View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CH AIR M A N AND F E D E R A L R E S E R V E AGENT

RICHMOND, VI RGI NI A
Conclusions on the business situation in the Fifth
Reserve District at the middle of June are difficult
to draw, conflicting testimony being much in evi­
dence. In an agricultural section like the Fifth Dis­
trict, much depends upon crop prospects, but at the
present writing these prospects are highly problem­
atical. Early farm work was done from ten days
to two weeks earlier this year than usual, but dry
weather in April, cold weather and frosts in May,
and hot, dry weather during the first half of June
delayed seed germination and plant development to
such an extent that much of the early start was lost.
Fruit prospects appear considerably worse than a
year ago, taking the District as a whole, the tobacco
outlook is not promising, and the weevil is seriously
menacing the cotton crop in South Carolina and
much of North Carolina. Truck crops, especially
Irish potatoes, are turning out below early indica­
tions, and the hot, dry weather has cut the early
hay yield very seriously. Business failures in the

J UN E 30, 1925
Fifth District in May exceeded failures in May,
1924 in both number and liabilities. Textile mills
have begun reducing their output as forward orders
are caught up. The volume of construction work is
showing signs of falling off here and there in the
District, and the volume of retail and wholesale trade
in May was somewhat below the business done in
May 1924.
On the other hand, debits to individual accounts
figures show that a larger volume of business is pass­
ing through the banks of the leading trade centers
than was the case a year ago. Labor continues well
employed, and some improvement has recently been
reported in the coal fields of the Fifth District.
Corn and other grain crops are doing well and prom­
ise relief from the feed shortage on the farms. Bank
deposits are increasing. On the whole, prospects
for +t» near future in the Fifth District depend
e
upon weather conditions.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
The volume of rediscounts held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond increased between May 15th
and June 15th this year, rising from $46,201,000 to $52,707,000. An increase in Reserve Bank credit in the
Fifth District between the middle of May and the middle of June is an unseasonal development, spring credit
demand for fertilizer purchases and crop planting usually passing its peak before the period mentioned. The
spring credit expansion has been marked this year, however, as pointed out in our Review last month, and
is probably due chiefly to the decreased money returns from most of last year’s crops and to such a wide
difference between cash and credit fertilizer prices this year that every farmer who could borrow funds paid
cash for his fertilizer. Between May 15th and June 15th the outstanding circulation of Fifth District Federal
Reserve notes declined from $73,352,000 to $71,206,000, and the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond dropped from $83,684,000 to $78,208,000, but member bank reserve deposits rose from a total
of $60,824,000 on May 15th to $64,040,000 on June 15th. As a result of the changes mentioned, the ratio
of cash reserves to combined note and deposit liabilities declined during the four weeks from 60.77% to
57.40%.
The volume of Reserve Bank credit outstanding was larger in the Fifth District on June 15th this year
than on the same date a year ago. Between June 15, 1924, and June 15, 1925, the total of loans to member
banks increased from $45,674,000 to $52,707,000, but the circulation of Federal Reserve notes declined from
$74,806,000 to $71,206,000, and member bank reserve deposits rose from $60,544,000 to $64,040,000. The
cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond dropped from $96,190,000 on June 15, 1924, to
$78,208,000 on June 15, 1925, and the ratio of cash reserves to combined note and deposit liabilities fell dur­
ing the year from 68.76 per cent to 57.40 per cent.




The National Summary will be found on page 8

CONDITION OF SEVENTY-THREE REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
ITE M S

June 10, 1925

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 Deposits .........................................
7. Time Deposits ................................................
Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank....

