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MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

M A Y 31, 1926

DISTRICT SUMMARY— Some aspects of the
business* outlook appear less favorable at the end
of May than a month earlier this year or on the cor­
responding date a year ago. During the latter part
of April and early May, textile mills in the Fifth
District cut operating time materially, construction
work provided for in April permits, while still in
large volume, did not equal the work provided for
in the March 1926 or the April 1925 permits, and
prospects for agriculture declined distinctly, due to
continued cool weather and lack of sufficient rain to
germinate seed. The leading crops of the District
are at least ten days later than at this time last
year.
Except for the declines in textile and construction
operations, and the lateness of farming, other lines
of trade have not yet begun to show many signs of
sagging business. Debits to individual accounts dur­
ing the four weeks ended May 12th exceeded slightly
the debits of the four preceding weeks, and were
much above debits during the same four weeks a
year ago. Banks have not been called upon to ex­
tend an unusual amount of credit to customers this
Spring, and member banks have increased their re­
discounts at the Reserve bank during recent weeks
less than is usual at crop planting time. Demand
deposits in member banks increased materially dur­
ing April, and at the end of that month time deposits
were the highest on record. Retail trade, while be­
low that of April 1925 because of the earlier Easter
this year, continues in large volume, wholesale trade
is approximately equal to that of 1925, and collec­
tions appear to have improved somewhat during the
past month. Labor continues moderately well em­
ployed, and the volume of construction work under
way or contemplated seems to assure fair employ­
ment conditions for several months at least.
RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS— During
the month between April 15th and May 15th, this
year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in­
creased its rediscounts for member banks from
$45,673,000 to $48,916,000, a seasonal increase con­
fined almost entirely to country banks and due to
crop planting needs. Total bills held by the Reserve
Bank also increased during the month, but not in



proportion to the increase in rediscounts, the volume
of paper purchased in the open market declining
nearly as much as the rediscounts increased. Total
bills held amounted to $56,211,000 on April 15th and
$56,388,000 on May 15th. Member bank reserves
rose from $64,804,000 on April 15th to $65,355,000
on May 15th, but the volume of Federal Reserve
notes in actual circulation declined nominally be­
tween the same dates from $74,118,000 to $74,013,000. The changes mentioned resulted in a rise of
the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond from $84,630,000 on April 15th to $88025,000 on May 15th, which in turn increased the
ratio of cash if serves to note and deposit liabilities
combined froiSr58.65 per cent at the middle of April
to 60.09 Per cent at the middle of May.
The difference in the figures on the Reserve
Bank’s statement as of May 15, 1925, and May 15,
1926, are slight, but indicate a little larger volume of
credit to member banks outstanding this year. Dur­
ing the year under review, rediscounts for member
banks rose from $46,201,000 to $48,916,000, the
increase again being in accommodation to country
banks, but the total of bills held by the Federal
Reserve Bank dropped from $56,957,000 to $56,388,000, open market paper held this year being
something over $3,000,000 under the amount of
similar paper held a year ago. Member bank re­
serves are higher this year, in keeping with in­
creased deposits, the reserves having risen from
$60,824,000 on May 15th last year to $65,355,000
on the same date this year. The volume of Reserve
notes in actual circulation rose slightly during the
year, from $73,352,000 to $74,013,000, the spring
contraction in note circulation this year having been
somewhat less than in most years. The cash re­
serves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond,
which stood at $83,684,000 on May 15, 1925, rose
to $88,025,000 on May 15, 1926, but the increased
reserve deposits and the larger note circulation out­
standing this year slightly exceeded the rise in cash
reserves, the result of the several changes showing
in a reduction in the ratio of cash reserves to note
and deposit liabilities combined from 60.77 Per cent
on May 15th last year to 60.09 Per cent on May
15, 1926.

The National Summary will be found on page 8

CONDITION OF SIXTY-EIGHT REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
ITEMS
1. Total Loans and Discounts (including
all rediscounts) ........................................
2. Total Investments in Bonds and Securi­
ties ...............................................................
3. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank ..........................................................
4. Cash in Vaults..............................................
5. Demand Deposits ........................................
6. Time Deposits ..............................................
7. Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank....

