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MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

W ILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

MAY 31, 1925

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
The business outlook is probably less favorable
at the end of M ay than it was a month earlier this
year, but it is better than at the same time last year.
The chief changes during the past month were in
the textile industry and in agriculture, in which ex­
pected improvement did not materialize. Textile
mills have begun to accumulate more stock than
they think desirable, and curtailment of operations
is being widely advocated, whi^e dry weather in
April and unseasonably cool weather in May re­
tarded crop development and partly neutralized the
advantages the (farmers had secured 'from early
preparation of land for planting. Farm labor is
scarce and high, fertilizer prices are higher than a
year ago, and farmers are comparatively short of
working capital, all of which tends to make the
agricultural outlook uncertain. Farm work is from
ten days to two weeks ahead of last year, however,
and favorable weather could overcome the ill effects
of the recent dry and cool weather.
Favorable factors are not lacking in the present
situation. Banks are in a strong position, generally
speaking, and credit is available for any legitimate

needs that appear likely to arise. Debits to indi­
vidual accounts are running ahead of 1924, indi­
cating that a large volume of trade is being done.
Business failures in the Fifth District were fewer
in number and lower in liabilities in April than in
April last year. The labor supply and demand is
practically balanced, except in agricultural lines
where the shortage of workers is less marked than
in 1924. Cotton consumption and exports continue
larger than in 1924, and there will be no disturbingly
large carryover into the new cotton year which be­
gins on August 1st. Prospects for this year's to­
bacco crop are good. Retail trade in April exceeded
the volume of trade in April 1924, in spite of the
earlier Easter this year, and stocks on the shelves
are comparatively low. Wholesale trade during the
first four months this year exceeded trade during
the same period in 1924 in groceries, furniture and
drugs, but declined in dry goods, shoes and hard­
ware. Finally, construction work is holding up re­
markably well, and the number of projects under
way and planned assure employment in the build­
ing trades and good business for building supply
dealers for some months to come.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
Between April 15th and M ay 15th, this year, the demand for credit at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond increased seasonally, due to crop planting. The volume of member bank borrowing at the Reserve
Bank rose from $40,652,000 on April 15th to $46,201,000 on May 15th, and member bank reserve deposits
were reduced during the same period from $66,266,000 to $60,824,000. The volume of Federal Reserve
notes in actual circulation decreased from $75,356,000 on April 15th to $73,352,000 on May 15th, the need
at this season being for book credit rather than currency. A s a result of the changes in the items men­
tioned, the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond dropped from $94,039,000 on April
15th to $83,684,000 on May 15th, and the ratio of cash reserves to combined note and deposit liabilities
declined from 64.90 per cent to 60.77 Per centAlthough the spring expansion in the demand for credit was much more marked this year in the Fifth
District than was the case in the spring of 1924, the volume of credit outstanding at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond is smaller now than on May 15, 1924, an apparently paradoxical condition made possible
by the low point to which credit demand sank in midwinter. On May 15, 1924, member bank borrowing
at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond totaled $58,223,000, compared with $46,201,000 on M ay 15th
this year. Member bank reserve deposits rose from $60,601,000 to $60,824,000 during the year, and the
cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond increased from $83,397,000 to $83,684,000, both
gains being little more than daily fluctuations. The ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities
combined rose from 59.15 per cent on M ay 15th last year to 60.77 per cent on the same date this year.
Between February 15th and M ay 15th, this year, member bank borrowing at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond rose approximately $23,000,000, and the Reserve Bank’s reserve ratio declined 23.88 points, while
between the same two dates in 1924 member bank borrowing increased only $12,000,000 and the reserve
ratio declined only 11.60 points. Outstanding loans to member banks a little more than doubled between
February 15th and M ay 15th this year.




The Return To Gold Payments in Europe—Page 10.

CONDITION OF SEVENTY-THREE REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
ITEMS

May 13, 1925

1. Total Loans and Discounts (including
all rediscounts).....................................
2. Total Investments in Bonds and Securi­
ties ............................................................
3. Total Loans and Investments.................
4. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank .......................................................
5. Cash in V a u lts..............................................
6. Demand Deposits ........................................
7. Time Deposits ..............................................
8. Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank..

