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MARCH 31, 1934

RADE, industrial and banking in­
nearly 18 per cent above the February
dices for February and the first
output. Textile mills in th
half of March followed seasonal trends
Fifth reserve district continued full
in most instances, although there were
time operations in February, but lost
a few variations above or below the
ground to other sections in the percent­
age of the National total of cotton
normal line. The outstanding feature
in the past month was the marked con­
used. Spot cotton prices sagged slight­
trast to developments in the corre­
ly between the middle of February and
sponding period last year, especially
the middle of March, but domestic con­
in banking. Last month rediscounts
sumption and exports of cotton both
for member banks at the Federal Re­
exceeded the February 1933 figures.
serve Bank of Richmond fell to less
Tobacco markets handled the end of
than two million dollars, in contrast
last season’s crop in February, and
with a sudden rise to nearly fifty mil­
sold considerably more tobacco for bet­
lion dollars in rediscounts in late Feb­
ter prices than in the same month last
ruary and early March last year. At
year. Construction continued to be the
the middle of March 1934 the volume
weakest spot in the present business
of Federal reserve notes in circulation was nearly sixty- and industrial set-up, permits issued in the leading cit­
seven million dollars less than outstanding circulation ies of the Fifth district totaling only 909 last month,
a year ago. Member bank reserve deposits^ rose thirtythree millions during the year.
Reporting member and contract awards for both city and rural work were
banks increased their loans, investments in securities, also relatively low, although double those reported for
and deposits between the middle of February and the the corresponding month last year. Retail trade as in­
middle of March this year, and on March 14 their in­ dicated by department store sales averaged 11 per cent
vestments, reserve balances, and deposits were material­ above sales in February 1933, in spite of unfavorable
ly higher than on March 15, 1933, while their cash in weather this year, and collections of outstanding ac­
vaults and their borrowing at the reserve bank was counts were better than a year earlier. Wholesale trade
much lower. Debits to individual accounts figures in last month showed some seasonal recession in several
the four weeks ended March 14 showed an average lines, but continued in much larger volume than last
increase of nearly 5 per cent over aggregate debits in year. Intentions to plant reports issued by the De­
the four weeks ended February 14, fifteen of the partment of Agriculture show that Fifth district far­
twenty-three reporting cities showing higher figures.
The commercial failure record in both the United mers expect to reduce acreage in money crops this year,
States and the Fifth reserve district was better in Feb­ especially in tobacco. Extremely severe weather in
ruary 1934 than for any other month since 1920, and February and early March damaged winter crops in the
in both number of failures and in liabilities involved the district, and also hurt many fruit trees. Reports indi­
district showed larger decreases in comparison with cate that many truck crops on the coast were so badly
February 1933 figures than the National average. The damaged that they had to be abandoned or replanted.
volume of employment in the middle of March was Farmers on the whole are stronger financially this year
somewhat less than in earlier months of this year, owing
in large part to the tapering off of Federal relief work than they were a year ago, and are consequently better
since the end of February. Coal production in Febru­ able to equip their farms with needed live stock and
ary on a daily basis was above January production, and machinery, and to buy commercial fertilizer.




Reserve Bank Statement
000 omitted
Rediscounts held ---------------Open market paper--------------Government securities ---------Total earning assets----------Circulation of Fed. Res. notes....
Cir. of Fed. Res. bank notes—
Members* reserve deposits-----Cash reserves_________ ____
Reserve ratio --------------------

Mar. 15

Feb. 15

Mar. 15

$ 1,919 $ 2,593
147,694 147,329
166,339 165,416

$ 47,012

$33,018,000 during the year, accumulating to an
amount totaling more than $100,000,000. Cash re­
serves of the Richmond reserve bank decreased $17,234,000 between March 15, 1933, and March 15, 1934,
but the ratio of reserves to note and deposit liabilities
combined rose 1.68 points, the drop in note circulation
more than balancing the decline in cash reserves and
the increase in deposits.

