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WILLIAM W. HOXTON, Chairman and F ed eral R eserve A gent



MARCH 31,1933

USINESS in the Fifth Federal
remarkable revival of confidence. De­
reserve district in February was
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT posits everywhere were reported far
in excess of withdrawals, and Federal
in seasonal volume during the first
reserve notes in circulation and re­
half of the month, but in the sec­
discounts at the reserve bank prompt­
ond half there was a recession, due
ly began to decline immediately after
principally to growing uneasiness
banks resumed their customary func­
about the banking situation. When
banking moratoriums, which h a d
As previously mentioned, business
started elsewhere, reached this district
outside of banking was not up to sea­
and Maryland banks closed, many
sonal level in February. Debits to
people in the other Fifth district states
individual accounts during the month
began to question the ability of their
were below debits in February last
banks to meet withdrawals. When
year, in spite of large withdrawals for
confidence is shaken it affects all in­
hoarding. Commercial failures com­
stitutions in a greater or less degree.
pared favorably with those of Feb­
Heavy withdrawals of deposits began
ruary last year in number, but liabili­
soon after the middle of February,
hoarding increased enormously, and people started con­ ties involved in failures in February 1933 were the
serving the cash they had, all of which adversely af- ! second highest for any month on record. Employment
fected trade. While the National banking holiday was ; conditions registered no improvement last month, and
on, retail buying declined drastically, but the effects , became worse at the end of the month and early in
of the week's holiday will not show statistically until : March. Coal production in February totaled 2.8 per
next month’s Review, when March figures will be ; cent less than production in February 1932, but on a
available. A study of reserve bank operations and , daily basis the 1933 month made the better record,
member bank condition figures, contained elsewhere in 1 February 1932 having an extra day. Textile mills in
this Review, shows concretely how severe the calls on the Fifth district maintained operations at recent levels
commercial banks were, and also how the reserve bank ; in February, but did not use quite as large a percent­
was able to expand credit to meet the extraordinary ! age of total cotton consumption for the month as they
demands upon it. Deposits in forty-eight reporting j did in January, when they used slightly more than
member banks, dropped nearly $38,000,000 in three • half the cotton used in the United States. Spot cotton
weeks preceding the holiday, causing the banks to draw ! prices rose between the middle of February and the
upon their reserve accounts for $15,000,000, and to ; middle of March. Tobacco markets nearly all closed
increase their rediscounts at the reserve bank by about j in February after selling a small crop for moderately
$33,500,000 in the same period. To meet the demand j better prices than the 1931 crop brought. Farm work
for currency, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond j in February advanced seasonally, and the weather was
increased its circulation of Federal reserve notes by
$114,000,000 between February 15 and March 15, favorable for both growing and future crops. A very
tripled rediscounts for member banks, and increased small number of building permits was issued and rela­
investments in open market paper, most of which was i tively few construction contracts were awarded in
taken from member banks somewhere in the reserve February, although the contracts awarded exceeded
those of February last year in total valuation. Retail
system, by nearly $19,000,000.
Since the release of the banks from restrictions im- : trade last month in department stores in the Fifth dis­
posed during the holiday, there seems to have been a trict lacked 24.2 per cent of equaling trade in Feb-



ruary last year, and collections were also slower last

Reserve Bank Statement

300 omitted
Mar. 15 Feb. 15 Mar. 15

Rediscounts held ---------------- $ 47,012 $ 17,494 $ 30,936
Open market paper------------Government securities ---------- __48,149 _46,899 „ 19j 081
Total earning assets----------100,941
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 214,449 100,421
Members* reserve deposits-----Cash reserves-------------------- 179,165 116,234 101,600
Reserve ratio --------------------

