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MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

S
s
^njjs^/
WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT
NOVEMBER 30, 1924
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
Business in the Fifth Federal Reserve District
during October was not up to seasonal average for
that month, but prospects for future trade improved,
chiefly as a result of exceptionally favorable weather
for harvesting this year's crops. The somewhat un­
favorable showing made by October in comparison
with the same month in previous years appeared
to be partly due to a postponement of trade as a
result of weather conditions. The temperature was
high, and therefore consumers delayed fall pur­
chasing, while the splendid harvesting conditions
kept the farmers in the fields. The prospective
yields of most of the leading crops increased dur­
ing October, November ist estimates exceeding those
made a month earlier, and naturally there is a cor­
responding improvement in the prospects for fu­
ture business. Bank deposits are materially higher
than a year ago. Member banks as a class and the
Reserve Bank are in strong positions and are well
prepared to take care of the District's probable
needs. Debits to individual accounts show some
seasonal increase during the past month, but current
figures are slightly lower than a year ago. Busi­
ness failures in October in the Fifth District were
more numerous than in 1923, but were fewer than
in most earlier months this year, while the total of
liabilities involved was comparatively low. Labor
is well employed for this season of the year, and
there appears to be sufficient work in prospect to
provide for nearly all workers. Cotton yields are
higher in the Carolinas than was expected a month
ago, and cotton prices have risen approximately
$10 a bale since the middle of October, although
both yield and price are materially lower than in
1923. Cotton growers occupy relatively the poorest
position in the District in comparison with last year,




because of a smaller crop in the District and a much
larger total crop with lower prices in consequence. ,
In 1923 the crop in the Carolinas was considerably
above the national average, but this year unfavor­
able weather at planting and growing time cut the
Carolina production while a larger acreage and more
favorable weather were increasing the yields in the
cotton states south of this District. The consump­
tion of cotton in American mills increased markedly
during October over September, and export cotton
figures rose above those for September this year
and October last year. The North Carolina and
Virginia tobacco crops are being marketed, and the
quality is turning out better than was expected
earlier in the season. The crop is smaller than last
year, but prices are above those secured in 1923.
The advance in price has not been sufficient to com­
pensate the growers for the reduced yield, however.
Fall plowing and seeding has been done under almost
ideal conditions, and winter crops are in good shape
on the average. The volume of construction work
provided for in October permits was exceptionally
large for this season, taking the District as a whole,
and will probably furnish employment to the bulk
of those connected with the building business through
most of the winter. Both wholesale and retail trade
were cut by the weather during October, but on
the whole the volume of business done was not
unsatisfactory and in retail trade was slightly above
the seasonal average as based upon sales during
October of 1920, 1921 and 1922. Collections showed
some improvement in comparison with September,
but were still considerably slower than last year.
A note of warning has come from certain sections
of the District to the effect that the public is de­
veloping a tendency to go beyond its cash resources
for the purchase of non-essentials.

The National Summary will be found on page 8.

CONDITION OF SEVENTY-FIVE REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
Nov. 12 , 1924

ITEMS
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 Vaults......................................
6. Demand Deposits...................................
7. Time Deposits........................................
8. Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank....