April 8, 1925

May 14, 1924

$ 486,757,000

$ 492,032,000

$ 467,867,000

136.134.000
622.891.000

137.279.000
629.311.000

118.869.000
586.736.000

38.399.000
14.143.000
348.901.000
195.999.000
21.892.000

39.716.000
14.222.000
356.567.000
187.593.000
18.383.000

39.935.000
13.408.000
326.880.000
165.370.000
29.292.000

In the above table comparative figures reported by seventy-three identical member banks are shown as
at the close of business May 13, 1925, April 8, 1925, and May 14, 1924, thus affording an opportunity
for comparing banking developments during the past month and the past year in the thirteen leading cities
of the Fifth Reserve District. While the figures shown in the table reflect conditions on the dates men­
tioned, they are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that occurred during the periods under review.
Between A pril 8th and M ay 13th, both this year, total loans and discounts in the reporting member
banks declined from $492,032,000 to $486,757,000, an unusual reduction at this season of the year when agri­
cultural activities require additional credit. Between the same dates, investments in bonds and securities were
reduced from $137,279,000 to $136,134,000, reserve balances at the Reserve Bank declined from $39,716,000
to $38,399,000, cash in vaults dropped from $14,222,000 to $14,143,000, and demand deposits declined from
$356,567,000 to $348,901,000. On the other hand, time deposits rose from $187,593,000 on April 8th to
$1:95,999,000 on May 13th, and total borrowing by the reporting banks at the Reserve Bank increased from
$18,383,000 to $21,892,000.
Between M ay 14, 1924, and May 13, 1925, total loans and discounts for customers rose from $467,867,000
to $486,757,000, and investments in bonds and securities rose from $118,869,000 to $136,134,000, a combined
increase in outstanding loans and investments amounting to $36,155,000. Between the same dates, de­
mand deposits rose from $326,880,000 to $348,901,000, and time deposits increased from $165,370,000 to
$1:95,999,ooo, a total increase in deposits of $52,650,000.
Cash in vaults increased during the year from
$13,408,000 to $14,143,000. On the other hand, reserve balances at the Reserve Bank declined from a total
$39>935 >
000 on May 14th last year to $38,399,000 on May 15th this year, and rediscounts at the Reserve
Bank declined from $29,292,000 to $21,892,000 during the same period.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
Deposits in fourteen mutual savings banks in Baltimore totaled $149,301,650 at the close of business
April 30, 1925, the highest figure reported for any month since the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
began tabulating deposit figures in 1920. A year ago, on April 30, 1924, deposits in the same banks totaled
$143,237,747. On April 30, 1923, deposits aggregated $135,948,482; on April 30, 1922, $127,295,173; on
April 30, 1921, $121,132,192; and on April 30, 1920, $121,710,304.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
The accompanying table shows total debits in the clearing house banks in twenty-three of the chief trade
centers of the Fifth Reserve District during three equal periods of five weeks each, ending May 13, 1925,
April 8, 1925, and May 14, 1924, thus affording an opportunity for comparing the latest five weeks period
with (1) the preceding like period this year, and (2) the corresponding period last year.
Debits during the five weeks ending April 8, 1925, amounted to $1,484,986,000, while debits during
the later period ending May 13th totaled $1,476,355,000, a decrease of $8,631,000, but the earlier period con­
tained the income tax date of March 15th and the April 1st quarterly settlements, and also included all of
the early Easter trade, while the latter period included only three days of Easter’s cash business, although
of course Easter bills swelled the May 1st settlements.
Debits during the five weeks ending May 14, 1924, aggregated $1,345,386,000, compared with $1,476,355,000 reported for the corresponding five weeks this year, ending M ay 13, 1925, an increase this year of
$130,969,000, or 9.7 per cent, a little larger increase than the 8 per cent rise shown in the Federal Reserve
Board’s wholesale commodity price index during the year. Seventeen of the twenty-three cities reported
higher figures this year, the most marked increases being shown by Newport News with 27.3 per cent, Char­




2

lotte 22.6 per cent, Durham 21.9 per cent, Baltimore 16.0 per cent, Columbia 16.0 per cent, Washington 13.8
per cent, and Winston-Salem 10.0 per cent.
TOTAL DEBITS FOR THE FIVE W EEKS ENDING
CITIES
Asheville, N. C..................................................
Baltimore, Md.....................................................
Charleston, S. C.
........................ ..........
Charleston, W. V a.............................................
Charlotte, N. C....................................................
Columbia, S. C....................................................
Cumberland, Md.................................................
Danville Va.
.................................................
Durham, N. C.
........................
Greensboro, N. C...............................................
Greenville, S. C................................................
Hagerstown, Md.
........................... -......
Huntington, W. V a...........................................
Lynchburg, V a....................................................
Newport News, V a.............................................
Norfolk, V a.........................................................
Raleigh, N. C........................................................
Richmond, V a......................................................
Roanoke, V a........................................................
Spartanburg, S. C...............................................
Washington, D. C.............................................
Wilmington, N. C...............................................
Winston-Salem, N. C.........................................
Total

April 8, 1925

May 13, 1925

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

$

29,282,000
489,770,000
27.590.000
38.810.000
60.827.000
26,301,000
10,309,000
9,000,000
26.013.000
27.201.000
25,981,000
12.389.000
30.175.000
21,283,000
9,657,000
79,570,000
32,036,000
143,747,000
29,527,000
17,742,000
265,627,000
24,398,000
39,120,000

$1,476,355,000

$

29,670,000
462,267,000
34.742.000
44.170.000
60.370.000
25.081.000
9,828,000
10.185.000
25.605.000
27.014.000
26.544.000
12.687.000
31.458.000
22.951.000
9,278,000
79,002,000
31,652,000
150,841,000
29,233,000
21,823,000
275,703,000
26,716,000
38,166,000