May 13, 1925

June 11, 1924

$ 487,868,000

$ 486,757,000

$ 467,724,000

138.215.000
626.083.000

136.134.000
622.891.000

113.972.000
581.696.000

39.387.000
14.382.000
357.711.000
197.420.000
17.384.000

38.399.000
14.143.000
348.901.000
195.999.000
21.892.000

34.942.000
14.205.000
335.805.000
167.305.000
16.449.000

In the above table comparative figures reported by seventy-three identical member banks are shown as at
the close of business June io, 1925, May 13, 1925, and June 11, 1924, thus affording an opportunity for
comparing banking developments during the past month and the past year in thirteen leading cities of the
Fifth Reserve District. While the figures shown in the table reflect conditions on the dates mentioned, they
are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that occurred during the periods under review.
During the month between May 13th and June 10th, both this year, pressure for credit in agricultural
sections grew less as truck crops were marketed, the fertilizer purchasing season passed, and most of the
year’s planting was finished. As a result of this decreased demand for funds and credit in the farming
sections of the District, correspondent banks have built up their deposits in the city banks with receipts
from their trucking customers, and in turn the city banks have reduced their rediscounts at the Reserve Bank.
A study of the figures reported as of May 13th and June 10th shows a slight increase in outstanding loans
to customers during the four weeks from $486,757,000 to $487,868,000, and an increase in total investments
in bonds and securities from $136,134,000 to $138,215,000. Between the same two dates, demand deposits
rose from $348,901,000 to $357,711,000, and time deposits increased from $195,999,000 to $197,420,000.
The deposit increases necessitated increased reserve deposits at the Reserve Bank, which rose from $38,399,000
on May 13th to $39,387,000 on June 10th, and also enabled the reporting member banks to reduce their
rediscounts at the Reserve Bank from $21,892,000 to $17,384,000. Cash in vault increased from $14,143,000
to $14,382,000 during the month.
Between June 11, 1924, and June 10, 1925, total loans to customers by the seventy-three reporting banks
rose from $467,724,000 to $487,868,000; investments in bonds and securities increased from $113,972,000 to
$138,215,000; reserve balances at the Reserve Bank rose from $34,942,000 to $39,387,000; cash in vaults in­
creased from $14,205,000 to $14,382,000; demand deposits rose from $335,805,000 to $357,711,000; time
deposits rose from $167,305,000 to $197,420,000; and the volume of rediscounts at the Reserve Bank in­
creased from $16,449,000 to $17,384,000.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
There was a seasonal decrease in total deposits in fourteen regularly reporting mutual savings banks in
Baltimore during the month of May, but at the end of that month the total was greater than on any other
end of month date on record except April 30th this year. At the close of the last business day in May, ag­
gregate deposits in the fourteen banks amounted to $149,012,030, compared with deposits of $142,714,544 on
May 31, 1924, $136,862,765 on May 31, 1923, $127,078,213 on May 31, 1922, $124,301,364 on May 31,
1921, and $120,875,136 on May 31, 1920. Between May 31, 1924 and May 31, 1925, deposits in the reporting
banks increased 4.4 per cent and between the 1920 and the 1925 dates the yearly increase averaged 4.3 per cent,
the largest gain, 7.7 per cent, occurring between May 1922 and May 1923.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts in the banks in twenty-three leading trade centers of
the Fifth Reserve District, were 2.2 per cent smaller during the four weeks ending June 10th than during
the preceding like period this year, ending May 13th, but the later period contained one holiday in all
states and two holidays in the Carolinas and Virginia. Increased debits during the June 10th period were
reported from Asheville, Charleston, S. C., Cumberland, Danville, Durham, Lynchburg, Newport News, and
Washington. Total debits reported by the twenty-three cities amounted to $1,177,193,000 during the four
weeks ending May 13th and $1,151,215,000 during the corresponding period ending June 10th.
A year ago debits in the banks in the reporting cities totaled $1,018,830,000 during the four weeks ending
June 11, 1924, compared with $1,151,215,000 reported for the four weeks ending June 10, 1925, an increase
this year of 13.0 per cent. All of the reporting cities show larger totals this year except four. Increases this
year of more than 10 per cent were reported as follows: Newport News, 38.1 per cent; Durham, 34.0 per
cent; Baltimore, Charlotte and Washington, 20.0 per cent; Greenville, 15.7 per cent; Asheville 12.5 per cent;
and Winston-Salem, 10.8 per cent.



2

TO TAL DEBITS FOR TH E FOUR W E E K S E N D IN 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......................................................

