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MONTHLY REVIEW CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS WILLIAM W. H O X T O N , CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND RICHMOND, VIRGINIA________________________________________ JUNE 30, 1935 May exceeded production in April this USINESS in the Fifth Federal year, but was less than that of May reserve district in May and the last year. Textile mills in the Fifth first half of June showed some con district increased the rate of opera flicting trends, but averaged about up tions slightly in May in comparison to seasonal levels. In banking, redis counts at the Federal Reserve Bank of with April, but continued below the level of last year. South Carolina led Richmond rose moderately, and there all states in hours of operation per was also an increase in loans to in dustry for working capital, while mem spindle in place during April, the latest ber bank reserve deposits declined, due month for which figures are available. Spot cotton prices declined materially chiefly to purchase of Government se during the latter half of May, but re curities by member banks. A seasonal gained part of the loss in early June. decline in Federal reserve notes in cir culation occurred between the middle Tobacco maufacturing as indicated by of May and the middle of June. Reg revenue stamp taxes continued at a very high level in May, and materially ularly reporting member banks showed exceeded the output of May 1934. practically no change in loans during the past month, but they added to their holdings of i Building permits issued in May 1935 were more than securities and increased cash in vault. The reporting i double in estimated value those issued in May last banks also reduced their reserve deposits, while their year, the increase being chiefly in residential construc demand deposits rose moderately. Time deposits de tion of the better class. Retail trade in May in de clined slightly, as frequently happens at vacation time. partment stores was rather disappointing except in None of the regularly reporting member banks were Washington, at least partly due to unseasonally cool rediscounting paper at the reserve bank during the weather and frequent rains. Wholesale trade in gro month under review. Debits to individual accounts ceries, hardware and drugs last month exceeded the figures in twenty-three trade centers of the Fifth dis volume of trade in either April 1935 or May 1934, trict in five weeks ended June 12 were 1.1 per cent but dry goods and shoe sales were less than in either less than debits in the preceding five weeks, ended May of the earlier periods. Spring weather, which was 8, but exceeded debits in five weeks ended June 13, cool and wet, was unfavorable for planting and crop 1934, by 11.5 per cent. The decrease in the most recent development, but fall planted grains made good yields, period in comparison with the preceding period this and hays and pastures are better than average through year was due to some quarterly payments in the earlier out the entire Fifth district. Although most spring five weeks. The commercial failure record for May planted crops are getting a late start, present conditions in the Fifth district was the best record made by any point to probabilities of good per acre yields if weather of the twelve reserve districts, bankruptcies in the dis during the growing season is moderately favorable. trict last month numbering only 27 in comparison with 64 in May 1934, and last month’s aggregate liabilities Reserve Bank Statement of $507,813 comparing with $1,706,753 in May last year. Employment showed some increase in the con Rediscounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richstruction field last month, but on the other hand there mod rose by $475,000 between May 15 and June 15, was apparently no decrease in persons on relief rolls. this year, while the portfolio of open market paper It appears that there was in reality little or no net remained unchanged. Loans to industry for working change in employment conditions. Coal production in capital made under authority of Section 13 (b) of the B MONTHLY REVIEW 2 000 omitted ITEMS June 15 1935 May 15 1935 June 15 1934 Rediscounts held __________.. $ 650 $ 175 $ 888 193 174 174 Open market paper__ _________ 4,392 4,035 0 Industrial advances_________ Government Securities---------- 116,716 113,563 103,563 Total earning assets----------- 121,932 117,947 104,644 Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 149,470 149,650 142,769 Members’ reserve deposits........ 