
most of ’ 54. In November and December, concurrent
with the introduction of new-model automobiles, these



Reductions in reserve requirements and a 6% increase
in deposits was accompanied by a decline of $15.3 mil­
lion in borrowing of member banks between December
30, 1953 and December 29, 1954.

i

8

y

frfo n / M

/$& K £W L

February 1955

Nonmanufacturing Employment Dipped Slightly
hovering around a 5% decline. Interstate railroads were
h e recession of 1954 had only a moderate adverse
primarily responsible for the decrease in average em­
effect on the overall employment level in the Fifth
ployment of this group. They accounted for 12,100 or
District. Nonagricultural employment in the first eleven
73% of the 16,500 decline in the total. The percentage
months of 1954 averaged 4,114,300, a minor dip of 3.3%
decline in average employment of interstate railroads
from 1953. Employment in manufacturing industries
was 11.9% compared with declines of 4.1% in other
averaged 1,287,900 in the same period, or 4.3% lower
transportation, 1.6% in communication, and 0.6% in
than in 1953. Nonagricultural, nonmanufacturing em­
public utilities.
ployment averaged 2,826,400 for eleven months of 1954,
2.6% less than the previous year.
Concerns engaged in retail and wholesale trade em­
The slight decline of 75,000 jobs in the nonagricul­
ployed an average of 821,500 workers in the first eleven
tural, nonmanufacturing sector was mainly in mining,
months of 1954, 1.7% less than in 1953. The District
of Columbia led with 4.3% fewer workers. W est V ir­
construction, transportation and trade. Small gains
ginia showed 4 % less, South Carolina 3.2% , V ir­
were recorded in finance, insurance, real estate con­
cerns and in the broad list
ginia 2.0% , and North Car­
of service and miscellaneous
olina 0.7% . Trade employ­
concerns. Largest decline in
ment in Maryland showed
employment other than in
an increase of 1.1%. W hole­
Percentage Change
to
agriculture and manufactur­
salers employing an average
ing occurred in W est V ir­
of 163,700 workers in elev­
Financial, Insurance and Real Estate
ginia, where the total was
en months of 1954 showed
6.3% less in 1954. South
a decline of 1.8% from a
Services and Miscellaneous
year earlier. Retailers em­
Carolina slipped 5.3 and
Government
the District of Columbia
ployed an average of 570,4.1% . Virginia’s d e c lin e
000 workers, a decline of
Trade
was 2.1% and North Caro­
1.2% from a year earlier.
\
Total Nonmanufactoring Employment
lina’s 0.7% , while Maryland
Concerns engaged in fi­
had an increase of 0.2% .
nance, insurance and real
Transportation, Communication, Public Utilities

T

EPOM TSLCE O UT N
M YE EETD C P I S
L N
C AO
15 15
93 94
f $2%
+.5
(50 %
+.7
-.9 U/
0%

Mining industries in 1954
Contract Construction
showed a decline in average
employment from 1953 in
M , n in 0
all states, with the coal min­
Source: State Cooperating Agencies of U S. B. L.S.
.
ing states of W est Virginia
and Virginia accounting for
the bulk of the decrease. In W est Virginia mining em­
ployment was down 17.5% in the period under review.
In Virginia it was down 15.4%, in Maryland 8.3% , in
North Carolina 7.9% and in South Carolina 8.3% .