The accompanying table, which shows the principal
items on the condition statement of the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond as of three mid-month dates,
is especially interesting this month because the figures
reflect the great expansion in reserve bank operations
as a result of the bank crisis of the first half of March. ;
It should be understood that the figures shown reflect j
the condition of the Bank on the report dates only,
and are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures
that occurred during the past month or the past year.
The most striking comparison of the figures for
March 15 with those for February 15 is the rise in
the circulation of Federal reserve notes. A month
ago, before the bank holiday began, notes of this
Bank outstanding totaled $100,421,000, but on March
15 the amount outstanding had risen to $214,449,000,
an increase of $114,028,000. Most of this sum was
advanced to member banks to strengthen their cash
positions just prior to the President’s moratorium on
all bank transactions or to provide funds for any un­
usual demand for currency which might develop when
banks reopened. It is interesting to know that notes
in actual circulation reached the peak on March 14,
when the total was $216,702,125, but as soon as the
banks reopened and there was no extensive demand
for cash, the outstanding notes began to flow back
very promptly to the reserve bank. Circulation declined
$2,257,530 between March 14 and 15, and dropped
$3,708,780 further on the 16th. Rediscounts for mem­
ber banks rose from $17,494,000 on February 15 to
$47,012,000 on March 15, by which date rediscounts
had begun to decrease when it was demonstrated that
confidence in banks had been restored. The portfolio
of open market paper rose by $18,900,000 during the
month under review, and holdings of Government se­
curities rose by $1,250,000. These changes raised the
Bank’s total earning assets from $66,035,000 at the
middle of February to $155,703,000 at the middle of
March. Member bank reserve deposits at the Fed­
eral reserve bank, which totaled $62,966,000 on Feb­
ruary 15, declined materially immediately preceding
the holiday, but began to rise again as soon as banks
reopened, and on March 15 totaled $67,642,000, an
increase of $4,676,000 during the month. The several
changes in the statement previously mentioned, with

others of less importance, raised the cash reserves of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond from $116,234,000 on February 15 to $179,165,000 on March
15, a rise of $62,931,000, but because of the great
increase in the circulation of reserve notes the ratio
of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities com­
bined dropped from 66.21 to 62.09, a decline of 4.12
A comparison of the March 15, 1933, figures in the
statement with those of March 15, 1932, shows ap­
proximately the same changes noted in the comparison
between the February 15 and March 15, 1933, figures.

Member Bank Statement

000 omitted
Mar. 1 | Feb. 15 Mar. 9
1933 | 1933

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) _____ $107,670 $108,579 $144,087
182,006 | 181,268 217,503
All other loans___ _________
Total loans and discounts .
289,676 289,847 361,590
Investments in stocks & bonds.. 268,192 i 249,982 226,545
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank....
45,643 i 46,402
Cash in vaults_____________
Demand deposits __________
260,490 267,944 286,963
Time deposits_____________
218,014 i 228,588 216*168
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.__
27t449 i

The figures in the accompanying table are totals of
the principal items of condition as of three mid-week
dates for forty-eight member banks in twelve cities of
the Fifth Federal reserve district. March 1, 1933,
figures are used instead of March 15 figures, because
a number of the reporting banks did not reopen on or
before the latter date. As in the case of reserve batik
condition figures, the figures shown herewith reflect
the conditions of the reporting banks on the report
dates only, and are not necessarily the highest or low­
est figures that occurred during the periods under
In the two weeks between February 15 and March
1, most of the items changed notably, due of course
to the effects of the unusual conditions brought about
by heavy withdrawals of deposits prior to the National
banking holiday. Loans at the reporting banks changed
very little during the two weeks, but all other items
either increased or decreased markedly. Rediscounts
for the reporting institutions at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond jumped from $5,068,000 to $27,449.000 during the two weeks, and the aggregate re­
serve balance of the reporting banks at the reserve
bank declined. Much of the rediscounting was done
to obtain currency, and cash in vaults rose during the
period under review from $14,707,000, a normal fig­
ure, to $30,101,000, approximately double the amount
of cash these banks would carry under ordinary con­
ditions. Investments in stocks and bonds rose by $18,210.000 between February 15 and March 1, all of
which was in Government securities. Most of the
changes enumerated were caused either directly or in­
directly by a decline of $18,028,000 in deposits during
the two weeks, reflecting the wave of withdrawals

which precipitated the banking crisis and holiday.
Demand deposits dropped $7,454,000 and time de­
posits decreased $10,574,000 in the period under re­
Comparison of the March 1 figures with those for
March 9 last year show marked changed, some of
which were due to a smaller volume of general busi­
ness this year and some to unusual developments of
the past few weeks. The decrease in outstanding loans
is due to general business conditions and so is the rise
in the amount of securities owned, but the marked
changes in cash in vaults, in rediscounts, and in de­
mand deposits were chiefly caused by the bank crisis
of late February. On March 1, 1933, twenty-six of
the forty-eight reporting banks were borrowing from
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, compared
with twenty-three of the forty-eight which were bor­
rowing at the reserve bank on March 9, 1932.

