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MONTHLY REVIEW CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS WILLIAM W . HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND RICHMOND, VIRGINIA trade and FEBRUARYfully Federal industry in the Fifth reserve district was up to seasonal March 31, 1935 levels in nearly all lines. Perhaps the outstanding feature of that month’s business was the unusually large volume of retail trade as re flected in department store sales. February sales in thirty-one leading Fifth district stores not only ex ceeded February 1934 sales by near ly 13 per cent, but also exceeded January 1935 sales, an increase which seldom occurs in the short, between-seasons month. In bank ing, rediscounts at the Federal Re serve Bank of Richmond rose slight ly between the middle of February and the middle of March, and the Bank increased its industrial loans for working capital and its holdings of Gov ernment securities. Federal reserve note circula tion showed a seasonal decline during the month, but member bank reserve deposits rose. Reporting member banks showed practically no change in out standing loans, while investments in securities in creased and time deposits rose. Debits to individ ual accounts in four weeks ended March 13, 1935, showed a seasonal increase over debits in four weeks ended February 13 this year, and totaled 12 per cent more than debits in four weeks ended March 14 last year. The commercial failure record of the Fifth district for February was excellent, and was better than the National record in both the number of bankruptcies and liabilities involved. There were only 39 business insolvencies in the district last month, and aggregate liabilities totaled only $805,698. Employment conditions failed to show mate rial improvement in February, but on the other hand may have become slightly worse. On the whole, however, there was little net change in the situation. Coal production held up to seasonal level, and on a daily basis exceeded January production. Coal mined last month exceeded the February 1934 tonnage by nearly 12 per cent. Tex tile mills in the Carolinas and Vir ginia consumed more cotton in Feb ruary than in that month last year, but showed a seasonal recession in consumption under January 1935 figures. Spot cotton prices declined considerably in the first half of March, and tended to unsettle the cotton textile market. Toward the middle of March a movement to ward restriction of operations ap peared to be forming among textile mills. The final ginning report on the 1934 cotton crop, released by the Census Bureau on March 20, showed only 1 per cent decrease from the final production estimate made by the Department of Agriculture early last December. Tobacco markets were either closed or were clean ing up the end of the crop in February, and sales were very small. Prices averaged lower than those in earlier months of the season, but were satisfac tory for the grades of tobacco sold. Tobacco manu facturing continued to exceed production a year earlier in cigarettes and cigars, but smoking and chewing tobacco produced in February was less than in the corresponding month last year. Build ing permits issued in February 1935 exceeded the permits issued in February 1934 in twenty-four of thirty-one reporting cities in the Fifth district, but contracts actually awarded amounted to less than half the awards in the same month last year. Wholesale trade in February exceeded February 1934 trade in groceries, hardware and drugs, but sales of dry goods and shoes were smaller during the 1935 month. Farm work was somewhat handi capped by wet weather in February and early March, but winter crops are growing normally and the soil is in excellent condition for continued growth and for Spring cultivation. FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT MONTHLY REVIEW 2 Reserve Bank Statement ITEMS Rediscounts h e ld --------------Open market paper-------------Industrial advances------------Foreign loans on gold---------Government securities --------Total earning assets---------Circulation of Fed. Res. notes... Members’ reserve deposits----Cash reserves------------------Reserve ra tio ------------------- 000 omitted Mar. 15 Feb. 15 Mar. 15 1934 1935 1935 $ 152 204 3,476 7 113,563 117,402 154,112 143,169 199,146 64.87 t 131 $ 1,919 204 1,193 2,822 0 0 0 93,563 103,563 96,675 106,720 155,379 147,694 141,264 100,660 204,763 166,339 67.37 65.30 Total earning assets of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond increased by $10,682,000 between Feb ruary 15 and March 15, both this year, of which amount $10,000,000 was the Bank’s share in System purchases of Government securities. Industrial loans for working capital under