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FE D E R A L R E S E R V E BANK OF RICHMONP
General Business and Agricultural Conditions in the
Fifth Federal Reserve District
By CALD W ELL HARDY, Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER 29, 1922.
NATIONAL SUMMARY*

DISTRICT SUMMARY

Substantial increases of productive activity are
reported by basic industries during October. Due
principally to increased activity in anthracite coal
mining, mineral output was nineteen percent larger
than in September. Production of pig iron and
consumption of cotton were the largest in two years.
The total number of railroad cars loaded was nearly
at a maximum, yet car shortage on November first
was the largest ever reported. Increased production
in October has been accompanied by continued in­
crease in the volume of employment. Average pay
per worker was larger in many industries, due in
most cases to an increase in hours of work. Steel
mills, metal mines and building contractors still
report a shortage of skilled laborers. Wholesale
trade showed comparatively little change during
October. Retail trade continued to be greater than
a year ago and also larger than in September. Total
payments by check for one hundred forty cities,
not including New York, was eleven percent larger
in October than in September and thirteen percent
larger than in October 1921. The wholesale price in­
dex of the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 154 in Oc­
tober as compared with 153 in September and 142
in October 1921. Prices of farm products and
clothing showed particularly large increases during
October, while fuel prices continued to decline. The
increased business activity has not been reflected in
the movement of total loans of member banks in
leading cities. There were slight increases in the
Southern and Western districts and also in New
England, but these increases were more than offset
by reductions in other districts, especially in New
York and Chicago. Rates on various classes of
loans have remained firm or have shown a slight
upward tendency. Demand and time deposits both
decreased during the four weeks, though again
Southern and Western districts recorded slight in­
creases.

The outstanding development in business circles in
the Fifth Reserve District during October and early
November was the steady and substantial rise in cot­
ton prices, the spot quotations in the two Carolinas
advancing from an average of 20.88 cents per pound
during the first week in October to 25.50 cents per
pound during the week ending November nth, a
gain of approximately $25 a bale in six weeks. To­
bacco prices have also moved upward, and averaged
$30.41 per hundred pounds for bright leaf on Vir­
ginia markets during October. The influence of the
improvement in the farmer’s position is reflected in
prcatically every line of commerce and industry in
the District, and while it cannot be said that con­
ditions are normal, it is clear that distinct progress
toward a sound and safe volume of trade is being
made. Reports received from member banks show
that the majority of them are emerging from the
toils in which they came involved by conditions aris­
ing out of the war, and are now in position to care
for their customers’ needs without excessive strain.
Increases in both demand and time deposits show a
healthy betterment in the economic status of the
banking public, and increased debits to individual
accounts reflect a growing volume of business trans­
actions. Business failures in the Fifth District num­
bered 91 in October, compared with 109 during the
same month last year. Labor is almost normally
employed, and wages no longer show a declining
tendency. Coal is being produced in sufficient quan­
tities to meet current needs, and transportation fa­
cilities are gradually catching up with the demand
for cars. Fifth District textile mills are leading the
country in the number of active spindle hours, and
tobacco factories are operating full time. Building
operations continue to break records for this season
of the year, and retailers and wholesalers are sharing
in the generally increased trade activities. Reports
from many sources indicate that the fall marketing
of crops is distinctly improving the credit situation,
and collections are becoming better throughout the
District.

•This National Summary compiled by the Division of Analysis and Research of the Federal Reserve Board.




CONDITION OF SEVENTY-EIGHT REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES.
November 1, 1922

ITEMS

i

1. Total Loans and Discounts (exclusive
of rediscounts)...................................... $
2. Total Investments in Bonds and Securi­
ties ............................................................
3. Total Loans and Investments....................
4. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank..........................................................
5. Cash in Vaults................................................
6. Demand Deposits..........................................
7. Time Deposits................................................
8. Discounted with Federal Reserve Bank ...