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in forty-eight reporting member banks
and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings banks
in Baltimore totaled $419,966,566 at the end of Feb­
ruary 1933, a lower figure than either $441,064,813
reported at the end of January 1933 or $435,002,632
reported at the end of February 1932. Decreases
occurred in both member banks and mutual savings
bank, and of course reflected the heavy withdrawals
'rom all banks prior to the bank holiday.

Debits to Individual Accounts

Asheville, N. C.—Baltimore, Md.........
Charleston, S. C.—
Charleston, W. Va...
Charlotte, N. C.---Columbia, S. C.-----Cumberland, M d.—
Danville, Va.
Durham, N. G..........
Greenville, S. JC
.----Hagerstown, Md......~
Huntington, W. Va.....
Lynchburg, Va. ------ (
Newport News, Va— i
Norfolk, Va. ......-----;
Portsmouth, Va......... |
Raleigh, N. C-------- !
Richmond, Va............ j
Roanoke, Va. -------- j
Spartanburg, S. C — ;
Washington, D. C... i
Wilmington, N. C.— |
Winston-Salem, N. C.
Fifth District Totals*

000 omitted
Total debits, calendar months

$ 7,370

! $ 8,216
1 104,007
1 186,551

$718,375 1 $823,506


$ 6,402





Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
in the banks of leading Fifth district cities are shown
in the accompanying table for February 1933, with


comparative figures for the preceding month this year
and the corresponding month last year. Monthly fig­
ures are used because the usual four weeks* figures
are not comparable this month, due to the bank holi­
Total debits in twenty-four cities in February 1933
amounted to $718,375,000, compared with $823,506,000 in January, a decrease of only 12.8 per cent
in spite of the facts that January was a longer month
and contained a large volume of annual payments on
or about the first day of the year. February figures
were undoubtedly swelled by heavy withdrawals for
hoarding near the end of the month. Two cities, Spar­
tanburg and Washington, actually reported larger
debits in February than in January, and all other
cities showed less than seasonal decline.
Debits for February this year totaling $718,375,000
show a decline of 15.9 per cent in comparison with
debits in February 1932, a smaller percentage decline
than in most recent months. Heavy withdrawals for
hoarding this year account in part for the relative
smallness of the decline, but there was also a consid­
erable amount of hoarding early in 1932, and there­
fore the comparison of February 1933 debts with those
of the corresponding month last year is more nearly
accurate than the comparison with figures of the pre­
ceding month this year. Two cities, Raleigh and
Washington, reported larger debits in February 1933
than in February 1932.

Commercial Failures
In the number of bankruptcies reported by Dun &
Bradstreet for the month of February 1933, the Fifth
district showed a better record than for either Janu­
ary this year or February last year, but liabilities in­
volved in failures in the district last month were higher
than for any other month since the record month of
March 1924. There were 150 failures in the Fifth
district in February 1933, with liabilities totaling $9,782,518, compared with 187 failures and liabilities to­
taling only $3,056,287 reported for January 1933, and
198 failures and liabilities aggregating $7,970,070 in
February 1932. The United States with 2,368 bank­
ruptcies in February this year showed a decrease of
13 per cent in comparison with the number of failures
in February last year, and total liabilities for the
United States totaling $65,576,068 last month were
22.8 per cent less than aggregate liabilities in Febru­
ary last year. The Fifth district decrease of 24.2
per cent in the number of failures last month was
therefore better than the National record, but the
district rise of 22.7 per cent in aggregate liabilities
involved in the failures compared unfavorably with
the National decline of 22.8 per cent. Most of the
failures in the Fifth district in February this year
were in the trading group, but 87 per cent of the lia­
bilities involved were in the manufacturing group.


