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MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, C h a irm a n an d F e d e r a l R e s e rv e A g e n t

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

JANUARY 31, 1925

Fall trade was slow in opening up in 1924, and
Both the Reserve Bank and the commercial banks
September, October and November were all some­
of the District are in stronger reserve positions than
a year ago. The Reserve Bank’s ratio of cash to
what disappointing, although distinct signs of im­
provement became visible in November as soon as
combined deposit and note liabilities is materially
the election was out of the way. December busi­
higher than it was in January 1923, indicating in­
creased reserve of credit for legitimate demands
ness, however, exceeded expectations in nearly all
that may be made upon it, and the commercial
lines. A decided feeling of optimism has recently
banks are rediscounting much less than they were
developed in the business world, and on the whole
the Fifth District appears to be in a condition that
a year ago, and have considerably increased their
investments in stocks and bonds. The financial re­
justifies this feeling. No boom in trade seems to
sources of the banking public are evidenced by large
be expected, but practically all of our correspondents
increases in both demand and time deposits in com­
profess to believe that the next few months will
mercial and savings banks and trust companies.
witness enough trade to keep every one busy and to
return reasonable profits to manufacturers, whole­
Labor is well employed for this season of the
salers and retailers. There are a few weak spots
year. There is more unemployment than was the
in the District, but except in the lower half of
case two or three months ago, but this is to be exSouth Carolina, where there was a virtual crop
pSRied during the winter when much outside work
failure in 1924, none of them are serious in com­
has to be postponed until more favorable weather
parison with average conditions over a term of
arrives. Textile workers and miners are better em­
years. Nineteen twenty-four witnessed lower yields
ployed now than they were last fall and lumber
in nearly all the leading crops in comparison with
mills are using many unskilled laborers. Tobacco
1923 yields, but it should be remembered that ag­
factories are running full time.
ricultural returns in the Fifth District were ex­
Retail trade in December was better than early
ceptionally high in 1923 and the decrease in 1924
season business would have led one to expect, and
probably appears more serious than it really is be­
wholesale trade was fully up to seasonal average
cause the comparison is with 1923, an exceptionally
in nearly all lines upon which accurate information
good year.
is available. The large volume of business done
during December is evidenced by debits to indi­
The greatest improvement discernible in conditions
vidual accounts at clearing house banks in twentyin the Fifth District now in comparison with a year
three:
I^ trict’s leading cities, these debits
ago is probably in cotton manufacturing. In Jan­
durinp.tfifc
ending January 7th exceeding
uary 1923 mills were receiving almost no forward
orders, and were either accumulating stocks or were% /•t!}«•dibits *durilrg* th^»*Jonr weeks ending December
dtfit in most years comcurtailing operating time, and conditions were slqwfjt/*. 10th, in spite of the £ jct#
E*ara^elv little business.*is . transacted between
but quite steadily growing worse. In contra§i*
ChrfejwapJajf^ fJ ^ / Y e a r ’s!*!* .
mills are at present receiving a considerable .vfliqlne
of orders, and during the past two or throte'tiiQftths
# Bli!Mifig,# conkru€tion coriiffiiled in remarkable
#
#
most of them have cleared away their surplfr&^tocks#.
#
volume during December, both*#
lflj^number of perBetter still, conditions appear to be on the mend no^» • : Jrpits/^s|ite|**3 nd:#
ibe: •estimated* valuation of the
in contrast with the declining tendency in evident I Work*
reported in December
a year ago.
1923, which was it*seli a record breaking Decem­
ber. The volume of construction work for which
Another industry in which conditions seem to have
permits were issued in twenty-eight cities of the
improved since January 1923 is coal mining. There
Fifth District broke all previous records in 1924.
has recently been a sharp gain in orders received
A large amount of construction work goes a long
for bituminous coal, and mine operations have in­
way toward assuring general activity, and there are
creased accordingly, with resultant increases in pay
as yet few signs of any material reduction in build­
ing operations in the Fifth District.
envelopes and purchasing power.
j




The National Summary will be found on pages 9 and 10.

CONDITION OF SEVENTY-FIVE REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
ITEMS

Jan . 7, 1925

1. Total Loans and Discounts (including
all rediscounts) ............................................
2. Total Investments in Bonds and Securi­
ties .....................................................................
3. Total Loans and Investments......................
4. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank ................................................................
5. Cash in Vaults...................................................
6 . Demand D ep osits............................................
7. Time Deposits ................................................
8 . Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank....