May 12, 1926

April 14, 1926

May 13, 1925

$ 521,854,000

$ 519,859,000

$ 484,645,000

135.658.000

131.220.000

134.780.000

38.682.000
13.783.000
372.844.000
207.029.000
16.147.000

39.638.000
13.898.000
365.947.000
206.946.000
19.270.000

38.177.000
14.093.000
347.672.000
194.512.000
21.892.000

In the accompanying table, the chief items of condition for sixty-eight regularly reporting member
banks are shown as of three dates, May 12th and April 14th, 1926, and May 13, 1925, thus affording an
opportunity for comparing the latest available figures with those of the preceding month and the preceding
year. It should be understood that the figures mentioned for the different dates show the condition of the
reporting banks on the report dates only, and do not necessarily indicate that they were the highest or lowest
figures that occurred during the period reviewed.
Between April 14th and May 12th, this year, there was a seasonal expansion in loans to customers
from $519,859,000 to $521,854,000, the increase being somewhat less than usually occurs at crop planting
time. Customers of the banks increased their deposits during the month considerably more than their bor­
rowing, demand deposits rising from $365,947,000 on April 14th to $372,844,000 on May 12th, and time de­
posits rising from $206,946,000 to $207,029,000, a record mid-month figure. Aggregate reserve balances of
the reporting banks at the Federal Reserve Bank declined from $39,638,000 on April 14th to $38,682,000
on May 12th, and cash in vaults dropped at the same time from $13,898,000 to $13,783,000, both changes re­
flecting daily fluctuations, probably. On the other hand, the sixty-eight member banks strengthened their
position during the month under review by increasing their investments in bonds and securities from $131,220.000 to $135,658,000, and by reducing the volume of their rediscounts at the Federal Reserve Bank from
$19,270,000 to $16,147,000.
A comparison of the statement c$ of May 13th last year with the statement for May 12, 1926, shows a
larger volume of credit extended to customers by the reporting banks this year, but less need for assistance
from the Federal Reserve Bank in meeting their customers’ requirements. Loans to customers increased
during the year from $484,645,000 to $521,854,000, but the rediscounts of the reporting banks at the Reserve
Bank dropped from $21,892,000 to $16,147,000. Investments is bonds and securities rose from $134,780,000 on May 13, 1925, to $135,658,000 on May 12, 1926, and the reporting banks’ reserve deposits at the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond rose from $38,177,000 to $38,682,000. Cash in vault declined slightly,
from $14,093,000 to $13,783,000. Demand deposits rose from $347,672,000 on May 13th last year to $372,844.000 on May 12th this year, and time deposits rose during the same time from $194,512,000 to $207,029,000.
SAVINGS DEPOSITS— Deposits in fourteen mutual savings banks in Baltimore totaled $154,783,083 at the close of business April 30, 1926, compared with $154,135,898 at the close of business a month
earlier this year and $149,301,650 on the corresponding date last year. The total on deposit at the end of
April was the highest amount on record in these banks. Time deposits in sixty-eight regularly reporting
member banks in thirteen of the leading cities of the Fifth District also reached a new high level at the
middle of May, totaling $207,029,000 on May 12th in comparison with $206,946,000 on April 14, 1926, and
$194,512,000 on May 13, 1925.
DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
The total volume of business done in twenty-three leading trade centers of the Fifth Reserve District
was slightly larger during the four weeks ended May 12th than during the four weeks ended April 14th,
both this year, debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts at clearing house banks being used as the
measure. Total debits during the four weeks’ period ended May 12th amounted to $1,239,007,000, compared
with $1,234,028,000 reported for the preceding four weeks. An examination of the accompanying table,
however, shows that a majority of the twenty-three cities reported lower figures for the later period, four­
teen centers registering declines last month while nine centers gained. Greensboro reported the largest in­
crease, 17.9 per cent, Norfolk ranking second with a gain of 6.9 per cent.
In comparison with total debits of $1,177,193,000 reported by the twenty-three cities for the four weeks
ended May 13, 1925, the total of $1,239,007,000 reported for the four weeks ended May 12th this year
shows an increase of $61,814,000, or 5.3 per cent, a favorable comparison in view of the lower wholesale
price level this year. Sixteen of the twenty-three cities show higher figures this year, only seven centers