$1,484,986,000

May 14, 1924
$

27,395,000
422,077,000
29,576,000
41,199,000
49,614,000
22,667,000
10,416,000
8,802,000
21,339,000
26,524,000
24,367,000
12,562,000
30,838,000
21,202,000
7,587,000
77,345,000
37,124,000
127,137,000
27,479,000
17,048,000
233,500,000
24,022,000
35,566,000

$1,345,386,000

BUSINESS FAILURES IN APRIL
Dun’s Review for M ay 9, 1925, in commenting on the April failure record, says, “ The number of
commercial failures in the United States rose during April, totaling 1,939. This is 80 more than the num­
ber for March, and is 232, or 13.6 per cent, in excess of the 1,707 defaults for April 1924. It is, more­
over, the largest number reported for April since 1922. Despite the increased number of failures, how­
ever, last month’s liabilities of $37,188,622, though $3,184,000 above those for March, are about $11,715,000
below the $48,904,452 of April 1924. This is a decrease of 24 per cent, and it is necessary to go back
to 1920 to find an April indebtedness smaller than that of this year. A ll of the increase in number of
failures in April over the total for that month of 1924 was in the trading division. Fewer large failures
occurred in April than in that month of all years since 1920, and the liabilities are also the smallest re­
ported for the period in five years. Numbering 45 defaults for $100,000 or more in each case last month
compare with 71 in April 1924, and the indebtedness of $15,332,375 contrasts with $29,060,961 in the earlier
year. The showing for the manufacturing division is especially favorable, there being a decrease of 17 in
the number of large failures in this classification from the total for April of last year, and a reduction of
practically $10,300,000 in the liabilities.”
Business failures in the Fifth District during April numbered 109, with liabilities amounting to $2,079,733,
compared with 121 defaults and liabilities of $3,351,299 in April 1924, a decrease of 9.9 per cent in number
and of 37.9 per cent in liabilities, the District record being better than the national record in both in­
stances.

LABOR— Nothing of importance has happened in labor circles since our April 30th Review was writ­
ten. Labor is fairly well employed, although there is some surplus of workers here and there in the Dis­
trict. Somewhat less activity in construction and road work has increased the supply of farm laborers to
some extent, and there is less shortage in that field than was the case last year. On the other hand, farmers
are not seeking as many laborers this year as usual, probably because funds with which to pay wages are not
in hand. Industrial workers appear to be more fully employed than other classes, since practically all
of the District’s industries are operating on full or nearly full time. There are some indications that steady
employment may not continue much longer in the textile and lumbering industries, the present rate of
production in both exceeding demand. In contrast with last year, little has been heard of negro workers
migrating to northern industrial centers.
COAL— The daily average production of bituminous coal has been moving upward since the middle
of April, and since the end of March has been above the daily average for the corresponding periods in



3

1921, 1922 and 1924. The Geological Survey estimates April production at 33,690,000 net tons, com­
pared with 30,404,000 tons mined in April 1924. The cumulative output for 1925 through M ay 9th was
172,768,000 tons, which was 5,390,000 tons behind production to the corresponding date in 1924 but was
considerably ahead of production during the first four months of 1919, 1921 and 1922. During the week
ended May 2, 1925, a daily output of 342,300 net tons was reported for W est Virginia, the highest figure
of all coal producing states.
Retail coal prices have been reduced sharply at many yards during the past month, and the usual effort
is being made to persuade consumers to fill their cellars during the early summer.