Member Bank Statement

Mar. 14

000 omitted
Feb. 14 Mar. 15

Changes during the past month in the statement of Loans on stocks & bonds (in­
cluding Governments) _____ $ 59,593 $ 59,313 $ 59,680
condition of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
were relatively unimportant. Rediscounts for member All other loans_____________ 112,284 109,223 114,019
Total loans
banks declined further, by $674,000, and holdings of Investments in& discounts____ 171,877 168,536 138,655
180,431 179,422
open market paper decreased by $1,389,000. No change Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.... 36,611
occurred in the Bank’s investments in Government se­ Cash in vaults_____________
curities, but the decreases in rediscounts and holdings Demand deposits ---------------- 203,215 198,883 164,870
of open market paper reduced total earning assets by Time deposits_____________ 132,759 130,701 124,897
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.__
$2,063,000 between February 15 and March 15. Dur­
ing the month under review there was a slight increase
The figures in the accompanying table are totals of
of $365,000 in the circulation of Federal reserve notes.
the principal items of condition as of three mid-week
Also, during the month, provision was made for the
retirement of $4,402,000 Federal Reserve bank notes dates for twenty-eight member banks in the Fifth Fed­
outstanding by the deposit with the U. S. Treasury of a eral reserve district. March 14, 1934, figures are com­
like amount of gold certificates to cover their redemp­ pared with those of February 14, 1934, and March 15,
tion when and as presented. Member banks continued 1933, thus affording opportunity for study of the
to increase their reserve accounts at the reserve bank changes during the past month and the past year.
Between February 14 and March 14, both this year,
last month, this item showing a rise of $5,686,000 and
loans and discounts rose by $3,341,000, a seasonal rise
reaching on March 15 a total more than double the
legal required reserve. The several changes in the due to borrowing by merchants to discount bills for
statement, with others of less importance, raised the spring merchandise. Loans on stocks and bonds rose
total cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of $280,000, and all other loans, which are chiefly com­
Richmond by $923,000 between the middle of Febru­ mercial and industrial at this season, rose $3,061,000.
ary and the middle of March, but the ratio of cash The reporting banks increased their investments in sereserves to note and deposit liabilities combined de­ i curities by $1,009,000 during the month, but their re| serve deposits at the Federal reserve bank declined by
clined approximately a quarter of a point.
| $2,168,000, merely a daily fluctuation. Cash in vaults
A comparison of the March 15, 1934, figures with ! rose $552,000 between the middle of February and the
those for March 15, 1933, shows very marked changes j middle of March. Deposits in the twenty-eight banks
during the year, due to the fact that the 1933 figures ! rose $6,390,000 last month, demand deposits gaining
reflect the unusual conditions which existed at the end | $4,332,000 and time deposits rising $2,058,000. None
of the banking holiday. In contrast with rediscounts I of the reporting institutions were borrowing at the re­
totaling only $1,919,000 held by the Richmond reserve serve bank on either February 14 or March 14.
bank on March 15 this year, a year ago member banks
On March 15, 1933, the reporting banks were just
in this district were borrowing $47,012,000, a decrease reopening after the banking holiday, and comparison of
of $45,093,000 during the year. The portfolio of open the figures as of that date with those for March 14,
market paper, which increased greatly just before the j 1934, reflects banking trends in the Fifth district cities
banking holiday last year, declined by $19,349,000 be­ I since the crisis. Little change occurred in total loans
tween March 15 last year and this. On the other hand, ; and discounts during the year, there being a net dethere was a marked increase amounting to $45,414,000 j crease of $1,822,000. On the other hand, the banks
in the Bank's ownership of Government securities. To­ j increased their investments in securities, mostly in Govtal earning assets showed a net decrease of $19,028,000 | ernment obligations, by $41,776,000 in the year, and
during the year. Federal reserve notes in circulation ; their reserve balances at the Federal reserve bank rose
rose very sharply in February and March last year, but I by $5,178,000. Cash in vaults registered a decline of
began to decline again immediately after the termina­ j $11,844,000 between March 15 last year and March 14
tion of the banking holiday. By March 15, 1934. notes this year, most of which occurred very soon after the
in circulation had dropped by $66,755,000, but still were 1933 date, when it became evident that depositors were
considerably higher in amount than in average years. sufficiently confident of the security of reopened banks
Member bank reserve deposits show an increase of to leave their funds in them. Deposits rose by $46,-

