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MONTHLY
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND
R I C H M O N D 13 , V I R G I N I A

M A R C H 31, 1 9 4 9

Business Conditions
H E trend of business in the Fifth Federal Reserve
District in February was about a stand-off between
gains and losses. In major lines of production small
gains were recorded from January to February after
allowance for the usual seasonal tendency, while trade
levels, seasonally adjusted, were mainly downward in
the same period.
Evidence thus far in March indicates that the Febru­
ary improvement in production was only a temporary
respite in the downward trend which has prevailed for
the past several months, and that the March level of
output will be below that of February, on a seasonally
adjusted basis. Production cut-backs, increased un­
employment, and reduction of working hours have been
prominent in cotton textile mills, cigarette factories,
rayon yarn mills, paper mills and garment factories dur­
ing March, while the coal mine shut-down has fur­
loughed numerous railroad workers in addition to the
miners.
Whether the production situation will begin to im­
prove before long or deteriorate further is a question
of the proper interpretation of why the current fall is
taking place. An explanation that seems plausible is
that products of the Fifth District are in supply (i. e.,
production has overtaken demand), prices are softening
and wholesalers and retailers are attempting to work
with smaller inventories since deliveries presumably can
be effected in a short time. If this is a correct appraisal,
then it would be in keeping to expect some improvement
in the next few months, or by fall at least, provided the
level of retail trade does not fall by more than small
proportions in the interim. If, on the other hand, there
is a basic weakening in the consumer’s ability to pur­
chase, (1 ) because incomes of a sufficient number of
people had not kept pace with the price rise, (2 ) because
large numbers of people had already spent money they
had saved in the past, or because (3 ) large numbers of
people have already extended their credit to practical
limits, then it should be expected that the level of retail
trade would fall something more than by small propor­
tions and that a still lower level o f production would
be seen in the Fifth District.

T

Trade
The trade level in the Fifth District and, for that
matter, all along the Eastern Seaboard, has held up bet­



ter than in the rest of the country. This could mean
that the weakness nationally in January and February
might be attributable to the bad weather in the West.
Department store sales in the Fifth District declined
only 1 per cent from January to February, after sea­
sonal correction, to a level 4 per cent below February,
1948. Outstanding orders o f department stores in this
District rose 8 per cent, after seasonal adjustment, from
January to February, but were still 24 per cent under
the same period a year ago. Retail furniture sales in
February fell 3 per cent below January, after seasonal
adjustment, but held at a level 7 per cent above Febru­
ary, 1948. Most lines of wholesale trade, seasonally
adjusted, continued a downward trend through Febru­
ary, thus giving further evidence that retailers are still
shortening their inventory positions. While the de­
clines from January to February in seasonally adjusted
wholesale sales were, for the most part, moderate, those
of electrical goods and hardware firms ran 13 and 12

Continued on page 8

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND




f 21

MARCH 1949

MONTHLY REVIEW

Four Leading Ports of the Fifth District
One of the fundamental factors influencing the eco­
nomic growth of the Fifth Federal Reserve District has
been the District’s location on the Atlantic Seaboard.
Since the early settlement of this country, the products
of this particular area have been carried to foreign and
domestic markets by water transport. Development of
the leading District industries such as coal, leaf to­
bacco, lumber, farm products, iron and steel, and other
manufactured products has been affected by this natural
and cheap means of transport. Moreover, the growing
industrialization of the Middle West and the spreading
network of railroads, into this area resulted in an in­
creased flow of commerce through the District ports.
More recently, wartime demands hastened the devel­
opment of this waterborne transport system of the
Fifth District. Thus, during the war a large part of
the facilities of the various ports in the District were
taken over by the Government. Extension of the ports
system was necessitated by the nearby location of war
industries, the expansion of shipbuilding activity, and
the movement of supplies and troops. As a result the
ports of the Fifth District emerged from the war with
expanded facilities.
The port activity of the District is concentrated prin­
cipally in four areas: Baltimore, Maryland; Hampton
Roads, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; and
Charleston, South Carolina. In addition, the District
has many growing coastal and inland ports, but the
major portion of the Fifth District’s waterborne com­
merce passes through these four principal ports.
In Table I the importance of these ports is indicated
in terms of their relative share o f the total waterborne
commerce of the District and o f the United States.
TABLE

I

T otal Commerce* o f the F our Leading F ifth D istrict Port*
A s P er Cent o f D istrict T otal and T otal U . S. P orts
________________________________1939 and 1946_______________________________
1939

1946

P er Cent o f :
Thous------------------------and
A ll
5th
L on g
U. S.
Dist.
____________________________Tons_____ Ports Ports
T otal Comm erce
U . S. P orts ..............468,748
T otal Comm erce
F ifth Dist. Ports ...... 49,868
B altim ore ................ 21,013
Ham pton Roads .... 24,708
N orfolk ................ 17,906
N ew p ort News .. 6,802
W ilm in gton ............
2,033
Charleston ..............
2,114

100.0
10.6
4.5
5.3
3.8
1.5
.4
.4

Per Cent o f :
Thous-------------------------and
A ll
5th
L on g
U . S. Dist.
Tons
Ports Ports
821,446

100.0
42.2
49.5
35.9
13.6
4.1
4.2

100.0

56,790
28,654
22,015
14,277
7,738
1,800
4,321

6.9
3.5
2.7
1.8
.9
.2
.5

100.0
50.5
38.7
25.1
13.6
3.2
7.6

S ou rce: A nnu al R eport o f the C hief o f A rm y Engineers, 1940, P art 2,
Table 4 ; 1947, P a rt 2, Table 4.
* Includes foreign , coastw ise, internal, intraport, and local traffic.

Inadequate data prevent a complete economic analy­
sis o f these ports and of their contribution to the Dis­
trict in terms of capital investment, income and employ­
ment. However, since the ports do make an important
direct contribution to income in the District as well as
indirectly influencing the industrial growth of this re­




gion, a descriptive analysis of the leading ports of the
District may be of interest to bankers and others con­
cerned with the District’s future growth.
In this descriptive study of the leading ports of the
Fifth District, an attempt will be made (a) to detail
the physical characteristics of the individual ports, (b)
to analyze the volume and value of the trade handled
by these ports, and (c) to indicate some o f the external
factors affecting the future growth and development of
these leading District ports.
Physical Structure of the Ports
Although the ports have been of major importance
to the economic growth of this region, there are no
readily available comparable data as to the development
and status of facilities of the various ports.. Therefore,
since there is no comparable series o f informative data
relating to the ports of the Fifth District and since the
ports themselves have distinctive attributes and are in
different stages of development, the following discus­
sion of physical structure by necessity is simply a gen­
eral description of port facilities and related informa­
tion.
Baltimore
The port of Baltimore is situated on a northern estu­
ary of the Chesapeake Bay, the Patapsco River and
its tributaries. This inland port is 150 miles from
the Atlantic Ocean via the Virginia Capes. However,
approximately 20 per cent of the deep draft ships which
put in at Baltimore come through the Chesapeake and
Delaware Canal. This route shortens the distance to
the ocean by 25 miles and at the same time is a joining
link in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway which ex­
tends from Boston to Miami. All main ship channels
leading into the harbor are capable of handling deep
draft ships, the depth varying from 35 to 39 feet at
low tide.
At present, the port facilities of Baltimore include
some 300 piers, wharves, and docks. The shore front­
age o f the harbor extends for 45 miles, three-fifths of
which is developed.
Almost all o f the large marine terminals are owned
and operated by the trunk line railroads with shorter
lines connecting the terminals on the waterfront. Total
investment in these facilities has been estimated at
$200,000,000, and employment at about 25,000 workers.
A large part of these facilities are equipped to handle
large quantities of raw materials and semi-manufac­
tured goods. The facilities include: grain elevators,
coal and ore piers, and lumber piers. In addition, Balti­
more has numerous United States Revenue and Cus­
toms Bonded warehouses which facilitate the handling
of imports. It has fourteen ship construction and re­
pair yards which employ approximately 13,700 workers
currently.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

