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FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND
General Business and Agricultural Conditions in the
Fifth Federal Reserve District
By CALDW ELL H ARD Y, Chairman and Federal Reterre Agent

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, JANUARY 31, 1922.
DISTRICT SUMMARY.
NATIONAL SUMMARY *
The month of December, 1921, was one o f con­
Production and trade show no striking de­
partures from the conditions prevailing at the
tradictions in developments in the Fifth District,
time of the last report. At this season there
but on the whole favorable signs predominated.
usually occurs a period of slackening in various
Condition reports from eighty-two member
lines of manufacture and this has been true dur­
banks show that liquidation of frozen loans is
ing the past month. Such recession as there has
steadily, though slowly, continuing, and some of
been does not, however, go beyond the propor­
tions to be expected at this time of the year.
the banks are working into stronger positions.
The Federal Reserve Board’s price index for De­
This seasonal liquidation, and slight increases in
cember shows a reduction of only two points, as
both demand and time deposits, has enabled
compared with a month earlier, while the United
member banks to reduce the amount of their
States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows no
borrowings from correspondents and at the Fed­
change in its index. On the productive side in­
eral Reserve Bank. Debits to individual account
terest has been largely centered about the iron
at clearing house centers compare favorably with
and steel trade. The activity in that branch of
1920, and are nearer normal in the Fifth District
business has, on the whole, been slightly on the
than the national average shown by the Federal
increase, the end of the year showing a slowing
Reserve Board’s weekly statements.
Good
down due to the usual inventory period, while
grades of tobacco are bringing profitable prices.
during the first part of January better inquiry,
Cotton was considerably higher than during De­
particularly from railroads, has tended to in­
cember, 1920, though sales were in limited quan­
crease the volume of orders on hand as well as
tities. The consumption of cotton by spinners
the activity of the plants. Demand for nonferwas ahead of 1920, and more spindles were in
rous metals continues quiet.
In cotton and
opiera.tip^ Textile manufacturers have sufficient
woolen textiles no material change has taken
.them running full time, with
place but in other manufacturing lines there has# • or‘$£rj. to*
jgGpd. ior a continuation of the
been, if anything, a moderate tendency toward;*improvement. Little change in crop condj*igli§! **•#demand. Builmng.^rp*erations, while showing the
# seasonal slump, ar<5
ahead of operations at
can be expected during the winter season*.TRri&s
: tbte^.tifHe.*# yea^r/ago.‘ ••Retail trade in seasonal
of staple farm products have, on the whota* &Bout
gppjjsfettVr than
been expected for
held their own with fair export dem^tfi; /Minor
December, ana twenty-twfCReading department
agricultural crops, especially citrus%*i^uits .and
rApQrt.§ales# 50% gfekter in dollar value
sugar cane, have shown satisfactory yields; j./A.* • • stQres%
slight increase in unemployment is attributable: ! : dim^*!De<SenlfcSeft^: 3.93d, than during November,
:
•
largely to seasonal recession and indicates no im­ • “ 1921V*
On the other hand, December reported the
portant change in the general demand for labor.
greatest number of business failures and the
Building operations have been unusually well
largest total of liabilities for any month during
maintained, especially for this season of the year,
the past three years, Dun’s Review reporting 212
being about double those reported for the cor­
failures, with liabilities of $5,679,487, in the Fifth
responding months a year ago. Wholesale trade
District.
On the whole, the unemployment
lines have shown great variation. Sharp declines
situation has shown no improvement.
Retail
have occurred in dry goods and boots and shoes,
trade in clothing and shoes has been unsatisfac­
while hardware sales, although not declining in
tory, chiefly due to unseasonably mild weather.
so marked a degree, have fallen off substantially.
Coal production continues extremely low, with
Groceries also show a lessened volume of de­
resulting stagnation of business in the coal re­
mand.
In the Southern states the decline in
gions.
wholesale lines has been especially pronounced
in dry goods and shoes. The figures, however,
The feeling in practically all lines o f trade, as
make a distinctly favorable showing as compared
reflected in reports from leaders in the chief in­
with a year ago. In retail trade, buying demand
dustries and business activities of the Fifth Dis­
in the manufacturing districts of the East and
trict, is optimistic for 1922. No great increase
North still shows improvement, while demand in
in trade is expected, but a gradual, steady im­
the agricultural regions of the West and South
provement is confidently looked for, and manu­
indicates sharp decreases as compared with the
facturers, wholesalers and retailers are making
corresponding period a year ago.
plans accordingly.