141,584 147,003 123,088 Cash reserves ........................... 181,845 191,028 189,025 63.06 65.51 Reserve ratio ........................... 60.95 Federal Reserve Act increased by $357,000, and own ership of Government securities rose by $3,153,000. These changes during the month resulted in a net in crease of $3,985,000 in the Bank’s total earning assets. Federal reserve notes showed little change between the middle of May and the middle of June, decreasing $180,000, but member bank reserve deposits registered a drop of $5,419,000. As a result of the several changes mentioned, with others of less importance, cash re serves of the Richmond reserve bank declined $9,183,000 during the past month, and the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined de creased by 2.11 points. In comparison with condition figures of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond as of June 15, 1934, cor responding figures for June 15, 1935, show decreases of $238,C O and $19,000, respectively, in rediscounts O for member banks and in the portfolio of open market paper. On the other hand, working capital loans to industry, of which there were none last year, totaled $4,392,000 on the 1935 date, and holdings of Govern ment securities increased by $13,153,000 during the year. The net change in total earning assets was an increase of $17,288,000 between June 15 last year and this. Circulation of Federal reserve notes at the mid dle of June this year was higher by $6,701,000 than a year earlier, and member bank reserve deposits rose by $18,496,000. These changes in the statement re sulted in a decrease of $7,180,000 in cash reserves at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in the year, and lowered the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined by 4.56 points. Statement of 28 Member Banks ITEMS June 12 1935 )00 omitted May 8 June 13 1935 1934 Loans on stocks and bonds (in cluding Governments) ------- $ 50,147 $ 50,209 $ 60,285 92,786 192,950 108,837 All other loans......................... Total loans and discounts...... 142,933 143,159 169,122 Investments in securities.......... 203,366 198,225 169,097 Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.... 57,766 69,767 47,466 12,954 11,324 11,770 Cash in vaults........................... Demand deposits ...................... 247,110 243,524 213,916 Time deposits ........................... 137,318 138,022 134,537 Borrowed from F. R. Bank.... 0 ? 0 0 Twenty-eight member banks in leading cities of the Fifth Federal reserve district send weekly condition reports to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the accompanying table shows totals of the principal items as of three dates. June 12, 1935, figures are compared with those for (May 8, 1935, and June 13, 1934, thus affording opportunity for comparison of the latest available figures with those of the preceding month and the preceding year. Between May 8 and June 12, both this year, the reporting banks reduced aggregate loans by $226,000, of which $62,000 was in loans on securities and $164,000 was in all other loans. Investments in securities, chiefly Government issues, increased $5,141,000 during the month. The reporting banks reduced their reserve balance at the Federal reserve bank by $12,001,000 between May 8 and June 12, while they increased cash in vaults by $1,184,000. Total deposits in the twentyeight banks rose during the past month, a rise of $3,5&),000 in demand deposits more than offsetting a decline of $704,000 in time deposits. A decrease in time deposits usually occurs at the vacation season. Between June 13, 1934, and June 12, 1935, loans on stocks and bonds decreased $10,138,000 and all other loans dropped $16,051,000, a total decline of $26,189,000. All other items in the statement increased during the year. Investments in securities rose by $34,269,000, and reserve balance at the Federal reserve bank increased by $10,300,000. Cash in vaults totaled $1,630,000 more on the 1935 date than a year earlier. Deposits rose $35,975,000 during the year, demand de posits with an increase of $33,194,000 accounting for over 90 per cent of the gain. None of the twentyeight reporting banks were borrowing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond on the three dates used in the table. Time and Savings Deposits Time deposits in twenty-eight regularly reporting member banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mu tual savings banks in Baltimore totaled $338,335,063 at the end of May 1935, a lower figure than $338,825,410 at the end of April 1935, but