Dec. 10, 1924

Ja n . 9, 1924

$ 479,960,000

$ 476,426,000

$ 472,921,000

134.469.000
614.429.000

131.785.000
608.211.000

127.991.000
600.912.000

39.574.000
15.461.000
364.201.000
181.578.000
13.250.000

39.157.000
15.881.000
369.776.000
178.600.000
6,373,000

37.288.000
15.028.000
353.950.000
152.834.000
30.870.000

The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition reported by seventy-five identical banks
as of three dates, January 7, 1925, December 10, 1924, and January 9, 1924, thus affording an opportunity
for comparing the totals reported for the latest date with those reported for the preceding month and on the
corresponding date a year ago. It should be understood, however, that the comments made herein apply
only to the figures for the dates given, and have no reference to intervening dates on which figures may
have been higher or lower than those quoted.
Between December 10, 1924 and January 7, 1925, total loans to customers in the seventy-five reporting
banks increased from $476,426,000 to $479,960,000, an increase being usual at the end of the year when many
people meet their holiday requirements by borrowing for a month or two. This seasonal demand for ad­
ditional credit, together with dividend payments by the banks themselves and various other end-of-year trans­
actions, caused the reporting banks to increase their rediscounts at the Reserve Bank from $6,373,000 on De­
cember 10th to $13,250,000 on January 7th, but most of the increase was on short time notes to provide for
temporary needs. During the month under discussion, investments in bonds and securities made by the re­
porting banks rose from $131,785,000 to $134,469,000, and their aggregate reserve balance at the Reserve
Bank increased from $39,157,000 to $39,574,000. Due to les^ demand for cash after the Christmas season,
cash in vaults declined from $15,881,000 on December 10th to $15,461,000 on January 7th. Demand de­
posits fell off from $369,776,000 to $364,201,000, probably as a result of heavy dividend and other annual
payments on January 1st by depositing firms and corporations, but time deposits rose from $178,600,000 to
$181,578,000.
A comparison of the figures reported for January 7, 1925 with those reported on January 9, 1924 shows
that during the intervening year the financial position of both the reporting banks and their customers im­
proved distinctly as a whole. During the year total loans and discounts granted to customers rose from
$472,921,000 to $479,960,000, but deposits rose much more, reflecting a net gain in financial resources by the
reporting banks' customers. Demand deposits increased from $353,950,000 on January 9, 1924 to $364,201,000 on January 7, 1925, and time deposits increased from $152,834,000 to $181,578,000 between the same
dates, a combined increase of $38,995,000 in deposits. Total investments in bonds and securities made by
the reporting banks rose during the year from $127,991,000 to $134,469,000; their reserve balance at the
Reserve Bank rose from $37,288,000 to $39,574,000; their total cash in vaults increased from $15,028,000
to $15,461,000; and their rediscounts at the Reserve Bank decreased from $30,870,000 to $13,250,000.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
Between December 15, 1924 a
n
d
x9 25 > outstanding rediscounts for member banks at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richi^ojid.Vfejstfei^ a net decline, dropping from a total of $29,681,000 to $25,484,000, and the lessened
a£tfef.*t3ie holidays caused the volume of Federal Reserve notes
in actual circulation to .tieclitfs ’from $89,136,000 to* $^8^3,000. Member banks increased their reserve de­
posits during the month#
**fr&m $65,168,000 to $6g,58o,tfpQ,*^)ut the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond d&tflhkd f?pgi.$?3a3§^crtC)Jto ^ 1 2 3 , 2 * ^ 2 As a result of the changes enumerated, the
ratio of cash reser^€s/to combirifd*»lfofeVp4
liabilitie^#
d§£lkied from 84.18% on December 15th to
83.03 % on Janua/^>i#
5th.
’
* ..*%#
#
On January*
1924,. rq^scoante hold* fry/Jhe Ffedejral* Reserve Bank of Richmond totaled $45,956,000,
compared with $25,484,00^
} afifiai^.* ^5th» Ifbjs;ye&r, and during the year the circulation of Federal
Reserve notes dropped from*
to *$79,083,000. Member bank reserve deposits rose during the
year from $62,611,000 to $65,586,000, and the cash reserves of the Reserve Bank increased from $112,244,000 to $123,222,000. The reserve ratio of cash to combined note and deposit liabilities increased from
70.0% on January 15th last year to 83.03% on January 15th this year.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
Total deposits in fourteen regularly reporting mutual savings banks in Baltimore amounted to $146,163,741 on December 31, 1924, the highest figure on record. A year ago, on December 31, 1923, deposits in
these banks totaled $140,660,000; on December 31, 1922 deposits amounted to $132,253,796; on December
31, 1921 the total was $124,287,362; and on December 31, 1920 it was $121,238,025.



2




BINDING SLIP

LIBRARY
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF PHILADELPHIA
Date .........................................................................
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DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
TOTAL DEBITS DURING THE FOUR WEEKS EN IN
D G
CITIES
Asheville, N. C..................
Baltimore, Md....................
Charleston, S. C................
Charleston, W . V a...........
Charlotte, N. C..................
Columbia, S. C..................
Cumberland, Md......... ......
Danville, V a.........................
Durham, N. C....................
Greensboro, N. C..............
Greenville, S. C..................
Hagerstown, Md................
Huntington, W . V a.........
Lynchburg, V a..................
Newport News, V a.........
Norfolk, V a.........................
Raleigh, N. C....................
Richmond, V a.....................
Roanoke, V a.........................
Spartanburg, S. C...........
Washington, D. C...........
Wilmington, N. C..............
Winston-Salem, N. C.......
Totals .......................

Jan . 7, 1925
$

21,085,000
369.631.000
30.598.000
41.581.000
47.761.000
19.004.000
8.063.000
11.504.000
20.409.000
24.731.000
24.106.000
9.123.000
29.146.000
21.554.000
7.070.000
71.858.000
25.775.000
125.823.000
28.270.000
15.402.000
208.822.000
21.471.000
30.154.000

$1,212,941,000

Dec. 10, 1924
$

20,373,000
371.900.000
24.121.000
35.567.000
45.030.000
19.739.000
8.425.000
13.484.000
22.373.000
25.655.000
25.210.000
9.137.000
26.384.000
19.210.000
8.538.000
82.468.000
23.799.000
132.778.000
26.040.000
17.504.000
197.434.000
21.469.000
30.598.000

