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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, V I R G I N I A ___________________________________________________ JULY 31, 1934
HANGES in business in the
reserve
the first
CJune and district betweenJuly Fifth
of
the middle of
were

4
chiefly seasonal in character. Some re­
cession in the volume of trade was
noted in nearly ^all lines, but this is a
normal development. There was a
further decline in rediscounts at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
during the past month, and on July 15
rediscounts totaled only about 6 per
cent of the small volume of rediscounts
outstanding a year ago. No changes
occurred in the reserve bank’s port­
folios of open market paper or Gov­
ernment securities last month. There
was a decrease in the circulation of
Federal reserve notes of somewhat less than seasonal
average between June 15 and July 15. Regularly re­
porting member banks in the district’s leading cities
reduced their loans between June 13 and July 11, but
increased their investments in bonds and other securi­
ties. Demand deposits rose appreciably during the
month under review, and time deposits also registered a
small (increase. Debits to individual accounts figures
for four weeks ended July 11, 1934, showed somewhat
more than the normal seasonal increase over debits in
the preceding four weeks, ended June 13,1934, and also
exceeded debits in four weeks ended July 12, 1933, by
18 per cent. Total debits in twenty-three cities for
the first half of 1934 were 22.4 per cent greater than
debits in the same cities in the first half of 1933, every
city reporting higher figures for the 1934 period. Com­
mercial failures in the Fifth district in June were less
numerous than in any other month since August 1920,
and liabilities involved were the lowest since June 1920.
The June record in the district was better than the
National record in both number of insolvencies and in
liabilities involved. During the first half of 1934, the
number of bankruptcies in the Fifth district declined
47.9 per cent in comparison with the first half of 1933,
and aggregate liabilities involved declined by 69.8 per
cent. Employment conditions showed little net change




during June and early July, but there
was a considerable amount of unrest
and dissatisfaction in labor circles,
which was indicated by a number of
strikes, especially in the textile field.
However, most of the strikes were of
short duration and were local in char­
acter. Coal production in June was
below the May level, but considerably
above the level of June 1933. Textile
mills curtailed operations about 25 per
cent in June, to prevent accumulation
of manufactured products during the
dull season, but prices for textile pro­
ducts have recently advanced. Cotton
prices rose between the middle of June
and the middle of July, stimulated by
acreage reduction and unfavorable weather for growing
cotton over much of the belt. Official acreage figures
show a reduction under the acreage harvested in 1933,
and a very marked reduction under the acreage planted
last year, before the Department of Agriculture’s ad­
justment of acreage was made. Construction work
continues to lag far behind other business in the Fifth
district. Retail trade in June showed a seasonal de­
cline in comparison with May trade, but averaged 20
per cent above the volume of trade done in June last
year, and wholesale trade was about at seasonal levels
in comparison with business done in recent months.
Agricultural prospects are quite varied in the district,
some crops having excellent prospects while others ap­
pear to be backward, but it is too early in the season
to estimate accurately probable production this year for
most crops. Generally speaking, acreage planted in
money crops has been reduced, while acreage in food
and feed crops has been materially increased.

FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT

Reserve Bank Statement
The figures in the accompanying table show the prin­
cipal items on the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s
statement of condition as of July 15, 1934, in compari­
son with corresponding figures a month and a year

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

000 omitted
ITEMS

July 15
1934

June 15
1934

July 15
1933

Rediscounts h eld ---------------- $ 833 $ 888 $ 13,991
193
276
Open market paper ________
193
58,108
103,563 103,563
Government securities ______
72,375
Total earning assets----------- 104^589 104,644
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 142,133 142,769 139,801
71,608
Members1reserve deposits------- 118,274 123,088
Cash reserves_____________ 165,651 189,025 169,588
72.58
62.04
65.51
Reserve ratio ...........................

ITEMS

000 omitted
July 11 June 13 July 12
1934
1933
1934

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ____ $ 59,504 $ 60,285 $ 62,219
A other loans.... ...................... 106,999 108,837 112,866
11
Total loans and discounts---- 166,503 169,122
175,085
Investments in stock and bonds.. 178,610 169,097 151,979
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank....
28,941
47,466
46,776
Cash in vaults_____________
10,360
11,657
11,324
Demand deposits___________ 217,033 213,916 183,090
Time deposits_____________ 134,574 134,537 131,842
Borrowed from F. R. Bank....
321
0
0