431,136,000

November 2, 1921

October 4, 1922
$

427,204,000

$

417,053.000

128.727.000
559.863.000

125.048.000
552.252.000

122.690.000
539.743.000

36.523.000
13.484.000
335.671.000
147.784.000
18.280.000

36.162.000
13.527.000
334.222.000
145.999.000
17.490.000

29.750.000
13.748.000
295.943.000
128.186.000
58.292.000

Comparative figures giving the principal items of condition in seventy-eight regularly reporting member
banks are shown in the accompanying table as of the close of business November ist and October 4th, 1922,
and November 2nd, 1921, affording opportunities for comparing the current month with the corresponding dates
a month ago and a year ago. The reporting banks are located in thirteen cities, and the figures for the three
dates are comparable although the number of banks reporting is less at present than was the case a month
and a year ago, the decrease being due to several consolidations of reporting banks.
A comparison of the figures reported for November ist with those as of October 4th, both this year,
shows normal seasonal changes. Within the month Total Loans and Discounts (exclusive of rediscounts)
have increased moderately, and Rediscounts with the Reserve bank have also increased. At this season sales
of agricultural products tend to reduce outstanding loans, but merchants set up a counter demand for funds
with which to discount bills for fall merchandise, the mercantile borrowing exceeding the agricultural liqui­
dation, as a rule. The past month also witnessed increases in Total Investments in Bonds and Securities, and
in both Demand and Time Deposits, and as a consequence an increase in Reserve Balances with the Federal
Reserve Bank. The only decrease shown in the above table during the past month is a small decline
in Cash in Vaults, amounting to little more than a daily fluctuation.
A more interesting and instructive comparison is that between the November ist, 1922, figures and
those reported for November 2nd, 1921. If we combine the Total Loans and Discounts (exclusive of redis­
counts) and the volume of Rediscounts, show in Items 1 and 8 respectively, we see that the reporting banks
have reduced their loans to customers approximately $25,000,000 within the year. In addition to this, the
reporting banks have at present a smaller amount borrowed from other commercial banks than they had last
year, which reflects the increased liquidation that has been secured above the $25,000,000 mentioned previ­
ously. Further improvement in the position of the banks is reflected in the year’s increase in Investments in
Bonds and Securities, in Reserve Balances with the Federal Reserve Bank, in Demand Deposits and in Time
Deposits. The increase in Time Deposits is especially striking in view of wide-spread unemployment that
existed during most of the year under review.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
The reports from fifteen mutual savings banks in Baltimore giving total deposits at the end of October,
1922, show the same upward trend mentioned in the preceding paragraph, in which substantial growth in
time deposits in reporting member banks was pointed out. The Baltimore savings institutions had total de­
posits amounting to $130,293,419 at the close of business October 31, 1922. This amount compares with
$122,881,047 on deposit in the same banks on October 31, 1921, and $121,4 11,0 12 reported for October 31,
1920. Out of the fifteen reporting savings banks, eleven report larger deposits this year than on October
31, 1921, and in two of the remaining four institutions the decreases were very small.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
During the month from October 18, 1922 to November 15, 1922, Cash Reserves held by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond rose from $114,968,994.86 to $119,977,150.56. Total Bills on Hand varied only
slightly during this period. Federal Reserve Notes in Actual Circulation show an increase from $95,262,575
on October 18th to $97,101,195 on November 15th, a regular seasonal expansion to meet the increased ac­
tivity of business during the early winter. Member Bank Reserve Deposits increased from $58,582,289.16 on
October iSth to $59,254,931.78 on November 15th, further reflecting the increase of deposits in the member
banks, upon which percentage reserves have to be carried. The ratio of Total Reserves to Deposit and Fed­
eral Reserve Note Liabilities combined was 74.34% 011 October 18th, but increased to 75.64% on Novem­
ber 15 th.
A year ago, on November 16, 1921, the reserve of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond had declined
to 41.34% , and in addition it had rediscounted or sold $5,000,000 of its paper to other Reserve banks. On
November 16, 1921, our Cash Reserves were $68,008,417.52; our Bills on Hand (exclusive of the $5,000,000
rediscounted or sold) amounted $104,077,801.36; Federal Reserve Notes in Actual Circulation totaled $109,-




224,185; and Member Bank Reserve Deposits amounted to $51,001,097.24. Although the demands for ac­
commodation from our member banks had lessened by November, 1921, calls upon us were still sufficiently
heavy to necessitate rediscounting with other Reserve banks to keep our reserve percentage up to the legal
requirement.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
DEBITS FOR THE WEEK ENDING
CITIES
November 1, 1922
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.........