June 10, 1925
$

24,986,000
379,378,000
20.603.000
30.085.000
43.091.000
16.306.000
8.380.000
7.421.000
22,091,000
19,853,000
19,766,000
8,881,000
24.222.000
17.436.000
7,891,000
63,815,000
25,249,000
109,383,000
24*065,000
12,402,000
219,343,000
16.480.000
30.088.000

$1,151,215,000

May 13, 1925

June 11, 1924

$

$

23,417,000
383,863,000
20.575.000
30.852.000
49.072.000
20.361.000
8.040.000
7.252.000
20.928.000
21.818.000
21,026,000
9.834.000
24.281.000
17.294.000
7.830.000
64.124.000
27.116.000
117,358,000
24.232.000
14.006.000
212,244,000
18.790.000
32.880.000

$1,177,193,000

22,203,000
316,195,000
25.057.000
30.163.000
35.924.000
16.836.000
8,269,000
7,134,000
16,489,000
19,175,000
17,077,000
8,296,000
22.451.000
17.258.000
5,715,000
60,197,000
23,942,000
104,690,000
22.490.000
12.189.000
182,837,000
17.099.000
27.144.000

$1,018,830,000

BUSINESS FAILURES IN MAY
Dun's Review for June 6th, in commenting on the May 1925 failure record in the United States,
says, “ Commercial failures in the United States during May show some reduction in number from the pre­
ceding month this year, and also as compared with the corresponding month of 1924. There were 1,767 com­
mercial failures last month with liabilities of $37,026,552, compared with 1,939 similar defaults for $37,188,622
of indebtedness in April, and 1,816 in May 1924, involving $36,590,905. The reduction in number from April
is 172, or nearly 10 per cent, whereas in both preceding years there was an increase in May. Little change
appears in the amount of indebtedness involved, the liabilities for May this year being slightly less than for
April and $435,647, or only about 1 per cent, larger than in May 1924. The reduction in the number of de­
faults in May was in manufacturing lines, as was the case in April and for recent preceding months. In
addition to these commercial failures," there were 39 bank failures in May, chiefly located in the West and
South.”
Failures in the Fifth District during May, numbering 131, were slightly more numerous than in May
of last year and the amount of liabilities involved increased from $3,682,000 to $5,752,000, although for the
country as a whole there were fewer failures this year and liabilities were little larger than a year ago.
LABOR— The labor supply and demand continue fairly well balanced in the Fifth Reserve District,
except for a shortage of agricultural workers. There is some unemployment here and there, but it is not
marked and is due chiefly to inability of laborers to seek work away from their immediate neighborhoods.
Work in some sections of the West Virginia coal fields is slack, and unemployment or part time employment
is more marked there than elsewhere. Workers in the building trades are generally well employed, but there
is no scarcity of workmen and no necessity of competitive bidding for labor on the part of employers. Farm
labor is more plentiful than a year ago, and is about equal to the demand. Farmers are steadily learn­
ing how to substitute machinery for manual labor, and are therefore finding the scarcity of farm hands less
serious than when the shortage first developed several years ago.
COAL— Bituminous coal production has been gradually increasing since the middle of April, according
to reports of the Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior, and during the week ended June 6th
reached a daily average of 1,269,000 net tons. West Virginia led all states in the nation in production during
May, and exceeded production of both May 1924 and May 1923. Total production of bituminous coal
in the United States from January 1st through June 6th this year totaled 206,103,000 net tons, approxi­
mately a million tons less than production during the corresponding period last year and much less than
the output to the same dates in 1923, 1920 and 1918, but this year’s production considerably exceeded
production in 1919 and 1921.
From January 1st through May 31st, Hampton Roads led all coal dumping ports by a wide margin, ship­
ping 8,265,781 net tons out of a total of 14,389,809 tons. More coal was shipped through Hampton Roads



3

during the first five months of this year than during the corresponding period in any other of the past five
years, although total shipments through all ports in 1923 and 1921 were larger than total shipments to the
end of May this year.

TEXTILES— May is nearly always a trying month in the textile industry, because every one is busy
trying to form some opinion on the prospects for the year’s cotton crop. This year is no exception to the
rule. Business secured by textile mills in May continued disappointing, and was entirely of a hand to mouth
character. In the face of official and unofficial crop reports that appear to indicate a strong possibility that
this year’s cotton crop may equal or even exceed last year’s relatively large yield, every one connected with
the textile industry is committing himself for the future with extreme caution. Jobbers and retailers in
dry goods are afraid to buy goods except for immediate needs until they can secure sufficient information to
enable them to estimate with some accuracy the probable size of the 1925 cotton crop, and for the same
reason mills hesitate to manufacture goods for storage in their warehouses against future orders that may
not materialize except on a lower price basis. Talk of curtailment in running time continues to be heard, but
thus far not very much has actually been done along that line, each mill hesitating to begin the movement since
to do so would increase the unit cost of output above the costs of competitive mills that continued running full
time. That some reduction in operations has been made, however, is shown by a decrease of approximately
20,000 bales in the consumption of cotton in the Fifth District during May in comparison with consumption
in April. May 1925 consumption in the District totaled 213,830 bales, compared with 234,108 bales used in
April this year and 162,487 bales used in May 1924. During May this year North Carolina mills consumed
115,785 bales, South Carolina mills used 87,823 bales, and Virginia mills took 10,222 bales, the figures for
each state exceeding the consumption figures in May last year, when many mills were running only three
or four days a week and some were closed in part.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY, 1925 AND 1924.
Premits Issued
CITIES