:.

f

* The National Summary supplied by the Division of Analysis & Research of the Federal Reserve Board.




CONDITION OF EIGHTY-TWO REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES.
ITEM S
1. Total Loans and Discounts (exclusive
o f rediscounts) *___________ - ___2. Total Investments in Bonds and Se3. Total Loans and Investments —_™
4. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank ___________________________
5. Cash in Vaults
6. Demand Deposits _____
7. Titrie Deposits
8. Discounts with Federal Reserve Bank

January 4, 1922

December 7, 1921

January 7, 1921

419.678.000

413.703.000

440.698.000

119.334.000
539.012.000

119.356.000
533.059.000

119.857.000
560.555.000

30.890.000
15.844.000
308.082.000
128.136.000
49.188.000

32.064.000
14.559.000
300.329.000
125.523.000
53.103.000

34.191.000
21.057.000
340.129.000
108.531.000
70.547.000

The preceding table shows the principal items of condition for eighty-two identical reporting
member banks, located in thirteen of the leading cities of the Fifth District, at the close of business
January 4, 1922, December 7, 1921; and January 7, 1921, thus affording comparisons of the current
month with the preceding month and with the corresponding date a year ago. All items are strictly
comparable for the three dates.
Between January 7, 1921, and January 4, 1922, all items decreased except number seven, Time
Deposits, which item increased from $108,531,000 to $128,136,000, a gain of 18.1% within the year.
Total Loans and Discounts (exclusive of rediscounts) decreased from $440,698,000 on January 7,
1921, to $419,678,000 on January 4, 1922, a decline within the year of 4.7%. Total Investments in
Bonds and Securities decreased from $119,857,000 to $119,334,000 between the two dates, a decline
of .4%. Total Loans and Investments decreased from $560,555,000 to $539,012,000, a decline of 3.8%.
Reserve Balance with the Federal Reserve Bank decreased from $34,191,000 to $30,890,000, a decline of
9.7%. Cash in Vault decreased from $21,057,000 to $15,844,000, a decline of 24.8%. Demand Deposits
decreased from $340,129,000 to $308,082,000, a decline of 9.4%. Discounts with the Federal Reserve
Bank decreased from $70,547,000 to $49,188,000, a decline of 30.3%.
Comparing the figures as of January 4, 1922, with those reported for December 7, 1921, in­
creases are noted in Total Loans and Discounts, Cash in Vaults, Demand Deposits and Time De­
posits, but decreases are shown in Total Investments in Bonds and Securities, Reserve Balances
with the Federal Reserve Bank, and in Discounts with the Federal Reserve Bank. The figures in­
dicate a continuation of the impr^q^eijueftftnrJ^ie credit conditions of the Fifth District, which was
noted in our Review last mo^tK,Ca^id.ij(*f^{tftfer reflected in the Federal Reserve Bank’s weekly pub­
lished statements.
^ •*.*%**•:•****
* • • •••
••**
V* fiDERAL RESERVE B&I^/OJPERATIONS.
Between DecQmfter*7, 192k* ^ jd ^ a fy ja cj-til; 1922,
Reserves in the Federal Reserve
Bank of RichmoncL4
dl£crfeased frbitf
^38365* :to $70,5fe§90f55.
Between the same two dates,
Total Bills on Hartd\$ecreased from $99,245,288.17 to $§&,68l,7jJ5*.37; Federal Reserve Notes in Actual
Circulation decreased from SliQ,§9*t21$*tt>*$1CI!%557J8<5}\ #
«a{id Total Member Bank Reserves decreased
from $53,665,057.01 to $5&V&46/^04.*
Reserve Bank of Richmond is no longer redis­
counting with other Reserve*Hanks*
DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT IN CLEARING HOUSE CITIES.
For the W eeks Ending

CITIES
January 4, 1922
Baltimore, Md. ___________ ________ __ $
Charleston, S. C--------------- ------------- ----Charlotte, N. C.----------------------------------Columbia, S. C. ______________________
Greenville, S. C-----------------------------------Huntington, W . V a-----------------------------Norfolk, V a________ ___________________
Raleigh, N. C------------------------------ -------Richmond, Va. ----------- .-------------- —-----Washington, D. C_____________________
Wilmington, N. C.-------- -------------- -----Totals for 9 cities________________ $
Totals for 11 cities_______________
* Not included in Totals for 9 cities.




