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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

C h a ir m a n a n d F e d e r a l R e s e r v e A g e n t

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

JULY 31, 1932

failures in the Fifth district in June
EVELOPMENTS of the past
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
were more numerous than in June,
month in business in the Fifth
1931, and liabilities involved in the
Federal reserve district were chiefly
seasonal. The period between the mid­
failures increased even more than the
dle of June and the middle of July is
number of insolvencies. The district
comparison with the failure record of
normally dull, and this year was no
June 1931 was materially worse than
exception to the rule. Rediscounts for
the comparison of figures for the
member banks at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond rose between June
United States as a whole in both num­
15 and July 15, and on the latter date
ber of bankruptcies and in aggregate
were materially higher than the dis­
libailities involved. Employment con­
ditions showed contrasting tendencies
counts held a year earlier. The Bank's
portfolio of Government securities re­
last month, some additional workers
mained unchanged during the past
being taken on by a few industrial
month, but at the middle of July was
plants, while other plants curtailed op­
erations further, and construction work
about 50 per cent higher than on July
continued to decline. Coal production
15, 1931. Total earning assets of the
Richmond bank rose between June 15 and July 15, and in June continued at a level far below the low level of
were about 55 per cent higher on the latter date than last year. Textile mills restricted operations further
on July 15 last year. There was an unseasonal in­ in June, some mills closing for several weeks, but there
crease in the circulation of Federal reserve notes last has been some increase in operations in July and most
month, and the amount in actual circulation was much of the mills which closed last month are now running
larger than the amount in circulation at the same time part time. Nearly all textile mills are working on
last year. Regularly reporting member banks in the materially restricted schedules, to prevent accumulation
district's leading cities reduced their loans between of goods in their warehouses. Cotton prices rose ap­
June 15 and July 13, and also slightly reduced their in­ proximately a cent a pound last month, but are still
vestments in bonds and securities. Demand deposits much lower than prices at this time last year. Official
declined durng the month under review, but there was acreage figures for this year's cotton crop show a re­
a moderate rise in time deposits. The reporting banks duction of 9.5 per cent for the country as a whole, but
reduced their reserve balances at the reserve bank this reduction appears inadequate to overcome the
more than the decrease in deposits accounted for, and effects on prices of the large surplus stock of cotton on
increased their borrowing at the reserve bank to some hand to be carried over in to the new cotton year.
extent. Debits to individual accounts figures for the Construction work provided for in permits issued and
four weeks ended July 13, 1932, showed a seasonal contracts awarded in June was much lower than the
increase over debits for the preceding four weeks, small amount of work provided for in June last year.
-ended June 15, 1932, but the increase was somewhat Retail trade in June as reflected in department store
smaller than occurs in most years. In comparison with sales showed a decrease of 22.8 per cent in comparison
debits for the four weeks ended July 15, 1931, those with June trade last year, and wholesale trade last
for the corresponding four weeks this year showed a month in five lines was also in materially less volume
decline of 24.6 per cent, not one of the twenty-four than in June 1931. Agricultural developments in June
cities showing higher 1932 figures. Total debits in and the first half of July were favorable on the whole,
twenty-four cities for the first half of 1932 were 21 but prospects for yields of most crops are poorer than
per cent less than debits in the first half of 1931, every a year ago, and the price situation is also fess favorable
city reporting lower figures this year. Commercial at the present time. Acreage planted in money crops




MONTHLY REVIEW

2

are lower this year, and in the case of tobacco the
acreage reduction has been so large that some bene­
ficial effects may be brought about in tobacco prices
next fall. Farmers used less fertilizer this year than
in any other recent year, and in every way the growers
are making the 1932 crops as cheaply as possible.

Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

July 15
1932

Rediscounts held ---------------Open market paper------------Government securities ---------Other earning assets-----------Total earning assets.............
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes....
Members’ reserve deposits-----Cash reserves -------------------Reserve ratio _____________

$29,957
3,659
47,133
0
80,749
91,918
50,487
79,768
51.27

000 omittec
June 15 July 15
1932
1931
$24,537
3,787
47,133
0
75,457
88,324
61,209
84,656
55.55