a higher figure than $326,631,808 at the end of May 1934. Reporting member banks showed a decline in time deposits during the past month but gained during the past year, while the mutual savings banks gained deposits during both the past month and the past year. | Debits to Individual Accounts Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts \ in the banks in twenty-three trade centers in the Fifth ! Federal reserve district are shown in the accompany! ing table for three equal periods of five weeks, ended i June 12 and May 8 this year and June 13 last year. ; These figures reflect the volume of business which | passed through the banks in the several cities during i the periods under review. In the five weeks ended June 12, 1935, aggregate i debits in the reporting cities amounted to $1,110,130,000, a decrease of $12,904,000, or 1.1 per cent, in ! comparison with debits totaling $1,123,034,000 during ! the preceding like period, ended May 8. However, a MONTHLY REVIEW 000 omitted Total debits, five weeks ended May 8, June 12, June 13, 1935 1935 1934 CITIES Asheville, iN. C-----Baltimore, Md. -----Charleston, S. C-----Charleston, W. Va— Charlotte, N. C.-----Columbia, S. C ------Cumberland, Md......... Danville, V a.............. Durham, N. 1 -------C Greensboro, N. C.---Greenville, S. C.-----Hagerstown, ;M d.---Huntington, W. Va... Lynchburg, Va........... Newport JNews, Va..... Norfolk, Va............... Portsmouth, Va......... Raleigh, N. C.-------Richmond, Va. •,-----Roanoke, Va.............. Washington, D. C---Wilmington, N. C..— Winston-Salem, N. G District Totals ...... $ 10,617 021,042 16,412 156,582 51,286 29,175 8,120 6,599 26,173 15,685 15,548 (8,163 >14,372 14,614 8,477 50,925 4,282 24,590 131,562 23,359 230,479 10,421 31,647 $1,110,130 $ 10,884 323,527 15,631 51,543 54,991 26,504 7,945 6,545 23,623 14,797 14,893 8,104 14,290 15,297 8,087 53,004 4,454 25,740 136,023 21,595 241,525 9,966 34,066 $1,123,034 3 volved in the insolvencies that occurred in the month just closed reached a total of $15,669,627. In April this year the amount was $18,063,923, and for May 1934 it was $22,560,835. The high point for May was in 1932, when the total involved for that month was $83,763,521.” In the Fifth Federal reserve dis trict, failures in May 1935 totaled only 27, compared with 45 in April this year and 64 in May last year. Liabilities involved in May 1935 insolvencies in the district totaled $507,813, a higher figure than $295,432 reported for April this year, but far less than $1,706,753 for May 1934. Only four of the twelve Fed eral reserve districts reported fewer failures in May 1935 than in May 1934, Richmond, Chicago, Minne apolis and San Francisco, and of these the Richmond district recorded the greatest improvement this year. In total liabilities involved, seven of the twelve dis tricts reported lower figures for the 1935 month, the Richmond district again leading with the largest per centage decline from the figures of May 1934. $ 9,381 299,020 12,397 52,660 49,792 19,567 7,045 5,440 22,355 12,055 14,606 6,841 13,126 15,041 7,540 46,351 3,607 19,132 123,755 21,420 196,330 )8,559 29,334 $ 995,354 Employment Data on employment conditions are conflicting this month, some indicators pointing to increased opportun ities for work while relief agencies report increased calls for help. Probably the most favorable sign of the past month was a material increase in construction in most of the cities of the district, especially in resi dential building of the better class. It is too early to say whether the cancellation of NRA codes will result in adding appreciably to unemployment, but apparently there is a strong sentiment in the Fifth district toward maintenance of code rules insofar as number of work ers and hours are concerned. Postponement of a threatened strike in bituminous coal fields assures steady employment for miners for at least a few ad ditional weeks. Tobacco factories continue full time operations, and textile mills are running slightly in creased hours in comparison with April and early May. In view of contemplated projects under the Federal relief program, the outlook for labor is probably better than it has been for a year or more. majority of the cities reported higher figures for the more recent period, thirteen cities increasing and ten decreasing. Is the ten cities which failed to gain this year, the five largest cities are included. At least part of the decline in debits during the five weeks ended June 12 was due to inclusion of some quarterly pay ments in the earlier period, ended May 