December 7, 1921

121,929,000
7.600.000
8.504.000
7.071.000
5,198,000*
4.462.000
14.884.000
9,000,000
27.555.000
36.351.000
5,807,000*

$

237,356,000
248,361,000

$

January 5, 1921

112,746,000
5.455.000
6.365.000
5.526.000
4,181,000*
5.103.000
18.978.000
3.400.000
37.319.000
42.151.000
4,939,000*

$

237,043,000
246,163,000

$

134,443,000
6.900.000
8.173.000
5.650.000
5.557.000
18.580.000
4, 900,000
31.967.000
39.955.000
256,125,000

Debits to Individual Account in nine clearing house centers for the week ending January
4, 1922, totaled $237,356,000, compared with a total of $256,125,000, reported from the same cities for
the week ending January 5, 1921, a decrease for the 1922 week of 7.3%. The average decrease re­
ported by the Federal Reserve Board for 159 cities between the same two dates amounted to 18.1%,
indicating a very satisfactory volume of trade for the Fifth District in comparison with the nation
as a whole. Both the 1922 and 1921 weeks contained only five business days, the New Year’s holi­
day being included in them.
In comparison with the week ending December 7, 1921, the week ending January 4, 1922, shows
an increase of nine-tenths of 1 per cent, reports from eleven cities being available. While the week
ending January 4, 1922, contained only five business days, the end-of-year payments helped to swell
the debits, and more than offset the holiday. Four cities report lower debits for the week ending
January 4, 1922, than for the corresponding week a month previous, these four being Huntington,
Norfolk, Richmond and Washington. Raleigh reported a large increase between the two dates, but
the clearing house informs us that this abnormal increase was due to the shifting of State funds at
the end of the year.
MONTHLY CLEARINGS.
For Month of December

CITIES

No.

1921

1. Charleston, S. C . -------------------- $
Charleston, W . V a . ___________
Charlotte, N. C. ______________
Columbia, S. C . ----------------------Frederick, M d . -----------------------

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Greenville, S. C . _
_ _________
Hagerstown, M d . -------------------Huntington, W . V a .___________
Newport News, V a . ___________
Norfolk, V a . __________________
Raleigh, N. C. — -------------------Richmond, Va. _______________
Spartanburg, S. C . ____________
Washington, D, C . ____________
Totals---------------------------- $

1920

10,572,148
16,354,383*
9.206,073
8,904,946
1,643,016
5,844,624
6,875,686
2,303,139
7,471.500
1,991,656
34,194,775
6,861,633
208,985,060
3,089,859
86,309,102

$

394,253,217

$

♦ Not Included in Totals

Per Cent of
Increase or
Decrease

Increase or
Decrease
$

2,819,738—

21.1—

$

13,391,886

1,895^991—
2,227,157—
958,905—
90,941
925,112—
508,407—
1,713,242—
1,408,808—
5,402,629—
1,240,763
23,505,970—
155,516—
7,647,629
32,542,142—

“17.1—
20.0—
36.9—
1.6
11.9—
18.1—
18.7—
41.4—
13.6—
22.1
10.1—
4.8—
9.7
7.6—

11,102,064
11,132,103
2,601,921
5,753,683
7,800,798
2,811,546
9,184,742
3,400,464
39,597,404
5,620,870
232,491,030
3,245,375
78,661,473
426,795,359

No.

1.

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

— Denotes decrease this year.

The table shows bank clearings reported by fifteen clearing house centers in the Fifth Dis­
trict for the month of December, 1921, together with comparative figures from fourteen of the cities
for the corresponding month of 1920. The table shows in dollars the actual increase or decrease in
clearings in each city, and the percentage gain or loss in December, 1921, compared with December,
1920. An examination of the figures for the two months shows a decrease from $426,795,359 re­
ported for December, 1920, to $394,253,217 reported for December, 1921, a decline of $32,542,142, or
7.6%. This is the smallest decline reported in comparison with the corresponding month of the
previous year since September, 1920.
The publication of statistics on “ Bank Clearings” in our Monthly Review will be discontinued
as of January 1st, 1922. It is generally conceded that “ Debits to Individual Account” reflect more
accurately the volume of trade than do “ Bank Clearings.” Therefore, only “ Debits to Individual
Account,” reported from an enlarged list of centers, will be continued in our forthcoming issues.
However, the cities that have been reporting clearings have been requested to report individual debits
so no city need be dropped from representation in our Review.
BUSINESS FAILURES IN THE TWELVE FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS
Number

City and District
1921

1920

Boston, First - - ----- ----- New York, Second-------------------Philadelphia, Third_________ —
Cleveland, Fourth_____________
Richmond, Fifth ---------------------Atlanta, Sixth-------------------------Chicago, Seventh -------------------St. Louis, Eighth---------------------Minneapolis, Ninth ----------------- Kansas City, Tenth----- —---------Dallas, Eleventh ______________
San Francisco, Twelfth-------------