0
Z
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

New
1925

Baltimore, Md.
Cumberland, Md...
Frederick, Md.
Hagerstown, Md...
Danville Va..........
Lynchburg, Va.....
Norfolk, Va...........
Petersburg, Va.....
Richmond, Va.
Roanoke, V a ........
Bluefield, W. Va...
Charleston, W. Va.
Clarksburg, W. Va
Parkersburg,W.V a
Asheville, N. C.....
Charlotte, N. C___
Durham, N. C ......
Greensboro, N. C.
High Point, N. C.„
Raleigh, N. C........
Salisbury, N. C.....
Wilmington, N. C.
Winston-Salem, N. C.

Charleston, S. C ...
Columbia, S. C.....
Greenville, S. C
Spartanburg, S. C.
Washington, D. C.

675
27
8
*36
* 5
31
121
10
182
94
22
34
13
19
45
64
34
67
76
78
16
11
89
22
24
26
24
139

Totals........... 1,951

New Construction

Alterations

Repairs

1924

1925

1,250
16
4
*16
* 4
20
31
48
65
4
29
108
187
104
53
12
35
15
45
26
55
8
36
46
40
19
28
11
29
64
31
50
7
8
44
19
26
14
5
89
82
56
5
15
56
23
18
27
27
510
383
783
65
10

2,282

2,459

1924

1925

1924

1,811 $ 3,295,800
19
357,720
8
45,450
*93,630
*10,695
34
51,630
135
248,174
8
17,375
115
961,113
61
356,740
13
97,550
31
73,625
31
9,250
10
219,825
94
299,160
12
1,082,050
7
299,878
47
443,335
13
315,735
2
366,949
3
35,450
4
32,700
108
288,411
13
22,130
358
101,550
25
188,940
29
95,006
555
5,649,182

$ 6,631,320
143,760
50,968

3,546 $14,954,728

$16,593,581

130,440
382,900
16,594
1,185,284
304,490
594,679
120,318
354,815
38,400
211,643
309,500
129,500
405,670
190,375
148,940
55,500
27,350
457,945
23,100
64,375
116,525
137,350
4,361,840

1924

1925
$ 643,680 $
13,910
5,700
* 9,015
* 8,500
18,858
41,412
1,350
111,893
105,454
3,475
23,075
6,350
1,145
17,375
39,275
11,200
30,765
4,150
6,100
13,520
5,000
33,913
25,862
34,257
8,150
13,406
532,018
$1,751,293

Increase or Per Cent
Decrease
of
of
Increase 0
Total
or
Z
Valuation Decrease

913,080
23,064
15,492

$—3,604,920 — 47.8%
204,806
122.8
— 15,310 — 23.0

38,205
68,790
2,955
178,767
16,420
38,225
56,419
11,190
5,540
41,060
25,250
25,800
49,525
39,675
1,200
260
23,000
40,115
6,265
59,217

— 98,157 — 58.2
— 162,104 — 35.9
—
824 — 4.2
— 291,045 — 21.3
141,284
44.0
— 531,879 — 84.0
— 80,037 — 45.3
— 350,405 — 95.7
177,030
402.9
63,832
25.3
786,575
235.0
155,778
100.3
18,905
4.2
89,835
39.1
222,909
148.5
—
6,790 — 12.2
— 12,650 — 25.1
— 175,736 — 35.3
18,627
63.4
12,215
9.9
80,565
69.1
— 35,598 — 24.7
1,418,755
29.8

6,660
400,605

$2,086,779

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

$— 1,974,339 — 10.69b

♦Hagerstown and Danville figures not included in totals
— 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.