2

TOTAL DEBITS FOR THE FOUR WEEKS ENDING
CITIES

May 12, 1926

April 14, 1926

Asheville, N. C..............
Baltimore, Md...............
Charleston, S. C..........
Charleston, W. Va........
Charlotte, N. C............
Columbia, S. C..............
Cumberland, Md............
Danville, Va.................
Durham, N. C...............
Greensboro, N. C..........
Greenville, S. C............
Hagerstown, Md..........
Huntington, W . Va......
Lynchburg, Va..............
Newport News, Va......
Norfolk, Va...................
Raleigh, N. C...............
Richmond, Va...............
Roanoke, Va.................
Spartanburg, S. C........
Washington, D. C........
Wilmington, N. C........
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$

36,344,000
406,450,000
24,164,000
32,242,000
49,442,000
17,468,000
8,729,000
7,737,000
20,646,000
27,073,000
19,436,000
9,664,000
23,610,000
19,325,000
8,658,000
73,713,000
13,895,000
115,370,000
26,445,000
14,132,000
228,423,000
19,457,000
36,584,000

$ 36,553,000
394,927,000
25,891,000
33,131,000
48,657,000
19,351,000
8,273,000
7,708,000
21,959,000
22,963,000
24,082,000
10,746,000
22,473,000
20,133,000
9,101,000
69,605,000
16,396,000
118,696,000
25,112,000
14,386,060
225,233,000
21,840,000
36,812,000

Total for 23 Cities.......

$1,239,007,000

$1,234,028,000

May 13, 1925
$

23,417,000
383,863,000
20,575,000
30,852,000
49,072,000
20,361,000
8,040,000
7,252,000
20,928,000
21,818,000
21,026,000
9,834,000
24,281,000
17,294,000
7,830,000
64,124,000
27,116,000
117,358,000
24,232,000
14,006,000
212,244,000
18,790,000
32,880,000

$1,177,193,000

failing to register gains. The decreases were small except in Raleigh, in which city exceptionally high
figures in 1925 as a result of a movement of State funds gives a misleading comparison this year. Most of
the declines reported are probably due to lower returns from textile manufacturing in three cities and
less construction work in three others.
BUSINESS FAILURES— 'Dun’s Review, in its May 8th issue, carried an analysis of business failures
during April. In summarizing its figures, the Review states that “ With the single exception of the short
month of February, fewer insolvencies occurred among commercial firms in the United States during April
than in any preceding month this year. The number of such failures last month—1,957—compared with
1,984 in March, with 1,801 in February, and with 2,296 in January. Little change is shown in comparison
with the 1,939 defaults of April 1925, but in that month of 1924 the total was only 1,707. When allow­
ance is made, however, for the steady increase in number of firms in business, the present showing is rela­
tively satisfactory. Several large insolvencies last month swelled the aggregate liabilities to a point above
the amount for any previous month since February 1925, with the single exception of January of the present
year. The April indebtedness of $38,487,321 contrasts with $30,622,547 in March, $34,176,348 in February
and $43,661,444 in January. In April last year, the liabilities were $37,188,622. During the four elapsed
months of the current year there have been 8,038 failures in the United States, which compares with 7,908
defaults for the corresponding period of 1925. The liabilities this year, on the other hand, have totaled
$146,943,660, a material reduction from the $165,670,402 of the same four months of last year.”
In the Fifth Reserve District, April failures numbered 134, with liabilities of $3,320,683, compared
with 109 failures and liabilities of $2,079,733 in April 1925. During the first four months this year 558 in­
solvencies occurred in the District, compared with 545 in the corresponding period last year, but 1926 liabili­
ties were lower than those in 1925, a total of $10,686,551 reported for the four elapsed months this year
comparing with $12,439,793 in the first four months of 1925.
LABOR— No development other than those of a seasonal nature occurred in labor circles between the
middle of April and the middle of May. Labor continues moderately well employed, with the demand for
and supply of workers approximately balanced. Unfavorable weather for farm work has postponed an
expected shortage of agricultural workers, but the shortage is likely to develop as soon as farm work opens
fully this season. Curtailment of operations among textile mills has recently reduced the incomes of op­
eratives, but no material number of workmen have yet been dropped from the ranks of the mill employees.
Coal miners are working less than they were two or three months ago, a seasonal recession in production
being a normal development in the spring and early summer. Construction work continues in large volume,
giving employment to both skilled and unskilled workers in the building trades, and a considerable volume of
road, street and other public work is under way in certain sections of the District. The supply of clerical
help continues larger than the demand, a condition which has existed for several years.