190
551
124
180
212
190
302
142
100
100
197
156

155
338
76
75
97
130
163
104
44
86
124
133

22.6
63.0
63.2
140.0
118.6
462
85.3
36.5
127.3
16.3
58.9
17.3

Totals----------- ----------------- -

2,444

1,525

60.3




Liabilities

Per Cent
Increase

1921
$

6,671,119
36,979,329
4.176.377
4,050,490
5,679,487
6,066,401
7,820,313
3,873,516
2,158,515
2,152,128
4.307,254
3,567,453

$ 87,502,382

1920
$

Per Cent of
Increase
or Decrease

6,682,883
21,538,235
4,317,296
2,210,441
1,872,700
3,125,655
5,868,677
3,030,670
1,150,260
4748,658
2,141,462
2,184,602

0.2—
71.7
3.3—
83.2
203.3
94.1
33.3
27.8
87.7
54.7—
101.1
63.3

$ 58,871,539

48.6%

Figures showing business failures are furnished us monthly by Dun’s Review, and the report
covering December is given herewith in tabular form. For the Fifth District, the month witnessed
212 bankruptcies, with liabilities of $5,679,487, compared with 97 bankruptcies with liabilities of
$1,872,700 in December, 1920, an increase this year of 118.6% in number and 203.3% in liabilities.
In both number of failures and liabilities involved, the December, 1921, figures were greater than
any other month during 1919, 1920 or 1921. The average failure in December, 1921, in the Fifth Dis­
trict involved $26,790, and for the nation as a whole, $35,803.
It is interesting to compare the year 1921 with the two preceding years, for which complete
figures are available. In the Fifth District the year 1919 witnessed 355 bankruptcies with com­
bined liabilities amounting to $5,605,832, an average of $15,791 per failure, when prices were rising
steadily, and consumers were spending lavishly. The year 1920 witnessed 538 bankruptcies, with
liabilities of $13,100,323, an average of $24,350 per failure. Finally, 1921 witnessed 1,515 bankruptcies
with liabilities amounting to $34,380,335, an average of $22,695 per failure. While failures have not
been unknown among well established firms, the larger part of the insolvencies occurred among the
firms that were organized between 1916 and 1920. Many of these new concerns were undercapital­
ized, and were managed by men with limited experience, who expanded their business, drew too
freely upon their credit, and over-stocked with high priced merchandise. In view of the universal
expansion of credit existing in 1919 and 1920, the number of failures during the past 18 months has
not been surprisingly large, especially when compared with other periods of post-war readjustments.
LABOR.—The month’s reports on employment are difficult to compare in a manner that will al­
low a definite conclusion as to whether the number of unemployed is increasing or decreasing. The ab­
sence of noticeable changes probably indicates that the situation has not varied materially during
the past month. There is a steady but slow growth in the number of employees taken on by facto­
ries, but an offset to this during winter is lessened employment on outdoor work, and reduced de­
mand for farm labor.
The outstanding development during the period under discussion has been the strike announce­
ment by street car operatives of the Virginia Railway and Power Company, in protest against the
Company’s proposed wage reduction, applying to platform employees in Richmond, Petersburg, Nor­
folk and Portsmouth. Apparently no progress toward a settlement of the differences has been made
at the time of writing.
CLOTHING AND SHOES.—December sales in wearing apparel do not share materially in
Christmas trade and therefore the volume of business shows only a small increase in sales of clothing or
shoes. Also the mild weather of the fall season was unfavorable for selling winter clothing. Immedi­
ately after the holidays the usual clearance sales were put on in practically all stores, and the price re­
ductions stimulated buying to some extent. A large wholesale dry goods firm writes that since January
1, 1922, it has been securing orders in very satisfactory volume for immediate or early shipment. Con­
sumers continue to select serviceable and standard clothing rather than novelties, and more attention
is given to quality than eighteen months ago. The fact is, buyers insist that value be given.
COAL.—In speaking of the December production of bituminous coal, the United States Geologi­
cal Survey, in its report of January 14, 1922, says that the output of soft coal during the month was 30,975,000 net tons, an average per working day of 1,191,000 tons. This was the lowest production in
any December during the nine years over which records of monthly output extend. The same report
further states that, at present, production is less than consumption, with a resulting flow of coal
out of storage. There was an increase, however, in production during the first week in 1922, the
daily output being 1,437,000 net tons as against the average of 1,191,000 tons produced daily during
December. In the retail coal trade, some softening in prices has been noted, leading dealers in
several cities having lowered their quotations from fifty cents to a dollar a ton, but consumers are
still showing a strong tendency to buy coal as they need it rather than fill their bins for the re­
mainder of winter’s requirements.
TOBACCO.—The tobacco markets in North Carolina and Virginia were closed from December
20 until after New Year’s Day. Since the reopening, sales have been comparatively light, due to unseas­
onable weather for the preparation of the leaf for market, but larger sales are expected as soon as
the weather moderates. The warehousemen estimate that about 80% of the year’s production has
already been sold, Prices since the holidays have been a shade higher for the common to good
grades, but fancy leaf and wrappers have declined slightly. The average price for bright tobacco
in Virginia during December, 1921, was $20.38 per hundred pounds, compared with $21.34 during
December, 1920, and dark tobacco averaged $17.95, compared with $8.93 the previous year.
Consumers are beginning to share in lower tobacco prices, the manufacturers and retailers
having reduced their prices on most cigarettes and some cigars during the second week in January.
The retail price of ten cent cigarettes has been reduced to nine cents, and the twenty cent grades
to eighteen cents.