Its inland location gives Baltimore the distinctive ad­
vantage of being the Atlantic port nearest the industrial
center of the nation. Its hinterland, therefore, extends
to the Middle West, a large part of the Central Freight
Association territory (that area east of the Mississippi
River, north o f the Ohio River, west of the Alleghanies, and south of the Great Lakes), and to the Great
Lakes region as well as to nearby territory. These con­
nections are afforded by four railways: the Baltimore
and Ohio, the Pennsylvania, the Western Maryland,
and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroads. The ad­
vantageous location of Baltimore in relation to water,
rail, and trucking transport has aided in its developing
into a diversified center of production and trade. One
of the largest of the city’s industries is the Bethlehem
Steel Sparrow’s Point plant which is situated on the
harbor and has a shipping cost advantage in the export
o f steel products.
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is a land-locked arm of the Chesa­
peake Bay comprising the ports of Norfolk, Ports­
mouth, and‘Newport News. It is formed by the conflu­
ence o f the James, the Nansemond, and the Elizabeth
Rivers. This central Atlantic port is one of the largest
natural harbors in the world and, like Baltimore, has
existed as a port since the early settlement of this coun­
try. The channel leading into Hampton Roads from
the Chesapeake Bay has a controlling depth of 40 feet
at low tide.
This port serves a hinterland which includes Vir­
ginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, portions of Ten­
nessee and South Carolina, and a part of the Central
Freight Association territory which penetrates the Mid­
dle West. Eight railroad trunk lines serve the Hamp­
ton Roads port: the Chesapeake and Ohio, the Norfolk
and Western, the Pennsylvania, the Virginian, the At­
lantic Coast Line, the Norfolk and Southern, the Sea­
board Air Line, and the Southern Railroad. These rail­
roads are interconnected at the port by a jointly owned
terminal.
The combined facilities of this port area include 243
piers, wharves, and docks on approximately 32 miles of
developed shore frontage. The railroads have built and
are operating piers for storage and loading of general
cargo. More specialized facilities are provided for the
storage and shipment of tobacco, coal and grain. Oil
storage plants provide for the fueling of ships and the
supplying of the nearby territory.
The development of the port o f Hampton Roads has
been strongly affected by the impact on the area of the
World Wars. During both W orld War I and World
War II this port was used extensively as a port of em­
barkation and debarkation for men and supplies. Close­
ly allied to the extension of port facilities under pres­
sure of wartime demands were the concentration of mil­
itary and naval establishments in the area and the phe­
nomenal expansion of the shipbuilding industry of the
region. Thus, the wartime periods were marked by




heavy Government expenditure on construction and
shipbuilding contracts at the Newport News Shipbuild­
ing and Dry dock Company, the Norfolk Navy Yard at
Portsmouth, the Welding Shipyard, and the Norfolk
Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.
Most of the recent expansion and development in the
Hampton Roads area since World War II has been
fostered by private interests. At present, the railroads
have three large building projects under way which will
provide Hampton Roads with additional modern coal
piers, freight and merchandise warehouse piers, and
other facilities for the handling of general cargo.
Wilmington
The port at Wilmington, North Carolina is located
on the east side of the Cape Fear River, 32 miles from
the ocean bar. The deep water channel up the river
has been dredged to a uniform depth of 30 feet and a
width of 300 feet. This port was brought into the
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway when an extension was
completed in 1932 from Beaufort, South Carolina to
the Cape Fear River.
Railroad facilities are such that the port of Wilming­
ton is capable of serving a large part of North Caro­
lina and parts of South Carolina and Georgia. Two
main railways— the Atlantic Coast Line and the Sea­
board Air Line— serve this port.
The Wilmington harbor occupies the whole width of
the Cape Fear River, and its 57 piers and wharves
extend for six miles along the city's waterfront. These
piers aand wharves facilitate the loading and unloading
of 11 ocean-going ships and 165 freight cars simul­
taneously. Most of the cargo handled at Wilmington
does not require heavy lifting equipment, but this port
is especially equipped to handle petroleum and petro­
leum products, Wilmington being North Carolina’s
chief distribution point for these products.
In 1945 an act of the State Legislature created the
North Carolina State Ports Authority and empowered
the authority to promote the waterborne trade of the
state by means of acquisition, construction, or operation
of equipment.
The North Carolina Shipbuilding Company was W il­
mington’s chief war installation. The shipyards were
closed at the end of the war, but their facilities have
been taken over by the State Ports Authority. Engi­
neers are now investigating this site for the possible
construction of additional wharves and piers, and plans
are in the final stage of completion. Also there is a
Federal project in the planning stage which will widen
the channel up the Cape Fear River and increase the
anchorage basin.

[4]

Charleston
Charleston harbor is formed by the confluence of
the Cooper and Ashley Rivers which form a bay seven
and one-half miles from the ocean. The city of Charles­
ton is situated on the peninsula between these two
rivers.

MONTHLY REVIEW

The main route from the sea has an improved chan­
nel with a depth of 35 feet at low tide and a width
ranging from 500 to 1,000 feet. The channel up the
Cooper River extends for ten miles at a depth of 35
feet, while the channel of the Ashley River with a depth
of 30 feet extends for seven miles.
The principal commercial section of the city is lo­
cated on the northern waterfront on the Cooper River.
Port facilities here consist of 55 piers, wharves, and
docks. The three main railroads which serve the
Charleston port are the Southern Railway, the Atlantic
Coast Line, and the Seaboard Air Line. These lines
are interconnected at the harbor by a beltline thirteen
miles long installed by the city. Through these rail­
roads the tributary area of the port of Charleston in­
cludes parts of the South Atlantic states and part of
the deep South which produce leading export commodi­
ties such as cotton, lumber, tobacco, and textiles.
During the days of the clipper ships before the Civil
War, Charleston was one of the leading ports o f the
nation. During the second World War its activities
were again greatly stimulated by the establishment of
a port of embarkation at North Charleston. The
United States Army in the early part of the second
World War restored the facilities built during the first
World War at a cost of $20 million. In addition, the
Government authorized millions of dollars in war con­
tracts which were largely allocated to the Charleston
Navy Yard and the Charleston Shipbuilding and Drydock Company for the construction and repair of
vessels.
In 1942 the South Carolina State Port’s Authority
was created by the State Legislature with power to
engage in such activities as would promote trade and
develop the ports of the state. The facilities and serv­
ices of the port of Charleston were increased by the
Authority's acquisition o f the North Charleston facili­
ties formerly used as the port of embarkation. This
property was deeded to the state without cost. This
Authority has set up and staffed a shipside packing
plant to facilitate the shipping of textiles. The Au­
thority has also established a bonded warehouse to
handle imports.
Trade Through the Ports
In the preceding discussion of the physical structure
of the District ports, some o f the wartime changes in
facilities have been indicated. From this discussion it
appears that the ports are now capable of handling a
much larger volume of traffic than previously and that
further extension of facilities is contemplated or un­
der way at most of these ports. More important, how­
ever, than the changes in the physical structure of the
ports are the changes evident in the nature, direction,
and volume o f trade through these ports. In the first
postwar year 1946, there had been marked shifts in the
composition of the waterborne commerce through the
four ports of the Fifth Federal Reserve District, both
relative to pre-war and relative to all ports in the
United States.




