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

o f Financial and Business Conditions

F ifth
FEDERAL

Reserve
D is tr ic t

June 30, 1941

Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Va.

Summary of May Business Conditions
R A D E and industry continued to rise in May and
early June in the Fifth Federal Reserve district, and
all figures were materially higher than those for 1940.
The volume of business is based primarily on the defense
program, which is reaching into practically every trade
and industry either through direct Government orders or
in the effects of increased purchasing power o f consumers
as a result o f added employment, longer hours o f work,
and higher payrolls.

T

The industries working on Government defense orders
in large volume are shipyards, airplane plants, steel mills,
cotton textile mills, lumber mills and branches o f the
munitions industry, together with a host o f smaller plants
making innumerable items required by the A rm y or
Navy. Further, the Government is financing, either di­
rectly or indirectly, a great deal o f housing and other
construction in the district. The wages paid in all these
activities are affecting distribution of all kinds o f con­
sumer goods, as reflected in department store sales, furni­
ture sales, automobile sales, and speculative building of
homes for sale to people in the lower and medium income
groups.
In distribution to consumers, retail trade in May in
department stores rose 22 per cent above sales in May
1940, and retail furniture sales were 34 per cent higher
last month than a year ago. Sales o f new passenger
automobiles, which had set a record for a single month

in April, advanced further in May to a new high, and
sales o f used cars were also exceptionally brisk. A large
number o f modest homes in the four to five thousand
dollar class are being built and sold on long time pay­
ments in or near Fifth district cities, especially those in
which defense work is being done.
Industrially the district is operating at or near ca­
pacity, and additional facilities are under construction at
a number o f points. Many textile mills are sold up
through this year, and shipyards and airplane plants have
orders assuring full time activities for several years. Bi­
tuminous coal mines, after the April shut-down, produced
24 per cent more coal in May 1941 than in May last year,
and rayon yarn shipments to domestic consumers set a
new record in M ay for a single month. Building permits
issued in Fifth district cities last month were 16 per cent
above May 1940 permits in valuation, and construction
contracts awarded rose 154 per cent over contracts last
year.
Agricultural prospects in the Fifth district struck the
only unfavorable note last month. Lack o f rain reduced
estimates o f probable yield for many crops, and delayed
planting o f others. Pastures throughout the district are
in extremely poor condition, and many farmers had to
feed stock in May. However, rains fell in nearly all
sections o f the district in June, and it is too early in the
season to judge the extent o f the damage done by the
drought in April and May.

BUSINESS STATISTICS— FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT

May 1941

April 1941

May 1940

Month

Debits to individual accounts (25 cities)..
Sales, 79 department stores, 5th district....
Sales, 41 furniture stores, 5th district.......
Sales, 190 wholesale firms, 5th district.....
Registrations, new autos, 5th district.......

$1,717,276,000
$ 16,590,561
1,630,641
$
$ 13,420,000
38,966

$1,628,471,000
$ 16,075,814
1,501,474
$
$ 12,688,000
34,958

$1,361,494,000
$ 13,601,512
1,212,407
$
$ 10,323,000
23,623

4" 5
+ 3
+ 9
+ 6
+ 65

+
+
+
+
+

Number of business failures, 5th district..
Liabilities in failures, 5th district...............
Value o f building permits, 29 cities.............
Value o f contracts awarded, 5th district....
Cotton consumption, 5th district (Bales)..

37
281,000
$
$ 14,579,982
$ 100,005,000
413,387

$
$
$

51
604,000
12,565,219
39,339,000
314,276

— 12
0
-j- 11
+108
— 0

— 27
— 53
+ 16
+154
+ 32

Cotton price, cents per lb., end of month..
Print cloths, 39 in., 80x80s, end of month..
Rayon yarn shipments, U. S. (Pounds).....
Rayon yarn stocks, U. S. (Pounds)...........
Bituminous coal mined, U. S. (T on s).........