earlier. During the past month, rediscounts for mem- j
ber banks declined further, by $55,000, but the holdings ' report dates only, and are not necessarily the highest or
of open market paper and of Government securities lowest figures that occurred during the periods used in
remained unchanged. Total earning assets, therefore, the comparisons.
Between June 13 and July 11, both this year, only
declined $55,000 between June 15 and July 15. The
month witnessed a seasonal decline in the circulation minor changes for the most part were shown in the
of Federal reserve notes, but the decrease, amounting condition figures. Loans on stocks and bonds declined
to only $636,000, was less than usually occurs at this by $781,000 during the month, and all other loans
time of the year. Member bank reserve deposits de­ dropped by $1,838,000, a total decrease in loans and
clined by $4,814,000 between the middle of June and discounts of $2,619,000. On the other hand, the re­
the middle of July, but remained far above legal re­ porting institutions increased their investments in secu­
quirements. The several changes in the statement pre­ rities, chiefly Government obligations, by $9,513,000
viously mentioned, with others of lesser importance, during the past month. There was a small decline of
lowered the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank $690,000 in reserve balances of the twenty-eight banks
of Richmond by $23,374,000 between June 15 and July at the reserve bank. Cash in vaults rose by $333,000
15, and also reduced the ratio of reserves to note and between the middle of June and the middle of July.
Deposits increased during the past four weeks, demand
deposit liabilities combined by 3.47 points.
A comparison of the July 15, 1934, figures with deposits rising $3,117,000 and time deposits by $37,000.
those for July 15, 1933, shows some marked changes None of the reporting banks were borrowing at the
during the year. Rediscounts for member banks, Federal reserve bank on either of the dates used in the
which were low a year ago, declined by $13,158,000 comparison.
Between July 12, 1933, and July 11, 1934, the
during the period under review, amounting to only
$833,000 at the middle of July this year. Open mar­ twenty-eight member banks reduced their loans on se­
ket paper decreased $83,000. On the other hand, the curities by $2,715,000, and all other loans, which are
Bank increased its holdings of Government securities largely agricultural or commercial, dropped by $5,867,by $45,455,000 between the middle of July last year 000, a total decrease in loans and discounts amounting
and this, a change which resulted in a net rise in total to $8,582,000. Investments in bonds and stocks rose
earning assets of $32,214,000 during the year. Circu­ by $26,631,000 during the year under review, chiefly
lation of Federal reserve notes showed a rise of $2,- in short time Government obligations on which the yield
332,000 between July 15, 1933, and the corresponding is low. The aggregate reserve balance of the reporting
date this year. Member banks with funds on hand banks at the Federal reserve bank rose by $17,835,000
which they were unable to invest profitably and safely during the past year, and on July 11, 1934, cash in
increased their reserve deposits at the Federal reserve vaults totaled $1,297,000 more than on July 12, 1933.
bank by $46,666,000 during the past year. Cash re­ Deposits showed a marked increase between July last
serves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond year and this, demand deposits rising by $33,943,000
dropped by $3,937,000 between the middle of July last and time deposits gaining $2,732,000. Two of the
year and the same time this year, and the ratio of cash twenty-eight reporting banks were borrowing $321,000
reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined de­ from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond a year
clined by 10.54 points.
ago, but none of them were borrowing on the corre­
sponding 1934 date.

Statement of 28 Member Banks

The principal items of condition reported by twentyeight regularly reporting member banks in leading Fifth
district cities are shown in the table for three dates,
July 11 and June 13, 1934, and July 12, 1933, thus
affording opportunity for comparison of the changes
during the past month and the past year. It should
be understood that the figures reflect conditions on the




Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in twenty-eight regularly reporting
member banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual
savings banks in Baltimore totaled $327,654,854 at the
end of June 1934, a higher figure than either $326,631,808 in time and savings deposits at the end of May this
year or $325,617,214 at the end of June last year. Re-

MONTHLY REVIEW
porting member banks showed increases in time deposits during both the past month and the past year,

3

while mutual savings banks gained deposits last month
but showed a decline for the year.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
CITIES

SEMI-ANNUAL TOTALS
1934
1933

TOTAL DEBITS, FOUR WEEKS ENDED
June 13, 1934
July 12, 1933
July 11, 1934

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...........................
Washington, D. C.________
Wilmington. N. C_________
Winston,Salem, N. C_______

$ 7,830,000
252,522,000
10.311.000
52.261.000
43.398.000
14.575.000
6.836.000
4.979.000
20.679.000
10.136.000
10.906.000
6.472.000
11.649.000
13.300.000
5.892.000
39.897.000
3.487.000
25.852.000
113.775.000
18,621,000
181.108.000
7.401.000
29,493,000

$ 7,459,000
230,837,000
9.937.000
42.166.000
39.543.000
15.563.000
5.523.000
4.323.000
17.742.000
9.458.000
11.128.000
5.389.000
10.445.000
11.870.000
6.042.000
36.766.000
2.833.000
15.054.000
98.761.000
16.601.000
154.947.000
6,808,000
23.329.000

$ 7,997,000
205,779,000
7.766.000
35.574.000
35.818.000
10.094.000
6.510.000
4.616.000
18.563.000
3.108.000
12.009.000
5.353.000
8.777.000
12.362.000
5.538.000
33.307.000
3.174.000
11.092.000
97.344.000
17.218.000
175,916,000
5.829.000
31.498.000