MARCH 1949

Waterborne commerce measured in tons increased
in both the Fifth District and the nation between the
last pre-war year, 1939, and the first post-war year,
1946. However, the gain through the ports of the Fifth
District in this period was only 14 per cent whereas
the gain in all ports of the nation was 75 per cent.
It is interesting to note that the relatively smaller
gain by Fifth District ports was due to an actual de­
crease in the 1939-1946 period in the District’s domestic
commerce of 15 per cent. In the country as a whole
this type o f commerce rose 87 per cent in the same
period. The smaller gain in the District reflects the
failure of important shipping companies to reestablish
their service to District ports in the post-war period.
A factor of considerable significance, however, is the
fact that foreign trade tonnage through Fifth District
ports rose 125 per cent between 1939 and 1946 while
the foreign trade tonnage through all ports of the nation
rose only 33 per cent. In part these differences are
indicative of an increased importance of the District
ports in the nation’s overseas trade, and in part may be
explained by the relatively greater availability of goods
for export in District port territory.
T A B L E II
Changes in Total Comm erce Through D istrict P orts
Compared w ith A ll U . S. P orts
_________________________________ 1939 and 1946______________________________
Thousand long tons
1946
1939
49,868
10,418
39,450

56,790
23,467
33,323

U. S. Ports T otal Comm erce 468,748
F oreign Com m erce ............ 100,274
Dom estic Com m erce1 ........ 368,474

821,446
132,917
688,529

F ifth Dist. T otal Comm erce
F oreign Com m erce ............
D om estic Comm erce1 ........

P er cent P er cent
Change
o f total
1939-1946 1939
1946
+ 14
+ 125
— 15

100.0
20.9
79.1

100.0
41.3
58.7

+
+
+

100.0
21.4
78.6

100.0
16.2
83.8

75
33
87

Source A nnu al Report o f the C hief o f A rm y Engineers, 1940, P a rt 2,
Table 4 ; 1947, P a rt 2, Table 4.
1 Includes coastwise, internal, local, and intraport traffic.

Concerning the nature o f the trade handled by these
ports, it may be generalized that the commodities han­
dled by the Fifth District ports are chiefly in the cate­
gory o f raw materials and semi-manufactured goods,
which accounts for the high tonnage of shipments in
relation to the low value figures. For example, in 1947
these four ports shipped 31 per cent of the nation’s
total exports in terms of tonnage, but only 11 per cent
in value terms. These bulk commodities require ex­
tensive storage space and special facilities for loading
and unloading. Thus, the nature of the trade through
the ports increases their industrial importance in terms
of employment and investment.
However, more detailed analysis of the trade of the
individual ports indicates District ports have shared
unequally in the gain from 1939 to 1946 in foreign
commerce handled and in the loss of domestic com­
merce handled from pre-war levels. All of the District
ports except Wilmington have shown a gain in foreign
commerce handled, but principal losses in domestic
commerce may be attributed primarily to the port of
Hampton Roads. Domestic commerce may be broken
down into the following categories: coastwise traffic—

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

trade between U. S. ports or territories; internal traf­
fic— trade between a port and a tributary waterway;
intraport traffic— trade between the arms or channels
of a port; and local traffic— movements of freight with­
in the confines of a port. The losses of the Fifth
District ports have appeared principally in internal
traffic. The following table shows the change in foreign
and domestic commerce handled by the four District
ports in 1946 as compared with 1939.
T A B L E III
P er Cent Change in Foreign and Dom estic Comm erce
o f the Four F ifth D istrict P orts
1939-1946
P er cent
Change in
Total
Comm erce
1939-1946
Total F ifth D istrict P orts ----B altim ore .............................. . .
H am pton Roads ...............
N orfolk ............................
.
N ew port N ews ............. .......
W ilm ington .........................
.
Charleston
.........................

+
+
—
—
+
—
+

14
36
11
20
14
11
104

P er cent
Change in
Foreign
Com m erce
1939-1946
+ 125
+ 122
+ 108
+ 64
+ 40
—- 57
+ 319

P er cent
Change in
Dom estic
Com m erce1
1939-1946
—
—
—
—
—
—
+

15
1
29
32
20
6
17

S ou rce: A nnu al R eport o f the C hief o f A rm y E ngineers, 1940, P a rt 2,
Table 4 ; 1947, P a rt 2, Table 4.
1 Includes coastw ise, internal, local, and intrap ort traffic.

The divergence in the changes in trade over the
1939-1946 period between ports as shown in Table III
is partly due to the nature of the trade of the indi­
vidual ports. In discussing these changes in terms of
the trade o f the individual ports, however, it should
be noted that the last year for which data are available
on the total commerce of these four ports is 1946; for
1947 the only data available are on foreign commerce.
The marked decline of 11 per cent between 1939
and 1946 in the total commerce of Hampton Roads
was chiefly due to the drop in domestic commerce. The
main drop has appeared in internal shipments which
were cut in half over the 1939-1946 period and in­
ternal receipts which are also lower than pre-war. This
is due to the fact cited above that steamship lines have
not seen fit to reestablish their services, and, conse­
quently, these products are now carried by rail and
truck.
Hampton Roads is also the leading trans-shipment
port of the Atlantic Coast for bituminous coal. This
type of domestic traffic over the 1939-1946 period re­
mained approximately the same with some increase in
coastwise shipments of coal. At the same time, a com­
parison of the 1939 and 1946 traffic carried indicates
a drop in the number of different commodities handled
as well as specific declines in individual commodities—
e.g., a drop in internal shipments of gasoline and leaf
tobacco.
The foreign trade of Hampton Roads increased from
3 million long tons in 1939 to 20 million long tons in
1947 (18 million tons, exports, and 2 million tons,
imports). This is chiefly due to the increase in export
tonnage, but there was also a significant increase in
imports. O f the 18 million tons exported from Hamp­
ton Roads in 1947, 95 per cent was bituminous coal.