$

Totals for 11 cities.
Totals for 23 cities..

$

November 2, 1921

October 4, 1922

4,277,000
93,331,000
4,891,000
8,265,000
8,334,000
5,539,000
1,901,000
4,862,000
4,738,000
5,177,000
5,300,000
2,069,000
5,671,000
4,295,000
1,608,000
15,273,000
8,500,000
34,293,000
5,819,000
3,597,000
41,440,000
5,838,000
6,874,000

$

228,410,000
281,892,000

$

4,655,000
93,702,000
5,841,000
9,190,000
8,955,000
6,692,000
2,159,000
2,421,000
4,361,000
4,844,000
4,700,000
2,985,000
5,315,000
5,478,000
1,709,000
16,832,000
5,900,000
31,943,000
5,418,000
2,871,000
47,149,000
5,623,000
6,533,000

$

232,652,000
285,276,000

$

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

115,282,000
5,899,000
6,565,000
5,357,000

3,700,000
6,873,000
14,827,000
3,700,000
30,033,000
37,904,000
5,482,000
235,622,000

Debits to individual, firm and Corporation accounts in the banks located in twenty-three cities are
shown in the accompanying table for the weeks ending November 1st and October 4th, 1922, and comparative
figures are also shown from eleven of the reporting cities for the week ending November 2nd, 1921. A com­
parison of the figures from the eleven cities for the week ending November 1st, 1922, with those reported for
the corresponding week of 1921 shows a total decline this year of $7,212,000, or 3 .1% , but this decrease is
partly due to the dates of the month upon which the two weeks closed. The week ending November 1st,
1922, does not include as large a volume of first of the month payments as the week ending November 2nd,
1922, many checks being given or mailed on the first that would not be deposited or cashed until the follow­
ing day. But even with this unfavorable element operating against the figures for this year’s week, only
three of the eleven cities show decreases, these being Baltimore, Charleston, S. C., and Huntington, W. Va.
Baltimore’s figures are steadily running below last year’s figures, chiefly due probably to a decline in foreign
trade this year at that port, but excluding Baltimore the other ten cities show a gain in debits during the
1922 week of $14,739,000, or 12.2% . This increase shows the healthy growth of domestic business during
the past year, and reflects a greater confidence in the soundness of fundamental conditions.
Debits reported by the twenty-three cities for the week ending November 1, 1922, show a slight decrease
under debits reported for the week ending October 4, 1922, but the decrease is accounted for by the difference
in dates upon which the weeks ended, as explained in the preceding paragraph. The explanation given there
applies even more forcibly in this case, however, since the week ending October 4th included practically all
end-of-month items, even checks sent out of town having for the most part reached the banks upon which they
were drawn by the close of that day.

BUSINESS FAILURES IN THE TWELVE FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS
OCTOBER, 1922 AND 1921.
The figures on business failures given in the table herewith, furnished to us by Dun’s Review, show a
total of 1,708 bankruptcies in the United States during October, 1922, compared with 1,713 in October last
year, a decrease of three-tenths of one percent. The total of liabilities involved in the October, 1922 fail­
ures was $34,647,438 compared with a total of $53,058,659 involved in the October, 1921 insolvencies, a
decrease this year of 34.7%. The total for October, 1922 is the lowest amount involved in any month’s bank­
ruptcies since June 1921. Five of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts show fewer failures in October 1922
than in October 1921, and eight districts report lower liabilities involved this year.




1922

1921

Per Cent
Increase or
Decrease

Boston, First..........................................
New York, Second................................
Philadelphia Third..............................
Cleveland, Fourth.................................
Richmond, Fifth....................................
Atlanta, Sixth........................................
Chicago, Seventh...................................
St. Louis, Eighth...................................
Minneapolis, Ninth...............................
Kansas City, Tenth.......... ....................
Dallas, Eleventh....................................
San Francisco, Twelfth.......................