COTTON.—The decline in cotton prices, that had been evident since the first of November,
changed to an upward trend with the week beginning December 19th, and subsequently registered a gain
of one cent per pound. The prices paid for middling spot cotton on the Carolina markets averaged
16.13 cents per pound during the week ending December 17; 16.96 cents for the week ending December
24; 17.27 cents for the week ending December 31, and 17.46 cents for the first week of the new year.
There was a drop during the week ending January 14, amounting to a quarter of a cent per pound,
the week closing at 17.22 cents. The holiday need for ready money stimulated sales to some extent
just before Christmas, but otherwise little cotton was sold except so-called “distress cotton,” that
could not be readily financed.
The Census Bureau has announced that cotton ginned in the United States to January 1
amounted to 7,884,272 bales, compared with 11,554,648 bales ginned to the same date last year, a de­
crease this season of 3,670,376 bales, or 31.8%. It is generally agreed that a considerably higher per­
centage of the total crop was ginned prior to January, 1922, than was the case prior to January,
1921. In the Fifth District specifically, North Carolina shows ginnings this season to January 1,
amounting to 783,598 bales, compared with 754,080 bales ginned previous to January 1, 1921, and
Virginia shows 16,078 bales this season compared with 13,752 to the same date last year. The de­
crease of cotton ginned in the Fifth District is confined to South Carolina, where this season’s gin­
nings to January 1 were only 770,558 bales, compared to 1,454,644 bales on the corresponding date
a year ago. The three cotton states of the District combined show 1,570,234 bales ginned this season
compared with 2,222,476 bales last year, a decrease of 29.3%. This decrease is practically all due
to boll weevil ravages in the southern and central portions of South Carolina.
On January 14th, the Census Bureau announced that cotton consumed by spinners in Decem­
ber, 1921, amounted to 511,800 bales of lint, compared with 295,292 bales consumed in December,
1920. The December, 1921 figures were slightly lower than those for November, 1921, but were higher
than for any other month since July, 1920. The report further shows stocks in the hands of manu­
facturers totaled 1,737,771 bales on December 31, 1921, compared with 1,251,122 bales on December
31, 1920, but stocks in warehouses totaled 5,177,266 bales on December 31, 1921, compared with
5,623,646 on December 31, 1920. Spindles active during December, 1921, numbered 34,488,640, com­
pared with 29,914,154 in December a year ago.
TEXTILES.—The situation in the textile industry of the Fifth District during the past two
months has shown very little change and our correspondents express the view that the next few months
will furnish a sufficient volume of business to enable mills to continue on full time. Our reports indicate
that stocks of manufactured textiles at mills, or in secondary hands, are not large, and that under this
condition the approach of spring is expected to increase the demand at the mills. No boom in the
business is expected, but manufacturers generally feel that a gradual demand will result in a fair
volume of business at reasonably satisfactory prices. A few mills are sold up well into 1922, and a
manufacturer of knit underwear writes that his plant has orders to run it until May. The same
plant reports that a year ago it had neither orders nor prospects of any.
REPORT ON WHOLESALE TRADE.
Net Sales in December, 1921, Compared With
LINES SOLD
Sales in November, 1921

Sales in December, 1920

Groceries (3 9 )* __________________________________
Dry Goods (1 6 ) * _________________________ .______
Shoes (19)* ______________________________ ______
Hardware (18)* _________________________________
Furniture (9)* __________________________________

—10.5
—38.2
—37.1
—20.5
— 6.8

— 17.9
— 1.1
38.2
— 17.5
447.3

Total (101)*________________________________

—24.2

— 3.2

♦Number of reporting firms.