authority of Sec tion 13-B of the Federal Reserve Act rose by $554,000 during the month, and the Bank shared in foregn loans on gold to the amount of $7,000. Re discounts for member banks rose $21,000 between the middle of February and the middle of March. Industrial commitments on loans made by member banks rose by $185,000 between February 15 and March 15, each commitment being an agreement to assume liability on a certain loan at the option of the lending member bank during the life of the commitment. There was a seasonal decline in the circulation of Federal reserve notes amounting to $1,267,000 between February 15 and March 15, but member bank reserve deposits rose by $1,905,000 during the same period. The several changes enum erated, with others of less important, lowered the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Rich mond by $5,617,000 during the past month, and re duced the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined by 2.5 points. In comparison with condition figures reported for March 15,1934, the corresponding figures for March 15, 1935, show material increases in most items. Rediscounts for member banks declined during the year by $1,767,000, and the portfolio of open mar ket paper dropped by $989,000, but ownership of Government securities increased by $20,000,000. On the 1935 date the Bank had $3,476,000 in loans to industry for working capital outstanding, and also had $7,000 outstanding in foreign loans on gold, whereas a year ago the Bank had no loans of either type. The changes in earning assets resulted in a net rise for the year amounting to $20,727,000. Federal reserve note circulation at the middle of March this year showed an increase of $6,418,000 over outstanding circulation a year earlier, and member bank reserve deposits rose by $42,509,000 during the year. Total cash reserves of the Fed eral Regerve Bank of Richmond rose by $32,807,000 between March 15,1934, and March 15,1935, but on account of increases in note circulation and mem ber bank reserve deposits the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined declined a little less than half a point. Statement of 28 Member Banks ITEMS Mar. 13 1935 000 omitted Feb. 13 Mar. 14 1934 1935 Loans on stocks and bonds (in cluding Governments) ____ _ $ 57,900 $ 57,881 $ 59,593 94,753 95,380 112,284 All other loans-----------------Total loans and discounts---- 152,653 153,261 171,877 212,160 203,327 180,431 Investments in securities..... 57,112 36,611 Reserve Bal. with F. R. Bank.... 52,930 12,111 11,443 Cash in vaults-------------------11,871 Demand deposits __________ 237,606 237,741 203,215 Time deposits-------------------- 136*747 135,428 132,759 0 0 Borrowed from F. R. Bank._ _ 0 The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition of twenty-eight regularly re porting member banks in the Fifth reserve district as of three dates, thus affording opportunity for comparison of the latest available figures with those of the corresponding dates a month and a year earlier. I t should be understood th at the figures in the table reflect conditions as of the report dates only, and are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures th at occurred during the interval between the dates. Between February 13 and March 13, both this year, loans and discounts declined $608,000, an unseasonal decrease when borrowing by merchants to discount bills for Spring merchandise tends to in crease. However, Easter is later this year than in most years, and therefore merchants are probably receiving goods later. Loans on stocks and bonds rose $19,000, but all other loans, which are chiefly commercial and industrial at this season, dropped $627,000. The reporting banks increased their in vestments in securities by $8,833,000 during the month, but their reserve deposits at the Federal reserve bank declined by $4,182,000. Cash in vaults declined $240,000 between the middle of February and the middle of March. Deposits in the twentyeight banks rose $1,184,000 last month, demand de posits falling $135,000 and time deposits rising $1,319,000. None of the reporting institutions were borrowing at the reserve bank on either February 13 or March 13. During the year between March 14, 1934, and March 13, 1935, discounts at the reporting banks fell by $19,224,000, of which $1,693,000 was in loans on securities and $17,531,000 was in all other loans. On the other hand, investments in securities, chiefly Government issues for short time investment, rose by $31,729,000 during the year, and the banks in creased their reserve deposits at the Federal re serve bank by $16,319,000. Cash in vaults rose $428,000 during the period under review. Aggre gate deposits in the tw enty-eight banks increased