154
364
76
151
91
119
232
91
86
92
91
161

135
350
77
177
109
153
230
88
70
76
109
139

14.1
4.0
— 1.3
— 14.7
— 16.5
—22.2
0.9
3.4
22.9
21.1
— 16.5
15.8

Totals..............................................

1,708

1,713

Number
City and District

—

0.3 %

1921

Per Cent of
Increase or
Decrease

1,550,137
17,525,697
7,890,928
2,613,018
1,511,141
5,271,140
5,853,226
1,117,815
1,833,103
2,000,108
2,455,126
3,437,220

154.9
— 64.4
— 73.1
116.3
53.4
— 67.4
— 11.4
48.6
— 18.4
— 36.4
— 58.7
— 41.3

Liabilities
1922
$

3,950,610
6,239,259
2,122,521
5,653,108
2,317,926
1,716,140
5,185,636
1,661,606
1,496,211
1,272,345
1,014,291
2,017,785

$ 34,647,438

$

$ 53,058,659

— 34.7%

In the Fifth District specifically, October shows up well in comparison with recent months. The total
number of failures reported in the District' during October 1922 numbered 91, compared with 109 reported
during October 1921, a decrease of 16.5% this year, but total liabilities involved in October of this year
amounted to $2,317,926 compared with $ 1,5 11,14 1 in October 1921, an increase this year of 53.4%. In the
number of failures, the October record is the best made in the Fifth District since September 1921, and in
total valuation involved the October amount is lower than any other months since October of last year
except June and August, 1922.
The average liability per failure in the Fifth District was $25,471 during October 1922, compared with
$13,864 in October 1921, and the average liability in the United States was $20,285 during October 1922,
compared with $30,974 in October 1921.

LABOR— Since our last paragraph on labor conditions was written, for inclusion in our September 30th
issue of this Review, conditions have steadily improved, and there is now no unemployment problem in the
Fifth District other than that of taking care of the usual number of floaters and unfortunates who never
seem to fit in anywhere, no matter how much labor may be in demand or how many different openings there
are for efficient workers. All of the railroads have either restored their striking shopmen or have filled their
vacancies with new men. Coal mines are operating as fully as possible under existing traffic conditions. Tex­
tile mills in the Fifth District are operating on practically full schedules, and are employing their usual
quota of operatives. Tobacco factories are busy, and the same is true of lumber plants, brick yards, and
numerous other industries. Road and street work continues to give employment to many unskilled laborers,
and building construction is holding up remarkably well for this season of the year, thus giving employment
to hundreds of skilled men. In some lines shortages of labor are beginning to be noticed from time to time,
and some wage advances have been made during the past two or three months as good men become increas­
ingly hard to secure. It is interesting to note that employment agencies report that a much larger number of
men are refusing work offered them than was the case during the first half of this year, it being possible for
workers to exercise more choice at present in the type of employment they will accept than was previously
the case. In Richmond, seventy-nine firms reported 16,879 persons on their pay rolls at the end of August,
but by the end of October this number had increased to 17,833, a gain in two months of 954 persons.
COAL— The solution of the country's coal problem for the winter seems dependent upon the coal carry­
ing ability of the railroads, as we stated in our Review last month in a quotation from a Geological Survey
report. The mines are capable of mining more coal than the roads can haul, but the roads have been
steadily increasing their car supply through repairs to old equipment and the purchase of new cars, and the
weekly output of bituminous coal has reached a weekly average of approximately 11,000,000 tons. Indi­
cations are that this rate of production is sufficiently large to care for the country’s actual needs, and per­
haps to allow a small tonnage to go into storage against greater needs later in the winter, but it is clear that
the supply of fuel for this winter will be largely a hand to mouth affair. Anthracite production is running
somewhat above 1,800,000 tons a week. Prices of both bituminous and anthracite coal have advanced sharply
to consumers, the advance in Richmond amounting to something like $1.50 to $2 a ton over last year’s prices.
The United States Geological Survey, in its report of November 18th, gives the following figures on
production of soft coal during the first 266 working days of the past six years :
19 1 7
476,524,000 tons
1920...............................470,053,000 tons
19 1 8
510,202,000 tons
1921............................... 354,209,000 tons
19 1 9
410,402,000 tons
1922...............................332,668,000 tons
The year’s production of anthracite coal to date is far below the bituminous production, in comparison
with other years. The Geological Survey estimates the output for 1922 during the first 266 working days as
38,845,000 net tons, compared with 79,917,000 net tons produced during the same period in 1921.