Employment conditions did not improve during Feb­
ruary, and during the first half of March became much



worse, due to uncertainty during the bank holiday
which caused people to conserve their cash and to hold
up plans for work in the near future. In recent weeks
there has been a decline in public work such as high­
way construction, political divisions of the States hold­
ing down appropriations because of declining lax
receipts and increasing needs for funds for relief
work. Some farm work is getting under way in the
Fifth district, but farmers are in no position to hire
much labor and the demand for extra help on farms
will probably be less this Spring than in most years.
Construction work continues at very low levels, and
therefore building tradesmen are almost entirely idle.
Textile mills and tobacco factories are practically the
only industries in the district which are using anywhere near their normal quotas of workers, and even
these are not operating as fully as they were before
the depression began.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal production in the United States
totaled approximately 27,220,000 net tons in February
1933, a larger output than 27,060,000 tons mined in
January this year, but 2.8 per cent less than 28,013,000
tons dug in February 1932. February this year had
one less working day than February 1932, however,
and therefore on a daily basis last month’s average
production of 1,139,000 tons exceeded daily production of 1,130,000 tons in February last year. Total
production during the present coal year through March
11 amounted to 280,455,000 net tons, a smaller figure
than for any other recent year.
In its February 25 report, the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave production figures by
states for January 1933. West Virginia mined 6,703.000 tons during that month, ranking ahead of 6,347.000 tons mined by Pennsylvania, the second state,
but comparing unfavorably with 7,272,000 tons produced in West Virginia in February 1932.
Tidewater shipments of coal through Hampton
Roads ports this calendar year through March 11 totaled 3,691,526 net tons, a higher figure than 3,574,969
tons shipped through the same ports to March 11 last

Cotton mills in the Fifth district consumed 220,749
bales of cotton in February 1933, a decrease of 6.42
per cent under 235,897 bales consumed in January
this year but 2.17 per cent above 216,061 bales con­
sumed in February 1932. Of the 220,749 bales used
last month, South Carolina mills used 104,602 bales,
North Carolina mills used 104,587 bales, and Virginia
mills used 11,560 bales. It is interesting to note that
South Carolina exceeded North Carolina in cotton con­
sumption in February for the first time in a number
of years. The Fifth district also showed an increase
in February consumption over consumption in Feb­
ruary last year, while the United States as a whole
showed a decrease of 2.12 per cent in consumption

1 between the two periods. Consumption of cotton in
: the Richmond reserve district in February this year
totaled 49.98 per cent of National consumption, com­
pared with 50.06 per cent of National consumption
for the district in January 1933 and 47.88 per cent
in February 1932.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices on ten leading Southern markets
1 advanced between the middle of February and the
middle of March. In our Review last month we
! quoted the average price for upland short staple cot­
j ton, middling basis, as 5.91 cents per pound on Feb­
j ruary 17. On February 24 the average price was
; 5.95 cents, and on March 3 the price had risen to 6.09
cents. Cotton exchanges and markets were closed dur­
ing the moratorium on banking, but on March 17, the
latest date for which official figures are available, the
average price was 6.32 cents per pound.
Cotton consumption in the United States in Feb­
ruary 1933 totaled 441,663 bales, compared with 471,202 bales used in January this year and 451,239 bales
j in February 1932. Total consumption for the seven
| months of the present cotton season—August 1 to
j February 28—amounted to 3,253,149 bales, compared
! with 3,076,982 bales consumed in the corresponding
; period ended February 29, 1932. Manufacturing es­
j tablishments held 1,441,641 bales on February 28,
j compared with 1,495,527 bales held on January 31
j this year and 1,634,344 bales on February 29, 1932.
\ Public warehouses and compresses held 9,379,990
bales in storage at the end of February this year,
| compared with 10,020,760 bales so held a month ear­
; lier and 9,510,820 bales on February 29 last year.
! February exports totaled 557,022 bales, compared with
j 793,666 bales sent abroad in January this year and
; 968,325 bales exported in February last year. Ex­
\ ports during the seven months of this cotton year
! totaled 5,596,736 bales, compared with 5,925,306 bales
; shipped overseas during the corresponding seven
j months ended February 29, 1932. Consumption of
j cotton in the cotton growing states numbered 370,607
! bales in February 1933, compared with 397,774 bales
; used in January and 366,601 bales in February 1932.
Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
to 83.91 per
I amounted with 81.24 percent of National consumption,
cent of National consumption
used in the cotton growing states in February last
year. Of the 370,607 bales of cotton used in cotton
growing states in February, the Fifth district mills
used 220,749 bales, or 59.56 per cent, compared with
58.94 per cent of Southern consumption attained in
the district in February last year. Spindles active in
the United States at some time in February 1933
numbered 23,659,100, compared with 23,766,968 in
January this year and 25,190,276 in February last year.
The final ginning report on the 1932 cotton crop
was released by the Census Bureau on March 20, and
showed the year’s production to be 12,703,281 run­
ning bales, the equivalent of 12,994,430 bales of 500
pounds gross weight. The final ginning figure was