3

COAL— Production of bituminous coal in the United States totaled approximately 40,079,000 net tons
during April 1926, a daily average of 1,559,000 tons. Daily production has declined steadily since January,
but during April was over 200,000 tons ahead of April 1925 daily production. Total bituminous coal mined
during the first 109 working days of the current year totaled 196,472,000 net tons, which exceeded pro­
duction in the first 109 working days of any of the past seven years except 1923, when slightly higher
figures were reported. Stocks of coal in the hands of large consumers and retailers on April 1st were about
normal for that date, according to the report of the Bureau of Mines, Department of Commerce. Anthra­
cite stocks in retail yards on April 1st were lower than in average years, a natural result of the recent an­
thracite strike during which retail stocks were depleted. Between February 1st and April 1st anthracite stocks
tripled, however, and new reserves are being steadily built up. No further changes in retail coal prices have
been reported since those going into effect on May 1st.
'
TEXTILES— Fifth District textile mills curtailed operations materially during April, and advance
information received during the first half of May seems to point to further restriction in output in the im­
mediate future. Cotton consumed by the mills of the District totaled 234,684 bales in April, compared with
255,077 bales consumed in March this year^ a decrease of 8 per cent, but the extent of curtailment was prob­
ably considerably greater than the decline in cotton consumption shows, the restricted schedules not having
been in operation the entire month. North Carolina mills used 126,051 bales in April, South Carolina mills
98,837 bales, and Virginia 9,796 bales, all lower than the March figures. In April 1925 the Fifth District
mills used 234,108 bales, North Carolina an$ Virginia mills using slightly more than in April this year while
South Carolina mills used approximately 2,300 bales less. Correspondents among textile manufacturers are
not optimistic on the near future, and none j o them appear to expect any material improvement in the in­
f
dustry for at least several months.
COTTON— In our April 30th Reviewj, we traced the weekly] average price paid for spot cotton in the
Carolinas through the week ended April I7tfi, that week averaging! 17.47 cents per pound. During the week
ended April 24th the average price dropped to 17.15 cents per pound, and continued downward to 17.02
cents for the week ended May 1st. The first two weeks in May witnessed a slight upward movement, how­
ever, the weekly average for the seven days ended May 8th rising to 17.17 cents and the average for the
week ended May 15th being 17.22 cents. Cotton markets have been dull the past month, prices fluctuating
comparatively little from day to day.
Cotton consumption declined sharply in April in comparison with March, and also was below April
1925 consumption. The Census Bureau's May 14th report gives April 1926 consumption as 575,799 bales,
compared with 634,593 bales used in March this year and 596,541 bales in April a year ago. Total con­
sumption for the nine months of the present cotton year—August 1, 1925 to May 1, 1926—amounted to
4,954,807 bales, compared with 4,683,740 bales consumed during the corresponding nine months of the pre­
ceding cotton year. Cotton on hand at manufacturing establishments at the end of April totaled 1,639,174
bales, compared with 1,767,686 bales a month earlier this year and 1,511,008 bales on April 30, 1925. Pub­
lic warehouses and compresses held 3,530,811 bales in storage on April 30th, compared with 4,162,628 bales
on March 31, 1926, and 1,686,209 bales so held on April 30, 1925. Active spindles dropped to 32,893,042
during April, compared with 33,233,382 spindles active in March this year and 33,409,936 spindles active
in April a year ago. April exports of 516,494 bales showed a slight drop from the 519,732 bales shipped
over seas in March, but exceeded shipments of 472,555 bales in April 1925. Imports in April totaled 33,464
bales, in March this year 45,726 bales, and in April last year 22,409 bales.
Cotton growing states consumed 404,014 bales of lint cotton in April, a lower amount than the total of
438,396 bales consumed in March but more than the 399,279 bales used in cotton growing states in April
I 92 S-