$17*235
3,160
31,558
220
52,173
68,970
62,211
90,222
66.49

The figures in the accompanying table show the
principal items on the Federal Reserve Bank of Rich­
mond's statement of condition as of July 15, 1932, in
comparison with corresponding figures a month and a
year earlier. The volume of rediscounts for member
banks held by this Bank on July 15, 1932, was more
by $5,420,000 than rediscounts held on June 15 this
year and also showed an increase of $12,722,000 above
the July 15, 1931, figure. An increase in rediscounts
at midsummer is contrary to the course of borrowing
at the reserve bank during the past two years, but is in
line with the seasonal trend developed in earlier years.
There was a slight decrease of $128,000 in open mar­
ket paper in the Bank's portfolio last month, but the
amount held on July 15 was $499,000 above the hold­
ings on July 15 last year. No change occurred in the
Bank's holdings of Government securities between
June 15 and July 15, but on the later date totaled $15,575,000 more than Government securities held on July
15, 1931. These securities were acquired through par­
ticipation in System purchases on the open market.
The changes in the several items resulted in a net in­
crease of $5,292,000 in total earning assets between
June 15 and July 15, and there was an increase of
$28,576,000 in the Bank's earning assets during the
past year. An unusual expansion of Federal reserve
notes in actual circulation occurred last month, the in­
crease amounting to $3,594,000, and on July 15, 1932,
the volume of notes in actual circulation exceeded the
notes of July 15, 1931, by $22,948,000. Between June
15 and July 15, member bank reserve deposits at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond declined by $10,722,000, there having been an unusual and temporary
increase in June, and the year showed a decrease of
$11,724,000, the latter decline being due to lower de­
posits in member banks this year. The cash reserves of
the Richmond reserve bank declined $4,888,000 during
the past month, and on July 15 were $10,454,000 less
than reserves a year earlier. Corresponding declines
also occurred in the ratios of cash reserves to note and
deposit liabilities combined, this ratio falling 4.28 points
last month and 15.22 points during the year.




Member Bank Statement
ITEMS

July 13
1932

ooo omitted
June 15 July 15
1932
1931

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ....... $123,485 $123,955 $156,157
All other loans____________
204,210 211,632 251,029
Total loans and discounts
327,695 335,587 407,186
Investment in stocks and bonds 247,200 247,689 225,623
40,794
44,282
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank....
34,665
13,346
Cash in vaults_____________
11,915
12,840
Demand deposits __________
277,071 288,403 335,436
Time deposits ____________
229,315 226,282 267,209
2,565
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.
7,208
6,315

The accompanying table shows the principal items
of condition reported by all member banks in twelve
leading cities of the Fifth reserve district as of three
dates, July 13 and June 15, 1932, and July 15, 1931,
thus affording opportunity for comparison of the latest
available figures with those of the preceding month
this year and the corresponding month last year.
Forty-nine banks are included in the tabulation.
Between June 15 and July 13, both this year, total
loans and discounts in the reporting banks declined by
$7,892,000, of which $7,422,000 was in “All other
loans," which are chieflly commercial, industrial or
agricultural in character. Investments in bonds and
other securities decreased $9,617,000 during the month,
and the reporting banks also decreased their reserve
deposits at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by
$9,617,000. Cash in vaults rose by $925,000 between
June 15 and July 13. There was a decline of $11,332,000 in demand deposits last month in the forty-nine
reporting banks, but time deposits rose by $3,033,000
leaving a net decrease in deposits amounting to $8,299,000, most of which was due to the decrease in loans
and discounts. The reporting banks increased their
borrowing at the reserve bank by $893,000 between
the middle of June and the middle of July.
Comparison of the July 13, 1932, condition figures
with those for July 15, 1931, shows marked changes
in several items during the year. Loans on stocks and
bonds declined by $32,672,000, and “All other loans"
decreased by $46,819,000, a total decrease in loans and
discounts amounting to $79,491,000, approximately 20
per cent of total loans a year ago. This drop in loans
was naturally accompanied by a decline in deposits, de­
mand deposits decreasing $58,365,000 and time deposits
falling $37,894,000, a total of $96,259,000, or 16 per
cent of aggregate deposits on July 15, 1931. Lower
deposits brought a corresponding decline in reserve bal­
ances carried by the reporting banks at the reserve bank,
this item declining $6,129,000 during the year. Cash
in vaults also dropped $506,000 between July 15, 1931,
and July 13, 1932. The forty-nine banks increased
their investments in bonds and securities by $21,577,000
during the year under review, and also increased their
borrowing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
by $4,643,000.

3

MONTHLY REVIEW

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in forty-nine regularly reporting mem­
ber banks and aggregate deposits in twelve mutual sav­
ings banks in Baltimore totaled $442,717,818 at the end

of June 1932, an increase over time and savings de­
posits totaling $439,403,447 at the end of May this
year, but materially less than $477,133,547 in deposits
at the end of June last year.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
CITIES
Asheville, N. C-------------Baltimore, Md........... .........
Charleston, S. C------------Charleston, W. Va---------Charlotte, N. C-------------Columbia, S. C-------------Cumberland, Md. ----------Danville, Va........................
Durham, N. C__________
Greensboro, N. C._______
Greenville, S. C-------------Hagerstown, Md------- -------Huntington, W. Va.-------Lynchburg, Va.....................
Newport News, Va______
Norfolk, Va........................
Portsmouth, Va..................
Raleigh, N. C._________
Richmond, Va.....................
Roanoke, Va.......................
Spartanburg, S. C._______
Washington, D. C_______
Wilmington, N. C______
Winston-Salem, N. C.____
District Totals