12.89
10.50
39,900,000
5,900,000
43,400,000

10.11
6.375
32,200,000
12,500,000
34,896,000

+ 13
+ 14
+ 3
— 20
+626

+
+
+
—
+




42
281,000
13,105,339
48,098,000
413,856
11.41
9.25
38,700,000
7,400,000
5,975,000

$
$
$

Year
26
22
34
30
44

27
65
24
53
24

MONTHLY REVIEW

2
BA N K IN G

STATISTICS

RESERVE BAN K STATEMENT ITEMS
Fifth District
000 omitted
ITEMS
June 15
May 15
1941
1941
Discounts held ..............................................
Industrial advances ...................................
Government securities ..............................
Total earning assets ..............................
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes...............
Members’ reserve deposits.........................
Cash reserves ..............................................
Reserve ratio ..............................................

$

108
852
121,486
122,446
309,206
394,524
678,548
84.04

$

60
844
121,486
122,390
299,519
435,693
683,999
84.88

110
896
126,217
127,223
224,457
298,881
432,154
77.62

$148,400
161,278
458,814
269,162
27,929
696,815
207,584
0

$148,900
161,709
408,353
302,684
26,893
686,514
207,496
0

$121,200
149,448
429,072
200,885
23,241
569,955
201,662
0

M UTUAL SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
10 Baltimore Banks
May 31
1941
Total deposits

Apr. 30
1941

May 31
1940

$225,433,883

$224,836,673

$223,616,485

DEBITS TO INDIVIDU AL ACCOUNTS
Fifth District
000
May
1941

omitted

Apr.
1941

May
1940
$ 292,486

+

493,412
9,352
11,056

476,472
9,486
11,245

Durham ...............
Greensboro ...........
Raleigh .................
Wilmington .........
Winston-Salem . .

16,774
96,343
33,975
27,309
51,214
17,425
47,254

South Carolina
Charleston ...........
Columbia .............
Greenville .............
Spartanburg ----Virginia
Danville ...............
Lynchburg ...........
Newport News . .
Norfolk .................
Portsmouth .........
Richmond .............
Roanoke ...............

207
247

$10,065,000
13,827,000
13,068,000

5,732
6,005

2,381,000
2,615,000

62,707,000
69,747,000

E M PLO YM E N T

CONTIN UES

HIGH

Employment in the Fifth Reserve district has been at
a high level for several months, and changes from month
to month were relatively small. The industries o f the
district are as a rule operating at plant capacity, and
plants which might add an additional shift are unable
to do so because skilled workers are not available. U n­
employment at present is chiefly confined to the unskilled
and to white collar workers. In May the bituminous
coal mines in W est Virginia and Virginia returned to
work after a month’s idleness, but this was the only im­
portant change from April to May in the number of
workers gainfully employed in the Fifth district. Labor
disputes have been few in the district, and all were un­
important except the dispute in bituminous coal fields
during April. A recent increase in the basic hourly
wage rate set by the Government for textile workers will
raise incomes o f thousands of the lower paid men and
women in that industry, and a number o f other industries
have also established higher wage scales. The following
figures, compiled for the most part by the Bureau o f
Labor Statistics, reflect the trends of employment and
payrolls in the Fifth district from April to M ay:

%

$ 335,672

5 Months 1941 .............
5 Months, 1940 .............

$ 281,000
281,000
604,000

$

SELECTED ITEMS— 41 REPORTING MEMBER BAN KS
Fifth District
000 omitted
ITEMS
June 11
May 14
June 12
1941
1941
1940
Loans to business & agriculture.............
All other loans .............................. ...........
Investments in securities .........................
Reserve bal. with F. R. bank ...............
Cash in vaults ...................................... ••.
Demand deposits ........................................
Time deposits ..............................................
Money borrowed ..........................................

1,119
1,149
1,238

April 1941 ......................
May 1940 .......................
June 15
1940

Total Liabilities
District
U. S.

Number of Failures
District U. S.

PERIODS

Dist. of Col.
Washington .........

$ 358,663

Maryland
Baltimore .............
Cumberland .........
Hagerstown .........
North Carolina
Asheville .............