The weather in the Fifth District has been unfavorable for cotton this Spring. The unusually cold
weather delayed planting and germination of seed, and during April and May little rain fell. Cotton in
South Carolina is therefore up to poor stands, and in North Carolina and Virginia much of the crop has
either not been planted or has failed to come up to a satisfactory stand. The crop in the District is prob­
ably at least two weeks late, and the favorable soil conditions which existed two months ago have com­
pletely altered with the lack of sufficient rain in late April and May. Cotton needs warm weather in May
to give the young plants a good start, but there has as yet been practically no growing weather. The late
start cotton is getting will quite probably increase the danger from weevil ravage in the summer.
AGRICULTURAL NOTES— SOUTH CARO LIN A. Grain crops good to excellent with prospects
for better yields than for the past few years, assurance of a fair peach crop, and spring plowing and plant­
ing about ten days behind last year are the features of the Government crop report for South Carolina re­
leased on May 8th. Since that date rainfall has been insufficient for agriculture, and it is probable that gen­
eral conditions in the third week in May are somewhat less favorable than those outlined in the latest avail­
able official report. A wet early spring, with late frosts, followed by dry weather and cool nights, delayed
farm work in South Carolina, caused poor germination of seeds, and necessitated replanting of considerable
cotton. Pastures are in poorer condition than a year ago, and hay prospects are not promising.



4

NORTH CARO LINA. Tobacco beds are doing well on the whole in North Carolina, although the
frost and freeze which occurred about the middle of April damaged the plants to some extent and dry weather
slowed up growth and delayed transplanting from one to two weeks. Plants in the beds are somewhat
small, but there are plenty of them to provide for a slightly increased acreage. The delayed plant growth
may have a bad effect upon the quality of this year’s tobacco, experience indicating that plants suffering
cold damage early in the season tend to put on leaves of lower quality. Spring plowing on May ist was 6
per cent behind plowing on the same date a year ago, and planting was 16 per cent behind. All farm work
averages from ten days to two weeks later in North Carolina, and farm labor is somewhat short.
V IR G IN IA crop prospects on May ist were not as promising as usual, owing to unfavorable weather
in April, and continued dryness in May increased the damage to growing crops. Prospects for hay on May
ist were poor, and the production of hay this year will be even less than the low yield of 1925 unless the
weather is exceptionally favorable during the balance of the growing season. Pastures were in poor con­
dition in early May, and scarcity of feed forced many farmers to turn stock on the grass very early, which
will further retard recovery from the unfavorable seasons. Farm work, which started favorably, began
to fall behind during the last two weeks of April. On May ist only 53 per cent of the spring planting had
been completed. This year only a small part of the corn crop was planted prior to May, while frequently a
considerable portion of the corn crop comes up before that time. Demand for farm labor increased during
April, but in most sections the supply of workers was sufficient to meet pressing needs. The outlook for
fruit crops in Virginia on May ist was quite irregular and spotted. The frost and freeze of April 19-20 and
26-27 caused considerable damage to peaches, cherries, plums and pears. Apples, however, were not seriously
injured. Owing to the late season, no forecast of probable yields has yet been made, but on the whole in­
dications point to a moderate peach and a large apple crop.
M A RYLA N D farm work is later than last year, and general conditions are somewhat less promising.
Wheat was planted last fall under unfavorable conditions, and a cold, dry and windy spring further retarded
the crop. Hay prospects on May ist were much below those of last year, and stocks of hay on farms were
also lower. Conditions of pastures on May ist averaged 57 per cent of a normal, compared with 86 per cent
a year ago. Farm labor is slightly more plentiful this year than last, and farmers are working hard to over­
come the late start.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF APRIL 1926 AND 1925.
Premits Issued

0
z

CITIES

New

Repairs

1926 1925

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

672
Baltimore, Md.
Cumberland, Md... • 34
Frederick, Md......
11
Hagerstown, Md...
34
Danville Va..........
26
Lynchburg, Va....
33
Norfolk, Va.
108
Petersburg, Va.....
4
Richmond, Va.
165
Roanoke, Va.
112
Bluefield, W. Va...
19
Charleston, W. Va.
64
Clarksburg, W. Va
23
Huntington, W.Va. *100
Parkersburg,W.V a
37
16 Asheville, N. C..... 124
52
17 Charlotte, N. C.....
34
18 Durham, N. C.
19 Greensboro, N. C. 55 20 High Point, N. C... 77
27
21 Raleigh, N. C. .
22 Salisbury, N. C..... 10
23 Wilmington, N. C. 15
24 Winston-Salem, N. C. 82
25 Charleston, S. C ... 14
26 Columbia, S. C..... 15
9
27 Greenville, S. C....
28 Spartanburg, S. C. 36
Washington, D. C. 203
29