Both the number of building permits issued and the estimated valuation for the work declined in Fifth
District cities in May in comparison with April this year and May last year. The number of permits for
new work issued in twenty-six cities for which 1924 figures are available for comparison was 1,951 in May
1925, 2,182 in April 1925, and 2,282 in May 1924. Total valuation figures for new work in the same cities



4

amounted to $14,954,728 in May 1925, $18,461,319 in April 1925, and $16,593,581 in May 1924. Percentage
gains in estimated valuations of more than 100 per cent in May in comparison with May last year were re­
ported by Cumberland, Md., Parkersburg, W. Va., and Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh, N. C. Baltimore
and Washington reported large decreases in number of permits, and Baltimore showed a 48 per cent drop in
estimated valuation.

COTTON— In our May 31st Review we quoted spot cotton prices in the Carolinas through the week
ending May 16th, the average price paid for middling during that week being 22.19 cents per pound. After
that date prices fluctuated nervously as various crop, weather and consumption reports were issued by gov­
ernment or private agencies. Weather reports were watched with special interest in view of the need for
moisture in much of Texas. Prices slowly worked upward to the end of May, but declined again during the
first half of June. The average price paid for spots in the Carolinas was 22.81 cents per pound during the
week ending May 23rd and 23.36 cents the following week, ending May 30th, but the week ending June 6th
witnessed a decline to 23.26 cents and the recession continued to an average of 23.14 cents during the week
ending June 13th, the latest period for which figures are available.
On June 2nd the Department of Agriculture issued its first cotton condition report of the year, giving
the average condition as 76.6 per cent of normal on May 25th, the highest figure since 1918. This unusually
high percentage was compared with 65.6 per cent on the same date in 1924 and a ten year average of 72.0
per cent. In the Fifth District, North Carolina’s May 25th condition of 74 per cent compared with 71
per cent a year earlier, South Carolina’s 71 per cent this year compared with 68 per cent last year, and
Virginia showed a condition of 72 per cent compared with 62 per cent in 1924. Every cotton growing state
in the country except Arizona and New Mexico showed higher percentages this year than last. In com­
menting on the report the Department of Agriculture pointed out that the favorable May 25th condition does
not necessarily imply an equally favorable situation later in the season. Two factors, the effects of which are
as yet little in evidence but may have a controlling influence on the crop, are the increased weevil emergence
in the southeast and the scanty supply of subsoil moisture in parts of Texas. The Department further states
that the crop was planted about a week earlier than usual in most of the belt, the preparation of the soil was
better, and fields have been well cultivated. Fertilizer was used more extensively in some states but less
so in others than in 1924, but the quality of fertilizer used this year was quite generally better.
Cotton consumed in American mills during May totaled 531,471 bales of lint, according to the Census
Bureau’s report of June 16th. This figure compares with 597,104 bales used in April 1925 and 413,967
bales in May 1924. Total consumption for the season to date—August 1, 1924 to May 31, 1925—amounted
to 5,200,686 bales, compared with 4,991,163 bales consumed during the ten months ending May 31, 1924.
Cotton on hand in consuming establishments totaled 1,348,304 bales on May 31, 1925, compared with 1,514,514 bales on hand a month ago and 1,157,438 bales a year ago. Public warehouses and compresses held
1,134,920 bales on May 31, 1925, compared with 1,666,147 bales on April 30, 1925, and 1,126,282 bales on
May 31, 1924. Imports of cotton in April totaled 14,219 bales, compared with 22,409 bales in April 1925
and 16,107 bales in May 1924, while exports during May totaled 330,967 bales, compared with 472,555 bales
in April this year and 326,357 bales in May last year. Active spindles in May numbered 33,147,632, com­
pared with 33,412,650 in April 1925 and 30,484,052 in May 1924.
Cotton consumed in cotton growing states in May amounted to 358,986 bales, compared with 399,465
bales used in April and 290,220 bales in May 1924.
During May the weather was too cool for cotton seed to germinate properly, and the plants that were up
made slow growth, but the first half of June was much more favorable in the Carolinas, and cotton improved
distinctly, especially in North Carolina. The North Carolina crop is now reported in good shape and growing
nicely, with stands rated fair to good. The South Carolina crop has come up to good stands generally over
the state, cultivation is good, and the plant is making seasonal progress. Virginia cotton benefited during early
June from warm weather, but needed rain. In fact, all three cotton growing states of the Fifth District
needed more moisture during the two weeks prior to June 15th. Weevils have been reported from every
county in South Carolina, and North Carolina farmers fear much weevil damage this season, but it is yet
too early for the weevil to get in his work.
AGRICULTURAL NOTES
M A RYLA N D crops suffered from cool weather during the early part of May and from hot dry weather
later in that month and early in June. The strawberry season on the Eastern Shore ended abruptly late in
May, with prices higher than when the season opened, an unusual occurrence. New plantings of straw­
berries are in better condition than a year ago. With the exception of wheat and rye, lima and string beans,
crops on the Eastern Shore show the ill effects of dry weather. Cantaloupes and cucumbers are decidedly
backward; tomatoes are not growing normally; corn is retarded; but both lima and string beans are showing
up comparatively well. Wheat and rye crops are fairly good, and wheat harvesting has begun. Crops in
western Maryland seem to be better than those in the east, dry weather not yet having effected the westrn
sections very materially. The fruit prospects are spotted, and conditions vary so widely that it is difficult
to estimate the season’s yield until after the June drop. On the whole, however, it is evident that fruit pros­