per cent above the final crop estimate of the De- j ing February, as the market for that type closed the
partment of Agriculture made early in December. In i latter part of January. The quality of tobacco sold
the Fifth district, all of the cotton growing states | during February was very poor, and warehousemen
showed higher ginning figures than the estimates of j estimated that sales graded 9 per cent good, 33 per
probable production. North Carolina ginned 662,785 j cent medium, and 58 per cent common, compared with
equivalent 500 pound bales, compared with a fore­ February 1932 sales of 12 per cent good, 33 per cent
cast of 640,000 bales for the year, an increase of 3.6 ; medium, and 55 per cent common. Among the in­
per cent; South Carolina ginnings totaled 715,678 bales, { dividual markets, Danville led the flue-cured markets
compared with a forecast of 695,000 bales, an increase both last month and for the entire season, selling
of 3.0 per cent; and Virginia ginnings totaled 31,144 : 1,649,465 pounds and 24,548,956 pounds, respectively.
bales against a forecast of 28,000 bales, an increase • Blackstone led fire-cured markets in February sales
of 11.2 per cent. All three states grew smaller crops ; with 1,059,824 pounds, but Lynchburg led in total
of cotton in 1932 than in 1931, due to reduced acre- \ fire-cured sales for the season with 4,124,132 pounds.
age, the use of less fertilizer, and unfavorable weather ; North Carolina tobacco markets sold only a small
during part of the growing season. The district total : quantity of tobacco in February, and the markets
production of 1,409,607 bales shows a decrease of ; which had not previously closed did so during the
393,393 bales, or 27.9 per cent, under the 1931 yield month. Season sales on North Carolina markets to­
taled 283,495,702 pounds of producers’ tobacco this
of 1,803,000 bales.


Tobacco Marketing

year, at an average price of $11.98 per hundred
pounds, compared with 466,756,112 pounds sold last
1933 j year for an average of $8.86 per hundred. Among
the individual markets, Greenville led in season sales
j with 35,152,106 pounds, but Wilson was a close sec­
ond with 33,891,258 pounds. Asheville, the only bur­
i ley market in North Carolina, led in average price
j for the season with $15.22 per hundred pounds, but
j Ahoskie led the flue-cured markets with $14.14 per
hundred. The crop of tobacco in North Carolina in
62,518,688 j 1932-1933 was of poorer quality than usual, but there
j was a better demand for lower grades than in most
j seasons.