$ 52,771,000
1.543.042.000
66,060,000
237.877.000
262.543.000
96.901.000
34.945.000
34.521.000
133,693,000
61.216.000
81.246.000
34.651.000
67.227.000
81.877.000
37.567.000
235.697.000
18.815.000
128.828.000
677.520.000
113.478.000
1.029.463.000
47.180.000
169.866.000

$ 43,133,000
1,186,089,000
51.581.000
174.363.000
189.944.000
57.531.000
28.063.000
25.430.000
97.237.000
30.903.000
56.192.000
23.965.000
54.778.000
68.480.000
34.507.000
186.035.000
18.526.000
85.326.000
592.637.000
101.661.000
993.671.000
34.440.000
151.512.000

District Totals_________

$891,380,000

$782,524,000

$755,242,000

$5,246,984,000

$4,286,004,000

The accompanying table of debits to individual ac­
counts shows aggregate figures for all checks drawn
against depositors’ accounts in the banks of twentythree cities of the Fifth reserve district during three
equal periods of four weeks, ended July 11,1934, June
13, 1934, and July 12, 1933. In addition, the table
shows figures for the half-year ended June 30, 1934,
with comparative figures for the first half of 1933.
An increase in debits between four weeks ended June
13 and four weeks ended July 11 is seasonal, due chiefly
to quarterly and semi-annual payments on and around
July 1, and this year the increase was fully up to the
level of most years. Debits in the four weeks ended
July 11 showed an increase of $108,856,000, or 13.9
per cent, over debits in the preceding four weeks, ended
June 13, twenty of the twenty-three reporting cities
registering gains. In Columbia and Greenville, two of
the three cities which decreased, lower figures in the
more recent period were probably due to curtailment of
operations by cotton textile mills.
A comparison of the figures for the four weeks
ended July 11, 1934, with corresponding figures for
four weeks ended July 12, 1933, shows an increase of
$136,138,000, or 18 per cent, a favorable comparison
with increases shown in other recent months. Twenty
of the twenty-three cities reported increased figures for
the 1934 period, the three decreases being due at least
in part to the textile situation previously mentioned.
Total debits in the first half of 1934 amounted to
$5,246,984,000 in the reporting cities in the Fifth dis­
trict, compared with debits aggregating $4,286,004,000




in the first half of 1933, an increase this year of $960,980,000 or 22.4 per cent. Every city reported higher
figures for 1934. Part of the increase this year was
due to the bank holiday last year, but most of it re­
flects both an increased volume of business this year
and higher commodity prices in many lines.

Commercial Failures
Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review for July states
that business failures in the United States numbered
only 1,033 in June 1934, with aggregate liabilities total­
ing $23,868,293, decreases in comparison with June
1933 figures of 37.3 per cent in number of insolvencies
and 32.5 per cent in liabilities. In June last year there
were 1,648 failures, with liabilities totaling $35,344,909.
In the Fifth Federal reserve district, there were only 46
bankruptcies in June this year, with liabilities amount­
ing to $566,699, compared with 84 failures and liabili­
ties aggregating $1,646,019 in June 1933, decreases for
the current month of 45.2 per cent in number of in­
solvencies and 65.6 per cent in liabilities involved. The
number of failures in the district last month was the
lowest reported for any month since August 1920, and
liabilities were the lowest since June 1920. During the
first half of 1934, bankruptcies in the Fifth reserve dis­
trict numbered 379, compared with 727 in the first
six months of 1933, a decrease of 47.9 per cent, and
aggregate liabilities in the past six months totaled $6438,185, a decrease of 69.8 per cent under liabilities
totaling $21,333,686 in the first half of 1933. The
Fifth district record for June 1934 was better than the

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

National record in both number of failures and aggre­
gate liabilities involved, and for the first half of this
year the district also made a better comparison than
the Nation in liabilities involved, but the total of bank­
ruptcies for the six months declined more in the United
States as a whole than in the Fifth district.

Employment
Employment conditions in the Fifth Federal reserve
district apparently made little net change during the
past month. There have been some recent increases in
employment, and at least one industrial plant which
employs about 500 workers, and which has been closed
for several years, is re-opening with sufficient orders
to run the plant several months. There have recently
been a number of strikes in the district, chiefly in dif­
ferent branches of the textile industry, but all except
one or two of them have been settled. There is less
demand for farm workers this year, because of re­
stricted acreage, and in fact this decreased need for
agricultural labor has increased the number of workers
seeking employment in towns and cities. Relief work
is still making heavy inroads into public funds, especial­
ly in sections where strikes have materially increased
the number of persons who have to seek assistance.