8, especially in the larger cities in which dividend payments are an important factor in debits figures. In comparison with debits reported for the five weeks ended June 13, 1934, those for the correspond ing five weeks this year showed an increase of $114,776,000, or 11.5 per cent, part of which is probably accounted for by higher price levels this year in some lines. All of the reporting cities showed higher figures for the 1935 period except Lynchburg, in which a de crease of 2.8 per cent was registered. Commercial Failures ! The Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review for June, in commenting on the business failure record for May, says, “For more than a year commercial failures in the United States have been reduced in number, dropping sharply below the peak levels of 1932 and for many months falling under all comparative figures since 1920. Liabilities involved in these defaults also have been relatively small in amount. Some variation has occurred in the monthly reports of failures, but the change has not been great. For May this year 1,027 commercial failures were reported. These fig ures compared with 1,115 similar defaults in April and 977 in May 1934. For May in the earlier years of this decade and back to 1920, the number was higher, reaching the high point in 1932, when there were 2,788 failures reported for May. Liabilities in Production of bituminous coal in the United States during the month of May 1935 amounted to 26,790,000 ! net tons, an increase over 21,920,000 tons mined in j April this year but less than 27,385,000 tons dug in ! May last year. Total production of soft coal during i the present calendar year to June 8 amounted to 164,j 629,000 net tons, compared with 162,668,000 tons mined in the same period last year, an increase this year of 1.2 per cent. Coal shipped through Hampton Roads ports during the present calendar year to June 1 totaled 8,115,899 tons compared with 8,350,686 tons shipped through the same ports prior to June last year. Retail coal prices in the Fifth reserve district are in most instances lower than at this time last year, the reduction being about twenty-five cents per ton. Coal Production 4 MONTHLY REVIEW Textiles Fifth district textile mills operated at a slightly higher rate in May than in April this year, but at a lower rate than in May 1934. Cotton consumption in the district last month totaling 211,412 bales was 2.9 per cent above consumption of 205,516 bales in April, but 9.4 per cent below consumption of 233,324 bales in May last year. North Carolina mills used 108,722 bales of cotton in May, South Carolina mills used 90,418 bales, and Virginia mills 12,272 bales, all lower figures than those for May 1934. Consumption of cotton in the Fifth district in May amounted to 45.1 per cent of National consumption, compared with 44.9 per cent of National consumution for the district in May last year. Textile mills are trying to retain code provisions by private agreement insofar as is pos sible. The Bureau of the Census issued a report on May 21 on activity in the cotton spinning industry for April. On April 30 there were 30,770,400 spindles in place in the United States, of which 23,853,816, or 77.5 per cent, were active a total of 6,057,601,513 spindle hours during the month, an average of 197 hours per spindle in place. In the Fifth reserve dis trict there were 12,630,034 spindles in place on April 30, of which 11,168,754, or 88.4 per cent, operated a total of 3,017,084,458 spindle hours in April, an aver age of 239 hours per spindle in place. South Carolina with an average of 264 hours per spindle led all states, Virginia with 250 hours ranked fourth, and North Carolina with 214 hours ranked sixth, all being above the United States average of 197 hours. With 41 per cent of all spindles in place in the United States lo cated in the Fifth reserve district, the district mills operated 49.8 per cent of total spindle hours in the United States during April. 