Total Debits During the Four Weeks Ended’
July 15, 1931
July 13, 1932
June 15, 1932

$

6.541.000
259,227,000
8.671.000
30.497.000
28.585.000
12.336.000
6.985.000
4.482.000
12.127.000
9.847.000
7.769.000
6.332.000
9.738.000
11.659.000
6.394.000
33.850.000
3.231.000
14.543.000
106.738.000
16.790.000
4.980.000
195.842.000
6.508.000
25.702.000

$ 829,374,000

$

6,900,000
244,559,000
10.158.000
27.935.000
29.254.000
11.342.000
4.771.000
3.923.000
13.788.000
8.958.000
7.269.000
5.049.000
9.568.000
11.358.000
7.094.000
32.925.000
3.189.000
11.882.000
89.859.000
16.347.000
5.010.000
177,531,000
6.910.000
21.152.000

$ 766,731,000

The accompanying table of debits to individual ac­
counts shows aggregate figures for all checks drawn
against depositors’ accounts in the banks of twentyfour cities of the Fifth reserve dstrict during three
equal periods of four weeks, ended July 13, 1932,
June 15, 1932, and July 15, 1931. In addition, the
table also shows figures for the half-year ended June
30, 1932, with comparative figures for the first half
of 1931.
During the four weeks ended July 13, 1932, aggre­
gate debits to individual accounts in the twenty-four
reporting cities totaled $829,374,000, an increase of
$62,643,000, or 8.2 per cent, over debits totaling $766,731,000 during the preceding four weeks, ended June
15, 1932. This increase was seasonal, and was caused
chiefly by quarterly and semi-annual payments on and
around July 1. The rise during the later period was
somewhat larger than the rise for the corresponding
period last year, but was rather less than occurs in most
years. Seventeen of the twenty-four cities reported
higher figures for the four weeks ended July 13, while
seven cities failed to register the usual gain.
A comparison of the figures for the four weeks
ended July 13, 1932, with corresponding figures for
the four weeks ended July 15, 1931, shows a general
decline averaging 24.6 per cent, every one of the re­
porting cities sharing in the decline in debits this year.
Total debits in the first half of 1932 amounted to
$5,481,511,000 in the twenty-four reporting Fifth dis­
trict cities, compared with debits aggregating $6,972,-




Semi-Annual Totals
1932
1931

10,325,000
353,769,000
19.562.000
35.847.000
39.591.000
21.242.000
8.959.000
7.345.000
26.394.000
15.815.000
14.508.000
8.535.000
14.776.000
18.696.000
9.674.000
45.437.000
4.519.000
23.734.000
117.385.000
24.228.000
8.573.000
228,600,000
10.849.000
31.692.000

$ 52,989,000
1.743.860.000
68.827.000
188.723.000
211.652.000
93.811.000
35.411.000
29.463.000
89.894.000
63.855.000
64.963.000
36.104.000
69.750.000
79.136.000
47.130.000
220.353.000
22.375.000
90.387.000
653.944.000
123.507.000
40.061.000
1.236.015.000
49.457.000
169.844.000

$ 70,626,000
2.272.463.000
109.638.000
237.655.000
259.904.000
141.863.000
47.210.000
38.329.000
143.300.000
112.317.000
96.632.000
51.213.000
101.330.000
102.415.000
64.619.000
292.707.000
27.311.000
120.007.000
743.073.000
158.384.000
58.280.000
1.443.395.000
73.096.000
206.505.000

$1,100,055,000

$5,481,511,000

$6,972,272,000

$

272,000 in the first half of 1931, a decline of $1,490,761,000, or 21 per cent, this year. In comparison with
semi-annual debits in other years, totals for 1932 were
the lowest for any year since this Bank began tabu­
lating debits figures in 1924, and were 34 per cent be­
low the total for the first half of 1929, the highest year
on the reserve bank’s record. Every one of the twentyfour reporting cities show lower debits figures for the
past six months than for the corresponding six months
of 1931.

Commercial Failures
The business failure record of the Fifth Federal re­
serve district in June in comparison with June 1931
was worse than the average for the United States.
Bankruptcies numbering 179 were reported in the dis­
trict last month, compared with 112 bankruptcies in
June last year, an increase of 59.8 per cent. The
National increase was only 34.9 per cent. In aggregate
liabilities involved in the failures, the Fifth district
with $6,996,072 showed an increase of 192.3 per cent
over liabilities totaling $2,393,591 reported in June
1931. The National increase in liabilities last month
was 48.9 per cent. The Atlanta, St. Louis and San
Francisco districts reported fewer failures and lower
liabilities in June 1932 than in June 1931, and the
Cleveland district reported lower liabilities, but the
other districts reported more failures and greater liabil­
ities.