5

pects are poor. The dry weather has hurt all grasses, and the hay crop is expected to be short.
V IR G IN IA suffered from cool weather in May and lack of rain during the first half of June. The corn
crop is backward in growth, but has a good color and is well worked. Very few fields have advanced suf­
ficiently to permit thinning. The wheat crop ripened quickly east of the mountains, due to the hot dry
weather, and it is possible that the heads did not properly fill out. Harvesting has been completed in this
section. In the Valley and Southwest Virginia the weather for wheat was more favorable, and heads are
apparently filling out well, though stands are thin. The early hay crop has been seriously cut by the dry
weather, and the yield is expected to be much smaller than last year. Some clover and alfalfa has been
harvested, the weather being favorable for curing and housing. In several sections poor pasture conditions
have made it necessary to turn cattle and sheep into hay fields. The early potato crop is not expected to
exceed 50 per cent of last year's crop. In the Norfolk section the vines have turned yellow and appear
to be drying up. Shipments have increased rapidly, and are now quite heavy, with prices that are considered
fairly good. Tobacco planting has been retarded by dry weather. Plants in some sections are reported
scarce, and plants that have been set out have made little growth. The greater part of the peanut crop has
been planted, and early sown fields are up to good stands. While the crop is making little progress at present,
the fields are well worked, and the crop will develop rapidly if sufficient rain falls. Fruit prospects are very
poor throughout the state. Some commercial apple orchards are reported to have better prospects than last
year, but the majority have very little fruit and the total production for this year is expected to be much
less than the crop gathered in 1924. The quality of the apples appear to be better than usual, however.
The peach crop is very small, especially in the commercial producing sections.
NORTH CARO LIN A crops probably improved on the whole between the middle of May and the mid­
dle of June, although toward the end of the period dry weather was beginning to hurt many fields. Grain
prospects indicate good crops, comments ranging from fair to very good, but early hay does not appear prom­
ising. Corn shows the best condition throughout the state of any crop. There is some complaint of poor
stands on red lands, considerable cut worm damage, and injury from freezes in mountain counties, but the
general condition ranges from good to excellent. Commercial apples are not expected to yield more than
half of last year’s crop, but the quality of the fruit is good and growers expect fair prices. The Sand Hill
peach crop is expected to be larger than in 1924, due in part to new trees coming into bearing. Shipments
of truck indicate that the season is more advanced than usual. Increases in truck acreage are general. Early
potatoes are moving rapidly. Dry weather lowered the quality of the produce and complaints of poor prices
resulted.
SOUTH CARO LIN A agricultural conditions are not up to average conditions existing a year ago ex­
cept for cotton, and even for that crop the prospects are exceedingly problematical because of the early and
heavy emergence of the boll weevil. The tobacco crop of the state is spotted, due to very dry weather at
setting time, and the acreage is comparatively small.Corn is doing well. Irish potato yield is much below
that of last year, and hay prospects are below normal. The amount of fertilizer used under this year’s crops
was approximately the same as last year, but a somewhat larger percentage of the total amount used was
put under cotton. Pastures show a low condition, due to the hot, dry weather that has prevailed in recent
weeks.