[6]

At the same time, Hampton Roads is the leading U. S.
port of leaf tobacco exports; 96 per cent of the na­
tion’s export of leaf tobacco went through this port
in 1947. O f the 2 million tons of imports entering
Hampton Roads in 1947, fuel oil constituted 70 per
cent of tonnage. Other imports include: tobacco, gyp­
sum, fertilizer, newsprint paper, manganese, jute, rub­
ber, and unmanufactured wood.
The increase in commerce handled by the port of
Baltimore may be attributed to the nature of the trade
through this port. Coal cargo has played an import­
ant part in the tremendous increase in foreign trade
through this port. This can in part be considered over­
flow traffic resulting from the inability of Hampton
Roads ports to handle this coal traffic. Total foreign
trade rose from 6.4 million tons in 1939 to 21.3 mil­
lion tons in 1947. Domestic shipments through the
Baltimore port have shown only a very slight decrease
from pre-war levels.
O f its foreign shipments tonnagewise, coal accounted
for approximately three-fourths of the experts through
the Baltimore port in 1947. The remainder was made
up of grain, iron and steel mill products, and other
manufactured products. Foreign imports through Bal­
timore in 1947 totaled 8 million tons as against exports
of 13 million tons. Leading import commodities through
the port of Baltimore in 1947 were iron ore, cane
sugar, vessel supplies, petroleum, residual fuel oil, and
manganese.
Total waterborne commerce of Wilmington in 1946,
the latest year for which data are available, was 1.8
million tons or a decrease of about 11 per cent from
the 1939 level. In 1946 the waterborne commerce
through Wilmington consisted primarily of domestic
shipments. These shipments had decreased from pre­
war levels, and this decrease may be attributed to the
drop in internal shipments— i.e., the traffic between the
port and its tributary waterway. Wilmington is the
only leading District port which shows a lower volume
of foreign commerce in 1946 compared with 1939.
Foreign commerce declined over 50 per cent from
pre-war levels, but since it constitutes less than 10 per
cent of total commerce of this port, the drop is not
of much significance. This decline is primarily re­
flected in imports of nitrate o f soda which is the prin­
cipal import through this port. Explanation of this
may be found in the present world shortage necessi­
tating Chile’s allocation of nitrate of soda to its various
customers and a consequent reduction in the amount
moving into Wilmington.
Although foreign exports through Wilmington have
remained at the same level in 1946 as in 1939 in terms
of tonnage, examination of the commodities exported
indicates a shift from the export of scrap and iron and
steel mill products, which accounted for 93 per cent
of this port's export in 1939, to the export of leaf
tobacco which in 1946 comprised 85 per cent of this
port's total exports.

MONTHLY REVIEW

MARCH 1949

Reflecting the opening of new channels of trade at
Charleston for the export of leaf tobacco and export
of coal, the port of Charleston has shown the greatest
relative gain of the Fifth District ports over pre-war
levels. From 1939 to 1946 its total waterborne com­
merce doubled. Foreign trade through this port has
accounted for an increasingly large proportion of its
total water traffic amounting to 59 per cent in 1946 as
compared wih 29 per cent in 1939.
In terms of commodities, Charleston is now handling
the exports o f coal, tobacco, textiles, forest products,
and paper products and handling the import of petro­
leum, textiles, forest products, and bananas. Although
domestic trade through this port has decreased, the chief
decrease was not in internal shipping (which accounted
for the decrease in Hampton Roads and Wilmington)
but in coastal shipping. Increased utilization of the
port facilities of Charleston to serve the traffic of its
tributary waterways is indicated by the fact that in­
ternal shipments have actually increased by 142 per
cent over pre-war levels.
External Factors in Future Outlook
From the preceding discussion of physical facilities
and of the trade through the leading ports of the Fifth
District it appears that the impact of World War II
and post-war activity on the ports of the District ma­
terially affected the development of physical facilities
and the nature o f trade through these ports. In terms
of trade, the ports of the District taken together show
a decrease in domestic trade handled as against pre­
war levels, Charleston alone being the exception. Thus,
it may be concluded that the District ports have not yet
regained the domestic commerce lost as a result of the
wartime use of other facilities for carrying trade. Spe­
cifically, this decline in domestic trade reflects the fact
that when the Government was using the facilities of
these ports and had also expropriated ships for its
maritime service the commercial trade normally carried
by these ports was handled by rail and truck. In
addition, several coastwise shipping companies for va­
rious reasons have not resumed operations to Balti­
more, Norfolk, Wilmington, and Charleston.
With regard to foreign commerce through these Dis­
trict ports, the tremendous and abnormal European
demand for coal in the immediate post-war period has
provided the main stimulus in increasing foreign ship­
ments out of these ports. However, under foreign
aid and reconstruction programs these ports have also
handled shipments to foreign markets of grain, iron
and steel mill products, leaf tobacco, lumber, and other
manufactured goods.
Preliminary estimates of total foreign commerce
through all ports in the United States during the first
nine months of 1948 indicate a decline o f from 15 to
20 per cent over the corresponding. period of 1947;
in comparison, preliminary estimates of total foreign
commerce through the four District ports indicate a



[7]

decline o f 32 per cent in the first nine months of 1948
from the same period in 1947.
T A B L E IV
Foreign Commerce o f United States P orts and F our L eading F ifth
D istrict P orts First N ine Months o f 1947 and 1948
___________________ (M illions o f pounds shipping w eight)___________________

1948

Fer cent
Change
1947-1948

277,614.1
75,776.4
27.3

231,050.2
50,184.0
22.5

— 16.8
— 31.5
-----

E xports
United States
F ifth D istrict
Dist. per cent o f U.S.

188,909.0
59,174.0
31.3

133,764.3
33,449.4
25.0

— 29.2
— 43.5

Im ports
U nited States
F ifth D istrict
Dist. per cent o f U.S.

88,705.1
16,602.4
18.7

97,285.9
16,734.0
19.0

+ 9.7
+ 11.4

1947
Total F oreign Commerce
United States
F ifth D istrict
Dist. per cent o f U.S.

S ou rce: U .S. Departm ent o f Comm erce, U nited States F oreign Trade,
W aterborne Trade by U nited States F ort, Sum mary R eport, FT
972.

The sharper decline in the total foreign commerce
of the Fifth District ports may be attributed princi­
pally to their heavy reliance on coal shipments which
dropped from the abnormal levels of 1947. Again,
preliminary estimates o f United States exports of coal
for the first eleven months of 1948 indicate a decline
of 25 per cent from 1947 levels. Both Baltimore and
Hampton Roads have undoubtedly been affected by the
decline in coal shipments in 1948, but the preliminary
data indicate that Baltimore has been affected more
severely by the drop in coal exports. In terms of
foreign exports, however, it appears that continuance
of the foreign aid program will help to sustain the
demand for iron and steel mill products, lumber, leaf
tobacco, and other commodities exported through these
ports.
In the post-war period the District ports have also
shared in the nation's increased level of imports and
are currently handling a larger proportion of the im­
port tonnage than in the pre-war period. Thus, in
1939 these four ports handled 16 per cent of the im­
ports through all ports in the United States, whereas
in 1948 their share was increased to 19 per cent. How­
ever, as is shown in the above table, the District’s
proportionate share of exports through all U. S. ports
showed an even sharper increase over the pre-war
period. Thus, in 1948 the District ports handled an
estimated 25 per cent of total U. S. exports as com­
pared to 6 per cent in 1939.
This post-war trend in the District ports' handling
of exports and imports is particularly significant in
terms of the future outlook for these ports, for the
ability of the District ports to share in the future for­
eign trade of the nation after the abnormal demand
for coal has abated will depend on a better balance
between volume of exports and imports through these
ports.
It is not economically sound for ships to travel
between ports in ballast. Although the foreign trade
of both Baltimore and Hampton Roads has been dis-