by $38,379,000 between March 14 last year and March 13 this year, demand deposits rising by $34,391,000 and time deposits increasing $3,988,000. MONTHLY REVIEW None of the reporting banks were borrowing on either the 1934 or the 1935 dates. Time and Savings Deposits Time deposits in twenty-eight reporting banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings banks in Baltimore totaled $335,036,766 at the end of February 1935, a higher figure than either $333,037,189 reported at the end of January this year or $320,697,855 at the end of February last year. Both the reporting member banks and the savings banks gained in deposits during the past month, and both also registered gains for the year. Debits to Individual Accounts CITIES 000 omitted Total debits, four weeks ended Mar. 13, Feb. 13, Man 14, 1935 1935 1934 Asheville, N. C._____ Baltimore, Md............ Charleston, S. C....... Charleston, W. Va— Charlotte, N. G ------Columbia, S. C-------Cumberland, Md........ Danville, Va.............. Durham, N. C.____ Greensboro, N. C....... Greenville, S. C.-----Hagerstown, Md........ Huntington, W. Va__ Lynchburg, Va. -----Newport News, Va.... Norfolk, Va......1 ____ Portsmouth, Va......... Raleigh, N. G.......... Richmond, Va. ......... Roanoke, Va............ Washington, D. C... . Wilmington, N. C.__ Winston-Salem, N. C $ 7,813 245,473 11,213 37,215 47,981 26,059 6,042 5,190 19,204 11,418 15,146 5,962 10,982 11,222 6,266 43,441 2,892 21,762 112,298 17,454 175,712 7,873 25,588 $ 7,644 227,109 11,400 36,393 44,778 23,349 5,737 6,168 20,095 11,445 13,113 5,278 11,138 12,243 6,150 38,554 2,899 25,531 113,163 17,205 163,517 7,345 25,153 $ 7,347 232,802 9,993 35,045 39,641 14,860 4,919 4,769 19,567 8,453 13,628 4,626 10,262 12,509 5,776 33,266 2,749 15,146 102,878 17,094 151,922 6,799 25,049 District T otals___ $874,206 $835,407 $779,100 Debits to individual, firm and corporation ac counts figures in clearing house banks in twentythree leading cities of the Fifth Federal reserve district are shown in the accompanying table for three equal periods of four weeks, thus affording opportunity for comparison of the latest available figures, those for four weeks ended March 13,1935, with corresponding figures a month and a year earlier. Total debits in reporting cities during the four weeks ended March 13 amounted to $874,206,000, an increase of $38,799,000, or 4.6 per cent, over debits totaling $835,407,000 reported for the preceding four weeks ended February 13. G osing of tobacco markets tended to decrease debits during the later four weeks, but early payments of income taxes and payment for Spring merchandise more than offset that adverse factor. Fourteen of the twenty-three cities show higher figures for the more recent period. Of the five largest cities, increases were reported by Baltimore, Washington, Norfolk and 3 Charlotte, but Richmond reported a decrease of eight-tenths of 1 per cent. Greenville, S. C., with an increase of 15.5 per cent, led all cities in per centage gain during the month. In comparison with debits reported for the four weeks ended March 14 last year, debits for the cor responding four weeks this year show an increase of $95,106,000, or 12.2 per cent. Twenty-one of the tw enty-three reporting cities show higher fig ures for the 1935 period, Durham and Lynchburg being the only ones to fall below last year’s totals. The declines in these cities were chiefly due to re duced activity in tobacco marketing in February this year. Columbia with an increase of 75.4 per cent and Raleigh with 43.7 per cent led all cities in percentage increases during the 1935 period, but both of these cities include many State transactions in their debits. Among the cities not influenced by movements of State funds, Greensboro led with an increase of 35.1 per cent, Norfolk ranking second with a gain of 30.6 per cent. Commercial Failures In commenting on the business failure record for February, the Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review says, “Business failures in February again declined both in number and in amount of liabilities. The record for the month just closed shows 1,005 busi ness defaults in the United States, against 1,184 in January, 1,049 in February a year ago, and 2,378 in February 1933. The total indebtedness involved in February failures this year was $18,737,657, com pared with $18,823,697 in January, and with $19,444,718 and $65,576,068, respectively in February of the two preceding years.” The recession in Febru ary in comparison with January was not quite so marked as in other years, but it is again necessary to go back to 1920 for a year in which the number of business defaults in February was as low as for that month this year. In the