Wholesale trade in the five reporting lines showed the usual seasonal dullness during December
in comparison with the three or four months immediately preceding. The table given above shows
in percentage form the increase or decrease in the dollar amount of sales made in December, 1921, in
comparison with (1) sales in November, 1921, and (2) sales in December, 1920. Complete reports for
the three months were received from thirty-nine wholesale grocery firms, sixteen wholesale dry
goods firms, nineteen wholesale shoe dealers, eighteen hardware jobbers and nine furniture factories,
a total of one hundred and one reports. The grocers show sales in December, 1921, 10.5% less than
November, 1921, and 17.9% less than December, 1920. In dry goods December, 1921, shows a de­
crease of 38.2% under November, 1921, and 1.1% under December, 1920. Shoe sales were 37.1%
less in December than in November, 1921, but were 38.2% greater than in December, 1920. Hardr




ware sales fell 20.5% in December under November, and 17.5% under December, 1920. Furniture
sales were 6.8% less in December than in November, but were 447.3% greater than in December,
1920. The average for all firms shows December, 1921, sales 24.2% less than November sales,^ and
3.2% less than December, 1920, sales. The Southern Furniture Exposition opens its mid-winter
show at High Point, N. C., on January 16th. More than one hundred and fifty factories are ex­
pected to place exhibits, and the manufacturers are hoping for a considerable volume of new busi­
ness as a result of the opening.
The reporting firms classified their collections as follows:
Lines Sold
Good
Groceries _________________________ __7
Dry Goods ________________________ __1
Shoes _____________________________ __0
Hardware _________________________ __1
Furniture _________________________ __0
Totals________________________ __9

Fair
19
13
16
10
9
67

Slow
11
3
3
5
4
26

Poor Total
2
39
1
18
0
19
1
17
1
14
5
107

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE.
As Indicated By Reports from Twenty-Two Representative Department
for the Last Six Months of 1921.

Stores

Percentage of increase (or decrease) in net sales during the month named, 1921, over jame month last year:
August September October November December
July
—18.9
— 5.9
—14.7
— 7.4
Baltimore ________________ _______________________ —16.9 —17.4
— 2.4
— 12.9
— 9.1
— 0.7
Richmond ________________ _______________________ —15.9 — 4.9
— 1.4
—11.8
— 8.0
0.7
Washington ______________ _______________________ — 4.2 — 1.4
— 15.2
—19.8
—12.4
—21.8
Other Cities _____________ _______________________ —10.1 — 8.4
— 16.2
— 5.6
— 11.7 — 9.7
— 13.2
— 4.5
District Average_____ _______________________
Percentage of increase (or decrease) in net sales from July
during same period last year
Tulv
Baltimore ________________ _______________________ — 16.9
Richmond ____ _ ___ ____ _______________________ — 15.9
_
Washington _____________________________________ — 4.2
Other C itie s ____ :_________ _______________________ — 10.1
District Average_____ _______________________ —11.7

1st, through month named, 1921, over net sales
August September October November December
— 17.8
— 17.2
— 14.0
— 14.2
—12.5
—11.7
— 8.8
—11.0
— 6.7
— 8.8
— 6.1
— 4.5
— 2.9
— 5.4
— 3.8
— 9.3
—13.0
—13.7
— 15.6
— 15.0
—10.7
—12.7
—10.5
—11.1
— 9.5

Percentage of increase (or decrease) in net sales during the month named, 1921, over net sales during the?
immediately preceding month this year:
r i
August September October November December
Baltimore _ _______ ______ _______________________ —37.1
1.6
18.4
43.3
0.5
38.1
R ich m o n d ____
________ __
_
________________
—29.2 — 7.2
21.4
37.2
— 3.2
61.7
Washington _______________________________ ____
—28.1 — 1.8
2.3
51.3
57.2
— 3.7
Other Cities — _________________________________ —19.5 — 3.9
— 3.3
38.7
64.8
— 5.2
District A v e r a g e __ ________________________ —30.1 — 1.5
9.5
44.4
50.0
— 2.1
Percentage of increase (or decrease) in stocks at close of month named, 1921,
year:
Tuly August September
—21.1
Baltimore ____ ___________ _______________________ —27.8 —26.1
— 13.5
_ _________________
—16.9 —15.0
Richmond
_ — .__
_
—17.5
W a sh in g to n ------------ _______________________ —23.9 —20.8
—13.8
Other Cities _____________________________________ —17.0 —16.8
—17.9
District A v e r a g e ___________________________ —23.8 —21.9
Percentage o f increase (or decrease) in stocks at
ceding month this year:
Baltimore _______________________________________
Richmond ______________________________________
Washington _____________________________________
Other Cities _____________________________________
District Average____________________________