Virginia sales of leaf tobacco during February
amounted to 6,774,786 pounds, at an average price of i
$6.12 per hundred, according to warehouse reports to
the Commissioner of Agriculture. During February I
1932, sales were nearly twice as large, amounting to
12,977,637 pounds, but the average price was only
$5.25 per hundred, or nearly $1.00 less than the average this year. Total sales for the season through Feb- *
ruary of all types of tobacco amounted to
pounds, at an average of $8.73 per hundred, compared with the previous season’s sales to the same
date of 103,956,901 pounds, at an average price of j
$6.69 per hundred. Flue-cured markets closed during I Agricultural Notes
February, but fire-cured and sun-cured markets re- i
mained open during part of March. Flue-cured sales j Weather on the whole has been favorable for early
last month amounted to 3,086,319 pounds, making the j farm work since the first of the year, and spring
total for the season 42,796,623 pounds, compared with ! plowing is seasonally advanced. The soil contains
69,652,779 pounds last season. As usually happens j plenty of moisture and crops should make a good start
at the close of the season, prices declined last month this year. Winter grown crops are in good condition,
and the average for February was only $4.54, com­ and cold weather sufficiently retarded development of
pared with $6.42 in January. The average price for fruit buds to give indications of at least average yields
the season of $8.11 is the highest average for this of apples, peaches, and other fruits. Intentions to
type since the 1929-1930 season. The 1931 crop j plant reports, issued in March, show rather insignifi­
averaged $7.03 per hundred, and the 1930 crop $7.94. cant changes from last year in most crops, but present
Fire-cured sales during February amounted to 3,198,- indications point to a material increase in tobacco acre­
097 pounds, which was about 50 per cent of the Jan­ age, due to better prices received for the 1932 crop.
uary sales, and also about half of the sales during I In Maryland, com and sweet potato acreages are ex­
February 1932. The average price of $7.57 per hun- I pected to be increased, while oats, Irish potatoes and
dred pounds is the highest February average since j tobacco will be reduced. Virginia farmers are plan­
1930. Total sales of this type through February j ning to increase the acreage of tobacco, food and feed
amounted to 12,808,710 pounds, while in the same I crops, and reduce the acreage of commercial Irish and
period last year 23,560,190 pounds were sold. Sun- i sweet potatoes and peanuts. West Virginia corn, Irish
cured sales during February were the largest for any | potato and tobacco acreage will be increased, while
month during the present season, but amounted to only less hay will be planted. North Carolina tobacco
490,370 pounds, about 40 per cent less than the sales growers plan a larger acreage this year, and increased
for the same month last year. The average price for acreage is also expected for corn and Irish potatoes,
the month of $6.66 was practically the same as in but hay, sweet potatoes and peanuts will be reduced.
January, but was slightly higher thian the average of South Carolina tobacco growers report plans for an
$6.43 for February 1932. Total sales of this type for increase in acreage this year, but acreage in both Irish
the season amounted to 1,157,937 pounds, compared and sweet potatoes will be reduced, while plantings
with 2,791,275 pounds, the total for the same period of corn, hay and peanuts will be approximately the
last year. There were no sales of burley tobacco dur­ same as in 1932.



Building Operations for the Months of February
1933 and 1932
Total Valuation
Permits Issued
895 $ 397,080
Baltimore, Md. ..
8 I
Cumberland, Md.
Frederick, Md. ..
5 !
Hagerstown, Md.
Salisbury, Md. ...
Danville, Va.............. : 13*
Lynchburg, Va.
Norfolk, Va...............j 77
Petersburg, Va.
Portsmouth, Va. ----- j 24
Richmond, Va............ ! 53
Roanoke, Va.............J
Bluefield, W. Va___ !
Charleston, W. Va.....: 67
Clarksburg, W. Va.....' 10
Huntington, W. Va.....i
Asheville, N. C. -----i 16
Charlotte, N. C.-----23
Durham, N. C.------- !
Greensboro, N. C.— j 15
High Point, N. C.— j
Raleigh, N. C.-------8
Rocky Mount, N. C...:
Salisbury, N. C------ •
Wilmington, N. G —! 12
Winston-Salem, N. C.j 31
Charleston, S. C.-----j
Columbia, S. C.------- ! 27
Greenville, S. C.-----29
Rock Hill, S. C____
Spartanburg, S. C.—
Washington, D. C---- 286
District Totals.___ _ 1,207
2,123 '$1,623,809
♦Not included in totals.