West Virginia
Charleston ...........
Parkersburg
District Totals . .

of Change
Month Year
7

390,437
8,625
8,946

+ 4
— 1
— 2

+ 26
+ 8
+24

16,036
92,486
30,553
25,009
51,709
16,667
42,136

12,711
63,876
29,277
20,847
39,966
11,231
40,563

+ 5
+ 4
+ 11
+ 9
— 1
+ 5
+ 12

+
+
+
+
+
+
+

30,494
42,753
28,629
16,859

26,721
38,503
25,327
17,134

20,972
34,175
20,381
11,444

+ 14
+ 11
+ 13
— 2

+ 45
+25
-j[-40
h47

9,838
16,959
16,466
75,720
6,833
181,474
36,044

8,827
16,513
15,738
71,205
6,679
173,290
34,121

8,044
14,438
12,204
52,924
4,665
154,112
28,933

+ 11
+ 3
+ 5
+ 6
+ 2
+ 5
+• 6

+ 22
+ 17
+ 35
+ 43
+46
+ 18
+ 25

60,093
19,732
12,605
$1,717,276

55,583
19,814
11,545
$1,628,471

52,062
17,696
10,479
$1,361,494

+
—
+
+

[-15
-12
-20
+ 26

8
0
9
5

32
51
16
31
28
55
16

C O M M E R C IA L FAILU RES D ECLIN E

Business failures last month in the Fifth district were
lower than in May 1940 in both number and liabilities in­
volved, according to figures compiled by Dun & Bradstreet. Statistics for several periods were as follow s:




Percentage change from
April 1941 to May 1941
In number
In amount
on payroll
of payroll

+ 23
STATES

+ 2.8
4 - 0.6

Maryland .................
Dist. of Columbia
Virginia ...................
West Virginia
North Carolina . . ,
South Carolina . ..
District Average ,

A U TO M O BILE

4- 4.8
-j-54.9
+ 0.4
— 0.3
+ 7.3

SALES A T

+

+

7.3
0.8

+11.6
+ 81.0
+ 4.2

+ 1.1

+ 18.4

PEAK

Sales o f new passenger automobiles continue at or
near record levels, stimulated by generally increased pur­
chasing power and a belief that 1942 models will be
substantially higher. It is also possible that output of
next year’s models may have to be so reduced as to make
future deliveries uncertain. Used cars have accumulated
on dealers’ lots as a result o f the new car sales, but
business in used cars has also been exceptionally good
and the stocks built up are not burdensome. Dealers’
lots hold many late model cars in excellent condition,
and when new cars advance in price or become scarce
these high grade used cars will sell readily. Tire dealers
have been pushing new tires recently, and report that
many automobile owners are equipping their cars all
around with new tires at present prices in anticipation
o f higher prices and restrictions in rubber supplies avail­
able for passenger car tires.
The following registration figures for new passenger
cars were furnished by R . L. Polk & Co., o f D etroit:

MONTHLY REVIEW
REGISTRATION OF N E W PASSENGER CARS— NUMBER
May
1941

STATES

Maryland ...........
Dist. of Col..........
Virginia .............
West Virginia . .
No. Carolina . . .
So. Carolina . . .
District ...........

7,475
4,237
9,337
4,524
8,708
4,685
38,9'66

May
1940

Change

5,048
2,982
4,996
3,255
4,727
2,615
23,623

+ 48
+ 42
+ 87
+ 39
+ 84
+ .7 9
+ 65

%

BU ILDIN G PERM ITS A N D

5 Months 5 Months
1941
1940
30,381
16,650
34,423
16,152
34,742
19,219
151,567

%
Change

21,829
12,108
23,098
12,919
22,749
12,876
105,579

+39
+38
+49
+25
+53
+49
+44

CO N TR A C TS RISE

Permits issued in 29th Fifth district cities in May 1941
totaling $14,579,982 were 11 per cent above permits total­
ing $13,105,339 in April this year and 16 per cent above
$12,565,219 in May last year. Washington led in valu­
ation last month with $7,199,205, followed by Baltimore
with $2,394,234, Charlotte with $736,310, Richmond with
$688,822, and Roanoke with $373,859. However, only
10 of the 29 reporting cities showed higher figures for
May 1941 than for M ay 1940.
Contracts awarded for construction work are a much
better indicator o f the volume o f construction in the dis­
trict than building permits, especially at this time when a
large amount o f emergency work is being done with G ov­
ernment funds. Most o f these projects are outside the
corporate limits of the larger cities, and therefore do not
show in building permits. Swelled by defense contracts,
awards made in M ay 1941 totaled $100,005,000 in the
Fifth district, increases o f 108 and 154 per cent, respec­
tively, over contracts totaling $48,098,000 in April 1941
and $39,339,000 in May 1940. Figures on construction
contracts awarded have been compiled on a monthly basis
since 1921, and last month’s figure was the second high­
est in the Fifth district during that period of 20 years,
the December 1940 figure o f $101,104,000 holding the
record.
Figures on awards by states for April 1941, which were
not available when the May 31 R eview went to press,
were reported by the F. W . Dodge Corporation as fo l­
lows :
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AW ARDED
STATES