207,O X during the year, of which $38,345,000 was in
demand deposits and $7,862,000 in time deposits. Most
of the rise in deposits occurred during the latter half
of the year under review. At the middle of March last
year the twenty-eight reporting banks were borrowing
$22,487,000 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Rich­
mond, but the last of this was paid off in November and
none of the twenty-eight institutions were borrowing on
March 14, 1934. Most of the borrowing last year was
for the purpose of improving the banks’ cash position,
and the loans were repaid shortly after the banks re­

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in twenty-eight reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings
banks in Baltimore totaled $320,697,855 at the end of
February 1934, a higher figure than $317,206,433 re­
ported at the end of January this year but a lower fig­
ure than $326,849,566 at the end of February last year.
Both the reporting member banks and the savings
banks gained in deposits during the past month, but
the savings banks report a lower total than at the end
of February 1933.

Debits to Individual Accounts

000 omitted
Total Debits, four weeks ended
March 14,
Feb. 14,
+ o r-

Asheville, N. C.-----Baltimore, Md............
Charleston, S. C.---Charleston, W. Va....
Charlotte, N. C.-----Columbia, S. C...........
Cumberland, Md........
Danville, V a.______
Durham, N. C._____
Greensboro, N. C----Greenville, S. C.-----Hagerstown, Md........
Huntington, W. Va__
Lynchburg, Va-------Newport (News, Va.....
Norfolk, Va_______
Portsmouth, Va.-----Raleigh, N. C.-------Richmond, Va.-------Roanoke, Va----------Washington, D. C---Wilmington, N. C---Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 7,347
J 5,146

$ 8,187

+ 1.4
— 1.5
— 6.2
+ .2
— 3.4
+ 4.0
+ .8
+ 6.5
+ .3
+ 9.7
+ 6.0
+ 52
— 7.8

Fifth District Totals



+ 4.8

The figures in the accompanying table show aggre­
gate debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts
in the banks of twenty-three Fifth district cities for
two equal periods of four weeks, one ended March 14,
1934, and the other ended February 14, 1934. No fig­
ures for 1933 are included in the table this month, all
banks having been closed part of the corresponding pe­
riod last year.


Total debits in reporting cities during the four weeks
ended March 14 amounted to $779,100,000, an in­
crease of $35,436,000, or 4.8 per cent, over debits total­
ing $743,664,000 reported for the preceding four weeks,
ended February 14. Fifteen of the twenty-eight cities
show higher figures for the more recent period, and
several of the eight decreases were due to closing of
tobacco markets in the latter part of February. All of
the five largest cities reported higher figures for the
period ended March 14, Baltimore increasing 11.6 per
cent, Washington 6.0 per cent, Richmond 0.3 per cent,
Norfolk 0.8 per cent, and Charlotte 12.3 per cent.
Charlestown, W. Va., with an increase of 37.8 per cent,
made the best record for the four weeks ended March
14, the marked increase in that city being due in large
part to State financing around March 1.