Building permits issued in thirty-two cities of the
Fifth district totaled only 1,207 in February 1933, a
decrease of 43.1 per cent in comparison with 2,123
permits issued in the corresponding month last year.
Total valuation for all permits issued last month
amounted to $1,623,809, a decrease of 49.8 per cent in
comparison with a valuation of $3,234,996 in Feb­
ruary 1932. Seven of the thirty-two cities reported
higher valuation figures last month than for the same
month last year. The three largest cities, Baltimore,
Washington and Richmond, showed relative low totals.
Charlotte made the best record in valuation in Feb­
ruary, due to a new Post Office Addition amounting
to $384,000.
Contracts actually awarded for construction work in
the Fifth reserve district in February this year totaled
$8,326,270, including both rural and urban projects,
compared with $7,340,638 in contracts awarded in
February 1932, according to figures collected by the
F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the February 1933
contracts, $1,339,250, or 16.1 per cent, was for resi­
dential structures, compared with $3,495,283, or 47.6
per cent of the total, for residence work in February
last year.


: l:lr l,:r:l i= i:!T
' = zr,rr::r, TT


....................................... ~

Retail Trade, 32 Department Stores

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

February 1933 sales, compared with sales in February 1932:
Jan.-Feb. 1933 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Feb. 1932:
Feb. 28, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 29, 1932:
Feb. 28, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1933:
+ 5.6
+ 7.9
+ 6.7
+ 4.4
+ 6.8
Number of times stock was turned in February 1933:
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1933:
Percentage of Feb. 1, 1933, receivables collected in February:
26.5_______247______ 23.9

Department store sales in the Fifth Federal reserve
district in February 1933 averaged 24.2 per cent less
than sales in February 1932, but the decline is at least
partly accounted for by one less trading day this year
and by lower prices in many lines. Thirty-two stores
reported on their February business, and among the
individual cities from which three or more reports
were received Washington made the best record with
an average decline of 21.4 per cent. In total sales
during the first two months of 1933, the 32 stores
averaged a decrease of 21.3 per cent in comparison
with sales in the first two months of 1932.
Stocks in the reporting stores increased seasonally
during February, rising by 6.8 per cent over those on
hand at the end of January, but on February 28 this
year stocks averaged 18.1 per cent less than stocks on
hand a year earlier. Part of this decline was also due
to price changes. The reporting stores turned their
stock an average of .244 times during February, and
between January 1 and February 28 stocks were turned
.479 times, both of these averages being lower than
those for the corresponding periods in 1932.
The percentage of collections in February 1933 to
total accounts receivable on February 1 was lower
than the percentage for February 1932. Richmond
reported the highest collection percentage, while Bal­
timore reported the lowest, chiefly because of a rela­
tively large volume of instalment accounts included
in the Baltimore figures.



i W holesale Trade, 60 Firms,__________________


Groceries Dry Goods







February 1933 sales, compared with sales in February 1932:
; —14.1
— 4.1
February 1933 sales, compared with sales in January 1933:
— 92
— 5.6
i Jan.-Feb. 1933 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Feb. 1932:
! —11.7
+ 2
— 6.8
5 Feb. 28, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 29, 1932:
—17.5(8*) —10.8(3*) —14.0(4*) —15.6(7*)
Feb. 28, 1933, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1933:
: — 1.2(8*) + 1.4(3*) + 3.4(4*) + .3(7*)
: Percentage of Feb. 1, 1933, receivables collected in February :
| 52.9(13*) 29.7(5*)
27.1(11*) 45.5(8*)
* Number of repprting firms.

In February 1933 sales reported by a selected group
i of shoe jobbers exceeded sales by the same firms in
| February 1932 by 16.4 per cent, but the other four
j lines of wholesale trade for which data are available
j reported lower sales. Cumulative sales during Janj uary and February in dry goods showed an increase
I of 2/10ths of 1 per cent, and shoe sales rose 23.2
j per cent in comparison with sales in the first two
i months of last year, but the other three lines reported
| lower sales this year.
| Stocks on the shelves of the reporting grocery firms
| slightly declined during February, but dry goods, shoe
! and hardware stocks advanced seasonally. All four
j lines had smaller stocks on hand at the end of Febj ruary than on the corresponding date a year earlier,
j part of the reduction being due to lower prices.
| Collections in February 1933 were slower in groj ceries, dry goods, hardware and drugs than collections
• in February 1932, but collections in shoes were dis| tinctly better this year.