April 1941

April 1940

% Change

Maryland ................................
$10,391,000
$ 7,924,000
+31
Dist. of Col.............................
3,895,000
3,744,000
+ 4
Virginia ................................
14,598,000
8,167,000
+79
West Virginia .....................
3,169,000
2,647,000
+20
North Carolina.....................
9,125,000
7,350,000
+24
South C arolina..................... ................. 6,695,000_________ 1,793,000
+273
Fifth District .................
$47,873,000*
$31,625,000________ + 5 1
♦This figure varies slightly from the revised figure on Page 1.

C O A L PRO D U CTIO N A B O V E SEASON AL L E V E L

Settlement o f the labor dispute in bituminous coal
fields at the end of April enabled the mines to reopen in
May, and production during that month totaled 43,400,000
net tons, an increase of 24 per cent over 34,896,000 tons
mined in May last year. The high tonnage figure last
month was partly due to activity on the part of industrial
coal consumers this year, but also to the necessity o f re­
building reserve stocks which were depleted during the
April shut-down. But in spite o f the low output in
April, total production of 196,745,000 net tons o f bitu­
minous coal to June 7 this calendar year exceeds 195,863,000 tons mined to the same date in 1940. Hampton
Roads ports loaded 9,296,715 tons between January 1 and




3

June 7, 1941, a decrease o f 13 per cent under loadings o f
10,664,327 tons in the corresponding period last year. In
the Fifth district, bituminous coal mined in May 1941,
April 1941 and May 1940, was as follow s:
SOFT COAL PRODUCTION IN TONS
May 1941

REGIONS
West Virginia . . .
Virginia ...............
Maryland ...............
5th District . .
United States
% in District

Apr. 1941

May 1940

13,575,000
1,592,000
138,000
15,304,000
43,400,000
35.3

345,000
230,000
14,000
589,000
5,975,000
9.9

11,060,000
1,296,000
102,000
12,458,000
34,896,000
35.7

C O TTO N T E X T IL E O PERA TIO N S A T C A P A C IT Y

The Journal o f Commerce states that trading in cotton
gray goods markets was extremely brisk during the first
half o f May, but tapered off when shortages began to
appear and buyers encountered increasing difficulty in
their attempts to obtain supplies for quick and nearby
delivery. Print cloth sales were well in excess o f pro­
duction and the end o f the month saw mills with enough
unfilled orders to sustain the present high rate o f opera­
tions for the balance o f the year. Heavy goods such as
ducks, drills, twills and osnaburgs continued active, and
there was talk o f imposing priorities to assure a freer
flow o f materials for defense purposes. Sharp price
gains were reported in practically all divisions o f the
industry, and in most lines quotations varied according to
desired delivery dates, the higher prices applying to spot
and nearby deliveries. Mill margins, the difference be­
tween the price o f a pound o f cotton and its approximate
cloth equivalent, averaged 20.8 cents in May 1941 against
19.8 cents in April and 11.4 cents in May 1940. The
10-year (1930-39) average margin for May was 11.6
cents.
COTTON CONSUMPTION— FIFTH DISTRICT
In bales

1941...........
1941...........
1940...........