$1,207,236,000

A N N U A L TO TALS*

Ja n . 9, 1924
$

21,412,000
358.200.000
29.383.000
36.085.000
45.011.000
28.495.000
8.487.000
11.798.000
20.450.000
22.282.000
28.300.000
9.611.000
25.079.000
20.442.000
6.757.000
74.160.000
28.599.000
132.393.000
24.154.000
12.404.000
178.721.000
21.657.000
28.342.000

$1,172,222,000

1924
$

286,320,000
4.599.048.000
314.732.000
431.037.000
535.649.000
257.559.000
110.606.000
121.652.000
247.891.000
279.783.000
273.770.000
123.852.000
318.940.000
236.431.000
86,369,000
841.817.000
342.015.000
1.542.397.000
304.889.000
174.181.000
2.426.904.000
245.877.000
392.140.000

$14,493,859,000

1923
$

259,243,000
4.508.542.000
352.698.000
455.846.000
492.377.000
293.327.000
108.912.000
120.445.000
235.817.000
267.789.000
283.354.000
124.549.000
316.948.000
246.291.000
90,727,000
887.150.000
363.621.000
1.572.851.000
290.182.000
142.927.000
2.316.443.000
253.217.000
377.998.000

$14,361,254,000

*Figures shown for 1924 run from December 27, 1923, to December 31, 1924, and those shown for 1923 run
from December 28, 1922, to December 26, 1923, all dates inclusive.

As is our monthly custom, we show in the accompanying table total debits in the clearing house banks
in twenty-three of the chief trade centers of the Fifth Reserve District during three equal periods of four
weeks, ending on January 7, 1925, December 10, 1924, and January 9, 1924, thus affording an opportunity
for comparing the latest four weeks period with (1) the preceding period, and (2) the corresponding period
last year. In addition to the figures for the four weeks period, we show this month total debits for each
reporting center during the years 1924 and 1923.
During the four weeks ending January 7, 1925, aggregate debits in the twenty-three centers amounted
to $1,212,941,000, compared with $1,207,236,000 reported for the four weeks ending December 10, 1924, an
increase of $5,705,000 during the more recent month. Larger debits during the period ending January 7th
than during the corresponding period a month earlier is contrary to seasonal trend, and reflects either an
unusually heavy last minute trade before Christmas or exceptionally large payments of interest, dividends,
insurance premiums, taxes, etc., between December 10th and January 7th.
The four weeks ending January 7, 1925, with total debits of $1,212,941,000, show an increase of $40,719,000 over the total of $1,172,222,000 reported by the same cities during the four weeks ending January
9, 1924, although only eleven cities reported gains while twelve cities reported lower figures this year. Im­
provement is noticed in the centers influenced by conditions in the West Virginia coal fields, while many
of the tobacco and spot cotton centers show decreases.
In comparison with total debits in 1923, debits for 1924 show a total increase of $132,605,000, rising
from $14,361,254,000 in 1923 to $14,493,859,000 in 1924. Twelve of the twenty-three reporting cities showed
larger figures for 1924, Spartanburg, S. C., leading the District in rate of increase with a gain of 21.9%
and Asheville, N. C., coming second with a gain of 10.4%, the chief factor in both these large increases
probably being construction work.

BUSINESS FAILURES IN THE TWELVE FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS
DECEMBER, 1924 AND 1923.
Business failures in the United States during December 1924 numbered 2,040, with liabilities amount­
ing to $45,279,281, compared with 1,841 failures and liabilities amounting to $51,614,730 in December 1923,
an increase of 10.8% in number but a decline of 12.3% in liabilities during the more recent month. In
the Fifth District, December 1924 insolvencies numbered 152 and combined liabilities were $2,771,624, com­
pared with December 1923 insolvencies numbering 98, with liabilities amounting to $7,413,606, an increase
in number of 55.1 % but a decline in liabilities of 62.6%.
Reviewing the year 1924 in comparison with 1923, an increase in both the number of failures and the
total of liabilities is noted. During 1924 there were 20,615 insolvencies in the United States, with combined



3

P er Cent
Increase or
Decrease

Number
City and District
1924
Boston, F ir s t .........................................
New York, Second ..............................
Philadelphia, Third ...........................
Cleveland, Fourth ..............................
Richmond, F ifth ..................................
A tlanta, Sixth .......................................
Chicago, Seventh ................................
St. Louis, Eighth..................................
Minneapolis, N in th ..............................
Kansas City, Tenth..............................
Dallas, Eleventh ..................................
San Francisco, Twelfth.......................
Totals.......................................... ........

1923

182
450
99
173
152
123
304

157
382
109
155
98
94
234
96
93
96
148
179

15.6
— 64.9
11.7

1,841

1 0 .8

100

94
111

52
200

2,040

15.9%
17.8
— 9.2
1 1.6

55.1
30.9
29.9
4.2
1.1

%

Liabilities
1924
$

4,847,858
82107,914
1,812,308
3,678,704
2,771,624
2,445,897
7,962,883
2,133,944
2,032,300
6,667,478
368,159
2,450,212

$ 45,279,281

1923
$

P er Cent of
Increase or
Decrease

2,149,587
18,710,337
2,272,823
3,006,938
7,413,606
1,370,250
5,148,003
1,954,500
2,842,381
2,199,495
2,046,743
2,500,067