1

-2% 0
6
f-,3 0
%
-9 % \)
.8
-'6 %
.5
f

estate employed an average
145,200 workers in the first
eleven m o n t h s of 1954,
which was a gain of 2.5%
over 1953. All D i s t r i c t
states showed increases with
the exception of W est Virginia, which held even with
last year. The largest increase was 5% in South Caro­
lina, the smallest 0.3% in Virginia.
The broad group of service industries which include
filling stations, repair shops, laundries, etc., employed an
average of 406,500 workers in the first eleven months of
1954, up 0.7% over 1953. Small increases were shown
in Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia and W est
Virginia, and minor declines were shown in North Caro­
lina and South Carolina.
Declining employment by the Federal Government—
in the District of Columbia for the most part and to a
lesser extent in Virginia— was responsible for a decline
in average Government employment in the Fifth Dis­
trict of 0.9% in the first eleven months of 1954 com­
pared with those months of 1953. Employment in
state and local governments was responsible for offsets
in some of the Federal Government reductions and
found reflection in increases in total Government em­
ployment of 0.3% in Maryland, 4.3% in W est Virginia,
and 4.0% in North Carolina. Government employment
in South Carolina was at the same level as in 1953.
jM

Surprisingly, in view of very high-level building ac­
tivity, average employment levels of contract construc­
tion in all Fifth District states declined in 1954. Largest
decline occurred in South Carolina (2 2 .4 % ), occasioned
for the most part by completion of the Savannah River
Atom ic Energy project. North Carolina and W est
Virginia showed declines of slightly more than 9%
each. The District of Columbia was off 6.1% , Virginia
5.4% and Maryland 1.3% , with the District total being
down 8.9% . It should be noted that the employment
record in contract construction probably fails to include
many employees of small contractors.
The transportation, communication and public utility
industries employed an average of 321,000 in the first
eleven months of 1954, 5.4% less than in the same
months of 1953. Decreases of over 7% were recorded
in South Carolina and W est Virginia, with other states



-{ 9

y

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Business Conditions and Prospects
there were questions regarding the vigor of eco­
nomic recovery in the Fifth District, the month of
December largely answered them. Strength was noted
in many quarters— sales of department stores, for ex­
ample, established an all-time high record and opera­
tions in the manufacturing industries of the District were
at the highest level of the year and back to practically
the same level as a year ago. The value of construction
contract awards, though unable to maintain the high ad­
justed levels of November, were nevertheless 45% above
a year ago. Bank debits adjusted for seasonal changes
established all-time highs both in November and Decem­
ber, and sales of retail furniture stores were at the high­
est since Summer of 1953.
Consumption of gasoline in November, normally de­
clining about 4 % , was actually higher than in October,
and the adjusted index was at a brand-new high. De­
cember sales of household appliance stores in the District
were higher than at any time since July 1950. Sales
of passenger cars in November, though failing to move
up sharply, were, according to trade information, sub­
stantially improved in December.
Adverse factors in the District’s economy were con­
spicuous by their dearth. The agricultural situation
continued in a down trend but there was some tendency
for agricultural prices to bottom out. Unemployment
was substantially larger than a year ago, and consider­
able ground needs to be retraced before either the
bituminous coal industry or the shipbuilding industry
could be considered operating at good, healthy levels.

/

f

Trade
A s throughout 1954, the December trade level con­
tinued to be one of the strongest factors in the Fifth
District economy. Seasonally adjusted sales of an
identical group of department stores rose 7% from
November to December, to a level 7% ahead of Decem­
ber 1953. For all of 1954 this group showed sales
within 1% of the 1953 level.
The December performance of department store sales
in the Fifth District was apparently unanticipated and
resulted in a seasonally adjusted inventory reduction
of 5% from November. Further evidence along this
line is found in the 21% decline in adjusted outstanding
orders during the month.
Silverware and jewelry, men’s clothing, and floor
coverings were prominent in the December rise, though
most departments showed an improved level of sales
over last year. Best sales increases in December over
a year ago were shown in Greenville, South Carolina,
followed in turn by Baltimore, M aryland; Richmond,
Virginia; Lynchburg, Virginia; and Winston-Salem,
North Carolina— all with gains better than 5% .
Sales of retail furniture stores in December were at
the best adjusted level of any month since June 1953.