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

Insolvencies in the Fifth reserve district in the first
half of 1932 numbered 1,028, compared with 948 in­
solvencies in the first half of 1931, an increase of only
8.4 per cent, but the aggregate liabilities involved in
the 1932 failures totaled $34,231,681, an increase of
71.3 per cent over liabilities totaling $19,986,263 in­
volved in failures in the January-June figures last year.
The continued depression seems to be reaching larger
firms than those first affected when the slump began,
and these larger failures naturally swell the liability
total.

Employment
Employment conditions in the Fifth reserve district
show no improvement, but on the contrary appear to
have grown slowly worse. A few industrial plants are
speeding up operations to some extent after the vaca­
tion and inventory period, but the workers taken on
are in most cases people who have been idle only a few
weeks, and there as yet is no relief in sight for workers
who have been out of work many months. Building
tradesmen continue almost entirely idle, and unless the
new relief bill passed by Congress speeds up road
work and other governmental projects there is no build­
ing revival in sight at present. Textile mills are oper­
ating on about half time, and coal production is at very
low level. Exhaustion of savings by the unemployed
is increasing the, need for help from public and private
funds, and unless there is material improvement in
employment before next winter the relief problem will
be quite serious in many towns and cities.

Coal Production
Total production of bituminous coal in the United
States in June 1932 amounted to 17,712,000 net tons,
compared with 18,384,000 tons mined in May 1932
and 29,185,000 tons in June last year. Daily average
production in June this year of 681,000 tons compared
with an average of 727,000 tons in May 1932 and 1,123,000 tons in June 1931. Total production of soft
coal during the present calendar year to July 9 amount­
ed to 149,182,000 net tons, the lowest figure for the
corresponding period of recent years. Tidewater ship­
ments of coal through Hampton Roads totaled 9,030,009 tons during the first half of this year, compared
with 10,820,790 tons shipped in the corresponding
period in 1931.
The June 25 report of the Bureau of Mines, Depart­
ment of Commerce, gave coal production figures by
states for the month of May 1932. West Virginia
with 6,115,000 tons was in first place, Pennsylvania
ranking second with 5,407,000 tons. The states of
West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland mined a total
of 6,740,000 tons of bituminous coal in May, 36.7
per cent of total National production.

Textiles
A considerable number of textile mills in the Fifth
reserve district were closed a part of June for vaca­
tion, to overhaul machinery, or to prevent the accumu­




lation of manufactured goods, and consequently cotton
consumption declined sharply last month. Fifth dis­
trict mills consumed only 144,892 bales last month,
compared with 158,464 bales used in May 1932 and
204,769 bales in June 1931. Last month North Caro­
lina mills used 77,752 bales, South Carolina mills used
61,182 bales, and Virginia mills used 6,958 bales. June
1932 consumption in Virginia and the Carolinas was
45.2 per cent of National consumption, a lower per­
centage than 47.7 per cent of National consumption in
May 1932 but slightly higher than 45.1 per cent in
June 1931. On June 21, the Department of Commerce
issued a report on spindles in place, spindles active in
May, total spindle hours of operation in May, and
average hours of operation per spindle in place in
May. On May 31, 1932, there were 31,737,174 spin­
dles in place in the United States, North Carolina lead­
ing with 6,193,474, or 19.5 per cent of the total, Massa­
chusetts ranking second with 6,168,048 spindles, or
19.4 per cent, and South Carolina third with 5,687,944
spindles, or 17.9 per cent. The Fifth district as a
whole had 39.6 per cent of total spindles in place in
the United States at the end of May 1932. In actual
spindle hours of operation, South Carolina led all
states for May with 1,265,480,511 hours, or 27.6 per
cent of the National total of 4,577,485,125 hours, and
North Carolina ranked second with 1,008,174,324 hours,
or 22.0 per cent, while Massachusetts had only 349,417,637 hours, or 7.6 per cent. The Fifth district, with
39.6 per cent of total spindles in the United States in
place in May, showed 52.4 per cent of total hours of
operation. In actual hours of operation per spindle in
place, the Fifth district states did not compare quite
so favorably with others, South Carolina with an aver­
age of 222 hours of operation per spindle ranking third,
Virginia with 184 hours ranking fifth, and North Carolna with 163 hours ranking sixth. The average hours
of operation for the United States was 144, consider­
ably lower than the average in any Fifth district state.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices ruled slightly higher during the
past month than in the preceding one. In our June 30
Review we quoted the average price paid for middling
inch upland cotton on ten Southern markets at 4.99
cents per pound on June 17. From that figure the
average price advanced to 5.00 cents on June 24, to 5.43
cents on July 1, and to 5.73 cents on July 8, but after
that date the price declined to 5.53 cents on July 15,
the latest date for which official quotations are avail­
able.
Consumption of cotton in the United States in June
1932 totaled 320,783 bales, compared with 332,439
bales used in May this year and 453,901 bales in June
1931. Total consumption for the eleven months of
the present cotton year—August 1 to June 30—amount­
ed to 4,590,447 bales, compared with 4,812,090 bales
consumed in the corresponding period of the 19301931 season. Manufacturing establishments held 1,322,793 bales on June 30, compared with 1,463,389
bales held on May 31 and 1,131,191 bales on June 30,
1931. Public warehouses and compresses held 7,154,-