Coal Production
Total production of bituminous coal in the United
States in June 1934 amounted to 26,424,000 net tons,
compared with 28,100,000 tons mined in May 1934 and
25.320.000 tons in June last year. Daily average pro­
duction in June this year of 1,016,000 tons compared
with an average of 1,064,000 tons in May 1934 and
974.000 tons in June 1933. Total production of soft
coal during the present calendar year to July 7 amounted
to 187,797,000 net tons, a higher figure than 151,587,000
tons mined to July 7 last year. Tidewater shipments
of coal through Hampton Roads totaled 9,624,106 tons
during the first half of this year, compared with 8,392,186 tons shipped in the corresponding period in
1933.
The June 23 report of the Bureau of Mines, Depart­
ment of Commerce, gave coal production figures by
states for the month of May 1934. West Virginia,
after falling behind Pennsylvania in production in
April, was again in first place in May with 8,805,000
net tons, Pennsylvania with 7,895,000 tons dropping
back to second place. The coal mining states of the
Fifth district, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia,
mined a total of 9,785,000 tons of bituminous coal in
May, 34.8 per cent of total National production.

Textiles
By agreement with NRA authorities, cotton mills
throughout the country curtailed production during June
by approximately 25 per cent, this step being taken to
regulate production in accord with lessened demand and
a slow distribution in the past two months. Fifth
district mills therefore consumed only 161,616 bales of




cotton in June 1934, compared with 233,324 bales used
in May tins year and the record figure of 318,835 bales
used in June 1933. Last month North Carolina mills
consumed 84,201 bales, South Carolina mills consumed
67,936 bales, and Virginia mills 9,479 bales. June con­
sumption in the Carolinas and Virginia was 44.5 per
cent of National consumption, a lower figure than either
44.9 per cent of National consumption in May this year
or 45.8 per cent in June 1933.
On June 20, 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,
1934, there were 31,029,950 spindles in place in the
United States, North Carolina leading all states with
6,154,882, or 19.8 per cent of the total, South Carolina
ranking second with 5,787,272 spindles, or 18.7 per cent,
and Massachusetts third with 5,725,604 spindles, or
18.5 per cent. The Fifth district as a whole had 40.6
per cent of total spindles in place in the United States
at the end of May. In actual spindle hours of operation
South Carolina led all states for May with 1,850,307,770
hours, or 25.4 per cent of the National total of 7,279,092,293 hours, and North Carolina ranked second with
1,521,179,565 hours, or 20.9 per cent, while Massa­
chusetts, with 955,510,747 hours of operation, showed
only 13.1 per cent of the United States total, although
that state has 18.5 per cent of spindles in place. The
Fifth district, with 40.6 per cent of total spindles in
place in the United States in May, showed 48.9 per
cent of total hours of operation. In actual hours of
operation per spindle in place, South Carolina led with
320 hours, Virginia with 287 hours tied Alabama for
second place, and North Carolina with 247 hours ranked
sixth, all of the Fifth district figures being larger than
the United States average of 235 hours.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices, under the influence of extremely
unfavorable weather for the growing crop and sharply
reduced acreage in comparison with recent years, ad­
vanced materially between the middle of June and the
middle of July. In the Review last month we quoted
the average price for middling grade upland cotton on
ten Southern markets as 11.97 cents per pound on June
15, but on July 13, the latest date for which official fig­
ures are available, the average price had risen to 12.86
cents per pound, the highest price since June 1930.
Consumption of cotton in the United States in June
1934 totaled 363,414 bales, compared with 519,765 bales
used in May this year and 697,261 bales in June 1933.
Total consumption for the eleven months of the pres­
ent cotton year—August 1 to June 30—amounted to
5,340,715 bales, compared with 5,536,754 bales con­
sumed in the corresponding period of the 1932-1933
season. Manufacturing establishments held 1,326,480
bales on June 30, compared with 1,421,428 bales held
on May 31 and 1,398,448 bales on June 30, 1933. Pub­
lic warehouses and compresses held 5,985,715 bales in
storage at the end of June this year, compared with
6,570,664 bales so held a month earlier and 6,309,492