125.5%
— 56.7
— 20.3
22.3
— 62.6
78.5
54.7
9.2
— 28.5
203.1
— 82.0
— 2.0

$ 51,614,730

— 12.3%

liabilities of $543,225,449, compared with 18,718 insolvencies and $539,386,806 in liabilities reported in 1923.
The number of failures in 1924 increased about 10 per cent over the number in 1923, but liabilities increased
less than 1 per cent. The average liability per failure dropped from $28,816 in 1923 to $26,351 in 1924.
In the Fifth District, 1924 witnessed a total of 1,440 insolvencies, with liabilities amounting to $73,303,170,
compared with 1,206 insolvencies with liabilities of $36,403,775 in 1923, the great increase in liabilities being
due to one manufacturing failure involving about $40,000,000 of indebtedness. The figures contained in this
section were taken from Dun's Review of January 10th.
LABOR— There is at present a good deal of unemployment in the Fifth District, but it is probably
almost entirely seasonal and appears to be somewhat less extensive than in most years. The volume of con­
struction work continues large, but a great deal of building has been delayed because of unfavorable weather
during the past month or six weeks. Factory work, which is little influenced by severe weather, is going
on unchecked, tobacco manufacturers running full time and textile mills steadily increasing their operations.
Lumber mills are running full time when the weather permits, and the recent cold weather has increased the
demand for coal, with a resulting increase in mining operations. A large amount of road building is either
under way or is projected for the near future, and railroads are making improvements to their tracks,
bridges, etc. Relations between workers and employers seem generally satisfactory throughout the District,
no serious friction being noticeable.
COAL— Xccording to the Geological Survey reports, the recent cold weather swelled the demand for
coal throughout the country, and mine production increased sharply, reaching a daily average output of
2,092,000 tons during the week ending January 10th. From the middle of November the daily output of
the bituminous mines exceeded production during the corresponding period a year earlier. Preliminary es­
timates of annual production during 1924 total 467,700,000 net tons, a daily average of 1,520,000 tons, com­
pared with a total 1923 production of 564,157,000 net tons, a daily average of 1,844,000 tons. Although
considerably behind 1923 in total production, 1924 output exceeded that of either 1922 or 1921.
At retail, coal was plentiful during the entire year 1924, and prices ruled approximately 10 per cent
below the 1923 level. Retail dealers had sufficient stocks on hand during the year to fill all orders promptly,
and consumers did not do much storing of coal, having no fear of a shortage.

TEXTILES — The outlook in the textile field at the beginning of 1925 is much brighter than it was a
year ago, and evidence to support this point of view is not lacking. During the past two or three months
operations in the Southern mills have gradually expanded, stimulated by a broadening of demand for cotton
goods, and lower cotton prices have enabled the mills to operate more profitably. Surplus stocks have been
pretty well cleared out of the way, and the goods needed in 1925 will have to be manufactured. Mill ex­
ecutives state that there is little profit in their current business, except in some special lines, but they are at
least paying expenses and are holding their forces together in anticipation of a larger and more profitable
business a little later in the year. During December the Fifth District mills consumed 207,380 bales of
cotton, compared with 204,764 bales consumed in November 1924 and 182,042 bales used in December 1923.
The Fifth District consumption during December amounted to 39% of national consumption.
COTTON— Spot cotton prices since the week ending December 13th have ruled from a quarter to
half a cent a pound higher than during the first two weeks in December, and fluctuations have moved
through a narrow range. The price paid cotton growers for middling cotton in the Carolinas averaged
22.40 cents per pound during the week ending December 13th, but the following three weeks witnessed a
gradual rise, the price averaging 22.73 cents per pound during the week ending December 20th, 22.86 cents
during the week ending December 27th, and 23.69 cents during the week ending January 3rd. The week
ending January 10th witnessed a decline, however, the average price dropping to 22.97 cents. The week
ending January 17th, the latest period for which figures are available, averaged 23.08 cents per pound.