Naw r'r»nctnir,tir»n

1926

1925

1926

1925

776 1,192 1,376 $ 3,295.896 $ 6,299,400
49
9
8
63,905
141,665
11
2
2
45,425
25,890
62
19
25
26,115
153,050
12
42
2
226,785
113,980
20
61
35
134,065
28,487
114
70
172
250,599
217,200
7
8
14
10,252
146,046
166
84
88
1,413,055
1,345,695
60
60
93
648,032
327,490
35
7
15
36,295
107,075
19
48
20
144,747
101,875
24
25
26
26,980
33,835
*
5
* 241,983
20
79,500
33
11
100,334
61
107
71 1,161,219
622,880
19
62
296,000
15
425,310
18
31
21
266,628
153,325
89
38
269,275
432,452
35
79
10
289,250
20
232,075
13
58
175,768
428,925
13
21
11
3
45,700
74,850
8
6
40,600
56,450
15
75
38
71
343,825
776,100
34
18
9,780
102,325
12
51
42
39,100
79,800
25
24
8
112,700
66,800
27
30
87,400
36
27
132,275
519
214
573
7,999,250
5,983,225

Totals.......... 2,095 2,256 2,534 2,780 $17,518,611 $18,728,349

1926

1925

$ 504,720 $
12,050
450
152,635
31,537
26,447
26,284
8,598
117,627
11,970
2,765
16,600
12,005
* 9,500
39,405
38,890
20,200
14,825
24,656
31,275
12,833
9,040
11,900
18,540
18,990
53,375
9,110
8,655
659,335
$1,894,717

Increase or Per Cent
Decrease
of
of
Increase 0
Total
or
2
Valuation Decrease

575,400 $—3,074,184 — 44.7#
6,648 — 72,358 — 48.8
1,025 — 20,110 — 48.3
52,215 — 26,515 — 12.9
106
144,236
126.4
20,660
111,365 226.6
63,264 —
3,581 — 1.3
6,098 —■ 133,294 — 87.6
166,354
18,633
1.2
287,112
45,390
77.0
4,270 — 72,285 — 64.9
63,525 —
4,053 — 2.5
15,035 —
9,885 — 20.2
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

12,291
546,650
— 139,885
105,728
— 187,366
25,150
— 258,724
— 20,420
— 41,250
— 432,010
— 105,112
— 27,673
49,410
— 59,740
2,324,241

—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—

$1,748,598 $—1,063,619 —

11.5
83.7
30.7
60.2
38.9
8.5
57.8
27.2
44.0
54.4
78.5
23.0
68.2
38.3
36.7

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
29

5.59b

♦ Huntington’s figures not included in totals.
—Denotes decrease
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.



5

Building construction provided tor in permits for new work issued in April was in large volume, but
fell below the levels of March this year and of April 1925. In April this year 2,095 permits for new work
were issued in twenty-eight Fifth District cities for which 1925 figures are available for comparison. The
estimated valuation for the permits issued totaled $17,518,611. In March this year the same cities issued
2,168 new permits, with estimated valuation of $21,759,686, and in April 1925 permits totaling 2,256, with a
valuation of $18,728,349, were issued. Eighteen of the twenty-eight cities reported lower valuation figures
in April 1926 than for April 1925, the only material increases this year being in Danville, Lynchburg, Roa­
noke, Asheville, Durham and Washington. Richmond showed a very slight increase in valuation, but Balti­
more reported a decrease of over $3,000,000. Total valuation for all classes of permits issued in April was
$19,413,328, a decrease of 5.5% under the total of $20,476,947 of April 1925. Building work appears to
be more active in Asheville at present than anywhere else in the Fifth District, and nearly all other reporting
cities in North Carolina are showing large figures.
The F. W. Dodge Corporation reports that contracts awarded for construction work in the Fifth District
during April totaled $39,005,445, of which $19,997,145 was for residential contracts. The total for all con­
tracts let is considerably below the total of $57,934,991 let in March, but the amount of residential work pro­
vided for in April contracts exceeded the total of $14,187,221 for residence work in March.
FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated By Reports from Thirty-Two Representative Department Stores for the
Month of APRIL 1926
Percentage increase in April 1926 sales over sales in April 1925:
Baltimore
Richmond
Washington
— 10.8
— 3.9
1.7