Commercial Failures
Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review for March says,
“Insolvencies in February were the lowest in number
and amount fon any month in fourteen years. For
the month just closed, there were 1,049 failures in the
United States, as compared with 2,378 similar defaults
in February 1933 and 2,732 in February 1932, de­
creases of 55.9 per cent and 61.6 per cent, respectively.
As to the liabilities for the insolvencies that occurred
last month, the amount was $19,444,718, while in Feb­
ruary 1933 liabilities recorded totaled $65,576,068, a
decrease in the 1934 month of 70.3 per cent.” Every
section of the country made a better showing for Feb­
ruary 1934 than in the corresponding month a year
ago, but in the main the greatest improvement was in
the South. In the Fifth reserve district specifically,
February 1934 defaults numbered only 62, with aggre­
gate liabilities amounting to $850,365, compared with
150 defaults and liabilities totaling $9,782,518 in Feb­
ruary last year, decreases for the current month of 58.7
per cent in number and 91.3 per cent in liabilities. In
both number of failures and in liabilities involved, the
February 1934 record of the Fifth district was better
than the National average. Last month’s insolvencies
were the fewest for any month since November 1920,
and last month’s liabilities were the lowest since August

Employment conditions in the Fifth Federal reserve
district are not so good in the latter part of March as
they were earlier in the year, owing in large part to
the tapering off of Federal relief work since the end of
February. Some industries have added additional work­
ers in recent weeks, notably in the textile field, but the
workers taken on have been fewer than the number
laid off by lessened activity in Governmental aided
projects. The weather has been very unfavorable for
outside work during the past month, and work on many
projects had to be suspended entirely during the last
week in February and the first few days in March.
The severe weather also prevented farmers making
preparations for spring planting, and thereby postponed
agricultural employment for some workers. Building



tradesmen and other workers in construction fields con­
tinue to be the most generally unemployed class of peo­
ple in the district.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal production in the United States
totaled approximately 31,950,000 net tons in February
1934, a smaller output than 32,916,000 tons mined in
January this year, but 17.7 per cent more than 27,134,000 tons dug in February 1933. February had two less
working days than January 1934, however, and there­
fore on a daily basis last month’s average production
of 1,331,000 tons exceeded daily production of 1,266,000 tons in January. Total production during the pres­
ent coal year through March 10 amounted to 327,034,000 net tons, an increase of 15.7 per cent over 282,763,000 tons dug to the same date last year.
In its February 24 report, the Bureau of Mines, De­
partment of Commerce, gave production figures by
states for January 1934. West Virginia mined 8,460,000 tons during that month, ranking ahead of 7,930,000
tons mined by Pennsylvania, the second state, and ex­
ceeding by 18 per cent 7,157,000 tons produced in West
Virginia in February 1933.
Tidewater shipments of coal through Hampton
Roads ports this calendar year through March 10 to­
taled 3,813,233 net tons, a higher figure than 3,691,526
tons shipped through the same ports to March 10 last

Although the rate of operations last month in Fifth
district textile mills was slower than the rates in either
January this year or February last year, the mills as a
rule sold their production for several weeks ahead.
Cotton mills in the district consumed 210,481 bales of
cotton in February 1934, a decrease of 9.1 per cent
under 231,555 bales used in January 1934 and a drop
of 4.7 per cent under 220,749 bales consumed in Feb­
ruary 1933. Of the 210,481 bales used last month,
North Carolina mills consumed 107,463 bales, South
Carolina mills 91,972 bales, and Virginia mills 11,046
bales. Consumption of cotton in the Richmond reserve
district in February this year totaled only 44 per cent
of National consumption, compared with 46 per cent of
National consumption for the district in January 1934
and 50 per cent in February 1933.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices on ten leading Southern markets
declined slightly during the past month, falling from
an average of 12.29 cents per pound on February 16
to 12.15 cents on March 16. The average price a year
ago, March 17, 1933, was 6.32 cents per pound. The
average price on February 16 this year, 12.29 cents,
was the highest price since the middle of July 1930.
Cotton consumption in the United States in Febru­
ary 1934 totaled 477,890 bales, compared with 508,034
bales used in January this year and 441,203 bales in
February 1933. Total consumption for the seven