TEXTILES— Developments in the textile industry were distinctly disappointing during April, the vol­
ume of business that appeared to be in prospect earlier in the spring having failed to materialize. The opti­
mistic feeling in the industry has changed to one of uncertainty, and there is much talk of curtailment in
operations. Many mills are said to be accumulating too much manufactured stock, and those in close touch
with the industry freely predict early restriction in running time and output unless orders appreciably in­
crease in the near future. The mills making staples are especially hard hit, those manufacturing specialties
and novelties securing the bulk of the business that is to be had.
The mills in the F ifth District consumed 234,108 bales of cotton in April, compared with 189,176
bales used in April 1924, all of the cotton manufacturing states in the District reporting higher figures this
year. North Carolina mills consumed 127,520 bales compared with 104,177 bales in April last year, South
Carolina mills used 96,518 bales compared with 76,391 bales in 1924, and Virginia mills used 10,070 bales
compared with 8,608 bales during the corresponding month of 1924. Fifth District consumption in April
1925 amounted to 39.2 per cent of national consumption, compared with 39.4 per cent in April 1924.
COTTON— Spot cotton prices gradually worked downward between April n t h and May 16th, con­
tinuing the trend begun in March. Prices paid for spots in the Carolinas during the weeks ending April
n th and 18th averaged 23.77 cents and 23.76 cents per pound, respectively, for short staple upland, middling
basis. The price rose to an average of 24.02 cents during the week ending April 25th, but dropped again
to 23.64 cents on May 2nd and still further to 23.21 cents on May 9th. The average for the week ending
M ay 16th, the latest period for which figures are available, was 22.19 cents, the lowest weekly average
since last September.
On M ay 14th, the Census Bureau released its April cotton consumption report, and it proved distinctly
above expectations. Cotton consumed in American mills during April totaled 597,104 bales of lint, compared
with 582,674 bales in March this year and 480,010 bales in April 1924. Total consumption for the season
to date— August 1, 1924 to April 30, 1925— amounted to 4,669,215 bales, compared with 4,559,374 bales con­
sumed during the nine months ending April 30, 1924. Cotton on hand in consuming establishments totaled
1,514,514 bales on April 30, 1925, compared with 1,644,793 bales on hand a month ago and 1,329,901 bales
a year ago. Public warehouses and compresses held 1,666,147 bales on April 30, 1925, compared with 2,237,115
bales on March 31, 1925, and 1,510,619 bales on April 30, 1924. Imports of cotton in April totaled 22,409
bales, compared with 33,955 bales in March 1925 and 40,435 bales in April 1924, while exports during April
totaled 472,555 bales, compared with 734,697 bales in March this year and 320,774 bales in April last
year. Active spindles in April numbered 33,412,650, compared with 33,225,182 in March 1925 and 31,863,454 in April 1924.
Cotton consumed in cotton growing states in April amounted to 399,465 bales, compared with 391,492
bales used in March and 327,031 bales in April 1924.
The new cotton crop is up to a poor stand in most of South Carolina, and the cotton which has been
planted and is up in North Carolina is from poor to fair. Unseasonably cool weather during the first half
of May delayed germination of seed and greatly retarded development of the growing plant. Cotton is a
hot weather plant, and grows practically none when the weather is cool. The young plants especially need
hot nights. A considerable acreage remains to be planted in North Carolina and Virginia. No official acre­
age estimates are available this year, but unofficial figures indicate that there will be some increase over the
record acreage of 1924. In spite of the expected increase in acreage, however, prospects for the new crops
are not very favorable at present, and exceptionally good weather will be necessary during the summer to
enable growers to repeat their 1924 production.




4

TOBACCO — Some tobacco planting has been completed in the southern part of Virginia, and by the
time this Review is printed practically all of the crop will have been planted. Recent rains left the ground
in excellent order. There is some complaint over the scarcity of plants, and many reports state that plants
are small. In North Carolina plants were rather scarce, but the outlook for the crop is from fair to good.
Nearly all of the North Carolina tobacco has been planted, and the present condition is reported as about 75
per cent of normal. There has been a considerable reduction in acreage in northern Piedmont counties, but
in other sections increases are shown. South Carolina’s crop is all planted, and transplanting was done about
two weeks earlier than usual. Seed beds look well in Maryland.
AGRICULTURAL NOTES
M A R Y L A N D farmers took advantage of the favorable weather in April and advanced their spring
operations rapidly. Corn land has been plowed and prepared for planting. Seeding has begun and is pro­
gressing steadily. Frosts during April damaged fruit in Western Maryland, practically destroying the peach
crop and considerably injuring apples. The damage varied widely in other sections of the state, however,
so that the prospects for peach and apple crops are uncertain. Maryland’s strawberry crop is being mar­
keted during May. The crop is up to standard in quality, but a lower yield is expected. Federal and State
inspection, which is being inaugurated at three shipping points, is expected to improve the quality of the
fruit going to market. Maryland’s wheat crop is in relatively good condition. Little winter damage was'
reported and the spring has been favorable for development. Pastures are in good condition. The canning
tomato situation is uncertain, growers and canners not having agreed on prices in some counties, and com­
paratively little of the prospective crop is under contract. Indications, however, are that a good crop will
be raised and growers are optimistic over the outlook.
V IR G IN IA farm work made excellent progress during the first ten days of May. Rain from the 10th to
the 15th interrupted planting, but was very beneficial to wheat, hay and pastures. The soil is now thoroughly
wet, and crops will make rapid progresses soon as warm weather comes. The greater part of the corn crop
was planted before the rains, and favorable weather had enabled the farmers to prepare their land better than
usual. Many early planted fields are up to excellent stands, but there is some fear that cold, wet weather may
have caused much of the late planted seed to rot. Wheat was improved by the cool, damp weather of
the middle of May, but the stand is thin in many fields, growth is backward, and the general condition is
below average. A ll hay crops made wonderful progress during May, and pastures also improved, but the
low temperature retarded growth. The early potato crop is making favorable growth, and the stand is
reported to be very good. Shipments will probably begin ten days earlier than usual, beginning in the Norfolk
section about June 1st. Frost damage was serious to fruit in some sections, but it is too early to estimate
prospects accurately. Some varieties of apples appear to be in very good condition, while others are almost
a failure. The commercial peach crop will be much less than last year, owing to light bloom and frost in­
jury. The commercial strawberry crop ripened earlier than usual, but the yield was comparatively small
because of unfavorable weather.
N O R T H C A R O L IN A corn is showing a good condition with good stands and is looking unusually
promising. About 85 per cent of a normal stand is reported, and no serious damage has been experienced.
Oats and rye conditions average from fair to good, with about 85 per cent of a normal stand. Prospects for
early hay crops look promising, though dry weather has retarded growth. Early truck crops, especially Irish
potatoes, are in better condition than usual, and range from fair to good. Marketing of early truck has been
very active. Apple prospects are about 73 per cent of normal, and peaches average about 70 per cent.
Farm labor is somewhat more plentiful and efficient than for several years, and is perhaps cheaper.
S O U T H C A R O L IN A suffered from lack of rain in April and early May, and the condition of nearly
all crops sharply declined. Wheat condition on May 1st was 78 per cent, indicating a probable production
of 1,206,000 bushels compared with 1,476,000 bushels harvested last year. This year’s acreage is about 4
per cent smaller. Oats declined in condition from 87 per cent on April 1st to 74 per cent on May 1st, spring
plantings being almost total losses in some sections. The crop is being harvested ten days earlier than usual.
Condition of Irish potatoes declined from 84 per cent to 78 per cent during April, and a low yield is
expected in commercial areas.