over stocks at same date last
October November December
—18.7
— 8.6
— 4.3
1.6
—11.8
— 3.5
—16.3
— 9.9
— 7.0
— 9.9
— 7.1
—11.8
—15.8
— 8.4
— 5.9

close of month named, 1921, over stocks at close o f preJuly
August September October November December
2.4
17.4
—21.9
— 1.7
— 4.2
6.7
15.4
4.8
—20.4
5.4
2.9
— 1.9
11.8
—20.7
0.8
8.9
0.3
— 2.3
—25.2
6.2
— 1.0
17.0
5.2
22
15.3
2.8
— 0.5
—21.8
7.1
— 22

Percentage of average stocks at the close o f each month since July 1st, to average monthly net sales during
the same period.
August September October November December
July
431.6
463.2
475.1
477.9
407.1
350.1
Baltimore _______________ _______________________
460.2
427.5
459.0
429.5
418.3
346.5
Richmond _______________ _______________________
481.4
458.3
437.5
420.0
434.8
354.5
Washington _____________ _______________________
511.5
553.9
534.8
475.6
510.8
529.7
Other C itie s _____________ _______________________
490.4
449.8
474.3
431.5
453.3
369.3
District Average____________________________
Percentage of outstanding orders at the end o f month named, 1921,, to total purchases o f merchandise during
1920:
August September October November December
July
5.6
9.8
9.5
7.9
4.4
5.1
Baltimore _______________ _______________________
12.0
12.7
8.9
12.5
7.4
5.7
Richmond _______________ _______________________
6.4
5.3
6.9
7.6
3.2
2.8
Washington _____________ _______________________
9.0
6.3
4.6
9.6
4.5
5.3
Other C itie s_____________ _______________________
9.2
9.0
7.7
5.7
4.3
4.4
District Average___________________________
— Denotes Decrease.




= = = = = = J

Confidential reports from twenty-two department stores in leading cities of the Fifth District
show a good volume of business during December, 1921.
Net sales in dollar value during the
month were only 4.5% less than sales during December, 1920, and were 50% greater than sales of
the same stores in November, 1921. Cumulative sales from July 1 through December 31, 1921, were
9.5% less than sales during the corresponding six months of 1920.
The selling value of stocks on hand at the end of the year was the lowest reported since
July 1, 1921, indicating a fair disposal of fall merchandise. The value of stocks on hand at the end
of December, 1921, was 5.9% less than at the end of December, 1920, and 21.8% less than at the
end of November, 1921. From July 1, through December 31, the average stock on hand at the end
of each month was 369.3% of average net sales during the same period.
Outstanding orders on
December 31, 1921, amounted to 4.4% of total purchases of merchandise during the calendar year
192°.

In the table above, we show revised figures for the reporting stores for the last six months
of 1921. The figures have previously appeared in our monthly Reviews, but are presented here for
easy reference and comparison.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 1921 AND 1920.
Permit s Issued
New Construction
CITIES
o

1921 1920

M aryland
1 Baltimore................. 298
2 Cumberland..............
6
3 Frederick..................
1
Virginia
4 Lynchburg................
8
5 Norfolk.....................
20
94
6 Richmond.................
7 Roanoke.................... 58
8 Staunton...................
4
West Virginia
42
9 C harleston..............
12
10 Clarksburg**............
11 Huntington............... *77
12 Parkersburg.............
North Carolina
13 Asheville ................. 38
32
14 Charlotte............ —
15 D urham ...................
28
16 Greensboro .............
17
17 High Point................ 27
18 Wilmington..............
12
19 Winston-Salem......... 38
South Carolina
16
20 Charleston................
21 Columbia.................. 26
22 Greenville.................
18
23 Spartanburg.............. 31