December corrected sales rose 13% to a level 12%
ahead of a year ago, with credit sales rising 17% dur­
ing the month and cash sales rising 5% . Store inven­
tories, which had been declining since May, rose 18%
after seasonal correction from November to December
and were 4 % ahead of a year ago. December inven­
tories regained about half the loss between their peak in
1953 and their low point in November 1954.
Apparently new passenger car automobiles were not
available in quantity during November for sales in that
month rose only 6% from October and were still 21%
under the 1953 month. South Carolina’s sales more
than doubled from October to November, and a rise of
9% occurred in Maryland but elsewhere losses were
recorded ranging from 19% in the District of Columbia
to 2% in Virginia. In Richmond, new passenger car
sales in December were 105% higher than last year.
B anking
Deposits of member banks on December 29, 1954, of
$7,119 million, were $415 million higher than on De­
cember 30, 1953, but owing to a drop of $23 million in
interbank deposits the total deposit level at the end of
December was $14 million lower than at the end of
November. Time deposits rose $8 million during De­
cember to $1,738 million, a hefty gain of $183 million
over December 1953. Demand deposits of $5,381 mil­
lion were $232 million higher than a year ago, with
interbank deposits up $11 million and other demand
deposits up $221 million.
Total loans and investments of member banks de­
clined $8 million from November 24 to December 29
but were $393 million higher than on December 30,
1953. Loans rose $41 million during December and
were $229 million higher than in December 1953. G ov­
ernment security holdings were $53 million less during
December but $105 million higher than a year ago.
Other security holdings rose $4 million during Decem­
ber to a level $59 million ahead of a year ago. Bank
borrowings rose $17 million during December but were
$15 million smaller than a year earlier.
Business loans of the weekly reporting banks con­
tinued their greater-than-seasonal rise beyond the nor­
mal year end peak into the first week of January. De­
clines during the following two weeks were considerably
smaller than has been customary in recent years.
C onstruction
Construction contract awards in the Fifth District
during December did not maintain November’s dizzy
pace and dropped 26% after seasonal correction. The
December level was, however, a husky 45% higher than
a vear ago and the year as a whole showed a rise of
15%.
Interestingly, the only two segments of the building

i io y

$W

£i W

L

February 1
955

industry with losses for 1954 over 1953 showed sub­
stantial increases in contract awards after seasonal cor­
rection from November to December. Apartment and
hotel awards, with a reduction in year 1954 over 1953
of 13%, showed a 61% adjusted gain from November
to December. Awards for factory buildings, down
22% for the year, show an increase in adjusted awards
of 70% .
December factory awards were 107% higher than a
year ago. Such performance in factory construction
raises the question whether capital outlays of business
concerns have not also turned the corner. Despite a
drop of 41% in contract awards for commercial build­
ings, these awards were 24% ahead of December last
year and the 1954 total was 26% higher than in 1953.
Residential contract awards took a slight breather
during December and were off 4 % after seasonal cor­
rection; but they were still 50% ahead of a year ago.
One- and two-family houses, though down 3% during
the month of December, were a hefty 86% higher than
a year ago.

F ifth

Cotton consumption (adjusted) in the Fifth District
mills rose 4 % in December to a level 7% ahead of a
year ago. This brought the year 1954 to a level only
4% below the previous year, a level, incidentally, hard­
ly suspected six months ago.
Man-hours in all District manufacturing industries
during November were a fraction higher than in O cto­
ber and about 1% under a year ago. Durable goods
industries in November rose 1.7% but remained 3.7%
under a year ago. Nondurable goods industries, on the
other hand, were down 0.5% from October but stood
1.1% ahead of a year ago.
In December, man-hours in all manufacturing indus­
tries of the Carolinas were maintained at the November
level; that is, 3.3% ahead of a year ago. Durable goods
industries were about the same level as in November
and a year ago. Nondurable goods stood a fraction
under November, 3.9% ahead of November 1953 and
very close to the 1953 peak.