5

BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF APRIL, 1925 AND 1924.
Building permit reports were received for both April 1925 and April 1924 from twenty-six identical
cities in the Fifth District, and two others, Hagerstown and Danville, reported for April 1925 only. Hunt­
ington, W . Va., which has been included in our table heretofore, did not report April figures in a form that
was comparable with the other cities, and consequently that city had to be omitted.

Premits Issued
0

z

CITIES

New
1925

1 Baltimore, Md.
2 Cumberland, Md...
3 Frederick, Md.
4 Hagerstown, Md...
5 Danville Va..........
6 Lynchburg, Va....
7 Norfolk, Va.
8 Petersburg, Va.....
9 Richmond, Va.
10 Roanoke, Va.
11 Bluefield, W. Va...
12 Charleston, W. Va.
13 Clarksburg, W. Va
14 Parkersburg,W.V a
15 Asheville, N. C.....
16 Charlotte, N. C.....
17 Durham, N. C.
18 Greensboro, N. C.
19 High Point, N. C...
20 Raleigh, N. C.
21 Salisbury, N. C.....
22 Wilmington, N. C.
23 Winston-Salem, N. C.
24 Charleston, S. C ...
25 Columbia, S. C.....
26 Greenville, S. C....
27 Spartanburg, S. C.
28 Washington, D. C.

776
49
11
*62
*12
20
114
7
166
93
35
48
25
33
61
62
31
89
79
58
21
15
75
12
25
27
36
214

New Construction

Alterations

Repairs

1924

1925

1924

1925

1924

658 1,376 1,326 $ 6,299,400 $ 3,914,880
20
105,865
141,665
40
8
16
2
5
45,425
56,480
*25
*153,050
* 2
*113,980
18
35
29
28,487
108,241
122
72
73
217,200
627,220
22
14
28,780
6
146,046
230
88
112
1,345,695
2,088,810
132
60
67
327,490
313,115
39
15
7
107,075
163,650
73
20
35
101,875
397,244
74
26
49
33,835
211,065
22
40
11
100,334
85,300
56
71
90
622,880
437,262
79
15
9
425,310
478,600
21
153,325
242,000
48
3
35
20
432,452
77
422,117
12
232,075
114,350
50
20
74
13
9
428,925
562,175
26
3
6
74,850
149,525
2
56,450
45,950
10
6
111
776,100
568,415
86
71
15
102,325
31,535
7
18
18
42
64
79,800
198,425
22
66,800
21
8
105,200
36
30
23
132,275
225,575
567 5,983,225
3,058,165
397
573

Totals.......... 2,182 2,449 2,653 2,704 $18,461,319 $14,739,944
♦Hagerstown and Danville figures not included in totals

1924

1925
$ 575,400 $
6,648
1,025
*52,215
* 106
20,660
63,264
6,098
166,354
45,390
4,270
63,525
15,035
6,280
30,579
30,775
22,400
48,845
63,300
18,400
310
37,300
18,275
31,557
40,348
5,600
23,520
351,119
$1,696,277

Increase or Per Cent
Decrease
of
of s
,
Increase
Total
or
Valuation Decrease

636,960 $ 2,322,960
51.0#
19,559
22,889
18.2
4,975 — 15,005 — 24.4
71,858
80,134
2,240
105,020
36,070
2,400
126,080
45,010
12,750
43,572
29,830
11,000
8,345
6,225
15,100
5,400
25,200
61,907
7,815
10,065
12,605
13,059
349,965

— 130,952 — 72.7
— 426,890 — 60.4
121,124 390.5
— 681,781 — 31.1
23,695
6.8
— 54,705 — 32.9
— 357,924 — 68.4
— 207,205 — 80.9
8,564
8.7
172,625
35.9
— 52,345 — 10.6
— 77,275 — 30.5
50,835
11.8
174,800 145.0
— 129,950 — 22.5
— 79,765 — 51.5
22,600
31.8
164,053
26.0
94,532 240.2
— 88,342 — 42.4
— 45,405 — 38.5
— 82,839 — 34.7
2,926,214
85.9

$1,743,144 $ 3,674,508

No.