5 Months,
5 Months,

Virginia

District

223,743
223,032
165,312

169,452
171,865
135,329

20,192
18,959
13,635

413,387
413,856
314,276

1,063,742
860,421

808,001
667,146

88,330
68,031

1,960,0173
1,595,598

No. Carolina So. Carolina

MONTHS
May
April
May

R A Y O N Y A R N SHIPMENTS SET N EW RECORD

Shipments o f rayon filament yarn to domestic con­
sumers in May totaled 39,900,000 pounds, setting a new
monthly record and exceeding production by 1,500,000
pounds, reducing reserve stocks of yarn from 7,400,000
pounds on April 30 to 5,900,000 pounds on May 31, ac­
cording to Rayon Organon. In May 1940 shipments
totaled 32,200,00 pounds, and reserve stocks on May 31,
1940, amounted to 12,500,000 pounds. In the first five
months o f this year shipments o f 180,600,000 pounds o f
yarn to domestic consumers exceeded five months ship­
ments o f 154,700,000 pounds in 1940 by 17 per cent.
The inventory o f rayon filament yarn held by broad weav­
ers at the end of May 1941 totaled 28,400,000 pounds, com ­
pared with 27,300,000 pounds on April 30, 1941, and
21,600,00 pounds on May 31, 1940.

MONTHLY REVIEW

4

C O TTO N PRICES HIG H EST SINCE 1937

R E T A IL A N D W H O LESALE TR A D E

Spot cotton prices on 10 Southern markets advanced
substantially between the beginning o f May and the mid­
dle of June, reflecting the influence o f legislation requir­
ing loans o f 85 per cent o f parity for the 1941-42 season,
the strong domestic mill demand, and the general advance
in commodity prices. The average price of middling
grade 1 5 /16-inch staple cotton on the Southern markets
was 11.41 cents per pound on May 2, from which the
price rose steadily to 13.69 cents on June 13, a gain of
$11.40 per bale. On June 14, 1940, the average price
was 10.68 cents. Price rises in April and May caused
withdrawals from Government loan stocks, and through
June 7 about 2,032,000 bales, or almost two-thirds o f the
total pledged on Government loans from the 1940-41
crop, had been withdrawn. Total loan stocks are now
considerably less than 9,000,000 bales, including some
6,000,000 bales owned by the Commodity Credit Corpo­
ration.
May
1940

413,387

314,276

869,659
1,028,639

Aug. 1 to May 31
This Year Last Year

566,146
784,861

3,610,817

3,162,073

6,745,724

5,622,339

Cotton growing states:
785,913
554,258
Cotton consumed .....................
Cotton on hand May 31 in
Consuming establishments . . 1,536,640 1,049,885
Storage & compresses ......... . 10,972,929 10,027,199

Richmond (5) .........
Baltimore ( 10) . . . .
Washington (7)
Other Cities ( 12)
Fifth District (79) * .

+ 16 ( + 16)
+ 20 ( + 20)

+ 22 ( + 21)

+ 17 ( + 15)
22, ( + 20 )

+

Same stores by states, i
eluding stores reporting
sales only:
Maryland (13) ...............
Virginia (16) ...............
West Virginia (15)
North Carolina (16) . .
South Carolina (12)

+
+
+
+

23
22
24
27

(+
(+
(+
(+
(+

+
+
+
+
+

16
8
12
U
11

20)
22)
17)
18)
21)

+
+
+
+
+

114
188
144
134
148

+
+
+
+
+

5
15
14
10
13

......................
......................
......................
......................
......................

♦Includes stores reporting sales only.
Note: Second figure, in parentheses, under Sales compares combined
sales m 5 months of 1941 with sales in first 5 months of 1940.

RETAIL FURNITURE SALES
Changes in Sales, May and 5 Months of 1941
Compared with Compared with
May 1940
5 Months 1940
Maryland, 9 stores .........................
+21
+ 2,1
+44
+37
Dist. of Col., 7 stores..................... ..
Virginia, 13 stores ....................... ..
+29
+28
North Carolina, 5 stores...................
+49
+22
South Carolina, 7 stores................. ..
+50
+40
District, 41 stores .......................
+34
_j_29
STATES

Fifth district states:
Cotton consumed.......................
Cotton on hand May 31 in
Consuming establishments .
Storage & compresses ........ .