TEXTILES— Every sign indicates that the textile mills in the Fifth District are experiencing a revival
of profitable business after the slump during 1921 and early 1922. Mill authorities report plenty of orders
to take their output, and most of the mills are operating to capacity. The prices of mill stocks have advanced
quite generally and materially during the past two or three months, and this has strengthened banks that had
taken stocks as collateral on loans. Mills are buying cotton more freely than they did earlier in the season,
and are advancing prices on manufactured goods as the raw materials advance. While some of our corre­
spondents among mill operators fear that advancing prices made necessary by the restricted supply of cotton
may tend to reduce the demand for cotton fabrics, all of them agree that the outlook in the trade is good, and
is much better than at this time last year or the year before.
In October the cotton growing states consumed 346,435 bales of lint, compared with 297,101 bales used
in October 1921, an increase of nearly 50,000 bales. Of the 346,435 bales consumed in October of this year,
the two Carolinas and Virginia used 200,460 bales, or 57.9% of the total consumption in the cotton growing
states. The Fifth District consumption in October was 37.5% of the entire national consumption, a re­
markable evidence of the activity of the mills in our territory in view of the fact that the number of spindles
in the Fifth District is only 29.7 % of the total number of spindles in the United States.
Active spindles during October 1922 in the cotton growing states numbered 15,831,959, compared with
15,391,979 in October 1921 and 15,724,568 in September of this year. Active spindle hours in the cotton
growing states averaged 284 per spindle in October compared with 270 in September, and in all other states
the average was 177 in October compared with 163 in September. In North Carolina the average spindle
hours per spindle in place in October was 298, in South Carolina 284, and in Virginia 239. The national
average was 233.

COTTON— Since the October 31st issue of this Review was written, in which we discussed spot cot­
ton prices through October 14th, there has been a steady upward movement in the market. As we stated last
month, the average price actually paid for middling short staple cotton in the two Carolinas during the
week ending October 14th was 21.32 cents per pound, but the following week, ending October 21st, the aver­
age rose to 22.70 cents, and further increased to an average of 23.50 cents during the last week of the month,
ending October 28th. The first week in November, ending on the fourth, averaged 24.35 carts, and the week
ending November nth witnessed an average of 25.50 cents.
The Census Bureau’s ginning report showing the number of bales ginned prior to November 1st was
given out Wednesday, November 8th, and was received by cotton interests as decidedly bullish. The report
stated that total ginnings to November 1st had been 8,139,839 bales, compared with a rather wide-spread ex­
pectation of a total of about 8,300,000 bales. Following the release of the report, trade buying picked up dis­
tinctly, and has absorbed all offerings on sporadic breaks in the market.
On November 14th the Census Bureau gave out October’s cotton consumption figures. The report showed
the largest monthly consumption since June 1920, a total of 533,950 bales of lint having been used by
American manufacturers during October, compared with 494,317 bales used during the same month last year.
Cotton spindles active during October numbered 33,859,076, compared with 34,206,179 in October last year.
Early in the season cotton growers sold their cotton freely as it was ginned but most of the farmers’
distress cotton having been disposed of, the growers are now showing a strong inclination to hold the re­
mainder of the crop for higher prices. A considerable percentage of the crop in South Carolina is going into
the co-operative warehouses, and the Commissioner in charge of the State Warehouse system states that many
thousands of bales are being stored in addition to the cotton turned over to the Co-operative Association.