MONTHLY REVIEW
bales on June 30 last year. June exports totaled 459,226 bales, compared with 284,764 bales sent abroad in
May 1934 and 614,561 bales exported in June 1933.
Exports during the eleven months of this cotton year
totaled 7,228,595 bales, compared with 7,727,392 bales
shipped over seas during the corresponding eleven
months ended June 30, 1933, the decrease this year be­
ing due to lower exports to England, France, Italy and
especially Germany, only partly offset by materially
larger exports to Japan and some increase in shipments
to Canada, China, and miscellaneous European states.
Spindles active at some time during June numbered
24,690,312, compared with 25,891,366 in May this year
and 25,549,974 in June 1933.
Cotton growing states consumed 292,621 bales of
cotton in June, compared with 416,911 bales used in
May and 565,951 bales in June 1933. Last month’s
consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to
80.5 per cent of National consumption, a higher figure
than 80.2 per cent in May this year but less than 81.2
per cent in June 1933. Of the 292,621 bales of cotton
consumed in the cotton growing states in June, Fifth
district mills used 161,616 bales, or 55.2 per cent, a
lower percentage than 56.3 per cent of Southern con­
sumption attained by Fifth district mills in June last
year.
On July 9, the Department of Agriculture issued its
first cotton acreage report of the season, and estimated
the area in cultivation as only 68.6 per cent of the July
1, 1933, acreage. Every cotton growing state except
California materially reduced acreage this year, chiefly
as a result of the Federal Government’s campaign to
reduce surplus cotton by restricting this year’s crop to
only a little over 10,000,000 bales. If allowance is
made for about 10,500,000 acres of the July 1, 1933,
acreage which was removed from cultivation and har­
vest in the plow up movement last summer, this year’s
acreage on July 1 was about 94 per cent of last year’s
productive acreage. In the Fifth reserve district, South
Carolina showed a decrease of 29 per cent and North
Carolina a decrease of 26 per cent, while Virginia
planted 25 per cent less than last year. Heavy pro­
ducing states outside the Fifth district reported the
following decreases in acreage: Oklahoma 36% ;
Arkansas 35% ; Tennessee 34% ; Texas 32%; Ala­
bama and Mississippi 31%; Louisiana 30% ; and Geor­
gia 25%. However, these figures are all in com­
parison with cotton in cultivation on July 1, 1933, be­
fore approximately 25 per cent of the acreage was
destroyed, and therefore none of the state figures throw
any light on probable yield in comparison with yields
last year. No official information is yet available on
the condition of this year’s cotton crop, the first report
of the season being due on August 8, but reports of
drought in western and southwestern cotton growing
states probably indicate that cotton has suffered along
with other crops, and make it unlikely that last year’s
high yield per acre will be equaled in 1934.




5

Agricultural Notes
Maryland. An increased production over 1933 for
all major crops in Maryland, except potatoes and hay,
is indicated by the July 1 crop report, although the total
acreage, excluding strawberries, is about 73,000 acres
less than last year. Acreage of corn, wheat, oats, sweet
potatoes and tobacco have been reduced.
Generally
speaking, the season through May was cool and wet,
but in June weather turned very warm and dry, and
some crops were adversely affected. The wheat crop
in Maryland is estimated at 7,277,000 bushels this year,
compared with 6,320,000 bushels harvested last year and
a five-year production of 9,375,000 bushels. Better
yields per acre are indicated for this year, an average
of 19 bushels comparing with only 16 bushels last year.
Although a smaller acreage was planted to corn, a yield
of 16,480,000 bushels is expected this season, compared
with 16,240,000 bushels in 1933 and a five-year average
of 15,187,000 bushels. The oats crop of 1,188,000
bushels is above last year’s yield of 1,100,000 bushels,
but below the average of 1,563,000 bushels for five
years. A hay yield in 1934 of 524,000 tons is slightly
less than 529,000 tons cured last year, but is above the
five-year average production of 479,000 tons. This
year’s Irish potato crop is forecast at 3,131,000 bushels,
compared with 2,700,000 bushels in 1933 and 3,646,000
bushels the five-year average. The sweet potato fore­
cast on July 1 of 650,000 bushels is much below last
year’s yield of 840,000 bushels, and is also far less than
the five-year average production of 1,493,000 bushels.
This year’s tobacco crop will probably yield 22,950,000
pounds, compared with 20,400,000 pounds in 1933 and
a five-year average production of 23,638,000 pounds.
Apples totaling 992,000 bushels is materially less than
1.312.000 bushels in 1933 and a five-year average pick
of 2,056,000 bushels.
Virginia farmers planted slightly less total acreage
this year, but yields of the principal crops are expected
to be better than last year. The acreage of wheat, bar­
ley, rye, peanuts, Irish potatoes and hay is larger than
in 1933, but the acreage of corn, oats, sweet potatoes,
tobacco and cotton is smaller. Crop conditions im­
proved during June, rains in many sections having re­
lieved drought conditions. Wheat yield is turning out
slightly less than expected. Total production is fore­
cast at 7,748,000 bushels this year, compared with 7,425.000 bushels threshed last year and a five-year aver­
age production of 9,582,000 bushels. The acreage
planted to corn is estimated to be 1,445,000 acres, a de­
crease of 8 per cent from last year. The condition
of the crop on July 1 was reported good except in sec­
tions which have had very little rainfall. Weather con­
ditions during August usually determine corn yield, but
the forecast on July 1 was for a yield of 34,680,000
bushels, compared with 36,918,000 bushels last year and
a five-year average yield of 33,611,000 bushels. Wet
weather in the spring prevented oat planting, and the
crop is therefore less in acreage this year by 20 per
cent than in 1933. Production is estimated at 2,479,000
bushels, compared with 3,360,000 bushels harvested last
year. Irish potato acreage was increased 15 per cent