months of the present cotton season—August 1 to Feb­
ruary 28—amounted to 3,401,614 bales, compared with
3,253,390 bales consumed in the corresponding period
ended February 28, 1933. Manufacturing establish­
ments held 1,654,369 bales on February 28, compared
with 1,602,044 bales held on January 31 this year and
1,449,413 bales on February 28, 1933. Public ware­
houses and compresses held 8,638,995 bales in storage
at the end of February this year, compared with 9,500,915 bales so held a month earlier and 9,377,783 bales on
February 28 last year. February exports totaled 628,457 bales, compared with 739,352 bales sent abroad in
January this year and 557,022 bales exported in Febru­
ary last year. Exports during the seven months of this
cotton year totaled 5,547,907 bales, compared with 5,596,746 bales shipped over seas during the correspond­
ing seven months ended February 28, 1933. Consump­
tion of cotton in the cotton growing states numbered
376,211 bales in February 1934, compared with 406,343
bales used in January and 369,805 bales in February
1933. Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing
states amounted to 78.72 per cent of National consump­
tion, compared with 83.82 per cent of National con­
sumption used in the cotton growing states in February
last year. Of the 376,211 bales of cotton used in cot­
ton growing states in February, the Fifth district mills
used 210,481 bales, or 55.95 per cent, compared with
59.69 per cent of Southern consumption attained in the
district in February last year. Spindles active in the
United States at some time in February 1934 numbered
26,355,498 compared with 25,653,324 in January this
year and 23,669,146 in February last year.
The final ginning report on the 1933 cotton crop was
released by the Census Bureau on March 20, and
showed the year’s production to be 12,659,953 run­
ning bales, the equivalent of 13,043,110 bales of 500
pounds gross weight. The final ginning figure was 1
per cent below the final crop estimate of the Depart­
ment of Agriculture made early in December. In the
Fifth district, all of the cotton growing states showed
lower ginning figures than the estimates of probable
production. North Carolina ginned 685,661 equivalent
500 pound bales, compared with a forecast of 690,000
bales for the year, a decrease of 0.6 per cent; South
Carolina ginnings totaled 735,103 bales, compared with
a forecast of 742,000 bales, a decrease of 0.9 per cent;
and Virginia ginnings totaled 34,366 bales against a
forecast of 38,000 bales, a decrease of 9.6 per cent.
All three states grew larger crops of cotton in 1933
than in 1932, due chiefly to unusually favorable weather
during most of the growing season. The district total
production of 1,455,130 bales shows an increase of 44,381 bales, or 3.1 per cent, over the 1932 yield of 1,410,749 bales.

Tobacco Marketing
Virginia sales of leaf tobacco during February
amounted to 15,122,589 pounds, for an average price
of $9.76 per hundred, compared with February 1933
sales amounting to 6,774,786 pounds, for an average
of $6.12 per hundred pounds. Total sales for the sea­
son through February amounted to 106,836,739 pounds