TOBACCO— October witnessed the opening of dark tobacco markets in Virginia, and a continuation
of the brisk sales in bright markets. Unfavorable weather held down sales to some extent but the warehouses
had about all the offerings they could handle. During October the Virginia markets sold for producers a
total of 19,153,008 pounds of bright tobacco at an average of $30.41 per hundred, and 1,850,109 pounds of
dark tobacco at an average of $17.36. The highest average for bright leaf was reported from Danville, the
figures being $33.30 per hundred, and Lynchburg led the dark markets with an average of $19.00 per hun­
dred. October prices were somewhat higher than those realized in September as the grade of tobacco sold
was somewhat better. October prices averaged $3.24 per hundred higher than prices for bright tobacco in
October last year, and $5.57 per hundred higher in the dark markets. As in last month’s figures, given in our
Review released October 31st, the figures presented for October do not include receipts or sales made by the
Tobacco Growers’ Co-Operative Association.
Reports from various warehouses indicate that practically all grades of tobacco are in good demand this
year, and with a relatively large crop for sale the farmers, especially in Virginia, are recovering from last
year’s disaster. The 1922 crop in Virginia is officially estimated at 161,975,000 pounds compared with total
sales last year of 96,634,000 pounds, and with continued higher prices this year the growers will receive
more than twice the amount of money gotten for their 1921 crop.




BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF OCTOBER, 1922 AND 1921.
Permits Issued
New Construction
CITIES

New

1922

z
MR L N
AYAD
1 Baltimore..............
2 Cumberland..........
3 Frederick...............
V G IA
IR IN
4 Lynchburg.............
5 Norfolk..................
6 Richmond..............
7 Roanoke.................
W S V G IA
E T IR IN
8 Charleston.............
9 Clarksburg............
10 Huntington............
11 Parkersburg..........
N R HC R L A
O T A O IN
12 Asheville................
13 Charlotte................
14 Durham.................
15 Greensboro............
16 High Point............
17 Wilmington...........
18 Winston-Salem
S U HC R L A
O T A O IN
19 Charleston.............
20 Columbia...............
21 Greenville..............
22 Spartanburg..........
D T O C L M IA
IS . F O U B
23 Washington...........

Per Cent
Increase or
of
Decrease
Increase
Total
or
Valuation
Decrease

Alterations

Repairs

1921

1921

1,219 $ 3,214,560 $ 1,170,000
133,532
138,875
13
0
1,150
28,435

456
25
4

425
28
4

1,176
17
3

17
94
157
77

17
71
105
*170

34
58
110
47

17
39
98

80
31
106

86
31
*153

26
15
18

14
27

1922

1921

1922

1922

$ 595,920
3,790
6,250

1921

$ 606,000 $ 2,034,480
114.6% 1
8,120 —
9,673 — 6.6
2
0 — 21,035 — 74.0
3

15,010
314,730
733,525
147,585

41,650
214,800
464,515
*262,318

32,739
38,110
121,400
10,251

36,300
55,330
89,368

152,963
163,865
365,670
50,000

160,873
75,025
*423,193
25,000

13,562
6,605
5,055
20,000

9,425
12,100

—

30,201 — 38.7
30.6
82,710
301,042
54.4
— 104,482 — 39.8

4
5
6

3,773 — 2.2
95.7
83,345
52,468 — 12.4
75.0
30,000

8
9
10
11

22,699
21.3
58,165 — 18.5
26,367
36.8
30,056
14.1
91,175
126.4
13,500
19.1
238.6
372,443

12
13
14
15
16
17
18

— 86,083 — 64.5
—
8,210 — 7.0
— 199,680 — 74.2
— 32,081 — 39.3

19
20
21
22

18,355 —

23

—
—

15,000

35
36
25
35
39
19
56

64
38
26
31
23
13
50

38
8
2
35
4
4
109

17
6
6
12
9
5
95

112,235
245,335
95,167
224,330
161,150
70,500
483,451

95,268
250,320
66,800
208,620
67,550
62,000
124,380

17,000
11,500
2,850
19,461
2,150
13,500
45,067

11,268
64,680
4,850
5,115
4,575
8,500
31,695

14
27
27
34

27
27
24
58

13
110
20
51

26
96
28
24

42,875
82,075
64,005
40,690

113,231
80,900
254,560
77,321

4,600
26,854
5,525
8,950

20,327
36,239
14,650
4,400

451

259

426

500

3,209,636

3,128,315

156,617

256,293

Totals......... 1,845

1,730

2,324

2,251 $10,124,039

$7,533,949

$1,167,756

♦Includes both new work and repairs.