Fifth Federal reserve district, the February record in both number of in solvencies and in aggregate liabilities involved was better than in the Nation as a whole. There were only 39 bankruptcies in the district last month, a decline of 37.1 per cent in comparison with 62 fail ures reported for February last year, while the de crease in the United States was 42 per cent be tween the same two months. Last month’s liabili ties totaling $805,698 in the Fifth district showed a decline of 5.3 per cent in comparison with liabili ties totaling $850,365 in February 1934, while the National decline in liabilities was only 3.6 per cent. In the Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Dal las and San Francisco districts failures in February this year exceeded failures in February last year, while fewer failures were reported this year in the New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, Minnei apolis and Kansas City districts. In liabilities inj volved in February 1935 failures, the New York, St. Louis and San Francisco districts showed larger j figures than liabilities in February last year, but all 4 MONTHLY REVIEW other districts showed lower figures for the 1935 month. Employment The number of workers engaged in industry seems to have declined slightly in the Fifth district between the middle of February and the middle of March, chiefly due to some curtailment in March in operations in the textile field. Farm work has been delayed on the whole by wet weather, postponing employment of agricultural workers. Construction work continues at a low level, practically all pro jects of importance under way being public work done with Government funds. Coal production held up through February, giving work to the usual number of miners in the Fifth district, and ship yards are employing a relatively large number of men. A larger number of persons are now em ployed in various branches of the automobile in dustry than was the case a few weeks ago. Coal Production Bituminous coal production in the United States totaled approximately 34,423,000 net tons in Feb ruary 1935, a seasonally smaller output than 36,393,000 tons mined in January this year, but 11.7 per cent more than 32,606,000 tons dug in February 1934. February had two less working days than January 1935, however, and therefore on a daily basis last month’s average production of 1,440,000 tons exceeded daily production of 1,394,000 tons in January. Total production during the present coal year through March 9 amounted to 335,134,000 net tons, an increase of 1.6 per cent over 329,768,000 tons dug to the same date last year. Tidewater shipments of coal through Hampton Roads ports this calendar year through March 9, totaled 4,085,777 net tons, a higher figure than 3,813,233 tons shipped through the same ports to March 9 last year. The Bureau of Mines has issued a report on pro duction of bituminous coal during 1934 by states. W est Virginia led all states with 98,190,000 tons, Pennsylvania ranking second with 89,223,000 tons and Illinois third with 40,905,000 tons. Fifth district coal producing states, Maryland, Virginia and W est Virginia, mined a total of 108,950,000 tons, or 30.4 per cent of National production of 358,395,000 tons. In 1934 Fifth district states produced 31.2 per cent of National production. Textiles Operations in cotton textile mills in the Fifth reserve district continued on full time under code allowance through February, but in th at month and in March some goods began to accumulate in the mill warehouses and curtailment of output is now under consideration. A few mills have closed for an indefinite period, to allow demand to catch up with production. Cotton mills in the district con sumed 220,301 bales of cotton in February 1935, a decrease of 12.3 per cent under 251,186 bales used in January 1935 but an increase of 4.7 per cent over 210,481 bales consumed in February 1934. Of the 220,301 bales used last month, North Carolina mills accounted for 111,855 bales, South Carolina mills used 95,951 bales, and Virginia mills 12,495 bales, all higher figures than those for February last year. Consumption of cotton in the Richmond re serve district in February this year totaled 46.1 per cent of National consumption, compared with 45.9 per cent of National consumption for the district in January 1935 and 44.1 per cent in February 1934. On February 21, the Department of Commerce issued a report on spindles in place, spindles active in January, total spindle hours of operation in Jan uary, and average hours of operation per spindle in place in January. On January 31, 1935, there were 30,825,944 spindles in place in the United States, North Carolina leading with 6,141,354, or 19.92 per cent of the total, South