D ist r ic t b a n k i n g

D E B IT S TO D E M A N D D E P O S IT A C C O U N T S*
(000
omitted)
Dec.
Dec.
12 Months
12 Months
1954
1953
1954
1953
Dist. of Columbia
Washington ______ $1,364,527
$1,195,992 $14,155,513 $13,047,524
Maryland
Baltimore _________ 2,045,750
1,553,197
17,706,008
17,139,876
Cumberland ______
27,748
25,107
290,277
299,270
Frederick _________
27,668
26,007
273,286
282,174
Hagerstown ______
42,517
40,875
442,882
456,282
Total 4 Cities ___ 2,143,683
1,645,186
18,712,453
18,177,602
North Carolina
Asheville __________
80,035
69,492
764,374
745,553
Charlotte _________
421,157
391,741
4,320,665
4,414,712
85,746
96,586
1,151,682
1,288,335
Durham ___________
Greensboro ________
153,443
120,123
1,495,313
1,422,912
High Point** ____
52,543
45,089
527,539
NA
24,372
22,735
338,538
335,435
Kinston ___________
Raleigh ___________
208,859
245,691
2,322,519
2,361,998
Wilmington ______
50,964
48,071
571,999
566,897
Wilson ____________
27,274
20,645
389,352
354,975
Winston-Salem -__
206,069
184,376
1,924,480
1,873,444
Total 9 Cities ___ 1,257,919
1,199,460
13,278,922
13,364,261
South Carolina
Charleston ________
80,406
75,479
893,459
929,958
Columbia __________
178,575
197,701
2,004,621
l,958t391
Greenville _________
147,219
116,549
1,381,451
1,340,654
Spartanburg _____
75,394
69,184
785,111
803,788
Total 4 Cities ___
481,594
458,913
5,064,642
5,032,791
Virginia
Charlottesville ____
38,048
31,487
391,115
342,500
Danville ___________
47,443
50,770
518,003
506,429
Lynchburg ________
57,375
51,956
604,170
590,218
Newport News ___
58,881
53,370
581,553
578,024
Norfolk ___________
325,262
293,263
3,307,472
3,113,289
Portsmouth ______
38,326
34,984
393,995
372,659
Richmond _________
750,425
692,722
7,657,777
7,530,446
Roanoke __________
143,583
134,939
1,439,889
1,470,757
Total 8 Cities ,_ 1,459,343
_
1,343,491
14,893,974
14,504,322
West Virginia
Bluefield __________
47,834
52,636
472,590
534,750
Charleston _______
211,450
227,246
2,028,358
2,136,210
Clarksburg ____ _ _
43,447
41,331
386,393
408,374
Huntington ______
89,501
84,794
840,060
857,879
Parkersburg ______
35,587
35,100
363,802
378,243
Total 5 Cities ......
427,819
441,107
4,091,203
4,315,456
District Totals _____ $7,134,885
$6,284,149 $70,196,707 $68,441,956
*
Interbank and U. S. Government accounts excluded.
**
Not included in District totals.
N A Not Available.




M anufacturing

i 11

S ta tistic s

W E E K L Y R E P O R T IN G M E M B E R B A N K S
(000 omitted)

Items

Jan. 12,
1955

Change in amount from
Dec. 15,
Jan. 13,
1954
1954

Total Loans ____________________ $1,527,783**
Bus. & Agric. -----------------------698,870
Real Estate Loans ___________
301,119
All Other Loans _____________
547,894

+
+
+
—

3,782
8,003
1,530
3,999

+129,500
+ 61,163
-|- 36,267
+ 35,161

Total Security Holdings ______ 1,903,447
U. S. Treasury Bills _________
89,230
U . S. Treasury Certificates __
89,712
359,669
U. S. Treasury Notes ______
U. S. Treasury Bonds ________ 1,096,174
Other Bonds, Stocks & Secur.
268,662
Cash Items in Process of Col. „
328,087
Due from Banks -----------------------179,783*
Currency and Coin __________
82,522
Reserve with F. R. Banks _____
521,761
Other Asstes ___________________
63,961
Total Assets __________________ $4,607,344

—
—
—
+
+
—
—
—
—
—
—
—

22,147
16,980
7,632
9,320
1,345
8,200
40,043
15,823
1,635
19,897
723
96,486

+ 85,346
— 98,953
— 162,245
+ 64,807
+241,631
+ 40,106
+ 34,208
— 5,855
+
2,435
— 38,761
+
4,151
+211,024

Total Demand Deposits _______ $3,488,289
Deposits of Individuals ______ 2,640,947

— 86,008
+
7,501

+143,539
+107,855

Deposits of U. S. Government
Deposits of State & Local Gov.