7,201,695 bales so held a month earlier and 6,560,165 bales on May 31 last year. May exports totaled 278,977 bales, compared with 284,764 bales sent abroad in May 1934. Exports during the ten months of this cot! ton year totaled only 4,174,762 bales, compared with | 6,769,369 bales shipped overseas during the correspond| ing ten months ended May 31, 1934, all foreign coun! tries having taken less American cotton this year. I Spindles active at some time during May numbered 23,027,780, compared with 23,853,816 in April this year and 25,895,778 in May 1934. Cotton growing states consumed 378,909 bales in May, compared with 374,013 bales used in April and 416,440 bales in May 1934. Last month’s consumption of cotton in the cotton growing states amounted to 80.75 per cent of National consumption, a lower per centage than 80.81 per cent in April this year but higher than 80.19 per cent in May 1934. Of the 378,909 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton grow ing states in May, Fifth district mills used 211,412 bales, or 55.79 per cent, compared with 56.03 per cent of Southern consumption attained in the district in May last year. No official reports on the condition of the cotton crop are issued until very late in the season, but un official information indicates that cotton in the Fifth reserve district suffered from too much rain and cold weather until about the first of June. Since that date, however, the weather has been favorable, with many clear days and high temperature, and cotton has pro gressed materially. Tobacco Manufacturing The Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued a report on June 21 showing taxes collected on the man ufacture of tobacco in May. The figures show that output of all types of manufactured tobacco except snuff continued to run ahead of 1934 figures. May Cotton Statistics production of cigarettes in the United States numbered Spot cotton prices fluctuated considerably during the 11,708,756,460, compared with 11,174,076,147 cigar past month, moving through a range of more than a ettes manufactured in May 1934. The number of cigars cent a pound. On May 10 spot prices on ten South made last month also rose from 380,449,937 in May ern markets averaged 12.44 cents per pound for mid 1934 to 407,731,360 in May 1935. Production of dling grade. The week ended May 17 witnessed a smoking and chewing tobacco rose from 25,756,129 rise to 12.55 cents, but there was then a recession to pounds in May 1934 to 27,417,915 pounds in May this 12.38 cents on May 24. In the last week in May year, but snuff production declined from 3,299,653 the average price dropped to 11.47 cents, but in the pounds to 3,184,969 pounds. In actual amount of taxes first week in June the price rose to 11.90 cents, and paid in May, cigarettes led with $35,134,986 this year one June 14 reached an average of 12.03 cents. On and $33,553,593 last year; smoking and chewing to June 15, 1934, the average price was 11.97 cents. bacco taxes totaled $4,935,691 in May 1935 and $4,Consumption of cotton in the United States in May 636,604 in May 1934; cigar taxes yielded $1,016,088 1935 totaled 469,250 bales, compared with 462,844 last month and $993,999 in May last year; and snuff bales used in April this year and 519,299 bales in May taxes amounted to $573,295 and $593,938 in May 1935 1934. Total consumption for the ten months of the and 1934, respectively. present cotton season—August 1 to May 31—amounted to 4,566,121 bales, compared with 4,977,040 bales con Agricultural Notes sumed in the corresponding period of the 1933-1934 Maryland weather in May was favorable for wheat, season. Manufacturing establishments held 979,130 bales on May 31, compared with 1,060,946 bales held and prospective yield for 1935 rose nearly 600,000 on April 30 and 1,422,165 bales on May 31, 1934. bushels during the month. The June 1 forecast of Public warehouses and compresses held 6,560,247 bales 7,505,000 bushels is over a million bushels below the in storage at the end of May this year, compared with average production for the five years 1928-1932, and MONTHLY REVIEW about 400,000 bushels below the 1934 yield, but the reduction in yield this year is entirely due to less acre age, the condition of the crop being above both last year’s and the ten-year average. The final outturn of wheat will depend upon weather in June, which ex perience has shown to be the critical period for attacks of fungous diseases. The oat crop is also above aver age in condition, but the June 1 forecast of 232,000 bushels is less than the five-year average of 264,000 bushels, due to reduced acreage. A condition of 81 per cent for hay this year is about the same as 82 per cent a year ago, weather conditions having been splen did for both hay and pastures. The apple crop is much superior to the 1934 crop, a June 1 condition of 67 per cent comparing with last year’s condition of 36 per cent. The peach crop is also relatively good, the reported condition on June 1 being 46 per cent com pared with the five-year average of 64 per cent and last year’s condition of only 15 per cent. About 322,000 bushels are expected this year, against 82,000 bushels last year and a five-year