Carolina ranking second with 5,852,012 spindles, or 18.98 per cent, and Mass achusetts third with 5,544,712 spindles, or 17.99 per cent. The Fifth district as a whole had 41.03 per cent of total spindles in place in the United States at the end of January 1935. In actual spindle hours of operation, South Carolina led all states for Janu ary with 1,959,862,279, or 26.1 per cent of the Na tional total of 7,510,017,095 hours, and North Caro lina ranked second with 1,592,806,047 hours, or 21.21 per cent, while Massachusetts had 964,661,506 hours, or 12.85 per cent. The Fifth district, with 41.03 per cent of total spindles in the United States in place in January, showed 49.98 per cent of total hours of operation. In actual hours of operation per spindle in place, South Carolina with an average of 335 hours per spindle ranked first, Virginia with 307 hours ranked second, and North Carolina with 259 hours ranked sixth. The average hours of opera tion for the United States in January was 244 per spindle in place. Cotton Statistics Spot cotton prices dropped materially between the middle of February and the middle of March, and for the first time since March 1933 reached a lower figure than at the corresponding time in the pre ceding year. On February 15, 1935, the average price for upland short staple cotton, middling grade, on ten Southern markets was 12.54 cents per pound, and the price rose to 12.58 cents on March 1. The price then turned downward, and on March 15 averaged 11.37 cents per pound. On March 16, 1934, the average price was 12.15 cents. Cotton consumption in the United States in Feb ruary 1935 totaled 478,291 bales, compared with 546,787 bales used in January this year and 477,046 bales in February 1934. Total consumption for the seven months of the present cotton season—August 1 to February 28—amounted to 3,152,892 bales, MONTHLY REVIEW compared with 3,400,277 bales consumed in the cor responding period ended February 28, 1934. Manu facturing establishments held 1,161,117 bales on February 28, compared with 1,193,748 bales held on January 31 this year and 1,656,776 bales on Febru ary 28, 1934. Public warehouses and compresses held 8,373,059 bales in storage at the end of Feb ruary this year, compared with 8,964,280 bales so held a month earlier and 8,636,596 bales on February 28 last year. February exports totaled 390,294 bales, compared with 465,711 bales sent abroad in January this year and 628,457 bales exported in February last year. Exports during the seven months of this cotton year totaled 3,254,832 bales, compared with 5,547,907 bales shipped over seas during the corresponding seven months ended Feb ruary 28, 1934. Consumption of cotton in the cot ton growing states numbered 380,643 bales in Feb ruary 1935, compared with 436,220 bales used in January and 375,109 bales in February 1934. Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to 79.58 per cent of National consump tion, compared with 78.63 per cent of National con sumption used in the cotton growing states in Feb ruary last year. Of the 380,643 bales of cotton used in cotton growing states in February, the Fifth district mills used 220,301 bales, or 57.88 per cent, compared with 56.11 per cent of Southern consump tion attained in the district in February last year. Spindles active in the United States at some time in February 1935 numbered 24,925,168, compared with 25,145,964 in January this year and 26,379,906 in February last year. The final ginning report on the 1934 cotton crop was released by the Census Bureau on March 20, and showed the year’s production to be 9,469,338 running bales, the equivalent of 9,633,879 bales of 500 pounds gross weight. The final ginning figure was 1 per cent below the final crop estimate of the Department of Agriculture made early in Decem ber. In the Fifth district, all of the cotton growing states showed lower ginning figures than the esti mates of probable production. North Carolina ginned 631,358 equivalent 500 pounds bales, com pared with a forecast of 650,000 bales for the year, a decrease of 2.9 per cent; South Carolina ginnings totaled 681,511 bales, compared with a forecast of 695,000 bales, a decrease of 1.9 per c e n t; and Vir ginia ginnings totaled 32,929 bales against a fore cast of 39,000 bales, a decrease of 15,6 per cent. The district total production of 1,345,798 bales shows a decrease of 110,678 bales, or 7.6 per cent, under the 1933 yield of 1,456,476 bales, the decline being due to acreage reduction. Tobacco Marketing Virginia sales of leaf tobacco during February amounted to 5,100,745 pounds, for an average price of $11.20 per hundred, compared with February 1934 sales amounting to 14,893,656 pounds, for an average of $9.76 per hundred