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

tor ted by large out-shipments o f coal, it appears that
there is a better balance between exports and imports
for the port of Baltimore than for Hampton Roads.
Thus, as previously noted, in 1947 exports through
Hampton Roads totaled 19 million long tons and im­
ports, 2 million long tons, whereas exports through
Baltimore totaled 14 million long tons and imports, 8
million long tons.
In considering the external factors affecting the fu­
ture outlook for foreign commerce through the Dis­
trict ports, a major factor is their competitive position
relative to all other ports in the United States. Tra­
ditionally, the major part o f the United States foreign
trade has been handled by the North Atlantic ports.
Post-war data indicate, as previously noted, that the
Fifth District ports have made relative gains in the
handling of U. S. foreign commerce. However, these
gains may be simply the result of the overflow from
the North Atlantic ports due to the unprecedented
level of foreign commerce, or they may possibly repre­
sent a more permanent claim on a major share of the

U. S. total foreign commerce as a result of the exten­
sion of facilities and active solicitation of trade by the
port authorities and the railroads feeding the Fifth Dis­
trict ports.
Thus, in terms of commodities it seems probable that
leaf tobacco and coal shipments to foreign markets will
continue to go through Fifth District ports. Likewise,
these ports may attract a larger proportion o f cotton
textiles and manufactured tobacco products now shipped
through the port o f New York.
Finally, it should be noted that the potential growth
of the District’s ports rests, at least in part, on their
ability to recapture the domestic trade apparently lost
in the wartime period. Therefore, in conclusion, the
future outlook for these four leading ports of the Fifth
District depends upon the changes in the level and di­
rectional flow of foreign and domestic trade and the
competitive position of the District ports in terms of
service and facilities as compared with other ports in
the United States.

Business Conditions
Continued from page 1

per cent, respectively. Only hardware and industrial
supply firms recorded February sales larger than sales
of a year ago.
The real trend of retail trade may be obscured during
March and April by the shift of Easter from late March,
last year, to April 17 of this year. Thus current weekly
reports showing fair-sized losses from a year earlier
are due in part to a late Easter.

to December fell only 2 per cent from December to
January, to a level 28 per cent below January, 1948, on
a seasonally adjusted basis. The year-to-year change
in manufacturers’ shipments of furniture of 28 per
cent in January compares with a national decrease in
retail furniture store sales of 12 per cent in this period
and with a 7 per cent gain in Fifth District furniture
store sales.

Production

Lumber production in the area ran ahead of ship­
ments, which in turn were running above new orders
through February. Some change appeared around the
middle of March, when new orders exceeded both pro­
duction and shipments. However, production and ship­
ments are running moderately below those of a year
ago. These figures place the lumber situation in too
favorable a light, for they represent the large mills
which have continued to operate, while many of the
small mills have closed down. Lumber prices have
weakened somewhat further in recent weeks.

Both cotton consumption and the number of hours
run by active cotton spindles in the District during
February showed a 2 per cent improvement over Janu­
ary, on a seasonally adjusted basis, but in each case the
level of activity was 15 per cent under a year ago.
Normally, there is a seasonal rise in cotton mill activity
from February to March, but trade and labor market
information indicate this will not be the case this year.
Rather, there is a widening of curtailments which is
showing up in both reduced employment and shortening
of working hours.
Cigarette output in the District improved 5 per cent
from January to February after allowance for the nor­
mal seasonal variation. February production was 1
per cent smaller than in that month last year. The
growth in cigarette output in the District in the last few
years has been effected mainly in North Carolina, the
Virginia output having remained relatively stable. This
seems to be another case of an industry moving closer
to the raw material.
Furniture shipment data by manufacturers located
mainly in this area are available for January. Those
shipments which declined 35 per cent from November




Construction placed under contract in February in
the District normally falls 5 per cent below that placed
in January. In February of this year, total construction
contract awards rose 4 per cent, thus raising the sea­
sonally adjusted index 10 per cent. Total awards in
February, however, were 22 per cent under those of
February, 1948.
Residential construction contract
awards, on a seasonally adjusted basis, rose 11 per cent
from January to February, but in the latter month were
38 per cent under those of a year ago. The spread of
unemployment and reduction of working hours is likely
to cause a downward trend in residential construction in
this area. Such a trend is already in evidence in factory
buildings and could extend to commercial buildings with

MONTHLY REVIEW

any considerable decline in trade levels. Commercial
building has been sustained at peak levels in this area for
the past three years.
Bituminous coal output, seasonally adjusted, in the
Fifth District during February continued the downward
trend which has been in evidence since October. All
sources o f shipments through the ports of Baltimore,
Hampton Roads, and Charleston thus far this year are
below levels o f a year ago. However, the Hampton
Roads ports are handling a larger proportion of the
small export trade this year than last year. Coal prices
have fallen moderately in the past month but the strike
in March has reduced stocks to a point where the price
situation may hold firm temporarily. The bituminous
coal industry, however, is undergoing a period of ad­
justment in fitting production to a reduced market de­
mand, and lower prices are about the only satisfactory
way yet devised to accomplish this end. Lower prices
find their reflection in the elimination of high-cost mines
from production. Lower prices also seem desirable in
order for the industry to maintain its long-run com­
petitive position.
The cotton textile industry stepped up output some­
what more than seasonally from January to February,
but the February level was 15 per cent under the level
for that month last year. Lay-offs and shorter work
weeks have become more widespread in this industry in
March, and retailers’ and wholesalers’ purchases of cot­
ton goods have improved very little thus far. There
has been considerable shifting of looms from construc­
tions showing price weakness, to those where prices are
more firmly held. Prices of ducks, drills, osnaburgs,
sheetings, and jeans have been marked down from *4
of a cent to 2y* cents in the month, to March 18, and
there is still an insufficient amount of business to main­
tain current production.
The price situation in hosiery appears, for the time
being, to have stabilized, and some in the trade seem
reasonably hopeful that improvement in production may
occur by April. Others feel, however, that the spring
season can be written off but that fall prospects are
likely to be good. Both employment levels and the
hours worked per week in the industry held steady in
January and February, but were considerably under
those of a year ago. Hours worked per week in the
full-fashioned branch in North Carolina in January
were 37.2, while seamless mills were running 31.9 hours.