this year and 62,518,688 pounds last year, and this
year’s average price of $14.41 per hundred pounds
compares with last season’s average of only $8.73 per
hundred. Flue-cured markets sold 4,616,527 pounds
at an average price of $12.65 in February 1934, com­
pared with 3,086,319 pounds sold for $4.54 per hun­
dred in February 1933. Season sales of flue-cured types
totaled 80,900,471 pounds this year, and the average
price was $16.18 per hundred pounds, compared with
42,796,623 pounds and a price of $8.11 last year. Most
of the flue-cured markets completed their sales in Feb­
ruary, but a few remained opened the first week of
March. Fire-cured sales in February were unusually
large, amounting to 7,236,675 pounds, of which about
6 per cent was low grade tobacco sold to by-products
plants. Sales in February 1933 totaled only 3,198,097
pounds, but last year’s average price of $7.57 per hun­
dred pounds was higher than the average of $7.05 paid
in February this year. Total sales of fire-cured tobacco
during the present season were 11,503,965 pounds, at
$6.98 per hundred pounds, compared with season sales
to February 28, 1933, totaling 12,808,710 pounds, at
$8.28 per hundred. Burley markets remained open
longer than usual this season, and sold 2,976,146 pounds
in February, for an average of $11.85 per hundred
pounds. No burley sales were made in February 1933,
the markets closing in January. Total sales of this
type this season through February amounted to 12,775,328 pounds at an average price of $10.62 per hun­
dred, compared with 5,755,418 pounds sold last year
for an average of $14.74 per hundred. Sun-cured sales
in February were smaller than usual, but the price im ­
proved over the price paid in earlier months. Sales
totaling 293,241 pounds at $10.10 per hundred last
month compared with 490,370 pounds sold for an aver­
age of $6.66 per hundred in February 1933. The Feb­
ruary price was the highest since 1930. Season sales
of sun-cured tobacco totaled 1,656,975 pounds this year,
at $8.44 per hundred, compared with 1,157,937 pounds
at $6.63 sold last year. The quality of tobacco sold
during February was considerably better than a year
ago. Warehousemen estimated that sales graded 18
per cent good, 35 per cent medium, and 47 per cent
common, compared with the February 1933 classifica­
tion as 9 per cent good, 33 per cent medium, and 58
per cent common.
North Carolina auction markets sold only 7,077,825
pounds of growers’ tobacco in February this year, and
markets which had not previously closed did so during
the month. Season sales for North Carolina are not
yet available, but will be published in the Review next

Agricultural Notes
Weather has been unfavorable for early farm work
this season, and preparations for planting are behind.
Extreme cold, with some ice, damaged winter crops and
trees in certain sections of the Fifth district, and
caused the abandonment of considerable acreage in
trucking counties along the coast. The Department of
Agriculture issued an “intentions to plant report” on
March 15, covering the chief crops except cotton. The


report says, “In using these March 1 reports, allow­
ance should be made for the fact that crop acreage re­
duction programs are still in progress and plantings may
differ more from March 1 intentions than in ordinary
years.” In the Fifth reserve district, Maryland farm­
ers expect to increase acreage in hay, Irish potatoes
and sweet potatoes, but will reduce acreage in corn,
oats, barley and tobacco. Virginia reports increased
acreage in barley, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes and
peanuts, but reduced acreage in com, hay and tobacco.
Approximately the same acreage in oats will be planted.
West Virginia acreage in oats and Irish potatoes is ex­
pected to increase this year, but acreage in corn, hay
and tobacco will be smaller. North Carolina farmers
anticipate increases in acreage in oats, barley, Irish po­
tatoes and sweet potatoes, no change in peanuts, and
decreases in corn, hay and tobacco. Farmers in South
Carolina expect to grow more corn, oats, hay and Irish
potatoes, but will reduce their tobacco acreage and plant
about the same in sweet potatoes and peanuts. All
Fifth district states plan to reduce tobacco acreage by
25 to 30 per cent, and all except South Carolina expect
to plan less corn. Farmers are generally in better po­
sition financially this spring than they have been for a
number of years, and they are buying more and better
work stock and are putting their farm machinery in
order or buying new machines.

Building Permits Issued in February
1934 and 1933
Baltimore, Md...... .—
Cumberland, Md.-----Frederick, Md-------Hagerstown, Md........
Salisbury, Md--------Danville, Va---- -----Lynchburg, [Va-------Norfolk, Va..............
Petersburg, Va-------Portsmouth, Va.-----Richmond, Va.; ------Roanoke, Va. -------Bluefield, W. Va----Charleston, W. Va.....
Clarksburg, W. Va—
Huntington, W. Va.—
Asheville, N. C.-----Charlotte, N. C -----Durham, N. C-------Greensboro, N. C.---High Point, N. C.—
Raleigh, N. C.-------Rocky Mount, N. C...
Salisbury, N. C -----Winston-Salem, N. C.
Charleston, S. C.---Columbia, S. C ------Greenville, S. C-----Rock Hill, S. C.........
Spartanburg, S. C.—
Washington, D. C.—