0

2

—

—

$1,294,235 $

2,463,611

0.5

7

27.9%

—Denotes Decrease.

Building permit figures received from twenty-three of the leading cities of the Fifth Federal Reserve
District for October show that for the third time in succession the record for the month of the year reported
upon has been broken in the number of permits for new construction, October's total being higher than the
number for any other October since comparative figures have been kept. The twenty-three cities report
1,845 permits for new work issued in October, with estimated valuation of $10,124,039, compared with 1,730
permits issued in October, 1921, with estimated valuation of $7,533,949- October of this year witnessed
2,324 permits for alterations or repairs, valued at $1,167,756, compared with 2,251 permits issued during
the corresponding month last year, valued at $1,294,235. In combined valuation of both new work and
alterations or repairs, October, 1922 totals amounted to $11,291,795, compared with $8,828,184 in October,
1921, a gain this year of $2,463,611, or 27.9%.
Of the twenty-three cities, nine report a larger number of permits for new work than in October, 1921,
four report exactly the same number, and ten report a lower number. In total valuation, twelve of the re­
porting cities show lower figures this year while eleven report higher figures. The gains in both number of
permits and total valuation more than counter balance the losses, however, as the totals quoted in the preceding
paragraph show clearly. In Maryland two of the three reporting cities show lower total valuation figures
this year, two of the four Virginia cities report losses, two of the four West Virginia cities fell under the
October, 1921 figures, and all four of the South Carolina cities fell under last year's totals. Washington
also shows a loss this year in combined valuation of new work and repairs, but in new work alone shows a
large gain in the number of permits issued and a small increase in the valuation. In North Carolina, the
record is the best, with only one of the seven reporting cities showing a decline under valuation figures for
October, 1921.
Business in all types of building material continues good, and the winter slump in this field is now ex­
pected to be less noticed this year than usual. By the time projects just getting under way are completed
the beginning of the seasonal revival for spring will be felt, and therefore the outlook in the construction
material field is brighter than might be expected at this time of the year.




FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated By Reports from Twenty-five Representative Department Stores
for the Month of October, 1922.
Baltimore

Richmond

Washington

Other
Cities

District

Percentage increase in net sales during
October, compared with October, 1921...........

4.1

5.7

—

5.1

—

2.0

0.6

Percentage increase in net sales from
July 1, through October 31, compared
with sales during the same four months
of 1921....................................................................

3.3

12.9

—

2.7

—

2.9

1.5

Percentage increase in net sales during
October, 1922, over sales in Sept., 1922......

36.1

16.9

32.1

24.5

30.9

Percentage increase in stocks on hand at
the end of October, 1922, over stocks on
hand at the end of October, 1921.................

2.5

6.4

11.7

8.4

2.6

Percentage increase in stocks on hand at
the end of October, 1922, over stocks on
hand at the end of September, 1922.............

11.4

12.6

6.9

4.4

8.3

Percentage of average stocks on hand at
the end of each month since July 1,
to average net sales each month during
the same period, four months.......................

425.2

357.0

478.3

535.3

448.6

Percentage of outstanding orders at the end
of October, 1922, to total purchases of
merchandise during the year 1921.................

8.6

10.6

7.0

6.7

8.0

—

—

—Denotes decrease.

Confidential reports received from twenty-five department or general stores located in thirteen of the
leading cities in the Fifth District show a big gain in the volume of business done in October compared with
September, the increase in the dollar amount of sales being 36.1 % in Baltimore, 16.9 % in Richmond, 32.1 %
in Washington, 24.5 % in the Miscellaneous Cities, and 30.9 % average for the entire District. This in­
crease is of course largely seasonal, but it proves that fall business is developing normally. In comparison
with sales made in October, 1921, the current month this year does not show as great an increase as Sep­
tember showed over the corresponding month a year ago, October, 1922 showing an increase of only sixtenths of one per cent in sales over those reported for October, 1921. Baltimore reported a gain this year of
4.1% and Richmond a gain of 5.7% , but Washington lost 5.1% and the Miscellaneous Cities fell 2.0 %
under October, 1921. In cumulative sales from July 1 through October 3 1, 1922, Baltimore reports a gain
of 3.3 % over sales during the same four months of 1921, Richmond shows a gain of 12.9 %, Washington a
decrease of 2.7 % , and the Miscellaneous Cities a loss of 2.9 % . The District as a whole shows a gain of
i.S%.