(Compiled March 21, 1933)



(Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board)

The course of business in the latter part of Feb­
ruary and the first half of March was largely influenced
by the development of a crisis in banking, culminating
in the proclamation on March 6 of a National banking
holiday by the President of the United States. Pro­
duction and distribution of commodities declined by a
substantial amount during this period, but showed some
increase after banking operations were resumed in the
middle of March.

Production and Employment

Volume of output at factories and mines which
usually increases at this season, showed little change
from January to February, and declined considerably
in the first half of March. In the steel and automobile
industries output decreased between the middle of Feb­
ruary and the middle of March; subsequently some of
the automobile plants which had been closed resumed
operations, while activity at steel mills showed little
change. In February output at cotton and woolen mills
continued at the level prevailing in January, while at
silk mills activity declined. Shoe production increased
by more than the usual seasonal amount.
Reports from important industrial states indicate
that factory employment increased between the middle
of January and the middle of February, as is usual
at this season.
Construction contracts awarded up to March 15, as
reported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, indicate
that for the first quarter of the year the total value of
contracts will show a considerable decline from the
fourth quarter of 1932.

j Bank Credit
During February member banks in leading cities were
| subjected to withdrawals of deposits on a large scale,
j reflecting in part withdrawals of balances by interior
I banks from their city correspondents and in part with; drawals of currency by the public. As a consequence,
j net demand deposits of these banks declined by $1,J 306,000,000 during the month, and their time deposits
; by $360,000,000. In order to meet these withdrawals
j the banks reduced their loans by $539,000,000, partly
I through the sale of acceptances to the reserve banks,
| and their investments by $363,000,000. They also inj creased considerably their borrowings at the reserve
| banks. March figures for member banks are incom| plete.
At the Federal reserve banks the banking crisis mani1 fested itself between February 1 and March 4 in a
domestic demand for $1,833,000,000 of currency, in­
cluding about $300,000,000 of gold and gold certifi­
cates, and in a foreign demand for about $300,000,000
! of gold. As a consequence, the reserve ratio of the
j Federal reserve banks declined from 65.6 per cent to
! 45.0 per cent. This reflected a loss of $655,000,000
in reserves and an increase of $1,436,000,000 in Fed­
eral reserve note circulation, offset in part by a decrease
of $486,000,000 in deposit liabilities.

I Between March 4 and March 22, there was a return
j flow to the reserve banks of $558,000,000 of gold coin
j and gold certificates and of $319,000,000 of other cur: rency, and the reserve ratio advanced to 55.5 per cent.
Discounts for member banks, which had increased to
$1,432,000,000 by March 4, declined to $671,000,000
Freight traffic, which usually increases at this sea­ | on March 22.
son, showed little change from January to February,
Money rates in the open market advanced during the
on a daily average basis, and declined considerably in
the first two weeks of March. Department store sales : banking crisis, and on the resumption of business after
in the country as a whole were at about the same rate i the banking holiday, rates were at considerably higher
in February as in January, but were substantially small­ • levels than those prevailing on March 3. Subsequently
er in areas affected by suspension of banking opera­ | rates declined as more funds became available to the
tions; early in March sales were sharply reduced but market. On March 3, the discount rate of the Federal
with the reopening of banks showed some increase.
Reserve Bank of New York was raised from 2y2 to
; 3y2 per cent, and on March 4 there was a similar in­
W holesale Prices
Wholesale commodity prices declined somewhat fur­ crease at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The
ther in February. In the early part of March the com­ New York bank’s buying rate on bills was raised by
modity exchanges were closed; when they reopened ; successive steps from y2 of 1 per cent on February
on March 15 and 16, prices of grains, cotton, silk, non: 26, for bills of the shorter maturities, to V /\ per cent
ferrous metals, hides and sugar were substantially above
those prevailing at the beginning of the month; sub­ ! on March 3. On March 13 the rate for these maturisequently prices of many of these commodities declined : ties was raised to V/2 per cent; subsequently the rate
» was reduced and on March 22 was 2 per cent.

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