MONTHLY REVIEW
241 bales in storage at the end of June this year, com­
pared with 7,608,604 bales so held a month earlier and
4,970,584 bales on June 30 last year. June exports
totaled 360,205 bales, compared with 500,871 bales
sent abroad in May 1932 and 255,403 bales exported in
June 1931. Exports during the eleven months of this
cotton year totaled 8,258,072 bales compared with 6,500,868 bales shipped over seas during the correspond­
ing eleven months ended June 30,1931. Spindles active
at some tmie during June numbered 20,561,914, com­
pared with 21,639,352 in May this year and 25,898,026
in June 1931.
Cotton consumption in the cotton growing states
totaled 274,687 bales in June, compared with 287,655
bales used in May and 356,674 bales in June 1931.
Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
amounted to 85.63 per cent of National consumption, a
lower percentage than 86.53 per cent in May this year
but higher than 78.58 per cent in June 1931. Of the
274,687 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton grow­
ing states in June, the Fifth district mills used 144,892
bales, or 52.75 per cent, a lower percentage than 57.22
per cent of Southern consumption attained by Fifth
district mills in June last year.
On July 8, the Department of Agriculture issued its
first cotton acreage report of the season, and estimated
the area in cultivation as 9.5 per cent less than the
acreage in 1931. Every one of the cotton growing
states except Missouri and Virginia decreased acreage
this year. In the Fifth reserve' district, South Carolina
showed a reduction of 10 per cent and North Carolina
reported a reduction of 6 per cent, but Virginia, an
unimportant factor in cotton production, planted 8 per
centj more than last year. Heavy producing states out­
side the Fifth district reported the following reductions
in acreage: Georgia, 14% ; Oklahoma, 11 % ; AlabamaLouisiana and Texas, 10% each; Mississippi, 8 % ;
Tennessee, 5% ; and Arkansas, 3% . No official con­
dition figures are yet available, but on the whole the
weather has been only moderately favorable for cotton
development, weevils are more numerous in parts of
the belt than in several years, and a great deal of cotton
was planted with relatively little fertilizer.

Agricultural Notes
Farm crops have advanced far enough to give some
indication of probable production for this year. On
the whole, acreages in the Fifth district are lower for
cash crops and higher for feed and food stuffs.
Maryland acreage figures are about 2 per cent lower
this year than in 1931. Notable decreases in the acre­
ages of corn, wheat, tobacco and sweet potatoes are re­
ported, but these are partially offset by increased acre­
ages of hay, barley and potatoes. The wheat crop suf­
fered severe losses from insects and diseases during
June and the crop is now estimated at 5,890,000 bushels.
Corn has not grown well this spring and prospects are
for a yield per acre about two bushels below average.
Tobacco was reported 10 per cent below last year’s
acreage on June 1, but later reports indicate serious
insect and disease injury and the acreage will probably
be further reduced. A considerable proportion of the




5

tobacco crop was planted late, and in addition plants
have been attacked by insects. About average yields of
Irish potatoes are expected, and better than average
yields of sweet potatoes. Hay crops promise an aver­
age production this year. A good yield of grapes is in
prospect, but other fruits are spotted and production of
apples, peaches and pears will all be considerably lower
than last year.
Virginia farmers have made some drastic readjust­
ments of crop acreages to the low prices of cash crops
and to the necessity of producing food and feed sup­
plies. The acreage of such cash crops as wheat, pota­
toes, tobacco and peanuts has been reduced, but the
acreage of some feed crops, barley and hay, has been
increased. While no definite statistics of acreage plant­
ed to vegetables are available, there is a noticeable in­
crease in the number and size of farm gardens through­
out the state. Crop prospects on July 1 in Virginia
were slightly better than on June 1, but considerably
below the unusually favorable outlook on July 1 last
year. During the first half of June weather conditions
were too dry and cool for proper growth of crops, but
general rains and hot weather after the 15th caused
rapid improvement. While the growth of all cultivated
crops on July 1 was more backward than usual, fields
have been well cultivated and the crops are unusually
clean, and generally have a good color. The dry weather
in June probably caused corn, cotton, peanuts, tobacco,
soybeans and cowpeas to develop good root systems.
Early threshing reports indicate that the wheat crop
will not yield as well as had been expected, and the
crop is now estimated at 7,371,000 bushels, compared
with the unusually large crop of 13,266,000 bushels
harvested last year. The average production for the
five years was 8,643,000 bushels. The acreage planted
to corn is estimated about 2 per cent less than last year,
and the stand is poor and growth backward, but the
fields are well cultivated and plants have excellent color.
A total production of 35,250,000 bushels is indicated by
the July 1 condition, compared with last year’s large
crop of 43,061,000 bushels. This year’s acreages of
oats and rye are smaller than those of 1931, but the
barley acreage shows an increase of about 15 per
cent. A crop of 941,000 tons of hay is expected this
year on an acreage 4 per cent greater than the 1931
acreage. Considerable hay was carried over from last
year, so an abundant supply of hay feed is assured for
this year. Pastures during June declined in all dis­
tricts except the Southwest, but the late June rains
caused considerable improvement and there is sufficient
grazing for all livestock. Produuction of Irish pota­
toes will be considerably less than last year as a result
of a much smaller acreage planted and poor yields.
The early commercial acreage was reduced nearly 25
per cent. Production of all Irish potatoes, including
early commercial, is estimated to be 10,058,000 bushels,
compared with 14,278,000 bushels harvested last year
and the five-year average of 15,357,000 bushels. The
total sweet potato acreage is estimated to be the same
as last year, but there has been a slight decrease in the
commercial acreage and an increase in the farm crop.
The July 1 condition indicates a production of 4,750,000