WHOLESALE TRADE
_______________________________________ MAY, 1925 _____________________________________

Percentage increase
42 Groceries
3.0
Percentage increase
0.5
Percentage increase
five months of 1924:
2.3
Percentage increase
— 10.1(10)
Percentage increase
1.2(10)

(or decrease) in sales in May 1925, compared with sales in April 1925:
15 Dry Goods
12 Shoes
18 Hardware
5 Furniture
13 Drugs
— 14.6
— 17.2
— 7.6
0.2
— 4.3
(or decrease) in sales in May 1925, compared with sales in May 1924:
— 5.4
— 20.8
— 13.8
7.2
1.6
(or decrease) in sales since January 1, 1925, compared with sales during the corresponding
— 11.8
— 7.0
—- 8.2
11.3
(or decrease) in stocks on May 31, 1925, compared with April 30, 1925:
— 2.3(8)
2.3(6)
— 5.0(6)
— 4.0(2)
(or decrease) in stocks on May 31, 1925, compared with May 31, 1924:
— 19.6(8)
— 14.5(6)
— 7.8(6)
18.8(2)

0.7
..........
..........

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

Measured by the dollar amount of sales reported by 105 wholesale firms, the volume of business done in
May 1925 was less than in April in all lines reported upon except groceries and furniture, and was also less
than in May 1924 in dry goods, shoes and hardware, but greater in groceries, furniture and drugs. Cumu­
lative sales during the first five months of 1925 exceeded sales during the like period of 1924 in groceries,
furniture and drugs, but were less this year in dry goods, shoes and hardware.



6

Stocks in the warehouses of the reporting firms, measured by cost values, were less on May 31, 1925,
than on April 30, 1925, in all lines except shoes, which showed a 2.3 per cent increase, and dry goods, shoes
and hardware firms showed lower stocks than a year ago, while grocery and furniture stocks were larger on
May 31st than on the same date last year.
Wholesale collections appear to have improved somewhat during May, 76.3 per cent of reporting firms
classifying their collections as either Good or Fair in comparison with 71.4 per cent so reporting for April.
In May 1924, however, 79.4 per cent of the firms classified collections as at least Fair, a higher percentage
than that attained during the corresponding month this year. Classifications made this month were as follows:
May Collections Reported As
Lines
Good
Fair
Slow
Poor
Total
1925 - 1924
1925 - 1924
1925 - 1924
1925 - 1924
1925 - 1924
Groceries ................................. 7 8
25
29
7 2
0 0
39
39
Dry Goods ............................. o
I
10
9
4 4
11
15
15
Shoes ....................................... 0 0
7 8
4 3
0 0
11
11
Hardware ...........................
1 3
9 7
5 4
0
1
15
15
Furniture................................. 2
1
2 2
1 2
0 0
5 5
7 5
I
3
0 0
12
12
Drugs....................................... 4 4
May Totals............................. 14
April Totals ........................... 14
March Totals ..........................12
February T otals................. .....12
January T otals........................16

17
14
16
24
22

60
56
58
53
54

60
59
56
52
55

22
27
24
25
20

18
20
20
12
16

1 2
1 5
1 3
o
3

2
o

97
98
95
90
93

97
98
95
90
93

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated By Reports from Twenty-nine Representative Department Stores
for the Month of May, 1925.
Percentage increase in May 1925 sales over sales in May 1924:

Baltimore
— 2.9

Richmond
3.8

Washington
3.4

Other Cities

District

— 4.6

— 0.5

Percentage increase in sales from January 1st through May over sales during the same five months in 1924:
1.2
12.0
3.3
0.7
2.8
Percentage increase in May 1925 sales over average May sales during the years 1920-1924, inclusive:
— 2.3
23.6
2.6
— 3.1

2.0

Percentage increase in stock on May 31, 1925, over stock on May 31, 1924:
— 1.5
6.8
— 8.3
— 6.7

— 3.7

Percentage increase in stock on May 31, 1925, over stock on April 30, 1925:
— 6.6
— 3.1
— 3.6
— 3.7

— 5.0

Percentage of sales during May 1925 to average stock carried during that month:
25.8
25.0
28.1
21.0

25.8

Percentage of sales from January 1st through May 31st, to average stock carried during the five months:
130.6
129.2
134.5
100.9
127.9
Percentage of outstanding orders on May 31st, to total purchases of merchandise in 1924:
4.8
4.4
3.4
5.1

4.3

— Denotes decreased percentage; other figures show gains.