4

Cotton consumption in American mills increased 8. i per cent during December in comparison with
November, the number of bales used rising from 492,233 bales to 532,047 bales, in spite of the fact that
Christmas holidays usually cut into December consumption quite heavily. In December 1923 American mills
used 463,789 bales, 14.7 per cent less than in December this year. Cotton on hand in consuming estab­
lishments at the end of December totaled 1,319,265 bales, compared with 1,046,612 bales on November 30,
1924, and 1,623,453 bales on December 31, 1923. P*ublic warehouses and compresses held 4,623,863 bales
on December 31, 1924, compared with 4,914,219 bales on November 30, 1924, and 3,526,164 bales on De­
cember 31, 1923. Cotton consumed in the cotton growing states in December amounted to 355,662 bales,
compared with 347,548 bales in November 1924, and 308,466 bales in December 1923. December imports
totaled 48,663 bales, compared with 17,549 bales in November 1924, and 35,601 in December 1923. Exports
in December amounted to 1,075,923 bales, compared with 1,306,550 bales in November 1924, and 845,581
bales in December 1923. Since August 1st a total of 4,344,676 bales has been sent abroad, in comparison
with 3,323,951 bales exported during the corresponding five months of 1923.
TOBACCO— The monthly tobacco sales report issued under the authority of the Virginia Commis­
sioner of Agriculture states that 12,424,116 pounds of Bright tobacco were sold in December, for an average
of $21.68 per hundred pounds, in comparison with 12,230,972 pounds sold in December 1923, for an average
price of $20.04 Per hundred pounds. Danville led the Bright markets in both number of pounds handled and
average price paid, selling 6,353,817 pounds for an average of $23.06 per hundred during the month. Dark
tobacco sales aggregated 8,281,983 pounds, for an average of $20.68 per hundred, compared with 6,281,680
pounds for an average of $17.34 per hundred sold in December 1923. Lynchburg, with sales of 2,373,337
pounds, led the Dark markets in volume of sales, but Drake's Branch led in average price, selling 684,165
pounds at $23.50 per hundred. The total sales for the season to January 1st, including receipts of the To­
bacco Growers Co-operative Association amount to 79,318,732 pounds, compared with sales of 87,852,510
pounds to the corresponding date a year ago. The amount of tobacco that has been marketed is 54.3 per
cent of the estimated crop for the season,while last year 55.1 per cent of the crop was marketed prior to
January 1st. The grades of tobacco sold in December averaged lower than those sold in November, but were
better than those sold in December 1923.
In North Carolina, producers’ sales of tobacco in December totaled 29,327,163 pounds at an average
of $23.60 per hundred pounds, compared with 45,313,838 pounds sold in December 1923, at an average of
$20.28. Winston-Salem led in December sales, selling 5,855,876 pounds, Wilson ranking a close second
with 5,596,690 pounds. The highest prices were paid at Mebane, which averaged $31.54 per hundred, and
Durham, with an average of $27.07. Previous to January 1st the auction warehouses sold 208,385,480
pounds of producers’ tobacco, or approximately 75 per cent of the estimated crop, compared with 64 per
cent of the 1923 crop that was sold previous to January 1, 1924. A number of the North Carolina ware­
houses have closed for the season, and nearly all of the crop is out of the growers’ hands, most of the un­
sold portion of the crop having been delivered to the Tobacco Growers Association.
AGRICULTURAL NOTES— The weather during December and early January was unfavorable for
farm work, and farmers did little except the chores. The rains and snow were beneficial to grain crops,
however, and farmers in the northern part of the District filled ice houses. While the weather was un­
favorable for marketing tobacco, it was very favorable for ordering it, and probably the balance of the
tobacco crop will be marketed quickly when the weather permits. Roads are badly washed and are deep in
mud in many sections of the District, which of course handicaps the farmers in their marketing operations.
In order that our readers may have comparative figures in convenient form for the states comprising the
Fifth Federal Reserve District, we are including a table^herewith showing the yields of the principal crops
in the several states,
reports, and represent the latest estimates that are available, nearly all of them beagricultural departm
ing final estimates.
Crops

Corn (bus.)
Cotton (bales)
Tobacco (lbs.)
I. Potatoes (bus.)
S. Potatoes (bus.)
Oats (bus.)
W heat (bus.)
Hay (tons)
Peanuts (lbs.)
Apples (bus.)




W . V irgin ia

Y rs .

M aryland

1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924
1923
1924

18 ,538,000
25 ,231,000

15 ,260,000
20 , 128,000

21 ,420,000
21 ,384,000
3 ,818,000
3 ,920,000
1 , 170,000
1 ,170,000
2 ,074,000
1 ,758,000
8 ,532,000
11 ,520,000
740,000
405,000

7 ,200,000
7 ,740,000
4 ,944,000
5 ,880,000
360,000
390,000
4 ,704,000
4 ,704,000
2 ,574,000
2 ,964,000
1 ,146,000
915,000

’ i,*749',006
2 ,300,000

*7,410,660

1923

8 ,320,000
5

V irgin ia

N. C arolin a

S. C arolina

3 5 ,679,000
53 ,563,000
30,000
50,000
139 ,100,000
150 ,960,000
19 ,200,000
14 ,136,000
5 ,175,000
5 ,280,000
4 ,394,000
3 ,586,000
9 ,628,000
11 ,145,000
1 ,370,000
1 ,019,000
74 ,100,000
122 ,760,000
15 , 184,000
10 ,000,000

4 4 ,514,000
56 ,868,000
765,000
1 ,020,000
278 ,320,000
386 ,400,000
4 ,500,000
3 ,956,000
10 ,500,000
10 ,500,000
4 ,644,000
5 ,082,000
5 , 544,000
6 ,038,000
829,000
1 ,041,000
152 ,945,000
162 ,800,000
6 ,450,000
2 ,700,000

21 ,862,000
32 ,670,000
750,000
770,000
41 ,360,000
74 ,460,000
3 ,8 8 5 ,0 0 0

3 ,296,000
6 ,230,000
9 ,118,000
7 ,704,000
10 ,728,000
1 ,548,000
1 ,925,000
178,000
353,000
22 ,400,000
30 ,400,000

BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER, 1924 AND 1923.
Permits Issued
New Construction
CITIES

1924

z

1
2

3
4

5
6

7
8

9
10
11
12

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22

23

MR L N
AYA D
Baltimore...............
Cumberland..........
Frederick...............
Hagerstown*
V G IA
IR IN
Lynchburg.............
Norfolk..................
Petersburg...........
Richmond..............
Roanoke.................
W S V G IA
E T IR IN
Bluefield.................
Charleston.............
Clarksburg.............
Huntington...........
Parkersburg..........
N R HC R L A
O T A O IN
Asheville...............
Charlotte................
Durham..................
Greensboro ...........
High P oin t...........
Raleigh...................
Salisbury...............
Wilmington...........
Winston-Salem
S U HC R L A
O T A O IN
Charleston.............
Columbia...............
Greenville..............
Spartanburg.........
D T O C L MIA
IS . F O U B
Washington...........