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

this year, most of the increase being in the early com­
mercial crop. The yield of the early crop was much
heavier than last year, and total production of white
potatoes this year is expected to be 13,803,000 bushels,
compared with 8,649,000 bushels last year and 15,989,000 bushels the average for the five year base period,
1927-1931. The sweet potato acreage was reduced this
year, low prices last year resulting in a sharp reduction
in the commercial crop, which was only partly made up
by an increase in the acreage planted for farm consump­
tion. The crop this year is expected to yield 4,250,000
bushels, compared with 3,885,000 bushels dug in 1933.
On July 1 the condition of hay crops was below normal
as a result of dry weather in many sections of the State
during May, but prospects for the late hay crop are very
good. A total yield of 899,000 tons is materially below
the 1933 yield of 992,000 tons. The Virginia peanut
acreage is estimated at 141,000 acres this year, com­
pared with 113,000 acres last year. Improvement in
prices and a reduction in cotton acreage were the prin­
cipal causes for the rise in peanut acreage. No fore­
cast of production can be made so early in the season,
but the crop is late and a favorable fall will be neces­
sary in order to secure average yields. The acreage
planted to tobacco is 18 per cent less than last year, and,
with the exception of 1932, is the smallest acreage in
the State since 1872. The condition of the crop on
July 1 was unusually good and excellent yields are ex­
pected, but weather conditions during August usually
determine the actual yield. Present prospects point to
a probable production of 75,895,000 pounds, compared
with 97,046,000 pounds last year. The 1934 production
of apples, peaches and pears will be below the ten-year
average as a result of unfavorable weather during the
winter and spring. Apple prospects declined in June
and total production is now forecast as 7,630,000 bush­
els, compared with 10,900,000 bushels last year and
12,914,000 bushels the average for 1927-1931. Com­
mercial orchards have better prospects than farm
orchards. There are not as many apples on the trees
as last year, but the quality is so much better that if
the apples develop the usual size it is possible the com­
mercial crop may equal last year’s small yield of 1,750,000 barrels.
West Virginia. Slightly curtailed acreage, low yields
of early hay crops, and a fair to good crop of corn and
other fall crops are indicated for West Virginia in the
July 1 report. Inadequate rainfall during April and
May reduced crop prospects in nearly all sections of
the State except the Eastern Panhandle. Thunder­
showers during June improved pastures, hay and corn
prospects, and were also beneficial to the early potato
crop. This year’s corn yield is forecast at 11,772,000
bushels, compared with 13,920,000 bushels the five-year
average production. Corn was planted late this year,
and growth in May was slower than usual, but the crop
made excellent progress during the latter part of June.
Wheat yield in West Virginia this year totaling 1,700,000 bushels is less than last year’s yield of 1,798,000
bushels but is above the five-year average of 1,679,000
bushels. Oats production is estimated at 2,072,000
bushels in 1934, compared with 2,356,000 bushels har­




vested last year. Based on the July 1 condition, hay
is expected to yield 398,000 tons, much less than the
1933 crop of 690,000 tons. Irish potato production of
2.964.000 bushels forecast this year materially exceeds
the 1933 crop of 2,331,000 bushels but is below the fiveyear average of 3,522,000 bushels. Tobacco suffered
from the late spring dought, and this year’s production
of 3,125,000 pounds is less than 4,322,000 pounds in
1933. However, this year’s reduction in tobacco acre­
age accounts for most of the decline in yield. The West
Virginia apple crop is estimated at 3,105,000 bushels,
compared with 4,200,000 bushels last year and 7,000,000
bushels the five-year average.
North Carolina crops on July 1 were in very un­
certain condition. Prospects for corn, pastures and
grasses were good, but the weather up to July was too
wet for cotton. A corn crop of 43,252,000 bushels is
indicated this year, compared with 44,252,000 bushels
in 1933. The wheat yield turned out 4,253,000 bushels
against 3,714,000 bushels threshed last year. Oats
yielded 3,440,000 bushels in 1934 and 3,382,000 bushels
in 1933. Prospects for hay are ahead of last year, and
this year’s yield is estimated at 559,000 tons, compared
with 553,000 tons last year. An Irish potato yield of
10.413.000 bushels exceeds last year’s crop of 7,315,000
bushels, but this year’s sweet potato yield of 6,972,000
bushels is less than 7,905,000 bushels dug in 1933. A
tobacco crop of 400,912,000 pounds, now forecast for
1934, is much less than 537,979,000 pounds cured last
year, but this reduction is of course a result of the
Agricultural Adjustment program. The prospective
apple crop in North Carolina is only 2,850,000 bushels,
compared with 5,254,000 bushels last year.
South Carolina crop prospects on July 1 were rela­
tively unsatisfactory, due to cool wet weather in May
and early June, followed by excessively hot weather.
Total acreage planted to all crops this year is about 3
per cent more than the 1933 acreage, increases in food
and feed crops more than offsetting reductions in cotton
and tobacco. Corn acreage was increased 13 per cent,
wheat 15 per cent, oats 5 per cent, hay 4 per cent, sweet
potatoes 2 per cent, and Irish potatoes 31 per cent.
Cotton acreage was reduced nearly 7 per cent below the
acreage actually harvested last year, and tobacco acre­
age was cut 28 per cent. Corn prospects are the poor­
est in years, with an indicated production of 18,658,000
bushels compared with 22,808,000 bushels gathered last
year from a smaller acreage. The prospective per acre
yield is the smallest since 1901. Winter freezes and
deficient spring moisture are mainly responsible for
the shortest oats crop since 1928. This year’s forecast
of 6,596,000 bushels compared with 7,215,000 bushels
last year and a five-year average production of 8,117,000 bushels. Increased acreage and a somewhat better
per acre yield brought a wheat yield of 765,000 bushels
in South Carolina this year, compared with 592,000
bushels harvested last year and a five- year average
production of 546,000 bushels. The tobacco outlook
on July 1 was for a yield of 46,250,000 pounds in 1934,
compared with 88,580,000 pounds last year and average
production of 83,820,000 pounds in the five years 19271931. The low prospective yield is chiefly due to reduced