average yield of 509,000 bushels. Virginia crop prospects on June 1 were generally more favorable than usual, although cool weather in May retarded the planting and growth of corn, cotton and peanuts. Crop conditions were rather uniform throughout the state as rainfall during the spring was quite general. Prospects for fall grains are about aver age, while pastures, hay crops and fruits are better than average. Truck crops made favorable progress during May and the yield and quality of the straw berry and green pea crops have been especially good. The production of early commercial potatoes will be about 20 per cent less than last year, due to the smaller acreage planted. The season has been favorable for potatoes and the yield per acre will be above average. The wheat yield will be reduced by rust which usually causes considerable loss in a wet season. The esti mated production is 8,046,000 bushels which is practi cally the same as last year’s crop of 8,092,000 bushels but is below the ten-year average production of 9,220.000 bushels. The condition of oats, rye and bar ley is better than last year and about the same as the ten-year average. There is generally a heavy growth of straw but heads are not well filled, the usual result of a wet spring. Hay prospects are very good through out the state. The early hay crops made heavy yields, but there was some loss in harvesting the crop due to the frequent rains. The condition is reported at 84 per cent of normal, compared with 70 per cent on June 1 last year and 75 per cent the ten-year average. Pastures were unusually good in all sections of the state and the condition on June 1 was 90 per cent of normal compared with 72 per cent last year and 80 per cent the ten-year average. Production of early commercial potatoes is estimated to be 7,692,000 bush els, compared with 10,012,000 bushels in 1934 and 5,831.000 bushels in 1933. The season has been favor able for potatoes and yields are expected to be above the average. The smaller production this year is a result of a considerable reduction in acreage following the low prices received for the 1934 crop. Digging 5 has commenced but shipments will not be heavy until near the end of June. The apple crop is not as heavy as had been expected at blooming time, but prospects are much better than last year, and probably the best since 1931. Growers report 60 per cent of a full crop on June 1, compared with 32 per cent last year and 54 per cent the ten-year average. Orchards are re ported to be in splendid condition, there is an abun dance of moisture and the fruit has been growing rapidly, but there is considerable scab infestation as a result of wet weather. Prospects are fairly uniform throughout the state. The peach crop is considerably larger than last year and the crop is especially good in commercial orchards in Albemarle County. Grow ers report 45 per cent of a full crop, indicating a pro duction of 756,000 bushels compared with the 1934 crop of 414,000 bushels. West Virginia field work was delayed over much of the state during May as a result of backward spring weather, and frosts were reported in the northern sec tions. The weather was characterized by intermittent cold and warm days, and there was more than the usual amount of rain. Winter wheat is now expected to yield 2,226,000 bushels, compared with 1,974,000 bushels harvested last year, and this year’s rye crop of 126,000 bushels compares with last year’s crop of 120,000 bushels. Oats planting has been delayed by excessive rainfall, but the condition of the crop which was up on June 1 was much better than a year ago. Pasture conditions improved during May, and the con dition of 85 on June 1 compared with 79 on May 1 and 60 on June 1, 1934. Hay also improved in May, and the condition of 82 per cent was far above 54 a year ago. Fruit prospects on June 1 were about the same as on May 1, although apples are not doing as well as was expected. Considerable fruit is dropping from the trees in farm orchards, but commercial or chards, in the main, are in better condition. The con dition of 66 per cent for the farm apple crop on June 1 was far above 29 a year ago. The Carolinas experienced quite variable weather in April and May, with more than average rain and cold, but on the whole early crop conditions compare favor ably with those of average years. Wheat production in North Carolina this year is forecast at 5,544,000 bushels, a higher figure than 4,340,000 bushels har vested in 1934 and a five-year average of 3,653,000 bushels. South Carolina with a forecast of 979,000 