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

bushels, which is about the same as the crop harvested last year. Apples are expected to yield 1,752,000 bush­
last year. The peanut acreage planted this year is about els in 1932, only about one-third the size of last year’s
10 per cent less than the acreage harvested last year yield.
and about the average of the previous five years. Low
South Carolina total acreage is about 2.5 per cent
prices received for last year’s crops is the reason for
the reduced acreage this year. Virginia tobacco grow­ less than the acreage planted last year, for the second
ers this year have planted the smallest acreage since year in succession acreage reduction in cash crops more
1870. Low prices, shortage of plants, and unfavorable than offsetting increases in food and feed crops. Com­
weather conditions caused a reduction of nearly 36 per pared with last July, cotton has been reduced in acre­
cent in this year’s acreage. Prospects for the crop on age 10 per cent; tobacco 35 per cent, soybeans grown
July 1 were poor because growth was backward, plants alone 24 per cent, and Irish potatoes 28 per cent.
were quite irregular in size as a result of considerable There is evidence of some shift in acreage from tobacco
replanting, and fertilizer used under the tobacco was to cotton and from soybeans to cowpeas. The decrease
reduced about 15 per cent. Fields have been well cul­ in total Irish potato acreage is entirely due to a marked
tivated, and as the greater part of the growing season reduction in the early commercial crop, since potatoes
still remains, considerable improvement may be shown grown for home use show a slight increase. Crops with
later, the outcome depending largely on weather con­ acreage increases are corn 2 per cent, oats 3 per cent,
ditions in July and August. Total production of to­ peanuts 6 per cent, tame hay and sorghum sirup 11
bacco in Virginia this year is forecast at 60,916,000 per cent each, rye 12 per cent, sweet potatoes 13 per
pounds, compared with 97,920,000 pounds harvested cent, cowpeas grown alone 20 per cent, and wheat 40
last year and 126,860,000 pounds the average produc­ per cent. The average condition of field crops on July
tion for the five years 1924-1928. Fruit prospects de­ 1 was about normal for recent years and gives promise
clined during June because of a heavy drop and pro­ of fair to good yields. Tree fruits are unusually short,
duction is expected to be lower than last year’s large peaches, apples and pears being reported as about onecrops and even lower than the five-year average. The third of a full crop, whereas the usual production is
apple crop is now estimated at 9,450,000 bushels, com­ about two-thirds of a full crop. Small grains har­
pared with 21,117,000 bushels last year. No estimate vested this summer were below last year’s excellent
of the commercial crop of apples as distinguished from yields but due largely to increased acreage the total
outturn was about 10 per cent above the average of the
the total farm crop will be made until August.
years 1924-1928. The July 1 condition of the corn
North Carolina crop acreages for this year are be­ crop indicated a production of 23,780,000 bushels, com­
tween 1 and 2 per cent less than last year, all crops pared with 22,994,000 bushels last year and an average
considered. Cash crops have been somewhat reduced, five-year production of 20,227,000 bushels. The oat
while food and feed crops have been increased. The crop is estimated at 7,974,000 bushels, which is 16 per
corn crop, on an acreage 1 per cent larger, shows a cent less than the unusually good crop of 1931 but
probable production of 43,808,000 bushels, which is about 9 per cent above the five-year average. The
9 per cent less than the 1931 yield. The corn crop is 1932 wheat crop yielded 703,000 bushels, only about
irregular in stand and growth. Wheat acreage was in­ 2 per cent more than production last year although this
creased 10 per cent, but the crop was not nearly as year’s acreage was 40 per cent greater. With a re­
good as that of 1931 and this year’s forecast of 3,515,- duction of 35 per cent in the tobacco acreage, indicated
000 bushels is 20 per cent less than last year’s. An production is only 38,400,000 pounds, which will be
oat crop of 3,978,000 bushels this year is 12 per cent the smallest production in South Carolina since 1916,
less than last year. The North Carolina tobacco crop when only 20,280,000 pounds were harvested. A sweet
was reduced about 32 per cent this year, and the indi­ potato acreage 13 per cent larger than last year and
cated production of 281,792,000 pounds for 1932 is favorable weather combine to indicate a crop of 4,42 per cent less than the 1931 crop. Peanut acreage 800.000 bushels for 1932, which is 51 per cent above
is the same this year as last, but no forecast of prob­ the short crop of 1931. Hay prospects are for about
able production has been made. A hay yield of 662,000 202.000 tons this year, compared with 178,000 tons cut
tons is a little over 2 per cent less than the crop of and cured last year.