pounds. Total sales 5 for the season through February amounted to 101,273,356 pounds this year and 103,042,686 pounds last year, and this year’s average price of $24.44 per hundred pounds compares with last season’s average of $14.41 per hundred. Flue-cured tobacco markets all closed in January, after selling 75,752,497 pounds this year compared with 77,148,383 pounds sold during the previous season. Fire-cured sales in February amounted to 3,972,605 pounds, at $11.57 per hundred. Sales in February 1934 totaled 7,236,675 pounds, and last year’s average price was $7.05 per hundred. Total sales of fire-cured tobacco during the current season to March were 16,476,900 pounds, at $12.41 per hundred pounds, compared with season sales to February 28, 1934, totaling 11,515,672 pounds, at $6.98 per hundred. Burley mar kets were open only a few days in February, and sold only 116,735 pounds for an average of $11.95 per hundred pounds. In February 1934 burley sales totaled 2,976,146 pounds, for $11.85 per hundred. Total sales of this type this season through Febru ary amounted to 6,454,620 pounds at an average price of $17.24 per hundred, compared with 12,775,328 pounds sold last year for an average of $10.62 per hundred. Sun-cured sales in February totaled 1,011,405 pounds at $9.68 per hundred, compared with only 293,241 pounds sold for an average of $10.10 per hundred in February 1934. Season sales of sun-cured tobacco totaled 2,589,339 pounds this year, at $9.71 per hundred, compared with 1,656,975 pounds at $8.44 sold last year. The quality of to bacco sold during February was relatively poor, as usually happens at the end of the season, but was better than the quality sold in the same month last year. Warehousemen estimated th at sales graded 26 per cent good, 41 per cent medium, and 33 per cent common, compared with the February 1934 classification as 18 per cent good, 35 per cent me dium, and 47 per cent common. North Carolina tobacco markets closed early in Feb ruary, and the Agricultural Statistician for the State has issued a report on total sales for the sea son, with comparisons to other recent seasons. Sales of producers’ tobacco in 1934-1935 totaled 395,135,824 pounds, and the average price received was $28.44 per hundred, compared with 516,376,445 pounds at $15.93 per hundred sold in 1933-1934. With the exception of the 1932-1933 sales, the sales this year were the smallest for any year since 19261927, but this year’s average price was the highest for any year since 1919-1920, and in fact was the fourth highest average on record. North Carolina tobacco was marketed earlier during the past sea son than probably ever before, due chiefly to the very favorable prices obtained. Tobacco Manufacturing The Internal Revenue Bureau of the Treasury Department issued a report on March 21 on tobacco manufacturing in February. Cigarettes produced totaled 9,306,198,840, compared with 9,167,641,657 6 MONTHLY REVIEW cigarettes made in February 1934, and taxes paid on the cigarettes amounted to $27,920,348 in Feb ruary 1935 and $27,699,530 in February 1934. Cigars made last month totaled 320,864,191, compared with 299,214,080 cigars made in the corresponding month last year, and taxes paid on the cigars totaled $791,767 and $776,217 in February 1935 and 1934, respec tively. Manufactured tobacco made in February this year, including smoking and chewing tobacco, amounted to 23,121,561 pounds, compared with 25,030,055 pounds in February last year, and taxes on the product totaled $4,162,011 this year and $4,505,410 last year. Snuff production totaled 2,981,116 pounds and taxes thereon amounted to $536,601 in February 1935, compared with 3,320,649 pounds and taxes totaling $597,717 in February 1934. In addi tion to the taxes enumerated, which total $33,410, 727, processing taxes, import compensating taxes, and floor taxes totaling $2,944,660 were levied on tobacco manufacturers in February this year. Agricultural Notes Construction Building Permits Issued in February 1935 and 1934 CITIES Baltimore, M d ------Cumberland, M d.___ Frederick, Md............ Hagerstown, Md. __ Salisbury, Md. _____ Danville, Va......... Lynchburg, Va.......— Norfolk, Va............ .... Petersburg, V a .___ Portsmouth, Va......... Richmond, V a ._____ Roanoke, V a.______ 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.__ Permits Issued 1935 1934 381 3 7 7 8 20 33 106 0 14 89 33 6 79 9 13 24 55 27 38 29 13 8 5 53 41 28 40 27 33 307 Total Valuation 1934 1935 268 $ 498,120 $1,778,880 20,958 825 3 5,118 6,525 6 9,290 7,465 5 0 3,700 0i 5,840 3,900 8j 30,141 18,919 19 j 32,226 61 | 1,074,795 7,000 2 ! o 12,245 5,000 11 87,582 87,316 61 j: 720 21,491 5 7,630 10,300 2 83,489 6,935 45 10,765 8,575 9 8 9,950 10,590 9,775 11,810 8 123,511 19,851 19 43,274 68,667 16 17,605 21,110 19 29,415 27,350 4 12,147 13 231,110 3,100 21 4,870 1,325 6,740 5! 