Permits for new work issued in April 1925 totaled 2,182, compared with 2,449 issued by the same
cities in April 1924. Estimated valuation totaled $18,461,319 in April 1925, compared with $14,739,944 in
April 1924. Alteration and repair permits totaled 2,653 i*1 April this year, with estimated valuation of
$1,696,277, compared with 2,704 permits and a valuation of $1,743,144 in April last year. In combined val­
uation for all classes of work, April 1925 totaled $20,157,596, an increase of $3,674,508, or 22.3 per cent,
over the total valuation of $16,483,088 reported in April 1924. Most of the increase during the 1925 month
was due to great activity in Baltimore and Washington, the combined gains reported by these two cities being
greater than the district increase.

1
2
3

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

22.3 °fo

—Denotes decrease

■(Includes both new work and repairs
NOTE- The figures in the above table reflect the amount of work provided for in the corporation limits of the several
cities, but take no account of suburban developments.




6

WHOLESALE TRADE
April, 1925
Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales in April, 1925, compared with sales in March, 1925:
43 Groceries
15 D ry Goods
12 Shoes
18 Hardware
6 Furniture
— 2.5
— 19.4
— 13.3
— 6.5
— 4.1

13 Drugs
— 3.3

Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales in April, 1925, compared with sales in April, 1924:
2.8
— 6.4
— 6.3
— 9.2
6.8

4.1

Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales since January 1, 1925, compared with sales during the corresponding
fou r months o f 1924:
2.7
— 12.9
— 3.3
— 6.9
12.2
0.5
Percentage increase (or decrease) in stocks on April 30, 1925, compared with March 31, 1925:
— 11.9(10)
— 3 .5 (8 )
2 .4 (6 )
— 3 .5 (6 )
1 6 .3 (2 )

........

Percentage increase w
(or decrease) in stocks on April 30, 1925, compared with April 30, 1924:
7.2 (1 0 )
— 2 1 .3 (8 )
— 17 .9 (6 )
— 8 .0 (6 )
2 4 .1 (2 )

........

— Denotes decreased percentage.
NOTE: The number of firms reporting stock figures fo r the dates compared is shown immediately after the
percentage figure.

One hundred and seven wholesale firms reported on sales for April 1925, and thirty-two firms reported
the value of stock in their warehouses at the close of the month. Six lines of trade were reported upon,
as shown in the accompanying table, and sales in all lines were lower in dollar amount than sales made by
the same firms in March 1925. In comparison with April 1924, sales in April this year were larger in gro­
ceries, furniture and drugs, but were less in dry goods, shoes and hardware. Cumulative sales from Janu­
ary 1st through April 30th this year exceeded total sales during the corresponding four months of 1924 in
groceries, furniture and drugs, but fell under total sales during the 1924 period in dry goods, shoes and
hardware.
Stocks carried by the reporting wholesalers were greater in furniture and shoes at the end of A pril than at
the end of March this year, but were less in groceries, dry goods and hardware, In comparison with stocks
on hand April 30, 1924, those on hand April 30, 1925, were greater in groceries and furniture, but less
in dry goods, shoes and hardware.
Collections continued unsatisfactory during April. Ninety-eight firms classified their collections during
that month as Good, Fair, Slow, or Poor, of which 71.4 per cent were listed as either Good or Fair in com­
parison with 73.7 per cent so classifying in March and 74.5 per cent in April 1924. The classifications made
this month were as follows:
Lines

Good
1925-1924

Groceries :.................................. 7
Dry Goods ............................ ......0
S h o e s ..................................... ......0
Hardware .............................
Furni ture ........................... .......2
Dr ugs .........................................4

7

1
0

5 7

1 3
9
1
3 4
2_________ 6

April Totals ........................ ...... 14
March Totals ...................... ...... 12
February Totals ...................... 12
January T o t a l s .................... ...... 16




Fair
1925-1924
25 24
8 9

14
16
24
22

56
58
53
54

8
7
59
56
52
55

April Collections Reported A s
Slow
Poor
Total
1925-1924
1925-1924 1925-1924
7 7
0 1
39
6 3
0 1
14
5 2
1 2
n
6 5
0 0
16
1 1
0 0
6
2 2
0 1
12
27
24
25
20

7

20
20
12
16

1
1
0
3

5
3
2
0

39
14
n
16
6
12

98 98

95 95
90 90
93 93

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated By Reports from Twenty-nine Representative Department Stores
for the Month of April, 1925.
Percentage increase in April, 1925, sales over sales in April, 1924:

Baltimore
2.8

Richmond
13.9

Washington
3.1

Other Cities
— 1.9

District
3.4

Percentage increase in sales from January 1st through A p ril over sales during the same fou r months in 1924:
2.4

14.3

3.2

2.3

3.7

Percentage increase in April, 1925, sales over average April sales during the years 1920-1924, inclusive:
12.3

38.5

14.8

3.0

14.7

— 8.0

— 2.3

Percentage increase in stock on April 30, 1925, over stock on April 30, 1924:
1.2

10.7

— 8.3

Percentage increase in stock on April 30, 1925, over stock on March 31, 1925:
1.2

3.5

— 2.0

2.3

0.6

Percentage o f sales during April, 1925, to average stock carried during that month:
29.2

28.0

29.0

21.4

28.0

Percentage o f sales from January 1st through April 30th to average stock carried during the fou r months:
103.8

103.6

105.8

79.3

101.2

Percentage o f outstanding orders on April 30th, to total purchases o f merchandise in 1925:
4.8

4.2

3.5

5.5

4.3

— Denotes decreased percentage; other figures show gains.

The volume of retail trade in April 1925, as represented by the dollar amount of sales made by twentynine representative department stores, was 3.4 per cent larger than in April 1924, and 14.7 per cent greater
than average April sales during the five years 1920-1924, inclusive. Cumulative sales from January 1st
through April exceeded sales during the corresponding four months last year by 3.7 per cent. Stocks on the
shelves at the end of April 1925 were 2.3 per cent smaller than on April 30, 1924, but were 0.6 per cent
greater than on March 31st this year. The percentage of sales during April to stock carried during that
month averaged 28.0 per cent in the reporting stores, while the percentage of total sales since January 1st
to average stocks carried each month during the period was 101.2 per cent, indicating an annual rate of turn­
over of slightly more than thj*ee times. Outstanding orders for merchandise on April 30, 1925, amounted to
4.3 per cent of total 1924 purchases.




(Compiled May 20,1925)
8

BUSINESS CONDITION IN THE UNITED STATES.
(Compiled by the Federal Reserve Board)

Production in basic industries and factory employment con­
tinued at approximately the same level during April as in March,
factory pay rolls were smaller, and wholesale prices declined sharply.
Distribution of commodities was maintained at higher levels than a
year ago.

Index of 22 basic commodities corrected for seasonal variation (1919-10®.
Latest figure-April 119
PER CENT

PER CENT

Index of U S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1913=100. base adopted by Bureau)
Latest figure-April 156.2.

PRODUCTION. The output in basic industries declined less
than one per cent in April. Decreased production in iron and steel,
flour, and copper was largely offset in the Federal Reserve Board’ s,
production index by increases in mill consumption o f cotton and in
the production o f newsprint and petroleum. The output o f auto­
mobiles, which is not included in the index, ha^s increased rapidly
since December and in April was the largest ever recorded. A uto­
mobile tire production was maintained at the high level reached in
March. Number o f men employed at industrial establishments re­
mained practically the same in April as in March, but owing to less
full time operation, particularly in the textile, leather and food in­
dustries, total factory pay rolls decreased about 2 per cent. Build­
ing contracts awarded during April were the largest on record both
in value and in square feet.
Estimates by the Department of
Agriculture on May 1st indicated a reduction o f 6 per cent from
the April forecast in the yields o f winter wheat and rye. The winter
wheat crop is expected to be 25 per cent smaller than last year
and the indicated yield o f rye is 9 per cent less.
TRADE. Wholesale trade was smaller in all lines except hard­
ware during April than in March. Compared with a year ago sales
o f groceries and shoes were less but sales o f meats, dry goods and
drugs were larger. Sales at department stores and by mail order
houses showed more than the usual seasonal increase in April and
were larger than during April 1924. Wholesale stocks o f groceries,
shoes and hardware were smaller at the end o f April than a month
earlier, while dry goods stocks were larger. Merchandise stocks at
department stores showed less than the usual seasonal increase in
April but were in about the same volume as a year ago. Freight
car loadings o f merchandise were greater than in March and larger
than in any previous April.

PRICES. Wholesale prices, according to the index o f the
Bureau o f Labor Statistics, declined 3 per cent in April, follow ing
an almost uninterrupted rise since the middle o f 1924. All groups
o f commodities shared in the decline o f prices except house furnish­
ings and the miscellaneous group. The largest declines were in
farm products and foods, which had shown the most rapid increases.
During the first three weeks in May prices o f grains, beef, hogs,
flour and rubber advanced, while declines occurred in cotton, wool,
lumber and iron prices.

Index’ of 33 manufacturing industries (1919=100)

Latest figures-April.