Percentage increase or decrease in sales, stocks,
outstanding orders and outstanding receivables in
May, 1941, in comparison with May, 1940 figures:
Sales
Stocks
Orders
Receivables

%

COTTON CONSUMPTION AND ON HAN D— BALES
May
1941

DEPARTMENT STORE TRADE

Individual
Baltimore, 9
Richmond, 5
Washington,

Cities:
stores ...........................
stores ..............................
7 stores .......................

+21
.{-is
+44

+21
.^13
+37

United States:
918,902
Cotton consumed .....................
641,636
Cotton on hand May 31 in
Consuming establishments . . 1,927,939 1,314,792
Storage & compresses ......... . 11,358,417 10,091,517
71,539
226,469
Exports of cotton .......................
Spindles active, U. S................... . 22,980,286 22,213,378

TOBACCO

M A N U F A C T U R IN G

7,914,140

6,595,635

975,540

5,921,431
LINES

INCREASES

Production o f all tobacco products increased in May
over April except cigars, and M ay figures were higher in
all lines except smoking and chewing tobacco than those
for M ay 1940. Production figures released by the Bu­
reau o f Internal Revenue are as follow s:
May, 1941
Smoking & Chewing
tobacco, pounds ...............
Cigarettes, number ...............
Cigars, number .......................
Snuff, pounds ...........................




W H OLESALE TRADE, 190 FIRMS

April, 1941

May, 1940

25,621,949
17,858,111,310
475,067,340
3,609,796

25,619,906
15,853,661,710
490,584,765
3,507,505

26,457,385
16,274,867,793
469,313,069
3,466,676

Auto supplies (8) .........
Drugs & Sundries ( 1 1 )..
Dry goods (8) ...............
Electrical goods ( 6)
Hardware (14) .............
Groceries (57) ...............
Industrial supplies (9) .
Paper & products (8) . .
Tobacco & products (8) .
Miscellaneous (57)
District Average (190)

Net Sales
May 1941
compared with
May
Apr.
1940
1941
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

66
55
24
19
41
51
10
72
30
24
32
30

Source: Bureau of the Census.

(Compiled June 21, 1941)

— 3
'
— 14
+ 2
+ 5
— 17
+ 15
+ 9
+ 10
+ 26
+ 4
+ 15
+ 6

Stocks
May 31, 1941
compared with
May 31 Apr. 30
1940
1941
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

15
3
33
22
34
7
14
24
9
20
26
16

— 4
+ 3
+ 2
+ 5
— 11
— 3
— 1
+ 1
+ 2
— 4
+
+

1
o

Ratio May
collections
to accounts
outstanding
May 1
72
60
96
56
75
51
96
83
77
88
71
70

MONTHLY REVIEW, June 30, 1941

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Compiled by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

A ft e r a slight decline in A p ril industrial a ctivity increased sharply in M ay
and the first h alf o f June. W holesale com m odity prices show ed a fu rth er con ­
siderable advance and retail prices also increased. D istribution o f com m odities
to consum ers was m aintained in large volum e.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

PRODUCTION

Federal Reserve index of physical volume of
production, adjusted for seasonal variation, 193539 average = 100.
Subgroups shown are ex­
pressed in terms of points in the total index.
By months, January 1935 to May 1941.
DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND STOCKS

13
95

13
96

13
97

14
90

13
98

14
91

Federal Reserve indexes of value of sales and
stocks, adjusted for seasonal variation, 1923-25
average = 100.
By months, January 1913*5 to
May 1941.