7

MONTHLY REVIEW

Baltimore, Md........... 1,170
Cumberland, Md........
8
Frederick, Md............
12
Hagerstown, Md........
12
Salisbury, Md.............
22
Danville, Va...............
23
Lynchburg, Va...........
32
Norfolk, Va............... 103
Petersburg, Va...........
2
Portsmouth, Va..........
30
Richmond, V a._____ 113
Roanoke, Va..............
39
Bluefield, W. Va,
..
1
Charleston, W. Va,
102
Clarksburg, W. Va.....
19
Huntington, W. Va....
24
Asheville, N. C____
21
Charlotte, N. C_____
33
Durham, N. C_____
12
Greensboro, N. C
38
High Point, N. C.
4
Raleigh, N. C...........
5
Rocky Mount, N. G...
2
Salisbury, N. C..........
2
Wilmington, N. C.. .
11
Winston-Salem, N. C..
45
Charleston, S. C.___
46
Columbia, S. C____
36♦
Greenville, S. C.____
20
Rock Hill, S. Gr. ...
9
Spartanburg, S. C---16
Washington, D. C...... 528
Totals ................... 2,504
♦Not included in totals.

1

CO
CO

CITIES

Permits
1932

1i
—

Construction
Building Permits Issued in June 1932 and 1931
1931

Total Valuation
1931
1932

1,611 $ 963,720
6,235
13
5,123
10
12,450
21
16,750
19
21,695
20
368,585
44
121,280
145
400
9
17,735
29
175,427
146
17,191
28
75
11
25,062
39
7,493
42
5,250
14
3,062
21
31,716
55
23,250
18
8,857
43
6,600
17
1,175
17
800
9
4,500
4
3,700
26
38,825
87
21,125
32
85,679st
*
8,310
31
10,975
16
3,115
25
649 1,403,340
3,251 $3,333,821

$2,423,880
8,560
10,005
36,350
72,300
11,835
128,435
199,431
9,025
12,795
252,603
60,187
28,955
120,025
65,297
69,300
6,755
151,065
25,650
32,054
32,765
23,575
3,735
17,800
62,300
126,665
26,795
36^215
7,500
28,610
2,495,100
$6,585,567

Building permits issued in June in thirty-one lead­
ing cities of the Fifth reserve district numbered 2,504,
compared with 3,251 permits issued in June 1931, and
estimated valuation figures for last month totaled only
$3,333,821, a decrease of 49.4 per cent under valu­
ation of $6,585,567 in June 1931. Only four of the
thirty-one reporting cities showed higher valuation
figures for June 1932. Lynchburg made the best rec­
ord for the month, not only reporting the largest in­
crease over June 1931 figures, but also reporting the
highest total valuation among the thirty-one cities ex­
cept for Baltimore and Washington, which are of
course much larger cities.
Contracts actually awarded in June for construction
work in the Fifth reserve district totaled only $7,784,987, compared with $23,635,727 reported for June
1931, according to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge
Corporation. Of the June 1932 awards, $2,663,497
represented residential types of construction, compared
with $6,730,982 for this class of work in June last
year.