22,218 26,610 32 ! 6,255 i 37,103 26 ; 2,986 22,088 17 71,575 174,460 26 1,485 30,005 5 8,200 19,319 9 425,560 833,400 195 909 $3,511,107 $2,668,107 I t is too early in the season to tell much about 1935 crops, but on the whole the outlook for the year appears favorable. W inter grain crops are doing well, there is plenty of moisture in the soil for plant growth and for cultivation of the land, and farmers are financially better able to carry out the season’s work than they have been for some years. Fertilizer sales are reported good, and fer tilizer distribution got under way earlier than usual Totals --------1,536 this year. The Department of Agriculture issued an “intentions to plant report” on March 20, cover Building permits issued in thirty-one cities of the ing the chief crops except cotton. The report says, “The figures are to be considered only as indicative Fifth reserve district totaled 1,536 in February 1935, of the probable acreage for harvest judging by plans an increase of 69 per cent in comparison with 909 now reported by growers. They are offered pri permits issued in the corresponding month last marily to assist growers in making such further year. Total valuation for all permits issued last changes in their planting plans as may appear de month amounted to $3,511,107, an increase of 31.6 sirable.” In the Fifth reserve district, Maryland per cent in comparison with a valuation of $2,668,farmers expect to increase acreage in corn, oats and 107 in February 1934. Twenty-four of the thirtyIrish potatoes, make no change in hay and sweet one cities reported higher valuation figures for last potatoes, and reduce acreage in barley and tobacco. month than for the same month last year, but most Virginia reports increased acreage in corn, oats, hay, of the 31.6 per cent increase occurred in Norfolk. sweet potatoes and tobacco, while barley and Irish Among the five largest cities, Richmond, W ashing potato acreages will be reduced. West Virginia acre ton, Norfolk and Charlotte reported higher figures age in corn, oats and hay will be increased, no . for February this year than last, but Baltimore rechange is planned in barley or tobacco, and Irish • ported a very large decrease in valuation figures. Contracts actually awarded for construction work potatoes will be reduced. North Carolina farmers plan to increase their oats and tobacco crops, but in the Fifth reserve district in February this year reduced acreage will be planted in corn, barley, hay, totaled $8,203,823, including both rural and urban Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes. South Carolina projects, compared with $19,341,529 in contracts reports larger acreage in hay and tobacco, and re awarded in February 1934, according to figures col duced acreage in Irish potatoes, with no changes lected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the contemplated in acreages of corn, oats and sweet February 1935 contracts, $2,609,183, or 31.8 per cent, potatoes. The price of Irish potatoes was very low was for residential structures, compared with $2,last season, and all states in the Fifth district ex 311,554, or 12.0 per cent of the total, for residence work in February 1934. cept Maryland plan reduced acreage this season. MONTHLY REVIEW Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores Wholesale Trade, 58 Firms Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District February 1935 sales, compared with sales in February 1934: +162 + 5.1 +192 + 82 +12.7 Jan.-Feb. 1935 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Feb. 1934: + 6.5 + 4.0 +15.9 + 4.7 + 9.3 Feb. 28, 1935, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. 28, 1934: + 8.6 — 8.9 — 2.1 — 1.0 — 3.7 Feb. 28, 1935, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1935: + 9.5 + 8.4 +11.1 +10.6 + 9.8 Number of times stock was turned in February 1935: 278 240 .301 231 268 Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1935: .529 .488 .584 .463 .528 Percentage of Feb. 1, 1935, receivables collected in February: Z/.0 4/.L 4/.0 Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages. 7 21 7 Groceries Dry Goods 6 Shoes 13 Hardware 11 Drugs February 1935 sales, compared with sales in February 1934: + 4.3 —17.6 — 2.9 +12.1 + 2.3 February 1935 sales, compared with sales in January 1935: —10.8 — 3.8 +42.5 —20.7 —17.4 Jan.