bushels this year exceeds 765,000 bushels last year and 575,000 bushels the five-year average. The con dition of oats on June 1 was 84 per cent in both North and South Carolina, a higher figure than the condi tions a year ago, and also above the five-year averages. Hay condition on June 1 was better in both states than the ten-year average, and pastures were also better this year. Prospects for apples in North Carolina are 55 per cent of normal, compared with 45 per cent last year, and South Carolina’s June 1 condition of 57 per cent is a little better than the condition on June 1 last year. The Carolinas have good prospects for peaches, a crop of 2,450,000 bushels in North Carolina exceed ing the five-year average yield of 1,980,000 bushels MONTHLY REVIEW and South Carolina’s crop of 1,734,000 bushels also bettering the five-year average production of 1,205,000 bushels. North Carolina early potatoes are better than a year ago, but the South Carolina crop is lower than the June 1934 condition. Construction Building Permits Issued in May 1935 and 1934 CITIES Permits Issued 1935 1934 Total Valuation 1934 1935 75 71 51 39 24 47 701 837 $ 979,680 $1,003,800 5,642 625,083 9 31,505 13,045 11 2,220 40,307 8 10,825 16,175 15 13,453 24 71,623 25.125 21 34,747 91 66,133 94,450 7 18.125 1,965 27 17,711 23,920 106 149,237 174,942 31 10,556 37,009 8 4,850 12,625 56 8,317 71,767 52 19,856 44,593 22 10,395 24,000 62 62,761 87,750 42,383 27 79,923 22 45,945 201,963 45 27,281 120,346 23 15,075 45,269 6 8,345 30,770 6 3,760 39,005 4 6,975 4,332 57 24,022 67,387 22 1U50 67,170 22 35,970 123,049 36 26,500 25,230 11,540 16 65,508 34 15,815 16,639 516 2,611,585 871,595 District T otals___ 2,892 2,223 $5,851,857 $2,606,967 Baltimore, M d.-------Cumberland, Md......... Frederick, Md. -----Hagerstown, Md........ Salisbury, Md............ Danville, Va.............Lynchburg, .V a.-----Norfolk, Va............... Petersburg, Va........... Portsmouth, Va. -----Richmond, ;V a.------Roanoke, iVa............ . Bluefield, W. Va----Charleston, W. ,Va.... Clarksburg, W. Va..... Huntington, W. Va..... Asheville, N. C.-----Charlotte, N. C-----Durham, N. C.------Greensboro, IN. C.— High Point, N. C.— Raleigh, N. C............ Rocky Mount, N. C.— Salisbury, N. C.-----Winston-Salem, N. C. Charleston, S. C..... Columbia, S. |C.---Greenville, S. C.— Rock Hill, S. C ____ Spartanburg, S. C---Washington, D. C.— 930 10 16 30 12 29 42 122 3 24 130 46 8 120 40 27 42 74 56 53 30 19 15 6 Building permits issued in 31 leading Fifth district cities in May 1935 numbered 2,892, compared with 2,223 permits issued in May 1934, an increase of 30.1 per cent. Estimated valuation figures for all classes of permits issued last month totaled $5,851,857, com pared with $2,606,967 valuation for permits issued in May 1934, an increase this year of 124.5 per cent. Twenty-six of the thirty-one cities showed higher val uation figures for May 1935 than for May 1934, and most of the improvement appears to be in residential construction. Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores___________ Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District May 1935 sales, compared with sales in May 1934: — 1.7 — 6.6 + 8.7 — .7 + .9 Jan.-May 1935 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-May 1934: + 3.0 + .8 + 12.6 +32 + 6.1 May 31, 1935, stocks, compared with stocks on May 31, 1934: + 4.8 — 4.8 — .3 + 1.1 — 1.4 May 31, 1935, stocks, compared with stocks on April 30, 1935: + 6.8 . 4 2 — 1.7 — 2.5 — .2 Number of times stock was turned in May 1935: .336 .318 .398 .302 .35 Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1935: 1.551 1.486 1.743 1.402 1.587 Percentage of May 1, 1935, receivables collected in May: 33.3_______301_______ 294_______309_______30.2 Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages. W holesale Trade, 58 Firms 21 Groceries Dry Goods 6 Shoes 13 Hardware 11 Drugs May 1935 sales, compared with sales in May 1934: + 3.0 —16.5 —26.8 +17.1 + 1.9 May 1935 sales, compared with sales in April 1935: + 3.3 —11.4 —28.5 + 71 + 4.1 Jan.