Weekly figures for Member Banks m 101 leading cities.
n th




B AN K CREDIT. A t the middle o f May total loans and in­
vestments o f member banks in leading cities were near the level
which had prevailed, with only minor fluctuations, since the first
o f the year. Loans chiefly fo r commercial purposes declined slightly
between the middle o f April and the middle o f May, while loans on
securities rose to a high point at the end o f April and decreased
somewhat during the first two weeks o f May. Total investment
holdings, which increased considerably during the first half o f March,
have declined somewhat since that time. Net demand deposits in­
creased considerably from the low point at the end o f March, but
were still $500,000,000 less than at the middle o f January. A t the
Reserve banks there was a marked decline in the volume o f member
bank borrowing after the first week in May and total earning assets
o f the Federal reserve banks on May 20th were less than $1,000,000,000 fo r the first time since January. Acceptances and holdings
o f United States securities on that date were in about the same
volume as a month earlier. Money conditions continued relatively
easy during the latter part o f April and the first part o f May at
3 % to 4 per cent. The open market rate fo r prime commercial
paper was slightly below the level fo r the preceding month.

Latest figures-

9

THE RETURN TO GOLD P A Y M E N T S IN E U R O P E
Shaded Portions Represent Conutries Which Have
Reestablished A Free Gold Market or Have
Definitely Announced Stabilization
of Their Exchanges With
Reference to
Gold*

The announcement on April 28 of the decision of the British government to restore gold payments in
Great Britain is one of the most important of a series of events which have been leading gradually to the re­
organization of world trade and finance on a more normal basis.
A large part of Europe is now included by countries whose currencies and exchanges are effectually sta­
bilized, government budgets balanced, and whose production and trade have been restored to approximately
the pre-war volume.
In the map accompanying this article, the shaded portions show the countries of Europe which have made
some definite pronouncement as to gold redemption, or stabilization with reference to gold. In addition, the
Swiss exchange is quoted above par, and the exchanges of a number of other countries have been held to
fluctuations of very narrow limits.
Some of the more important steps which have led gradually to this world recovery are indicated in the
following table:
1922
SEPTEM BER




28— Bank of Lithuania established and new currency unit adopted, called the
litas, based upon gold.
10

OCTOBER ii

— Russian Soviet State Bank authorized to issue the chervonets, based
upon gold.

NOVEM BER i

— Bank of Latvia established and new currency created, to become con­
vertible into gold one year after the resumption of gold payments
by the Bank of England.
1923

JA N U A R Y 2

— Austrian National Bank established under auspices of League of Nations.

O C T O B E R 15

— German Rentenbank established, and temporary currency stabilization
secured.

JA N U A R Y 1

— Free City of Danzig establishes the Bank of Danzig and stabilizes cur­
rency with reference to sterling.

A P R IL 1

— Sweden removes restrictions upon gold exports and resumes specie pay­
ments.

A P R IL 28

— Bank of Poland established, and new currency introduced, based on gold.

JU N E 24

— Hungarian National Bank established and currency stabilized with ref­
erence to pound sterling.

1924

S E P T E M B E R 1 — Reparations Commission proclaims the Dawes plan to be in effect.
O C T O B E R 12

— German Reichsbank reorganized and the new reichsmark introduced.

D E C E M B E R 17

— Germany removes restrictions on the export and import of gold and
silver.

J A N U A R Y 12

— Government of the Union of South A frica announces intention to re­
sume gold payments July 1, 1925.

M ARCH 7

— Austria announces adoption of new currency, the schilling.

A P R IL 28

— Great Britain re-establishes free gold market. Holland, Australia, New
Zealand and Dutch East Indies withdraw embargo on gold exports.

1925

The return to a free gold market in Great Britain is a peculiarly important step, because England for
many years has been such an important international banker, and so large a part of the trade of the world
always has been carried on in sterling. Certain exchanges, as indicated above, have previously been stabilized
with reference to sterling, and hence the return of sterling to par will automatically bring those exchanges
to a gold parity. Simultaneously with the action of the British government the governments of Holland,
Australia, New Zealand, and the Dutch East Indies, announced their intention to resume a free gold market.
The benefits likely to accrue from stabilized currency and exchanges are so many and so great that
they can only be summarized briefly in an article of this sort.
Instability of the exchanges has been a constant hazard and a serious obstacle to world commerce.
lessening of exchange risks will aid greatly in the restoration of a free flow of world trade.

The

A further advantage likely to result from the return of gold payments is greater price stability.
When gold is moving freely it tends to be exported from a country when commodity prices rise above the
world’s levels; the credit volume tends to be reduced, and prices to fall. Conversely, when prices in a coun­
try fall below the world’s level gold tends to be imported, with the result that the credit volume is increased
and prices tend to rise. There are, of course, many limitations and exceptions to the free operation of these
influences, but at least the existence of a free movement of gold provides an automatic tendency toward
price adjustment, which does not exist when gold movements are restricted.
Free gold movements also tend to greater stability of interest rates, since gold tends to flow from the
cheaper to the dearer markets, and there is thus an automatic readjustment in the capital markets.
But more important than all else, the return of Great Britain and other countries to gold payments marks
a return to international confidence. Confidence is at the basis of successful world trade. Since the war,
all international trade has been carried on in the midst of constant uncertainties. Every step in lessening
these uncertainties is a stimulus to international trade.



11

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