MARCH 1949

The rayon yarn industry has announced production
cut-backs at several plants in the District, arising from
lack of orders from converters, cutters and weavers.
Producers’ stocks of rayon yarns have been rising no­
tably and little or no idea is ventured as to the level of
stocks held by the weaving and fabricating trades.
Therefore, little idea can be expressed regarding the
duration of the cut-back.
Other Business Indicators
Bank debits, which had fallen quite sharply on a sea­
sonally adjusted basis from October through January,
recovered 3 per cent in February to a level 5 per cent
ahead of February, 1948. This is somewhat difficult to
explain since trade levels generally and payrolls which
normally have an important influence on debits, were
falling in this period.
Business failures, seasonally adjusted, rose 5 per
cent from January to February, to a level 61 per cent
above that of a year ago. Failures, however, are still
running less than half of what they were in the pre-war
years, 1935 to 1939, but the upward trend is persistent.
Electric power production, reflecting both the tem­
perate winter in the District and the slower manufac­
turing activity, fell 3 per cent from December to Janu­
ary. This index has shown a flat trend since last August.
The January output of electric energy was 4 per cent
higher than that of a year ago.
Employment in manufacturing industries of the Dis­
trict, charted on page 1, shows moderate reductions
from the peak levels of last fall in all states. This, of
course, does not tell the entire story regarding manu­
facturing production, for hours of labor in many indus­
tries have been reduced in recent months even more
than employment. There are several interesting things
about the chart on page 1. The first is that employment
in manufacturing industries of North Carolina in Janu­
ary, 1949, shows the least gain over the 1939 average of
any of the District states. The second is that South
Carolina is showing a secular growth in employment,
whereas all other Fifth District states seem to have sta­
bilized the post-war levels of employment as far as secu­
lar trend is concerned. The third is that West Virginia,
during and since the war, has shown the greatest degree
of manufacturing employment stability of any Fifth
District state.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K OF RICH M ON D
(A ll Figures in Thousands)
M arch 16,Change in A m t. From
1949
2-16-49
3-17-48

ITE M S

T otal Gold Reserves ...........................$1,053,896
Other Reserves .....................................
20,173
Total Reserves ................................... 1,074,069
Bills Discounted ...................................
13,218
Industrial Advances .............................
45
Govt. Securities, Total ...................... 1,380,228
Bonds ....................................................
615,502
N otes ....................................................
21,894
Certificates .........................................
416,238
Bills ......................................................
326,594
T otal Bills & Securities .................... 1,393,491
U ncollected Items ....................... .........
278,182
Other Assets .........................................
38,906
Total Assets ....................................... 2,784,648

+
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
+
—
—

Federal R eserve N otes in C ir........... $1,580,900
Deposits, Total .....................................
909,510
M em bers’ Reserves ...........................
845,163
U. S. Treas. Gen. A c c t .....................
24,276
Foreign ..................................................
35,873
Other Deposits ....................... ...........
4,198
D eferred A vailability Items ..........
249,874
Other Liabilities .................................
664
Capital A ccounts .................................
43,700
Total Liabilities ............................... 2,784,648

— 10,835
— 52,011
+
7,359
— 59,855
+
421
+

2,390
4,682
2,292
3,146
23
51,570
26,015
2,536
11,267
11,752
54,739
31,745
11,650
36,936

6

(000 om itted)
F ebruary
1949

— 34,680
—
1,167
— 35,847
—
6,991
+
16
+ 57,128
+ 24 9 ,0 4 2
— 93,323
+ 137,646
— 236,237
+ 50,153
—
9,907
+ 11,353
+ 15,752
—
+
+
—
+
—
+
—
+
+

5

+ 24,296
+
44
+
1,570
— 36,936

Dist. o f Columbia
W ashington
M aryland
Baltim ore ...........
Cumberland
Frederick
...........
H agerstown
North Carolina
A sheville .............
Charlotte .............
Durham ...............
Greensboro ........
K inston
...............
R aleigh .................
W ilm ington .........
W ilson .................
W inston-Salem
South Carolina
Charleston ...........
Columbia .............
Greenville ...........
Spartanburg
V irgin ia
Charlottesville
Danville ...............
L ynchburg ...........
N ew port News
N orfolk
Portsm outh ........
R ichm ond .............
R oanoke ...............
W est V irgin ia
.............
Bluefield
Charleston ...........
Clarksburg
.........
Huntington .........
Parkersburg
.....

70,498
76,949
95,723
28,586
13,000
3,188
3,209
100
6,192
15,752

51 R E P O R T IN G M EM BER B A N K S 5th D ISTRIC T
(A ll Figures in Thousands)
M arch 16,
1949

ITEM S

$ 852,5 6 3 ^
409,642
196,484
254,352
1,680,764
103,381
186,385
44,726
1,216,581
129,691
232,089
165,501+
61,437
554,563
49,375
3,596,292

Total Loans ......................................
Bus. & A g r i....................................
Real Estate Loans .....................
A ll Other Loans .........................
T otal Security H oldings ...............
U . S. Treasury Bills .................
U . S. Treasury Certificates
U. S. Treasury Notes ...............
U. S. Govt. Bonds .....................
Other Bonds, Stocks & Sec. .
Cash Item s in Process o f Col. .
Due fro m Banks ............................
Currency & Coin ............................
R eserve w ith F. R. Banks .........
Other Assets ....................................
Total Assets .......................................

Total Demand Deposits .................... $2,759,915
Deposits o f Individuals ................ 2,045,631
Deposits o f U. S. Govt....................
91.725
Deposits o f State & L ocal Govt...
191,433
Deposits o f Banks ...........................
382,413*
Certified & Officer’ s Checks ........
48,713
T otal Tim e Deposits ...........................
588,335
Deposits o f Individuals ..................
567,377
Other Tim e Deposits ......................
20,958
Liabilities fo r B orrow ed M oney ......
4,900
A ll Other Liabilities ........................
21,470
Capital A ccounts ...................................
221,672
Total Liabilities ............................... 3,596,292

Change in A m t. From
2-16-49
3-17-48
__ 2,934
+ 24,978
—
—
934
1,958
—
+ 18,965
3,132
+ 14,862
2,239
+
— 78,592
+ 12,058
+ 48,339
1,921
+
+
9,419
2,723
+
— 51,690
683
+
— 89,254
4,054
+
+
4,594
2,677
+
+
9,935
+ 10,752
— 3,462
+ 18,276
—
—
766
58
+ 59,332
3,371
+
— 5,287
975
+
+ 42,440
+
6,138
+
+
+

39,916
8,802
18,448
+ 7,878
+ 6,430
—
1,642
485
+
+ 1,166
681

+
+
+

2,100
2,583
1,556
42,440

+
+
+
—
—
—
—
—
+
—
+
+
+

S TA TE S

Feb. 1949

2 Mos. 1949

+ 4
— 56
— 11
— 82
— 14
— 5
— 22

$ 33,980,000
8,485,000
30,548,000
3,362,000
15,385,000
12,376,000
$104,136,000

—
—
+
—
—
—
—

11
41
7
87
13
15
25

$ 630,324

$1,390,822

$1,366,497

831,293
18,181
15,648
23,424

826,086
17,825
16,087
22,911

1,773,827
38,186
31,981
50,028

1,789,654
38,215
33,493
49,934

41,789
214,765
76,329
69,657
12,735
108,318
27,768
12,830
103,803

42,314
203,827
74,211
65,360
9,719
78,199
28,815
10,245
103,140

92,893
447,844
165,782
144,607
27,280
216,765
60,309
27,890
223,359

92,792
444,254
170,216
143,702
22,997
172,831
65,381
27,250
224,238

53,877
83,384
70,739
42,363

45,655
87,895
71,490
42,315

115,150
176,894
155,374
91,814

104,649
179,305
153,779
94,126

19,299
21,774
32,013
28,265
156,509
17,736
427,929
78,264

17,129
22,351
33,585
27,791
153,337
17,239
388,338
73,228

44,270
47,781
71,019
60,866
340,472
37,368
913,779
170,519

43.541
53,271
74,657
62,162
337,853
38,639
816,108
158,075

40,706
124,042
25,852
53,119
23,194

36,905
119,905
26,768
49,177
21,324

87,012
271,207
58,787
121,742
50,754

82,288
255,380
60,663
110,309
47,566

$3,523,654

$3,363,495

$7,506,381

$7,313,825

February
1947

F ifth D istrict S tates:
Cotton consum ed ................
329,372
Cotton G row ing S tates:
Cotton consumed ................
574,577
Cotton on hand Feb. 28 in
consum ing establishments 1,401,677
storage & com presses .... 7,461,960
United S tates:
Cotton consumed ..................
640,182
Cotton on hand Feb. 28 in
consum ing establishments 1,617,962
storage & com presses ..... 7,500,407
Spindles active, U. S..............20,758,000
S ou rce:

369,702
693,920

2,457,501

2,696,237

4,323,886

4,788,678

1,894,200
4,408,512
785,677

4,844,239

5,431,140

2,244,151
4,474,308
21,485,000

Departm ent o f Comm erce.

COTTON C O N SU M PTIO N —F IF T H
N o. Carolina

S o u rce :

A u g. 1 to Feb. 29
1949
1948

176,850
181,157
209,820
358,007
442,042

D IS T R IC T

So. C arolina
140,063
148,439
159,882
288,502
336,201

V irgin ia

District

12,459
16,026
17,753
28,485
36,191

829,372
329,596
369,702
646,509
814.434

Departm ent o f Commerce.

P R IC E S OF U N FIN IS H E D C O TTO N T E X T IL E S
b. 1949
Printcloths,
Tw ill
Sateen
Ducks,
N o te :

Feb. 28, 1949
Total Deposits ..............

$ 668,049

F ebruary
1949

% Change
from
2 Mos. 1948

D E PO SITS IN M U T U A L S A V IN G S B A N K S
8 B altim ore Banks




2 Months
1948

F ebruary 1949 ..........
January 1949 ............
February 1948 ..........
2 Months 1949 ..........
2 Months 1948 ..........

C O N STR U C TIO N CO N TRA C TS A W A R D E D

M aryland .................. $20,339,000
Dist. o f Columbia
4,625,000
13,233,000
V irgin ia ....................
1,516,000
W est V irgin ia .........
N orth Carolina .....
7,414,000
South Carolina ..... .... 6,036,000
F ifth D istrict ..........$53,163,000
S ou rce: F. W . D odge Corp.

2 Months
1949

COTTON C O N SU M P T IO N A N D ON H AND-— B A L E S

19,209
17,905
29,590
11,379
8,236
8,671
18,046
20,278
2,232
7,500
4,216
8,259
6,138

♦Net Figures, reciprocal balances being eliminated.
**Less losses fo r bad debts.

% Change
from
Feb. 1948

D istrict Totals

February
1948

Jan. 31, 1949

Feb. 29, 1948

$390,970,880

$391,302,897

$391,579,209

( 1)
avers
( )

1

average

(6)..

Jan. 1949

Feb. 1948

64.55
70.33
58.23
63.60
56.57
87.99
61.46

65.04
71.27
58.26
64.90
57.01
89.52
60.41

96.22
121.76
80.62
116.15
73.16
128.15
63.22

The above figures are those fo r the approxim ate qquantities o f
cloth obtainable from a pound o f cotton with adjustm ent fo r
salable waste.
S ource: Departm ent o f A griculture.

[10]

MONTHLY REVIEW

MARCH 1949

B U ILD IN G P E R M IT FIGU R ES

W H O L E S A L E T R A D E , 190 FIRM S

February 1949

N et Sales
February 1949
com pared with
Feb.
Jan.
1948
1949

Total V aluation
F ebruary 1949
February 1948
M aryland
B altim ore ................................................
$ 2,902,415
Cum berland .......................................
33,115
Frederick .............................................................4,450
H agerstow n .................. .....................
111,290
S alisbury ...........................................
426,865
V irgin ia
100,215
D anville .............................................
L yn chburg ......... ....... ........................
349,515
N orfolk ....................................... ........
493,795
Petersburg .........................................
70,620
Portsm outh ................ ......................
109,600
R ichm ond ...........................................
1,252,664
Roanoke ....................................... ......
381,625
W est V irgin ia
Charleston .........................................
1,096,594
Clarksburg .........................................
131,835
H untington .......................................
155,675
North Carolina
Asheville .............................................
117,940
Charlotte ...........................................
1,580,900
Durham ...............................................
704,055
Greensboro .........................................
507,310
H igh Point .......................................
123,243
R aleigh ...............................................
303,410
R ocky Mount ...................................
107,150
Salisbury ...........................................
77,245
W inston-Salem .................................
317,538
South Carolina
Charleston .........................................
505,275
Columbia
...........................................
1,166,805
Greenville ...........................................
450,150
Spartanburg .....................................
95,480
Dist. o f Columbia
2,809,405
W ashington ..... .................................
D istrict Totals .................................
2 Months ...........................................

L IN E S

$ 1,420,575
7,260
13,450
28,345
66,815
164,032
835,942
1,721,365
49,750
62,110
1,263,182
130,208

Dry Goods (1 2 )* .....................
Groceries (6 0 )* .......................
P aper & products (5 )* .........
T obacco & products ( 8 ) * ......
Miscellaneous (6 9 )* ...............
D istrict Totals (190)* .......

414,580
28,060
743,915

W est V irgin ia ......
V irgin ia ...................
M aryland .................
F ifth District
U nited States ,
% in D istrict
S ou rce:

Feb.
1949

Feb.
1948

12,608
1,280
77
13,965
44,458
31.4

13,578
1,450
123
15,151
50,395
30.1

—
—
—
—
—

M aryland (5 )* .........................
Dist. o f Columbia (6 )* ........
V irginia (1 9)* .........................
W est V irgin ia (1 0 )* ...............
N orth Carolina ( 1 3 ) * .............
South Carolina (1 0 )* ...............
D istrict (6 3)* .......................

4,318,472
$16,424,416
$37,057,853

26.433
2,674
154
29,261
91,628
31.9

7
12
37
8
12

IN D IV ID U A L

2 Mos.
%
1948 Change
29,173
3,239
282
32,694
106,175
30.8

—
—
—
—
—

9
17
45
11
14

February
1949

% Change
from
Feb. 1948

Sm oking & Chewing tobacco
(Thousands o f lbs.) ............
14,005
Cigarettes (Thousands) ........25,358,189
Cigars (Thousands) ................
410,170
Snuff (Thousands o f lbs.) ....
3,133

— 5

+ 9
—1
1

— 7

% Change
fro m
2 Mos.
1949 _2 Mos. '48
28,684
53,363,790
848,456
6,669

—6
+ 5
—8
—8




+ 2

CITIES

+ 4
+ 26
+ 6
+ 1
+ 3

+ 13
+ 25
+ 17

—2
— 13
— 36
+ 30

— 30
+ 24

Baltim ore

W ashington

Other Cities

D istrict

P ercentage change in Feb. 1949 sales com pared with sales in Feb. '4 8 :
— 2
— 4
+ 8
— 4
0
Percentage change in 2 mos. sales 1949 com pared with 2 mos. in 1948:
— 4
— 3
+ 5
— 2
0

P erctg. change in receivables Feb. 28, 1949 fro m those on Feb. 29, 1948:
+ 3
+ 8
+21
+ 9
+12

Num ber o f Failures
D istrict
U. S.