67,995
205,665

— 68,790
+
6,855

— 12,616
+ 39,914

Deposits of Banks ___________
Certified & Officers’ Checks __

524,186*
49,496

— 23,673
— 7,901

+
—

Total Time Deposits ___________

755,109

+

18,371

+

70,683

Deposits of Individuals -------Other Time Deposits _________

666,561
88,548

+ 21,134
— 2,763

+
+

59,890
10,793

8,848
462

Liabilities for Borrowed Money

16,700

— 19,135

— 23,800

All Other Liabilities ___________

49,047

— 10,980

+

Capital Accounts -----------------------298,199
Total Liabilities ______________ $4,607,344

+
1,266
— 96,486

+ 15,978
+211,024

* Net figures, reciprocal balances being eliminated.
** Less losses for bad debts.

1
*

4,624

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

F if t h

S t a t is t ic a l . D a t a

d is t r ic t

B U IL D IN G P E R M IT F IG U R ES

F IF T H D IS T R IC T IN D E X E S

Dec.
1954

Seasonally Adjusted: 1947-1949 = 100
% Chg.

Latest Mo.
Dec.
1954
New passenger car registra­
tion* -- --------------------------------Bank debits
Bituminous coal production* _
Construction contracts -------------Business failures— n u m b e r ___
Cigarette production---------------Cotton spindle h o u rs --------------Department store s a l e s ---------Manufacturing employment* —
Furniture store s a le s __________
Life insurance sa le s_ _______
_

Nov.
1954

Dec.
1953

120
159
85
277
242
96
113
124
107
99
193

164
80
206
227
114
133
112
186

Yr.
Ago

Prev.
Mo.

136
147
75
142
153
108
106
123r
109
100
176

—21
+ 12
+ 7
+45
+48
— 7
+ 8
+ 8
— 3
+ 12
+ 6

+ 6
+ 3
— 6
—26
— 6
+ 9
+ 1
+ 7
0
+ 13
— 4

* Not seasonally adjusted.
Back figures available on request.

Maryland
Baltimore ____ $ 5,888,475
Cumberland ___
38,475
Frederick _____ 247,935
H agerstow n___
73,105
Salisbury _____ 125,035
Virginia
Danville________ 146,598
Hopewell _____ 168,455
Lynchburg ____ 190,360
Newport News
125,935
Norfolk ________ 382,281
Petersburg____ 102,500
Portsmouth ___
72,355
Richmond _____ 3,528,941
R o a n o k e ______ 345,321
Staunton______
81,500
West Virginia
C h arleston____
Clarksburg ____
H u n tin gton ___

W H O LE SA LE TRADE
Sales in
December 1954
compared with
Dec.
Nov.
L INES
1953
1954
Auto supplies _______________ + 1 9
—22
Electrical goods ____________
+15
+12
Hardware ------ --------------------- + 8
— 8
Industrial supplies -------------- + 1 5
— 3
Drugs and sundries ________ — 17
— 1
NA
Dry goods ___________________ N A
Groceries ----------------------------- — 4
+ 2
Paper and its products ____ + 5 8
—12
+24
Tobacco products __________ + 4
Miscellaneous _______________ — 8
—22
District t o t a l____________
— 4
— 12

Stocks on
December 31, 1954
compared with
Dec. 31,
Nov. 30,
1953
1954
NA
NA
+25
— 2
— 8
— 10
— 5
+ 5
+ 4
— 1
NA
NA
— 10
— 2
— 9
— 1
NA
NA
— 6
— 10
+ 4
— 8