-May 1935 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-May 1934: + 6.8 —16.3 — 8.4 +10.5 + .9 May 31, 1935, stocks, compared with May 31, 1934, stocks: + 5.2(8*) —27.9(3*) —16.8(4*) + 9.9(7*) May 31, 1935, stocks, compared with April 30, 1935, stocks: -7 .2 (8 * ) — 4.3(3*) — 8.3(4*) — 5.0(7*) Percentage of May 1, 1935, receivables collected in May: 84.5(12*) 40.1(4*) 71.6(5*) 48.6(11*) 68.3(7*) ♦Number of reporting firms, All other figures in the table are percentages. (Compiled June 21, 1935) MONTHLY REVIEW 7 BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES (Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board) There was a further slight decline in industrial pro duction in May and factory employment and payrolls also showed a decrease. Activity in residential con struction continued to be above the level of a year ago. Production and Employment Volume of industrial production, as measured by the Board’s seasonally adjusted index, declined from 86 per cent of the 1923-25 average in April to 85 per cent in May, which was the fourth consecutive month of gradual decline from the recent high level of 90 in January. At steel mills output declined somewhat in May and the first three weeks of June, as is usual at this season. In the automobile industry, where out put this spring has been at a level substantially higher than in other recent years, production showed a marked decline in May, reflecting in part the effects of a strike. At cotton mills there was little change in activity, while at woolen mills production increased further, contrary to seasonal tendency. Production of shoes declined seasonally. Output of coal, which has fluctuated wide ly in recent months, reflecting partly developments in the labor situation, showed a marked increase during May and the early part of June. Factory employment and payrolls declined between the middle of April and the middle of May. Decreases in employment were reported for the automobile, radio, lumber, clothing, cotton, silk and shoe industries, while at woolen mills employment increased and in many other lines little change was reported. Value of construction contracts awarded, as reported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, was about the same in May as in April. Residential work continued in excess of a year ago, while the volume of contracts for public projects was smaller than in the correspond ing month of 1934. Department of Agriculture estimates based on June 1 reports indicate that conditions for wheat, oats, bar ley, rye, hay, and pastures were at the ten-year average for 1923-32, in contrast with conditions a year ago, which were unusually poor as a consequence of a pro longed drought. The winter wheat crop this year is estimated to be somewhat larger than last year and, with a considerable increase indicated for spring wheat, present conditions, according to the Department of Agriculture, suggest a total crop of about 670,000,000 bushels as compared with 496,000,000 bushels last sea son and a ten-year average of 828,000,000 bushels. Do mestic stocks of wheat have been materially reduced this season. Distribution Total volume of freight-car loadings increased in May by about the usual seasonal amount. Coal ship ments showed a marked increase, while loadings of miscellaneous freight declined. Department store sales, as measured by the Board’s seasonally adjusted index, increased from 73 per cent of the 1923-25 average in April to 76 per cent in May and were at approximately the same level as a year ago. Commodity Prices The general level of wholesale prices, which was 80.3 per cent of the 1926 average at the end of April and also in the week ending May 25, had declined to 79.8 per cent by the week ending June 15, according to the index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Grain prices decreased considerably during May and the first half of June. Cotton prices, after a sharp decline at the end of May and a subsequent increase, also were lower in the middle of June than at the beginning of May. Prices of commodities other than farm products and foods as a group advanced slightly during this period. Bank Credit During the five weeks ending June 19 reserve bal ances of member banks increased by $175,000,000 as a result of gold imports, offset in part by an increase in Treasury cash and deposits with the Reserve banks. Excess reserves of member banks on June 12 were above $2,500,000,000 for the first time, but declined somewhat in the following week. At reporting member banks in leading cities there was an increase of $540,000,000 in net demand depos its in the four weeks ending June 12, due in part to gold imports. Time deposits declined by $150,000,000, of which $70,000,000 represented a decline at New York City banks consequent upon a ruling of the New York Clearing House in May prohibiting the payment of interest on new time deposits maturing in less than six months. Total loans and investments of reporting banks showed no important changes. Short-term open-market interest rates continued at low levels in May and the first Tialf of June.