Total Valuation
$1,778,880 $ 397,080

Totals ---------------



$2,668,107 $1,619,309


Permits Issued

Building permits issued in thirty-one cities of the



Fifth district totaled only 909 in February 1934, a de­
crease of 24.8 per cent in comparison with 1,208 per­
mits issued in the corresponding month last year. Total
valuation for all permits issued last month amounted to
$2,668,107, an increase of 64.8 per cent in comparison
with a valuation of $1,619,309 in February 1933. Nine­
teen of the thirty-one cities reported higher valuation
figures last month than for the same month last year,
but most of the 64.8 per cent increase occurred in Balti­
more; in fact, Baltimore showed a larger increase than
the net gain reported for the entire district. Richmond
reported higher figures last month than for February
1933, but Washington, Norfolk and Charlotte re­
ported lower figures.
Contracts actually awarded for construction work in
the Fifth reserve district in February this year totaled
$19,341,529, including both rural and urban projects,
compared with $8,326,270 in contracts awarded in Feb­
ruary 1933, according to figures collected by the F. W.
Dodge Corporation. Of the February 1934 contracts,
$2,311,554, or 12.0 per cent, was for residential struc­
tures, compared with $1,339,250, or 16.1 per cent of
the total, for residence work in February 1933.

Retail Trade, 30 Department Stores

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

February 1934 sales, compared with sales in February 1933:
+ 7.1
Jan.-Feb. 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Feb. 1933:
+ 8.4
Feb. 28, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 28, 1933:
+ 1.5
Feb. 28, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1934:
+ 8.7
+ 9.9
+ 9.9
+ 9.9
Number of times stock was turned in February 1934:
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
Percentage of Feb. 1, 1934, receivables collected in February:

Department store sales in the Fifth Federal reserve
district in February 1934 averaged 11.3 per cent above
sales in February 1933. Thirty stores reported on
their February business, and among the individual cities
from which three or more reports were received Rich­
mond made the best record with an average gain of
15.9 per cent. However, the Other Cities group, in
which West Virginia and North Carolina stores are
important, made an even better comparison with a rise
of 17.5 per cent. In total sales during the first two

months of 1934 the thirty stores average a gain of
12.4 per cent in comparison with sales in the first two
months of 1933.
Stocks in the reporting stores increased seasonally
during February, rising by 9.9 per cent over those on
hand at the end of January, and on February 28 this
year stocks averaged 20.0 per cent above stocks on hand
a year earlier. The reporting stores turned their stock
an average of .229 times during February, and between
January 1 and February 28 stocks were turned .465
times, both of these averages being lower than those
for the corresponding periods in 1933.
The percentage of collections in February 1934 to
total accounts receivable on February 1 was higher
than the percentage for February 1933. Richmond
reported the highest collection percentage, while Wash­
ington reported the lowest.

W holesale Trade, 58 Firms


Groceries Dry Goods







February 1934 sales, compared with sales in February 1933:
February 1934 sales, compared with sales in January 1934:
+ .4
— 7.3
Jan.-Feb. 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Feb. 1933:
Feb. 28, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 28, 1933:
+18.6(8*) +87.8(3*) +13.5(4*) +18.4(7*)
Feb. 28, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1934:
— .5(8*) +22.6(3*) — 3.2(4*) + 1.0(7*)
Percentage of Feb. 1, 1934, receivables collected in February:
71.7(12*) 43.3(4*)
38.0(11*) 56.3(7*)
♦Number of reporting firms.