N A Not Available.
Source: Bureau of the Census, Department of

257,074
58,691
415,258

Sales, Dec. ’54 vs Dec. ’53. _ + 7
Sales, 12 Mos. ending Dec. 31,
’54 vs 12 Mos. ending Dec.
31, ’53 ____________________
+ 1
Stocks, Dec. 31, ’ 54 vs ’53 .. — 3
Outstanding orders
Dec. 31, ’54 vs ’53 ______

+24

Open account receivables Dec.
1, collected in Dec. ’54 ___

31.4

Instalment receivables Dec.
1, collected in Dec. ’54 __

+

8

+

3

+

+

2

+

2

+

5

+

5

— 1

+ 10

0

+ 13
50.2

42.7

42.9

+

0
+

2

+ 12
42.7

Sales, Dec. ’54 vs Dec.
’5 3 ___________________




12.3

14.8

14.0

17.1

Md.

D.C.

Va.

W .Va.

N.C.

S.C.

+8

+3

+5

+7

+3

+

1

14.4

* 12
1

185,327
2,822,400
3,653,287
112,040
2,472,620
3,494,400
202,800
8,894,483
4,345,106
106,334
2,,798,812
2,337,896
2,216,31512,697,628
18,263,874
59,000
2,068,536
1,784,900
264,311
6,212,445
7,575,709
1,524,59932,108,928
19,984,638
533,83911,029,916
16,522,997
425,500
2,404,860
2,331,902
246,9859,716,733
11,876,892
6,384
1,876,238
2,172,818
315,620
7,374,450
9,002,112
3,455,219
30,937,384
7,086,659
9,820,684
4,689,009
22,561,705
5,382,568
2,140,451
2,068,231
8,821,467

South Carolina
Charleston ____ 137,759
Columbia ____ 1,050,595
Greenville_____ 284,813
Spartanburg __ 40,134

200,557
412,814
414,390
134,945

2,840,783
10,255,522
7,710,502
2,439,913

5,160,674
9,309,957
5,511,582
1,065,330

4,329,979

55,705,131

STATES
Maryland
Dist. of Columbia
Virginia
West Virginia North Carolina
South Carolina
District ______

5

$ 74,939,543 $ 82,458,230
708,561
598,395
1,541,041
2,244,227
3,237,659
2,424,100
1,762,421
1,131,521

3,609,515
22,104,406
5,821,139
11,082,050
6,035,342
14,429,498
2,728,316
1,748,774
2,824,050
12,526,673

Dist.
Total

— 3

4

12 Months
1953

134,562
1,372,185
274,502
318,542
136,475
745,346
725,244
63,975
87,600
690,014

District Totals ..$25,360,213

D E P A R T M E N T ST O R E O P E R A T IO N S
(Figures show percentage changes)
Other
Wash. Cities
Rich. Balt.

$ 3,282,570
18,775
70,775
198,315
41,065

12 Months
1954

North Carolina
Asheville______ 224,403
Charlotte ........ 1,387,009
Durham ________ 330,927
Greensboro ____ 650,695
High Point ___ 375,500
1,819,219
Raleigh ______
Rocky Mount .. 138,878
Salisbury ______
16,400
Wilson _________ 105,900
Winston-Salem
841,619

Dist. of Columbia
W ash in gto n ___ 5,708,068

Commerce.

Dec.
1953

$19,851,684$346,528,888

73,450,640
$383,664,564

F U R N IT U R E SA L E S *
(Based on Dollar Value)
Percentage change with correspond­
ing period a year ago
December 1954 12 Mos. 1954

0
— 3
— 3
— 15
— 5
— 4
— 4

IN D IV ID U AL CITIES
0
Baltimore, Md. __________________
+ 2
— 3
Washington, D. C. ________________
+ 4
— 4
— 2
Richmond, V a . ___________ _________
— 12
— 6
Charleston, W . Va. ----------------------* Data from furniture departments of department stores as
as furniture stores.

b

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