The volume of retail trade in May 1925, as reflected by the dollar amount of sales made by twentynine representative department stores, was five-tenths of 1 per cent less than in May 1924, but 2.0 per cent
greater than average May sales during the five years 1920-1924, inclusive. Cumulative sales from Janu­
ary 1st through May exceeded sales during the corresponding five months last year by 2.8 per cent. Stocks
on the shelves at the end of May 1925 were 3.7 per cent smaller than on May 31, 1924, and were 5.0 per cent
less than on April 30th this year. The percentage of sales during May to stock carried during that month
averaged 25.8 per cent in the reporting stores, while the percentage of total sales since January 1st to aver­
age stocks carried each month during the same period was 127.9 per cent, indicating an annual rate of turn­
over of about three times. Outstanding orders for merchandise on May 31, 1925, amounted to 4.3 per cent
of total 1924 purchases.




(Compiled June 20, 1 92 5)
7

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

PERCENT

Production in basic industries and factory employment con­
tinued to decline in May and there was a further recession in whole­
sale prices. Distribution o f commodities was in greater volume
than at this time last year, but slightly less than in April.

Index of 22 basic commodities corrected tor seasonal variation (1919-100).
Latest I'igure-May 112.

Index of U S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1913-100, base adopted by Bureau).
Latest figure-May 1552.

PRODUCTION. The Federal Reserve Board’s index of pro­
duction in basic industries declined 6% in May to a level 12%
below the high point in January. There were further considerable
decreases in the output of the iron and steel and woolen industries,
and declines also occurred in the mill consumption o f cotton, and in
copper, sole leather and newsprint production.
The number o f
automobiles manufactured during May fell slightly below the record
figure o f April.
Employment at industrial establishments was
slightly less in May than in the month before, with decreases which
were partly seasonal in the clothing, boot and shoe, and iron and
steel industries, and increases in the industries producing auto­
mobiles, tobacco products, and certain building materials. Building
contracts awarded during May were smaller in value and in square
feet than those fo r April but were larger than fo r any other month
on record.
TRADE. Department store sales in May were smaller than
in April but somewhat larger than a year ago, and mail order sales
were 5% larger than in May 1924. Department store stocks de­
clined in May and were at the same level as a year ago. Wholesale
trade was in about the same volume as the month before and about
3% larger than a year ago, increases over last year in sales o f
meats and dry goods offsetting decreases in sales o f groceries, shoes,
hardware and drugs. Wholesale stocks o f groceries in dollar values
were larger than a year ago, while stocks o f dry goods and shoes
were substantially smaller. Car loadings o f miscellaneous products
and merchandise decreased slightly during May but were greater
than a year ago.
PRICES. Wholesale prices continued to decline in May, but
the decrease was considerably smaller than fo r the preceding month.
A ll groups o f prices represented in the Bureau o f Labor Statistics
index declined except the house furnishings and miscellaneous
groups. In the first three weeks o f June prices o f wheat, corn,
flour, cotton goods and pig iron declined, while quotations on sheep,
hogs, gasoline, hides and rubber advanced.

Index of sales of 333 stores in 117 cities (1919-100)
adjusted, 128 unadjusted.
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Weekly figures for 12 Federal Reserve Banks.




Latest figures. May 124

BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Latest ftgures-June 24th

BANK CREDIT. Borrowing fo r commercial purposes at mem­
ber banks in leading cities declined further between the middle
o f May and the middle o f June to a level lower than at any time
this year, while loans on securities increased and reached a new
high level in June. Investment holdings of these banks also in­
creased, and total loans and investments at the middle o f June
were near the high point o f the year. A t the Reserve Banks there
was an increase in member bank borrowing between May 20th and
June 24th and on that date discounts fo r member banks were in
larger volume than at any time since the opening o f the year.
Further decreases in the holdings o f acceptances and o f United
States securities brought the volume o f open market holdings in
June to the lowest level since last summer. Conditions in the money
market remained relatively steady during the latter part of May
and the first three weeks o f June, notwithstanding the heavy Treas­
ury operations in the middle o f June.
8

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