Other Cities
— 2.6

District
— 5.0

Percentage increase in cumulative sales from January 1st through April, over sales during the corresponding four
months in 1925:
— 0.1
0.2
7.1
1.9
2.7
Percentage increase in April 1926 sales over average April sales during the years 1920-1924, inclusive:
— 2.2
33.0
21.7
5.8
10.0
Percentage increase in stock on hand April 30, 1926, over stock on April 30, 1925:
4.1
2.7
8.7
— 2.0
Percentage increase in stock on hand April 30, 1926, over stock on March 31, 1926:
— 0.3
2.9
2.4
1.6
Percentage of sales during April 1926 to average stock carried during that month:
25.4
26.2
27.7
21.9

4.8
1.1
25.9

Percentage of cumulative sales since January 1st to average stock carried during each of the four months:
98.5
100.5
106.4
86.6
100.1
Percentage of outstanding orders on April 30, to total purchases of merchandise in 1925:
4.4
4.1
4.1
4.2
4.2
Percentage of collections in April, to total accounts receivable on April 1st, this year:
28.2
28.0
38.4
33.6

31.1

— Denotes decreased percentage.

Thirty-two representative department stores in the Fifth Federal Reserve District sold 5.0 per cent less
merchandise, measured in dollars, during April than in April last year, but the earlier Easter date this year
undoubtedly accounted for a considerable part of the decline. In cumulative sales from January 1st through
April, the 1926 period exceeded the 1925 period by 2.7 per cent, and April 1926 sales exceeded average April
sales during the five years 1920-1924, inclusive, by 10.0 per cent. Among the individual cities for which
figures are available, Washington led in percentage increase in sales during the first third of 1926 in com­
parison with sales during the corresponding four months of 1925, Washington’s better record resulting
chiefly from store expansion during the year.
Stocks on the shelves of the reporting stores were 4.8 per cent larger, at selling price, on April 30th this
year than a year earlier, and 1.1 per cent larger than on March 31st this year. Washington led in stock in­
crease in comparison with the same period last year.
The percentage of sales in April to average stock carried that month was 25.9 per cent, while the per­
centage of cumulative sales since January 1st to average stock carried during each of the elapsed four months
was 100.1 per cent, indicating a turnover during the period at an annual rate of slightly over 3 times.
Collections during April averaged 31.1 per cent of total receivables outstanding on April 1st, compared
with 28.8 per cent of outstanding receivables collected during March this year and 30.2 per cent collected in
April 1925.



6

WHOLESALE TRADE, APRIL 1926
Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales in April 1926, compared with sales in March 1926:
38 Groceries
14 Dry Goods
11 Shoes
19 Hardware
5 Furniture
— 15.2
— 27.4
— 5.5
— 5.5
— 1.7
Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales in April 1926, compared with sales in April 1925:
— 2.8
— 1.2
— 12.8
1.2
— 3.3

13 Drugs
— 9.4
0.9

Percentage increase (or decrease) in sales from Jan. 1, 1926, through April 30th, compared with sales during the
same four months in 1925:
3.4
— 3.9
— 1.6
— 3.9
5.4
— 3.8
Percentage increase (or decrease) in stock on April 30, 1926, compared with stock on March 31, 1926:
— 6.4(11)
— 3.6(7)
4.0(5)
— 1.7(5)

....

Percentage increase (or decrease) in stock on April 30, 1926, compared with stock on April 30, 1925:
— 1.0(5)
6,0(5)
- 1.5(11)
— 21.4(7)

....

Percentage of collections in April to total accounts receivable on April 1, 1926:
65.1(24)
34.1(8)
33.6(9)
36.1(15)

54.8(3)

62.8(10)

— Denotes decreased percentage.
NOTE: The number of firms reporting stock and collection data in each group is shown immediately following
the percentages.