«
r

1

, ,,

1

r"

.....

MONTHLY REVIEW
.... — ..= =

.

acreage, but the condition of the crop on July 1 was also
much lower than a year earlier. Prospects for sweet
potatoes, while somewhat below last year, are slightly
above the five-year average, indicated production this
year of 4,275,000 bushels comparing with 4,648,000
bushels last year and 4,247,000 bushels the five-year
average. Irish potatoes are expected to yield 2,625,000
bushels in 1934, compared with 1,744,000 bushels in
1933 and 2,944,000 bushels the average for 1927-1931.
Hay prospects are better than last year, and a crop of
206,000 tons is larger than 195,000 tons cut in 1933.

Construction
Building Permits Issued in
June 1934 and 1933
CITIES

Permits Issued
1934
1933

Total Valuation
1934
1933

658
12
8
11
10
16
28
91
7
19
81
30
8
74
57
16
28
34
23
38
9
14
2
3
58
31
34
34
9
23
510

1,017 $ 592,560 $ 983,160
9,648
6,415
14
5,570
11
S 21!
17,905
7,210
10
27,140
19,300
18
12,243
95,465
17
63,605
120,589
29
40,339
148,620
122
3,300
2,825
5
14,955
6,630
22
55,752
112,194
87
12,645
19,654
17
6,648
1,595
8
23,223
29,091
83
49,192
3,950
26
58,110
16,410
14
11,600
21,003
29
299,948
54,947
30
101,855
56,385
21
23,565
201,236
39
17,225
5,950
14
30,765
187,200
15
8,050
150
3
19,320
800
11
16,308
36,980
47
21,070
14,073
34
15,476
43,036
36
19,370
42,160
25
14,450
6,360
7
3,670
4,451
20
583,770
670,815
578

District Totals------ 1.976

2,409 $2,657,648 $2,446,494

Baltimore, Md...........
Cumberlasd, Md........
Frederick, Md..........
Hagerstown, Md.......
Salisbury, Md.-------Danville, Va.--------Lynchburg, Va------Norfolk, Va---------Petersburg, Va.------Portsmouth, Va.___
Richmond, Va...........
Roanoke, Va---------Bluefield, W. Va......
Charleston, W. Va.—
Clarksburg, W. Va—
Huntington, W. Va....
Asheville, N. C.----Charlotte, N. C.----Durham, N. C.-------Greensboro, N. C.---High Point, N. C—
Raleigh, N. C...... ....
Rocky Mount, N. C.~.
Salisbury, N. C.----Winston,Salem, N. G.
Charleston, S. C.----Columbia, S. C.-----Greenville, S. C.----Rock Hill, S. C.-----Spartanburg, S. C ---Washington, D. C.—

Building permits issued in June in thirty-one leading
cities of the Fifth reserve district numbered 1,976, com­
pared with 2,409 permits issued in June 1933, a de­
crease of 18 per cent, but estimated valuation figures
for last month totaled $2,657,648, an increase of 8.6
per cent over valuation of $2,446,494 in June 1933.
Sixteen of the thirty-one reporting cities showed higher
valuation figures for June 1934. Among the five largest




7

cities, increased valuation figures were reported for
Washington and Charlotte, but Baltimore, Richmond
and Norfolk fell below their June 1933 totals. Lynch­
burg, Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh made the
most favorable records last month.
Contracts awarded for construction work in the Fifth
reserve district in June this year totaled $18,627,345,
including both urban and rural construction, compared
with $10,425,409 in contracts awarded in June 1933,
according to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge Cor­
poration. Of the June 1934 contracts, $2,543,415 was
for residential structures, 13.7 per cent of all contracts,
compared with $3,342,989 for residential work in June
last year, or 32 per cent of all contracts awarded that
month.

Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

June 1934 sales, compared with sales in June 1933:
+24.2
+17.1
+21.3
+28.6
+20.6
Total sales first half of 1934, compared with first half of 1933:
+23.5
+17.9
+18.7
+29.0
+19.9
June 30, 1934 stocks, compared with stock on June 30, 1933:
+23.0
+16.7
+ 8.7
+ 6.9
+13.0
June 30, 1934 stocks, compared with stocks on May 31, 1934:
_ 5.8
— 6.4
— 7.6
— 7.0
— 6.9
Number of times stock was turned in June 1934:
.328
.315
.358
278
.329
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
1.945
1.715
1.902
1.73
1.814
Percentage of June 1, 1934 receivables collected in June:
30.5
27.6
28.7
29.2
28.5
Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages.

W holesale Trader 57 Firms.
2<r

7

Groceries Dry Goods

6

Shoes

13

Hardware

n

Drugs

June 1934 sales, compared with sales in June 1933:
+28.6
—11.3
—27.8
+16.0
+14.3
June 1934 sales, compared with sales in May 1934:
+ 8.8
—18.5
—44.7
— 5.9
— 8.0
T o tal sales first half of 1934, compared with first half of 1933:
j +25.4
+43.9
+20.9
+45.0
+22.8
June 30, 1934 stocks, compared with June 30, 1933 stocks:
+ 1.3(8*) +67.5(3*) +56.7(4*) +15.6(7*)
June 30, 1934 stocks, compared with May 31, 1934 stocks:
— 2.1(8*) — 1.2(3*) +22.5(4*) — .7(7*)
Percentage of June 1, 1934, receivables collected in June:
83.2(11*) 36.5(4*)
53.7(6*)
42.0(11*) 59.1(7*)
♦Number of reporting firms. All figures in the table are
percentages.

(Compiled July 21, 1934)

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

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

son. In the first three weeks of July drought condi­
tions prevailed over wide areas, particularly in the
southwest.

Industrial production, which had increased during
each of the six months from December to May, de­
clined in June by somewhat more than the usual sea­
sonal amount. Factory employment and payrolls also
showed decreases .which were partly of a seasonal na­
ture. The general level of wholesale commodity prices
advanced during June and showed little change during
the first three weeks of July.

Distribution
The number of freight cars loaded per working day
showed a further slight increase in June followed by
a decline in the first half of July. Sales by depart­
ment stores decreased in June by more than the esti­
mated seasonal amount.

Production and Employment
Volume of industrial output, as measured by the
Board’s seasonally adjusted index, decreased from 86
per cent of the 1923-25 average in May to 84 per cent
in June, reflecting chiefly a sharp reduction in activity
at cotton textile mills. Production at lumber mills and
at coal mines also showed a decline. In the steel and
automobile industries activity decreased in June by an
amount somewhat smaller than is usual at this season.
Maintenance of activity at steel mills in June reflected
in part the accumulation of stocks by consumers, ac­
cording to trade reports, and at the beginning of July
output of steel showed a sharp decline.
Employment at factories decreased somewhat be­
tween the middle of May and the middle of June, re­
flecting reductions in working forces in industries pro­
ducing textile fabrics, wearing apparel, leather prod­
ucts, automobiles, and lumber, offset in part by in­
creases in employment at steel mills and at meatpacking
establishments.
Value of construction contracts awarded, which had
shown little change during May and June, showed an
increase in the first half of July, according to the F.
W. Dodge Corporation.
Department of Agriculture estimates, based on July
1 conditions, indicated a wheat crop of 484,000,000
bushels, compared with an average of 886,000,000
bushels for the five years 1927-1931, and a corn crop
of 2,113,000,000 bushels, compared with the five-year
average of 2,516,000,000 bushels. Crops of other
grains, hay and tobacco were also estimated to be con­
siderably smaller than usual. The acreage of cotton
under cultivation was estimated at 28,000,000 acres,
about 2,000,000 less than the acreage harvested last sea­




W holesale Commodity Prices
Wholesale prices of farm products and foods gen­
erally advanced during June while other commodities
as a group showed a slight decline. Hog prices in; creased considerably in the middle of the month while
I wheat declined throughout the month. In the middle
| of July wheat prices advanced rapidly to levels above
; those reached at the end of May, and there was a con| siderable advance in cotton, while lumber prices dej clined and finished steel prices were reduced somewhat
from the advanced quotations previously announced.

Bank Credit
|

Between June 13 and July 18 member bank reserves

j increased to a new high level of nearly $4,000,000,000,

! about $1,850,000,000 in excess of legal requirements.
| The growth reflected chiefly a further increase in the
! monetary gold stock. A seasonal increase in demand
| for currency over the July 4th holiday period was fol1lowed by an approximately equal seasonal return flow
I during the succeeding two weeks. The volume of re| serve bank credit outstanding showed little change,
j At reporting member banks there was a growth of
j U. S. Government deposits during the five-week pe| riod, reflecting chiefly the purchase in June of new
! issues of Government securities by the banks. Bankj ers’ balances also increased but deposits of individuals,
: firms and corporations have shown little change. Loans
• declined somewhat, reflecting a decrease in loans to
; customers, while loans to brokers showed an increase.
| Money rates remained practically unchanged at the
| low levels prevailing in June.