Alterations

Repairs

New

1921

1920

1921

1920

1921

1920

Increase or Per Cent,
of
Decrease,
Total
Increase
Valuation
or
o
Decrease fc

213
8
5

622
7
0

632
10
2

4
14
37
*43

5
40
69
19
1

3
28
57

7,700
90,000
872,492
79,365
8,715

126,750
73,095
261,045
*71,040

950
38,848
96,734
8,075
500

3,300
21,734
92,993

121,400—
34,019
615,188
16,400
9,215

38

9
8

8

48,545
29,065
*137,335
86,000

63,110

2,730
2,785

24,350

36,185—

*59,770
10,000

20,000

5,000

117,448
272,500
520,892
29,500
76,043
41,000
689,900

32,170
70,400
4,750
174,750
*18,000
21,350
42,100

4.087
32,450
13,695
5,540
300
6,050
13,535

7,050
2,680
1,287
13,776
11,500
9,138

46,570
59,700
19,995
75,510

16,650
14,900
1,900
10,700

<150o
9,794
4,235
6,120

9,990
10,940
3,590
4,400

287 2,012,807

104,780

369,810

*52
18
6
2
36
*14
10
11

24
12
8
5
11
4
11
10
1
3 ....... 5
60
46

10
2
5
11

17
63
16
27

53

308

12
47
7
13

$820,900 $ 989,450 $ 332,160 $ 302,000 $ 138,390—
10.7— 1
16,700
2,675
16,350
1,152
1,173—
6.2— 2
2,550
3
600,000
23,000
0
2,248.3
574,450

77,565
91,000

4
5
6
7
8

93 3—
35.9
173.8
23.1

41.4— 9
10
129 8 11
606.7 12

209.9
82,315
231,870
317.3
8,755.2
528,550
153,486—
81.4—
58,343
324.1
43.2
14,200
1,272.9
652,197

13
14
15
16
17
18
19

27,435
43,654
18,740
66, 530

103.0
168.9
341 3
440.6

20
21
22
23

194,368 2,083,469

696.5

24

D is t . o r C olum bia

24 Washington..............

244

T otals........... 1135

592 1,321 1,188 16,729,617 $2,206,060 $ 974,270 $ 723,321 $4,774.506

•Includes both new work and repairs.
**Clarksburg, W. Va. not included in totals.

163 0%

—Denotes decrease.

Building permits for new construction issued in twenty-three cities of the Fifth District dur­
ing December, 1921, show a continuation of the seasonal decline which began in November.
The
twenty-three cities reported 1,135 permits for new work in December, 1921, in comparison with 592
permits in December, 1920, with total estimated valuation of $6,729,617 for December, 1921, and of
$2,206,060 for December, 1920. These figures show for the 1921 month an increase of 91.7% in
number of new permits issued and of 205.1% in total valuation. In alterations or repair work, the
gain during December, 1921, over December, 1920, was not so pronounced, the number of alteration
or repair permits having increased 11.2% and the valuation of the work 34.7%. Combined valuation
for both new construction and repairs or alterations during December, 1921, totaled $7,703,887,
compared with $2,929,381 during December, 1920, an increase of 163%.
On the last page of this Review is presented a chart showing in graphic form the total number
of permits for new construction issued in the same twenty-three cities in the Fifth District, by
months, for 1919, 1920 and 1921.




NEW CONSTRUCTION WORK IN TWENTY-THREE CITIES DURING 1919, 1920 AND 1921.

The chart shown herewith pictures the total number of building permits issued in twentythree of the leading cities in the Fifth District, by months, during the past three years. Because of
wide fluctuations in building costs during 1919, 1920 and 1921, the actual number of permits issued
more accurately represents the new construction than total valuation figures would do.
The chart shows the crest of the building movement during the three years under discussion
in June, 1919, but from that time to the end of the year each month except October witnessed a
sharp decline in the number of permits issued. The first five months of 1920 exceeded the cor­
responding months of 1919, but beginning with May, there was hesitation in contracting for new
work, and from June through December fewer permits were issued each month than during the cor­
responding months of the previous year. In the fall of 1920, however, it became increasingly evident
that there was an acute shortage of dwellings, and various organizations began agitating the build­
ing of homes. Shortly after the beginning of 1921 the number of permits issued began increasing,
and during March exceeded the number issued either during March 1919 or 1920.
Every month
thereafter witnessed a larger number of permits for new work than the corresponding months of
1920, and all months except June and July witnessed a larger number than the corresponding
month of 1919. The average number of permits for new construction issued in 1919 was 1,394 per
month. The average number in 1920 was 1,074 per month. The average number in 1921 was 1,430
per month, an increase over the 1919 average of 2.5% and over the 1920 average of 33.1%. If the
figures from Baltimore, in which there was a building boom during 1919, were excluded, the 1921
figures would show an even greater gain over the two preceding years.




(Compiled as o f January 14, 1922.)