One hundred wholesale firms, representing six leading lines, sent confidential reports on their April
business to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The figures show that sales in all lines were seasonally
less in April than in March of this year, and in groceries, dry goods, hardware and furniture, total sales
since January i, 1926, were less than sales during the same four months last year. Shoe and drug sales
during the elapsed four months exceeded those of the corresponding period in 1925, however. In comparison
with April 1925 sales, those of April 1926 show increases in groceries and drugs only, the other four lines
reporting lower figures for the 1926 month.
Stocks of goods carried by the reporting wholesalers increased during April in shoes, but grocery, dry
goods and hardware stocks declined during the month. At the end of April, stocks of hardware on hand ex­
ceeded hardware stocks on April 30, 1925, but grocery, dry goods and shoe stocks were smaller than on the
same date last year.
Collections showed some improvement during April over March in nearly all lines, the percentage of re­
ceivables on the first of the month that were collected during the month rising in all lines except groceries.
The percentage of collections during April to outstanding receivables on the first of the month was 65.1 per
cent in groceries, drugs ranking second with 62.8 per cent. Furniture collections averaged 54.8 per cent of
outstanding receivables, hardware 36.1 per cent, dry goods 34.1 per cent, and shoes 33.6 per cent.




(Compiled May 20,1926)

7

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

There was a slight decline in the activity o f industry and
trade in April and a further reduction in the general price level.
Commercial demand fo r bank credit continued large and the volume
o f security loans, after a rapid decline since the turn o f the year,
remained at a constant level.

P ER CENT

PER CENT

2001------

------ 1200

WHOLESALE PRICES

1922

J____ L
1923

192^

1925

1926

Index of U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1913-100. base adopted by Bureau/.
Latest figure-April 151.

Index of sales of 359 stores (1919-100). Latest figures-April, adjusted index
129. unadjusted 133.

... .... . 11!

V

J
AT

w

i i

PF?ODUCTlON 1
IN
BAS 1C INDUSTF LIES

--- 0

Index of 22 basic commodities adjusted for seasonal variation (1919-100)
Latest figure-April 122.




PRODUCTION. Production in basic industries, according to
the Federal Reserve Board’s index, decreased 1 per cent in April,
sligth increases in production o f lumber and pig iron being more
than offset by declines in output in other industries. Particularly
large recessions were shown in the production o f steel ingots and
in textile mill activity. Automobile production, not included in the
index, continued in large volume. Factory employment and pay
rolls declined slightly in April, particularly in the food, tobacco,
textile and boot and shoe industries. The value o f building con­
tracts awarded during April was smaller than in March and practi­
cally the same as in April of last year. Awards fo r the first two
weeks in May, however, showed increases as compared with the
same weeks in 1925. Reports by the Department o f Agriculture
indicate that up to the first o f May 68 per cent o f spring plowing
and 56 per cent o f sowing and planting was completed, compared
with! about 83 per cent and 66 per cent last year. On the basis of
the condition of winter wheat on May 1st a yield o f 549,000,000
bushels is forecast, compared with a final yield o f 398,000,000
bushels in 1925.
TR^DE. The volume o f wholesale trade in April was season­
ally smaller than in March fo r all lines except meat. Compared
with a year ago, sales o f groceries, meats and drugs were larger in
April this year while sales o f dry goods, shoes and hardware were
smaller. Department store sales increased less than usual and were
somewhat smaller than a year ago. Sales o f mail order houses were
slightly smaller than in March but continued to be larger than in
the corresponding month o f 1925. There was some decrease in the
stocks o f merchandise held by wholesale firms during the month
and inventories o f department stores showed less than the usual
season’s increase, though they were larger than a year ago.
PRICES. Wholesale commodity prices, according to the Bureau
.o f Labor Statistics index, declined slightly from March to April. In­
creases in farm products and foods groups, which had been declining
fo r several months, were more than offset by decreases in other
groups.
BANK CREDIT. Commercial demand fo r bank credit at mem­
ber banks in leading cities continued in large volume between the
middle o f April and the middle o f May. There was some addition to
the banks’ investments and the total o f their loans and investments
was about $1,000,000,000 larger than at the same period o f last
year. Withdrawals o f funds from New York were reflected in an
increase between the middle o f April and the middle o f May in
borrowings by member banks from the Federal Reserve Bank o f New
York, while borrowings at most o f the other reserve banks de­
clined. Open market holdings o f the reserve banks remained fairly
constant during the period and there was little change in the total
volume o f reserve bank credit outstanding. Money rates late in
April reached the lowest level fo r a year but in May conditions in
the money market became somewhat firmer.
8

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