In February 1934 sales reported by fifty-eight whole­
sale firms in five lines made substantial gains over sales
in February last year, although three of the five lines
showed seasonal decreases in comparison with January
1934 sales. Cumulative sales for the first two months
of the current year were well above sales in the
first two months of 1933.
Stocks on the shelves of the reporting dry goods
and hardware firms advanced during February, but
grocery and shoe stocks declined slightly. All lines
reported larger stocks on hand at the end of Feb­
ruary than a year ago.
Collections in February 1934 were distinctly bet­
ter in all of the five lines than collections in Feb­
ruary last year.

(Compiled March 21, 1934)


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(Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board)

Volume of industrial activity increased in February
for the third consecutive month and there was a con­
siderable growth in factory employment and payrolls.
Wholesale commodity prices, after advancing for two
months, showed little change between the middle of
February and the middle of March.

Production and Employment
Output of manufactures and minerals, as measured
by the Board's seasonally adjusted index of industrial
production, increased from 78 per cent of the 19231925 average in January to 81 per cent in February.
The advance reflected chiefly increases of considerably
more than the usual seasonal amount in the output of
steel and automobiles, while activity at meat-packing
establishments declined. Activity at textile mills, which
in January had increased from the low level prevailing
at the end of the year, showed a further moderate in­
crease in February, partly of seasonal character. In the
first week of March steel production showed a further
increase and in the following two weeks remained un­
Factory employment and payrolls increased substan­
tially between the middle of January and the middle of
February to a level higher, on a seasonally adjusted
basis, than at any other time since the summer of 1931.
Working forces on railroads also showed an increase,
while at mines there was little change in the volume
of employment. The number on the payrolls of the
Civil Works Administration declined from about 4,000,000 in January to about 2,900,000 in the week end­
ing March 1. At automobile factories there was a
large increase in the number employed to approximate­
ly the level prevailing four years ago. Substantial in­
creases were reported also for the textile, clothing, shoe
and tobacco industries.
Value of construction contracts awarded, as reported
by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, showed a decline in
February, followed by an increase in the first half of
March. The total volume indicated for the first quar­
ter is somewhat smaller than in the last quarter of 1933
but considerably larger than in the first quarters of
1932 and 1933.

Freight traffic increased seasonally during February
and the early part of March. Dollar volume of depart­
ment store sales on a daily average basis showed little
change in February.

Dollar Exchange
The foreign exchange value of the dollar in relation
to gold currencies declined in the second week of Feb­
ruary to within 2 per cent of its new parity and in the
latter part of February and the first three weeks of
March showed a further slight decline.

Commodity Prices
Wholesale prices of commodities showed little change
from the middle of February to the middle of March,
after a considerable increase earlier in the year. The
index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the week
ending March 17 was at 73.7 per cent of the 1926 aver­
age, compared with 73.8 per cent the week before and
72.4 per cent at the end of January.

Bank Credit
Between the middle of February and the third week
of March imports of gold from abroad resulted in a
growth of about $550,000,000 in the country’s monetary
gold stock. Funds arising from these imports of gold
and from expenditure by the Treasury of about $140,000,000 of its cash and deposits with the Federal Re­
serve banks were for the most part added to the re­
serves of member banks, which consequently increased
by $600,000,000 during the four-week period. At the
close of the period member bank reserves were nearly
$1,500,000,000 in excess of legal requirements.
Total deposits of reporting member banks increased
by about $1,000,000,000 between the middle of Febru­
ary and the middle of March, reflecting the imports of
gold, purchases by the banks of United States Govern­
ment and other securities, and a growth of bankers’
During March money rates in the open market de­
clined further. Rates on 90-day bankers’ acceptances
were reduced from 1/2 per cent to 1/4 per cent, and
rates on prime commercial paper were reduced by 1/4
per cent to a range of 1-1 1/4 per cent. Yields on
United States Government securities also declined con­
siderably. On March 16, the Federal Reserve Bank
of Minneapolis reduced its discount rate from 3 1/2 to
3 per cent.