Dun & Bradstreet

— 26
— 15
— 16

— 19
— 19
+ 6

Perctg. change in outstanding orders Feb. 28, 1949 from Feb. 29, 1948:
— 21
— 27
— 23
— 28
— 24

P ercentage o f receivables as o f February 1, 1949 collected in F ebruary:
32
47
44
43
42

COM M ERCIAL F A IL U R E S

S ou rce:

+ 3
—2
1

P erctg. change in stocks on Feb. 28, 1949 com pared with Feb. 29, 1948:
— 16
— 3
— 7
+ 2
— 6

Treasury Department.

23
24
14
47
20

— 7
— 3
0

D E P A R T M E N T ST O R E T R A D E

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

F ebruary 1949
January 1949 ,
February 1948
2 Months 1949
2 Months 1948

1
2
1
9
4
3
1

♦Number o f reporting firms.

Bureau o f Mines.

M O N TH S

+ 1
+ 8
+ 11

—
—
—
+
+
+
+

+ 4
+ 26
—2

+ 13
+ 25

Baltim ore, Md., (5 )* ...............
W ashington, D. C., (6 )* ......
Richm ond, V a., (6 )* ...............
L ynchburg, V a., ( 3 ) * .............
Charleston, W . Va., (3 )* ......
Charlotte, N. C., (3 )* .............
Columbia, S. C., ( 3 ) * .............

Richm ond

S o u rce :

14
18
41
23
3
2
3

Percentage com parison o f sales in
periods named with sales in same
periods in 1948
Feb. 1949
2 Mos. 1949

S TATE S

280,880
281,025
597,200
44,794

2 Mos.
1949

%
Change

+
+
+
+
+
—
—

R E P O R T ON R E T A IL F U R N IT U R E S A L E S

SOFT C O A L PR O D U C TIO N IN THOU SAN D S OF TONS
REGIONS

— 9
— 4
— 13
+ 6
— 13
+ 23
— 10
— 13
+ 1
+ 1
— 4

S ou rce: Departm ent o f Comm erce.
♦Number o f reporting firms.

85,452
726,488
921,095
1,343,579
490,975
361,165
51,000
61,325
411,377

$16,486,179
$29,227,617

_

7
— 3
— 5
+ 21
+ 5
0
+ 3
— 13
+ 5
— 1
— 1

A uto supplies (9 )* ........
E lectrical goods (8 )*..
H ardware (.8) * ............

Stock
Feb. 28, 1949
com pared with
Feb. 29
Jan. 31
1948
1949

685
566
417
1,251
773

P ercentage o f instalm ent receivables as o f Feb. 1, 1949 collected in F e b .:
15
20
19
20
19

Total Liabilities
D istrict
U. S.
$ 518,000
530,000
170,000
1,048,000
259,000

$27,567,000
19,159,000
25,619,000
46,726,000
38,584,000

M aryland

Dist. o f Col.

V irgin ia

W . V irgin ia

N . Carolina S. Carolina

Percentage change in Feb. 1949 sales fro m Feb. 1948 sales, by S tates:
— 4
+ 8
— 2
— 1
— 8
— 1
P ercentage change in 2 m onths 1949 fro m 2 m onths 1948 sales:
— 4
+ 5
— 3
+ 2
— 8
+ 2

H i]

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

AVER AG E D AILY TO T A L DEPOSITS* OF
MEMBER BANKS
% of
$ thousands U.S.
Last Half of Jan.
Maryland
Reserve city banks
Country banks
District of Columbia
Reserve city banks
Country banks
Virginia
Reserve city banks
Country banks
West Virginia
North Carolina
Reserve city banks
Country banks
South Carolina
Fifth District
U. S. (millions)

1,020,733
640,850
379,883
903,763
881,766
21,997
1,301,179
296,375
1,004,804
618,483
824,817
370,895
453,922
436,529
5,105,504
107,944

.95
.60
.35
.84
.82
.02
1.21
,28
.93
.57
.76
.34
.42
.40
4.73
100.0

% of
$ thousands U.S.
Last Half of Feb.
1,009,323
630,877
378,446
916,854
894,516
22,338
1,304,084
307,117
996,967
614,757
804,951
361,762
443,189
428,717
5,078,686
106,912

PRINCIPAL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
FIFTH

D IST RIC T M E M B E R BANKS

BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

.94
.59
.35
.86
.84
.02
1.22
.29
.93
.58
.75
.34
.41
.40
4.75
100.0

♦Excluding interbank demand deposits.

BUSINESS IND EXES— FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
AVERAGE DAILY, 1935-39=100— SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
Feb.
_______________________________________ 1949
Automobile Registration1 ......................................
Bank Debits .........................................................................
Bituminous Coal Production ............................... ...........
Building Contracts Awarded ............................... ...........
Residential Construction Contracts ................................
Building Permits Issued ....................................... .
Business Failures — No........................................ ............
Cigarette Production .............................................
Cotton Consumption ............................................... ...........
Cotton Spindle Hours ...........................................
Department Store Sales3 ..................................... ............
Department Store Stocks ..................................... .
Electric Power Production .................................
Employment — Mfg. Industries1..........................
Furniture Orders3 ...................................................
Furniture Shipments3 .............................................
Furniture Unfilled Orders3 ...................................
Furniture Sales — Retail .....................................
Gasoline Consumption ...........................................
Life Insurance Sales .............................................
Wholesale Trade:
Automotive Supplies2 .........................................
Drugs .................................................................... ...........
Dry Goods3 ...........................................................
Electrical Goods2 ...............................................
Groceries ...............................................................
Hardware .............................................................
Industrial Supplies2 ...........................................
Paper and Its Products2.....................................
Tobacco and Its Products2............................... ............
1 Not seasonally adjusted.
2 1938-41=100.
8 Revised Series— back figures available on request.




Jan.
1949

Dec.
1948

Feb.
1948

264

134
318
154
236
250
232
43
214r
126
127
301 r
316r
267
130
204
199
488
271

243

226

146
324
159
243
283
267
49
211
140
134
346
335
276
132
257
204
526
273
193
231

107
313
162
335
446
236
28
228
151
153
308
339
252
134
311
287
749
246
159
231

265
259
157
84
236
127
394
132
96

280
267
114
96
241
145
399
134
97

213
238
180
89
252
163
448
163
105

286
259
176
88
246
123
265
160
96

329
148
260
277
237
45
225
128
130
299
304

[12]

Feb. 1949 from
Jan. 49
Feb. 48
+ 3
— 4
+ 10
+11
+ 2
+ 5
+ 5
+ 2
+ 2
— 1
— 4

+ 5
— 9
—22
—38
0
+61
— 1
— 15
— 15
— 3
— 10

— 3

+ 7

+ 8

+ 5

— 5
— 3
+38
— 13
— 2
— 12
— 1
— 1
— 1

— 7
0
— 11

__ 5

— 4
+ 3
+49
— 18
0

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