-Feb. 1935 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Feb. 1934: + 6.6 —192 + 32 + 9.7 + 6.3 Feb. 28, 1935, stocks, compared with stocks on Feb. £8, 1934: +20.7(8*) —12.8(3*) + 9.9(4*) +10.0(7*) Feb. 28, 1935, stocks, compared with stocks on Jan. 31, 1935: — 2.0(8*) + 4.4(3*) — 2.5(4*) + 42(7*) ___ Percentage of Feb. 1, 1935, receivables collected in February: 80.3(12*) 39.5(4*) 48.7(5*) 40.9(11*) 61.6(7*) ♦Number of reoortincr firms. are percentages. (Compiled March 21, 1935) A ll other fimires in the table MONTHLY REVIEW 8 BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES (Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board) In February industrial production increased by less than the usual seasonal amount, following sharp advances in December and January. Whole sale prices of many leading commodities showed little change in February and declined in the early part of M arch; prices of livestock and meats, how ever, advanced further in February and continued at relatively high levels during the first three weeks of March. Production and Employment Daily average output of basic industrial com modities increased in February by an amount smaller than is usual at this season and the Fed eral Reserve Board’s index, which makes allowance for seasonal variations, declined from 91 per cent of the 1923-25 average in January to 89 per cent in February. At steel mills activity increased further during the early part of February; later in the month and in the first three weeks of March, how ever, activity declined, contrary to seasonal ten dency. In the automobile industry production con tinued to increase and the output indicated for the first quarter is larger than in the corresponding period of any other year since 1929. Lumber pro duction remained at a low level. At textile mills activity in February declined somewhat from the relatively high rate of the preceding month. In the meatpacking industry output continued to de cline. Factory employment increased between the mid dle of January and the middle of February by more than the usual seasonal amount, reflecting substan tial increases in working forces in the automobile, machinery, iron and steel, and wearing apparel in dustries and smaller increases in many other lines. At meat-packing establishments employment con tinued to decline and at tobacco factories it showed less than the usual seasonal growth. Payrolls at manufacturing establishments also increased considerably in February. In non-manufacturing in dustries employment and payrolls showed little change. Total value of construction contracts awarded in the period from January 1 to March 15, as reported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, was smaller than in the corresponding period last year, reflecting a reduction in the volume of public projects. The value of contracts awarded for residential building during this period showed a slight increase over the low level of a year ago. j Distribution j j Daily average volume of revenue freight-car • loadings showed a seasonal increase in February : and little change in the first half of March. Dei partm ent store sales increased in February, a month I when there is usually little change, and the coms bined total for the first two months of the year j was larger than a year ago by 5 per cent. I | Wholesale Commodity Prices During the period from the beginning of Febru; ary to the middle of March there were wide move! ments in prices of many individual commodities, ! while the general level of wholesale prices, as | measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics index, I showed little change. In the third week of March prices of cotton and other textiles, grains other : than wheat, coffee, rubber and tires, scrap steel • and tin were considerably lower than at the begin; ning of February, while prices of livestock, meats ; and sugar were higher. Bank Credit During the four weeks ended March 20 member bank reserve balances declined by $280,000,000, principally in consequence of an increase in Treas: ury deposits with Federal Reserve banks built up in connection with March 15 fiscal operations. Ex: cess reserves of member banks declined to about $1,950,000,000. Demand deposits (net) of weekly reporting mem ber banks in leading cities increased further by $380,000,000 during the four weeks ended March 13. The balances of other banks with reporting banks increased by $100,000,000 while Government de posits declined, reflecting the withdrawal of funds from depository banks. Loans and investments of reporting banks increased by $275,000,000. There was a further growth of $85,000,000 in holdings of , direct obligations of the United States Government ; and a smaller increase in obligations guaranteed by ; the Government. Loans to brokers and dealers in securities increased by $130,000,000, while other : loans showed little change. Yields on United States Government obligations declined slightly further, and open-market money rates continued at a low level.