V olum e o f industrial output increased sharply in M ay, fo llo w in g a decline
in A pril, and the B oard’ s seasonally adju sted in dex rose to 149 per cen t o f
the 1935-1939 average, as com pared w ith 140 in A p ril and 143 in M arch. The
decline in A pril had reflected m ainly reduced ou tpu t o f bitum inous coal and
au tom obiles occasioned b y shutdowns accom pan yin g industrial disputes. These
w ere settled during the m onth and in M ay and the first h a lf o f June output in
these industries rose to the high levels prevailin g earlier.
In a num ber o f other lines activity increased steadily th roughou t the spring
months, particularly in the m achinery, a ircra ft and shipbuilding industries.
Steel production was m aintained at 99 per cen t o f capacity, ex cep t f o r a short
period during late A pril and early M ay when ou tp u t w as redu ced som ewhat
ow in g to a shortage o f coal. Output o f n on ferrou s m etals also continued near
ca p a city; deliveries o f fo r e ig n copper in M ay in creased to 49,000 tons, am ount­
ing to about one-third o f total deliveries to dom estic consum ers. T ow ard the
end o f the m onth, as it becam e apparent that com bined m ilitary and civilian
need f o r these metals w ould soon greatly exceed available supplies, a G eneral
P referen ce O rder coverin g all iron and steel products w as issued by the P riori­
ties D ivision o f the O ffice o f P roduction M anagem ent and in June m andatory
priority controls w ere established fo r copper and zinc.
Textile production rose fu rth er in M ay, reflectin g increased activity at
cotton , w ool, and rayon mills. A continued rise in ou tpu t o f m anufactured
fo o d products was likewise reported and a ctivity in the chem ical and shoe
industries was m aintained at earlier high levels, although usually there is a
considerable decline at this season. P etroleu m production increased, and ou t­
put o f anthracite also advanced follow in g som e curtailm ent in A pril. Iron ore
shipm ents am ounted to 11,000,000 tons in M ay, a new record level and near
the shipping capacity o f the present Lake fleet.
V alue o f construction con tra ct awards rose sharply in M ay, reflectin g in ­
creases in both public and private construction , accord in g to F. W . D odge
reports. A w ards fo r private residential and n onresidential building increased
m ore than seasonally, and contracts fo r defen se p ro je cts continued in large
volum e.

WHOLESALE PRICES

DISTRIBUTION
D istribution o f com m odities to consum ers was sustained at a high level
in M ay. D epartm ent store sales show ed a fu rth er rise, w hile sales at variety
stores declined b y slightly m ore than the usual seasonal am ount. Retail sales
o f new autom obiles continued at the high A p ril level and sales o f used cars
rose further.
F reigh t-car loadings increased sharply in M ay, reflectin g a m arked rise in
coal shipments and a fu rth er expansion in loadings o f m iscellaneous freigh t.
In the first h alf o f June total loadings w ere m aintained at the advanced level
o f other recen t weeks.

13
95

13
96

13
97

13
98

13
99

14
90

14
91

Bureau of Labor Statistics’ indexes, 1926 = 100.
“ Other” includes commodities other than farm
products and foods. By weeks, January 5, 1935
to June 14, 1941.
MONEY RATES IN NEW YORK CITY

C om m ercial loans at reportin g banks in 101 cities continued to rise during
the fo u r w eeks ending June 11. Bank holdings o f U nited States G overnm ent
securities increased further, chiefly through the purchase o f bills b y N ew Y ork
City banks and o f bonds by banks in other leading cities. A s a result o f the
expansion in loans and investm ents bank deposits continued to increase.

/V
j

A aa.
- v

TREASURY N TES
O

'1

13
98

fc

/\

\

TREASlJRY BILLS / H

13
97

-

j s

iu
___

14
90

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SECURITY PRICES

14
91

Weekly averages of daily yields of 3- to 5-year
tax-exempt Treasury notes, Treasury bonds call­
able after 12 years, and average discount on new
issues of Treasury bills offered within week.
For weeks ending January 5, 1935 to June 14, 1941.




W holesale prices o f a num ber o f agricultural and industrial com m odities
showed fu rth er increases from the m iddle o f M ay to the m iddle o f June and
the general index o f the Bureau o f L abor Statistics advanced tw o points to 87
per cent o f the 1926 average. F ederal action to lim it price increases was e x ­
tended to som e consum er goods, principally new autom obiles, hides, and certain
cotton yarns. In retail m arkets prices o f m ost grou ps o f com m odities have
advanced, reflectin g in part increases in w holesale prices earlier this year.

BANK CREDIT

.............TR lEASURY BONOS

"v v A r* ,V|

COMMODITY PRICES

F ollow in g a rise in the latter part o f M ay T reasu ry b on d prices declined
slightly in the first half o f June. On June 14 the 1960-65 bon ds w ere % o f a
point below the all-tim e peak in prices o f D ecem ber 10. Y ields on both taxable
and tax-exem pt 3- to 5-year notes declined slightly fr o m the m iddle o f M ay
to the middle o f June.

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