Retail Trade, 33 Department Stores

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

June 1932 sales, compared with sales in June 1931:
—24.1
—24.6
—19.0
—30.8
—22.8
Total sales first half of 1932, compared with first half of 1931:
—14.1
—19.9
—14.9
—25.4
—18.4
June 30, 1932 stocks, compared with stocks on June 30, 1931:
— 3.3
—11.6
— 8.8
—19.4
—112
June 30, 1932 stocks, compared with stocks on May 31, 1932:
— 5.3
— 1.8
— 4.2
— 4.3
— 3.1
Number of times stock was turned in June 1932:
.332
.303
.33
.191
.299
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1932:
1.841
1.777
1.859
1.244
1.744
Percentage of June 1, 1932, receivables collected in June:
28.9
22.1
29.4
24.4
25.6

W holesale Trade, 62 Firms
22

9

Groceries Dry Goods

6

Shoes

13

Hardware

12

Drugs

June 1932 sales, compared with sales in June 1931:
—15.0
—32.0
—29.1
—21.7
—12.3
June 1932 sales, compared with sales in May 1932:
+ 6.0
—13.3
—29.6
— 5.1
+ 6.4
Jan.-June 1932 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-June 1931:
—15.7
—27.4
—14.5
—18.8
—162
June 30, 1932 stocks, compared with June 30, 1931 stocks :
____
— 7.0(8*) —20.1(4*) —25.6(5*) — 8.4(7*)
June 30, 1932 stocks, compared with May 31, 1932 stocks:
— .4(8*) —15.7(4*) -5 .7 (5 * ) — 4.8(7*)
____
Percentage of June 1, 1932, receivables collected in June:
57.5(13*) 28.4(6*)
32.5(6*)
27.7(11*) 45.8(8*)
♦Number of reporting firms.

(Compiled July 21, 1932)

8

MONTHLY REVIEW

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

Industrial activity decreased further from May to
June by somewhat more than the usual seasonal
amount and there was a considerable reduction in fac­
tory employment and payrolls. The general level of
commodity prices advanced between the middle of June
and the middle of July, reflecting chieflly a rise in the
prices of livestock and meats.

Production and Employment
Volume of industrial production, as measured by
the Board’s seasonally adjusted index, declined from
60 per cent of the 1923-1925 average in May to 59 per
cent in June. There were large decreases in output in
the steel, coal, and meat-packing industries, while at
automobile factories daily average production showed
a smaller decline than is usual at this season, and at
woolen mills activity increased contrary to seasonal
tendency. Consumption of cotton by domestic mills
showed the usual seasonal decline.

W holesale Prices
The level of prices in wholesale markets, after de­
clining steadily during May, was relatively stable early
in June, and after the middle of the month there was an
advance which continued through the second week in
July. Prices of several leading commodities, including
livestock and meats, cotton, and sugar, increased con­
siderably during June and the first half of July, but
later showed some recession. Prices of wheat declined
to unusually low levels and markets for copper and
lead continued weak.

Bank Credit

Volume of reserve bank credit continued to increase
between the middle of June and the middle of July,
reflecting principally further purchases of United
States Government securities by the reserve banks. In
addition, member banks obtained reserve bank funds
through an increase in the monetary stock of gold and
a decline in deposits held with the reserve banks by
At manufacturing establishments there was a fur­ foreign central banks. Funds released from these
ther reduction of 3.6 per cent in number of employees sources were absorbed by an increase in the demand
and of 7.8 per cent in earnings between the middle of for currency which also caused the member banks to
May and the middle of June. Decreases in employ­ draw on their balances with the reserve banks and to
ment were general, with the exception of the automo­ increase their discounts somewhat. The demand for
bile and tobacco industries and of seasonally active in­ currency which for the period amounted to $270,000,dustries, such as vegetable and fruit canning and the 000, was caused by banking disturbances, largely in the
manufacture of ice cream. The largest decreases were Chicago district, by seasonal requirements at the turn
in the steel, textile, chemical and machinery industries of the month and the Fourth of July holiday, and by
increased use of cash to avoid the tax on checks.
and at railway repair shops.
Loans and investments of reporting member
Daily average value of building contracts awarded, after fluctuating widely during June, declined banks,
in the
as reported by the F. W. Corporation, declined in June
first two weeks of July, and on July 13 totaled $18,but increased in the first half of July.
475,000,000, about $540,000,000 less than on June 1.
Department of Agriculture estimates as of July 1 There was a further decline in loans, while the banks’
indicate a corn crop of 3,000,000,000 bushels, the larg­ investments in United States Government securities,
est since 1923; a winter wheat crop of 432,000,000 after increasing substantially during the period of
bushels, 45 per cent smaller than last year and 21 per Treasury financing in mid-June, declined gradually, but
cent less than the five-year average; a spring wheat on July 13 were still $90,000,000 larger than six weeks
crop of 305,000,000 bushels, three times as large as earlier.
last year and slightly larger than the average; and a
Money rates in the open-market declined further dur­
tobacco crop one-fifth smaller than usual.
ing June and the first half of July. At the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York buying rates for bankers’
Distribution
acceptances maturing within 90 days were reduced from
2y2 to 1 per cent on June 24. On the same day the
Volume of railroad freight traffic declined somewhat bank lowered its discount rate from 3 per cent to 2J4
further in June and value of merchandise sold by de­ per cent, and on the following day the rate at the Chi­
partment stores decreased by more than the usual sea­ cago bank was reduced from ZV2 per cent to 2y2 per
cent.
sonal amount.




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