570
17
8

1924

1923

308
32
7

*15
11

103
0
121

72
17
25
18

0

12

116
62
19
25

17
38
3
62
25

63
5
58
19
7
7

2

12

15
4

26
40
18
36
35
42

22

0

27
3
16

8

79
13

48
3
5
17

41

1923

593 $ 4,623,360 $ 2,971,920
78,280
31,391
6
11,640
10,600
0
*20,080

934
3
*5

14
67

1924

1923

100
10

6
8

10

2

0

*988

28

$ 657,240 $ 1,562,520
43.1%
9,289 — 55,548 — 63.4
0
1,040
9.8

1,305,627
1,125,275

22,525
118,017
5,750
1,015,335
119,635

22,525
60,446
1,225
69,382
10,533

8,130
34,375
8,311
122,544
18,851

23,695
43.6
531,721
348.9
— 12,836 — 91.3
237,130
20.8
997,322
720.2

23,925
49,250
23,660
264,855
15,650

156,355
133,438
11,950
213,715
36,500

5,125
4,200
2,285
12,330
840

0

38,775
725
81,065
1,965

— 127,305 — 81.4
— 118,763 — 69.0
13,270
104.7
— 17,595 — 6.0
— 21,975 — 57.1

21,207
3,100
7,575
12,655
3,400
2,995
300
8,400
20,106

41,811

31,825
623,667
0

2

2

14

17
39

5
48

6

220,000

56

166,840

6

7
45

8

33

51,207
24,775
36,500
45,611

2,600
20,517
1,960

2,075
8,440
4,875
10,410
428,525

25
45

7

$ 568,320
630

2

200,009
240,535
59,100
505,084
79,860
273,366
12,115
346,000
120,050

68

8

1923

397,783
398,812
15,600
130,850
82,615
175,501
7,075

27
29

34
3
4
19
9

1924

5
14
13
14

12
22

0

12

15

16

13,900
49,470
48,810
198,515

356

177

208

296

3,091,559

2,842,555

444,466

Totals......... 1,726

24
25
26
27

Increase or Per Cent
of
Decrease
Increase
Total
or
Valuation
Decrease

Alterations

Repairs

New

1,262

1,553

1,312 $13,127,455

$9,730,787

$1,307,122

15

♦Hagerstown figures not included in totals

0

2,000

63,350
16,051

—
—

6,020

450
775
7,000

—
—
—

10,688

—

177,170
159,377
99,275
377,630
135
95,320
5,515
124,600
56,208

73.3
65.7
— 81.1
— 72.5
0.2

1
2

3
4

5
6

7
8

9
10
11
12

13
14
15
16
17
18
19

— 34.8
— 42.8
— 35.3
43.0

20
21
22

36,782 — 69.0
36,772
110.7
7,435
18.0
144,454
257.9

24
25
26
27

264,945

28

$1,583,740 $ 3,120,050

8.1

23

27.69b

—Denotes decrease

NOTE- The figures in the above table reflect the amount of work provided for in the corporation limits of the several
cities, but take no account of suburban developments.

Permits for new construction issued in twenty-seven reporting cities of the Fifth District during De­
cember totaled 1,726 with estimated valuation of $13,078,645, compared with 2,142 permits and valuation
of $11,236,822 in November 1924, and 1,262 permits and valuation of $9,730,787 in December 1923. A l­
teration and repair permits issued in December totaled 1,553, valued at $1,307,122, compared with 2,168
permits and valuation of $1,381,873 in November 1924, and 1,312 permits and valuation of $1,583,740 in
December 1923. In total valuation for both new work and alterations or repairs, December 1924 showed
$14434,577, compared with $12,618,695 in November 1924, and $11,314,527 in December 1923.
Although 1923 was a record breaking year in construction work, both the number and estimated valu­
ation of permits issued for new work in 1924 exceeded the figures of the previous year. The total number
of permits issued in the reporting cities during 1924 was 25,191, with estimated valuation amounting to
$162,566,001, compared with 23,940 permits and a valuation of $149,399,911 issued during 1923. The vol­
ume of construction work was quite generally scattered throughout the District, only one city, Charleston,
S. C., falling materially behind its 1923 figures. Among the cities reporting increased operations in 1924,
Asheville and Spartanburg stand out in percentage gain, and an enormous amount of work was under­
taken in Baltimore, Richmond and Washington.



6

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated by Reports from Twenty-nine Department Stores in the Fifth Reserve District
for the last Six Months of 1924

Baltimore ..........................................................................................
Richmond .........................................................................................
W ashington.......................................................................................
Other Cities ..................................... -..............................................
D istrict Average ..............................................................
P e rce n ta g e of in crease (o r d e cre a se ) in net sales fro]
during the sam e period in 1 9 2 3 :

Baltimore ..........................................................................................
Richmond .........................................................................................
W ashington.......................................................................................
Other Cities .....................................................................................
District Average ..............................................................

August
— 7.0
— 1.1
— 4.3
— 5.0
— 5.3

Ju ly
4.2
— 5.9
6.6

0.3
3.3
Ju ly

Sept.
6.1

16.2
15.9
2.8

9.8

Oct.
— 1.9
1.7
— 4.6
— 4.9
— 2.8

1st through m onth nam ed,

1924,

Nov.

6.6

2.7
2.5
— 4.8
1.4

14.7
7.9
1.2

7.2

over n et sales

Ju ly
4.2
— 5.9

August
— 1.5
— 3.7

Sept.
1.4
3.1

Oct.
0.3
2.7

Nov.
0.7
2.7

6.6

1.2

6.6

2.6

0.3
3.3

— 2.4
— 0.9

— 0.5
3.0

— 1.9

2.6
2.6
1.1

1.0

Dec.