The amount of stock on hand, selling value, for the District as a whole was 2.6% greater at the end
of October, 1922 than at the end of October, 1921, and 8.3% greater than at the end of September of this
year. Richmond and the Miscellaneous Cities show lower stock totals than a year ago, but Baltimore and
Washington show increases. In the rapidity of stock turn-over during the past four months, the reporting
stores in Richmond are distinctly in the lead, the percentage of stock on hand at the end of each month
since July 1 this year to average monthly net sales during the same period being 357.0%, compared with
425.2% in Baltimore, 478.3% in Washington, and 535.3% in the group of Miscellaneous Cities. The average
for the District is 448.6%.
Outstanding orders for merchandise at the end of October were approximately the same as at the end of
September, averaging for the District 8.0% of total purchases of merchandise during the calendar year 1921.




WHOLESALE TRADE
Percentage Increase (or Decrease) in Net Sales During Oct., 1922, as Compared With Sept., 1922
and October, 1921.
Groceries
Number of reporting firms in each line.............

Dry Goods

45

15

Shoes
20

Hardware

Furniture

Drugs

16

7

12

Net sales (selling price) during Oct., 1922,
compared with September, 1922...................

3.2

— 6.7

— 3.5

— 0.5

13.0

1.7

Net sales (selling price) during Oct., 1922,
compared with October, 1921...........................

0.3

— 7.1

— 17.9

3.8

66.8

3.5

—Denotes Decrease.

At the end of October we received reports from 45 wholesale grocers, 15 dry goods jobbers, 20 shoe job­
bers, 16 hardware jobbers, 7 furniture factories, and 12 wholesale drug firms, a total of 115 reports. These
showed net sales in October, 1922 in comparison with sales made by the same firms in October of last year
and September of this year.
Comparing October, 1922 sales with those made in September, 1922, groceries show a gain during the
more recent month of 3.2% , dry goods a decline of 6.7% , shoes a loss of 3.5% , hardware a decrease of
0.5% , furniture an increase of 13.0% , and drugs a gain of 1.7% . Compared with sales in October, 1921,
sales in October, 1922 show a gain in grocery lines of 0.3% , losses of 7.1 % in dry goods and 17.9% in shoes,
and increases of 3.8% in hardware, of 66.8% in furniture, and of 3.5% in drugs.
One hundred and seventeen firms classified their collections for October as Good, Fair, Slow or Poor.
Of this number, 88.9% stated that their collections were either Good or Fair, compared with 87.6% so
classified by practically the same firms in September, 82.4% so classified in August, and 81.7% in July. For
the first time in many months, no firm reported collections definitely Poor, and the sharp increase in the
number of firms that moved from the Fair to the Good classification is evidence of improving conditions in
the credit field. We give below the classified reports by lines for October, to which we have added
the totals for September, August and July for comparison.
Good
Lines Sold
Groceries ................................................ ..........................
Dry Goods .............................................. ......................... 4
Shoes---------------------------------------- .......................... 4
Hardware ................................................ .......................... 6
Furniture ................................................ ......................... 2
Drugs ..................................................... ......................... 4
Octobor Totals............................ ......................... 27
September Totals........................ .......................... 19
August Totals ............................ .......................... 14
July Totals .................................. .......................... 12




7

Collections Reported As
Fair
Poor
Slow
28
10
0
10
1
0
16
1
0
10
0
0
6
0
0
1
0
0
13
1
14
87
84
4
17
82
2
19

7
77

(Compiled November 20, 1922)

Total

45
15

21
16
8
12
117
121
119

ii5

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