1.8

—

Dec.
2.2

5.9
4.1
— 1.6
2.8

P e rce n ta g e of in crease (o r d e cre a se ) in n et sales (i ring the m onth nam ed, 1 9 2 4 , over a v erag e sales during
922:
the corresponding months of 1 9 2 0 , 19 2 1 and

Baltimore ..........................................................................................
Richmond .............................................. ..........................................
W ash in gton ......................................................................................
Other Cities ............................................ ........................................
D istrict Average .................. ...........................................

Ju ly
— 0.9
33.3
2.9
— 5.7
3.6

August
— 13.9
22.2

— 4.5
— 4.0
— 5.4

Sept.
0.3
32.1
18.0
2.9
9.7

Oct.
6.7
29.4
3.7
— 7.8
6.3

Nov.
2.1

20.5
4.8
— 7.6
3.6

Dec.
7.8
35.0
15.1
1.2

12.5

of m onth nam ed, 1 9 2 4 , over stocks on sam e d ate in 1 9 2 3 :

Baltimore ................... .......
Richmond ..........................
W ash in gton ........................
Other Cities ......................
D istrict Average

July
— 6.4
8.6

— 2.7
—

2.0
2.8

August
— 6.9
7.1
— 6.5
— 6.3
— 5.6

Sept.
— 5.5
5.8
— 4.1
— 5.0
— 4.1

Oct.
— 2.4
9.0
— 5.4
— 9.9
— 3.4

Nov.
— 2.1

Dec.
1.8

6.2

11.0

— 2.3
— 13.6
— 3.0

— 4.0
— 9.7
— 0.8

P e rce n ta g e of in crease (o r d e cre a se ) in stocks a t close of m onth nam ed, 1 9 2 4 , ov er stocks a t close of preceding
m onth the sam e y e a r:

Baltimore ............................................................... ..........................
Richmond ............................................................ ... ..........................
W ashington............................................................ ..........................
Other Cities .....................................................................................
District Average .................................... ..........................

Ju ly
— 8.0
— 4.7
— 7.1
— 4.7
— 7.0

P e rcen tag e of av erag e stocks a t close of each month since Ju ly
sam e period:

Baltimore ............................................................... ..........................
Richmond .............................................................. ..........................
W ashington............................................................ ..........................
Other Cities ..........................................................._____________
D istrict Average ................................... ..........................

July
470.4
416.5
461.3
586.0
475.1

August
3.3
2.2

— 0.9
— 1.1
1.2

August
501.2
446.3
481.7
589.2
499.6

August

6.8
8.2

8.1

6.8

6.5

12.1

8.9
5.4
9.0

Nov.
— 0.5
3.7
3.9
— 1.9
1.1

Dec.
— 18.3
— 15.5
— 20.4
— 20.4
— 19.0

Sept.
475.5
425.3
452.0
575.0
474.0

Oct.
432.4
404.2
420.9
548.3
438.5

Nov.
404.4
402.1
406.5
533.5
418.5

Dec.
347.9
340.6
334.5
450.2
353.3

1 9 2 4 , to to tal p urchases of m erchandise

Ju ly
5.5

Oct.
9.6

1st, to av e ra g e m onthly net sales during the

P e rce n ta g e of outstanding o rd ers a t th e end of each month nam ed,
during 1 9 2 3 :

Baltimore ............................................................... ..........................
Richmond .............................................................. ..........................
W ashington............................................................ ..........................
Other Cities .....................................................................................
District Average ................................... .

Sept.
15.6
9.6
14.8
10.9
14.2

9.0
6.4
7.9
7.6

Sept.
8.3
10.4
7.1
7.4
8.0

Oct.
5.5
8.4
4.8
5.8
5.6

Nov.
4.6
4.8
4.2
5.3
4.5

Dec.
3.9
1.1
6.2

3.3
4.6

— Denotes Decreased Percentage.

Retail trade in the Fifth District during December was exceptionally good in comparison with earlier
months of the year. Sales in twenty-nine of the District's leading department stores were 7.2% greater
than sales in December 1923, and 12.5% greater than average December sales during 1920, 1921 and 1922.
This increase in business was done on smaller stocks, the selling value of goods on the shelves being 3.0%
smaller on December 1st and 0.8% smaller on December 31st than on the corresponding dates in 1923.
Stocks at the end of December were 19.0% smaller than a month earlier, November 30, 1924. The per­
centage of average stock on hand at the end of each month since July 1st to average monthly sales during
the same period, six months, was 353-3%, in comparison with a corresponding average of 373-7% in the
same stores during the second half of 1923, indicating a more rapid turnover during the fall of 1924 than
during the preceding year. Outstanding orders for merchandise at the end of December amounted to 4.6%
of total 1923 purchases.



WHOLESALE TRADE
December 1924.
Dry Goods

Groceries

Shoes

Hardw are

Drugs

Furniture

13

Number of reporting firms in each line.............

41

15

13

17

Percentage increase (or decrease) in net
sales during Dec. 1924, compared with
sales during Nov. 1924.........................................

— 1.7

— 27.3

— 19.2

— 4.1

— 18.7

— 2.3

Percentage increase (or decrease) in net
sales during Dec. 1924, compared with
sales in Dec. 1923...................................................

4.9

4.1

— 4.6

3.4

18.1

14.5

Percentage increase (or decrease) in cumu­
lative sales from July 1st through Dec.
1924, compared with total sales during
the last six months of 1923...................................

0.3

— 13.6

— 11.8

— 8.2

8.9

2.8

3 .4 (1 1 )

— 7 .2 (8 )

-

1 .0 (5 )

3 .2 (4 )

3 .9 (2 )

9 .8 (9 )

— 1 3 .4 (7 )

-2 1 .1 ( 4 )

4 .3 (3 )

— 2 2 .7 (2 )

Percentage increase (or decrease) in stocks
on hand Dec. 31, 1924, compared with
Nov. 30, 1924............................................................ .
Percentage increase (or decrease) in stocks
on hand Dec. 31, 1924, compared with
Dec. 31, 1923............................................................

-

6

— Denotes decreased percentage.
N O T E : The number of firms reporting stock figures for the dates compared is shown in parenthesis immedi­
ately after the percentage figure.

All lines of wholesale trade reported upon showed lower sales in December 1924 than in November,
but this is a seasonal development. Retailers usually put in their Christmas orders prior to December,
and order as little as possible from then until after January inventories have been taken. In comparison
with December 1923, the volume of business done in December 1924 was greater in groceries, dry goods,
hardware, furniture and drugs, the only line reporting a decrease being shoes. In December 1923 retail trade
was comparatively dull, and retailers did not have to place many last minute or fill-in orders, but in December
1924 retail trade probably exceeded expectations, and a considerably larger volume of fill-in orders had to
be placed with jobbers and wholesalers.
Collections improved slightly in December in comparison with November, but continued distinctly
slower than in 1923. For comparison, we show below the classifications by lines of collections made by
the same firms in December 1924 and December 1923, to which we have added the totals for all months
since and including July.

Lines
Groceries__
Dry Goods .......
Shoes ................
Hardware .........
Furniture ......... ......... ....
Drugs ...............
_
December Totals __
November Totals
..
October Totals . . ......
September Totals
......
August Totals..........
July Totals ..............




Good

Fair

1924-1923
S
IS
1
4
0
1
1
5
1
2

1924-1923
21
25

8

8

4

9
3
9

10

4

4

8

12

31
37
38
24

64
63

23
17

62

16
14
14
16
16

9

9

61
59

59

59
54
5i

69
65
67

December Collections Reported As
Slow
Poor
Total
1924-1923
5
1
5
1
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
0

18
22
21
27
24
22

(Compiled January 20,1925)
8

7
9
10
5

14
14

1924-1923
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
3
1
1
1

0
1
0
3
1
0

1924-1923
37
37
14
14
12
12
15
is

6
13

6
13

97
IOI
99
IOI

97
IOI
99
IOI

103
98

103
98

BUSINESS CONDITION IN THE UNITED STATES.
Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board

Production and employment in December continued the increase which began in the autumn and whole­
sale prices advanced further to the highest level for the year. Railroad shipments of goods continued in
large volume and trade, both at wholesale and retail, was larger than a year ago.

PRODUCTION. The index of production in basic industries advanced about 10 per cent in December
to a point 25 per cent higher than last summer but was still below the level of the opening months of 1924.
Practically all of the 22 industries included in the index shared in the advance and the increases were par­
ticularly large in iron and steel, cotton manufacturing, coal mining, and meat packing. Among the industries
not represented in the index the output of automobiles declined in December and was the smallest for any
month in more than two years. Increased industrial activity was accompanied by an advance of about 2
per cent in factory employment, with larger increases in the metal and textile industries, and by a growth
of nearly 5 per cent in total factory payrolls. Volume of building, as measured by contracts awarded,
was less in December than in November, but continued unusually large for the season of the year.
TRADE. Distribution of goods was greater in December than in the same month of 1923, as indi­
cated by larger railroad shipments and an increase in the volume of wholesale and retail trade. Christmas
trade at department stores was greater thzn in the previous year, and sales by mail order houses and chain
stores were the largest on record. Wholesale trade was seasonally less than in November but in practically
all lines was larger than a year ago. Marketing of agricultural products was greater than for the corres­
ponding month of any recent year.
PRICES. A further advance of more than 2 per cent in the Bureau of Labor Statistics index of
wholesale prices carried the average in December 8 per cent above the low point of June and to the highest
level since April 1923. Prices of all groups of commodities were higher, the principal increases being in
farm products and foods. In the first half of January prices of grains, wool, coal and metals increased
further, while sugar, dairy products, silk, coke and rubber declined.
BANK CREDIT. A t the Federal Reserve banks the rapid return flow of currency after the holiday
trade resulted, during the four weeks ending January 21st, in a reduction of earning assets about equal
to that for the same period a year earlier. The net out-flow of currency from the Reserve banks during
the month preceding Christmas amounted to more than $200,000,000, and the return flow after the Christ­
mas peak, reflected both in the increase in reserves and in the decline of Federal Reserve note circulation,
was in excess of $300,000,000. Fluctuations in the earning assets of the Reserve banks during the past two
months have reflected chiefly these seasonal changes in the demand for currency. The decline in discounts
brought their total on January 21st to a smaller volume than at any time in 1924, and acceptances also
showed a seasonal decrease. Holdings of United States securities, which have declined for more than two
months, were about $175,000,000 below the level of last autumn and in about the same amount as at the
middle of 1924. Net exports of gold, which gave rise to a demand for Reserve bank credit, amounted to
$30,000,000 in December and were in larger volume during the first three weeks in January.
The growth of demand deposits at member banks in leading cities during the three weeks ending in
the middle of January, which has been greater than the increase in their total loans and investments, has
reflected the return of currency from circulation. In the same period there was some increase in com­
mercial loans and a continued growth in loans secured by stocks and bonds. Holdings of investment se­
curities have decreased somewhat since the middle of November, particularly at the banks in New York
city.
Firmer conditions in the money market in December and the first few days in January were followed
later in the month by declines in rates on commercial paper to
per cent.




(See page 10)

9




10

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