472,145,000

Oct. 8, 1924
$

472,499,000

Nov. 14, 1923
$

467,912,000

135.930.000
608.075.000

130.266.000
602.765.000

126.923.000
594.835.000

36.536.000
15.131.000
358.393.000
179.388.000
9,868,000

37.970.000
13.808.000
349.501.000
180.236.000
9,006,000

36.700.000
15.159.000
347.187.000
151.871.000
36.624.000

The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition reported by seventy-five identical banks
as of three dates, November 12, 1924, October 8, 1924, and November 14, 1923, thus affording an oppor­
tunity for comparing the totals reported for the latest date with those reported for the preceding month
this year and on the corresponding date a year ago.
The changes shown in the table between October 8th and November 12th are relatively slight except in
investments and deposits. Investments in bonds and securities rose from $130,266,000 on October 8th to
$ I35,93°,000 on November 12th, while demand deposits increased from $349,501,000 to $358,393,000. Time
deposits declined slightly during the month, dropping from $180,236,000 to $179,388,000, this decrease be­
ing accounted for by the transfer of Christmas Savings Club funds from time to demand deposits. Cash
in vaults increased from $13,808,000 on October 8th to $15,131,0 00 on November 12th, and rediscounts at
the Reserve Bank rose from $9,006,000 to $9,868,000, but during the same period outstanding loans to cus­
tomers declined from $472,499,000 to $472,145,000 and reserve balances at the Reserve Bank decreased from
$37,970,000 to $36,536,000.
In comparison with the figures reported on November 14, 1923, those reported for November 12, 1924
show material increases in investments in bonds and securities, in demand deposits, and in time deposits,
while a large decrease is shown in borrowing at the Reserve Bank. Total outstanding loans to customers,
reserve balances at the Reserve Bank, and cash in vaults show no more than daily fluctuations. It should
be understood, however, that the comments made herein apply only to the figures for the dates given, and
have no reference to intervening dates on which figures may have been higher or lower than those quoted.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
j

TOTAL DEBITS FOR THE FIVE WEEKS ENDING

CITIES

Nov. 12, 1924

Nov. 14, 1923

Oct. 8, 1924

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

$

26,416,000
428,019,000
31.964.000
38.076.000
54.954.000
27.594.000
10.566.000
14.345.000
25.780.000
28.672.000
27.025.000
11.495.000
30.242.000
21.254.000
7,989,000
78.141.000
30.607.000
149.291.000
29.169.000
21.770.000
229.012.000
25.160.000
39.686.000

$

29,141,000
444.094.000
27.369.000
40.621.000
51.115.000
21.360.000
10.313.000
11.116.000
23.523.000
24.423.000
25.782.000
11.885.000
30.169.000
22.226.000
8,358,000
67.643.000
27.690.000
147.434.000
30.416.000
16.483.000
219.565.000
20.544.000
40;611,000

$

25,106,000
424.600.000
28.194.000
43.437.000
49.883.000
30.648.000
10.669.000
14.023.000
25.735.000
29.982.000
33.627.000
11.478.000
28.440.000
23.228.000
7,740,000
97.776.000
34.930.000
160.309.000
27.841.000
'19,205,000
223.490.000
29.882.000
38.056.000

Totals for 23 cities..............................

$

1,387,227,000

$

1,351,881,000

$

1,418,279,000

Debits to individual account in twenty-three leading cities in the Fifth District showed a seasonal in­
crease during the five weeks ending November 12, 1924 in comparison with debits reported for the five
weeks ending October 8, 1924, the total rising from $1,351,881,000 to $1,387,227,000. The increase in gen-




2

eral business during the more recent period was probably somewhat greater than is reflected in the larger
volume of debits, the period ending October 8th containing a considerable volume of quarterly payments
and the period ending November 12th containing the election day and Armistice Day holidays. Most of the
cities of the Fifth District showing substantial increases in debits during the past five weeks over the pre­
ceding like period are tobacco markets or are prominent in the cotton industry either as cotton markets or
textile manufacturing towns.
In comparison with the five weeks ending November 14, 1923, total debits for the corresponding period
this year show a decrease from $1,418,279,000 to $1,387,227,000, lower prices for raw cotton, depressed
conditions in the textile industry and the smaller and later tobacco crop accounting for most of the material
decreases reported by the individual cities.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
Between October 15th and November 15th, both this year, rediscounts for member banks at the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond declined from $35,050,000 to $31,404,000, but there was a seasonal increase in
the volume of Federal Reserve notes in circulation, the total rising from $75,851,000 to $85,097,000. Mem­
ber bank reserve deposits rose during the month from $62,510,000 to $63,446,000, in keeping with increased
deposits in member banks, and the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond rose from $ 1 1 1 ,402,000 to $126,945,000. As a result of the changes in the items mentioned, the reserve ratio of cash to
combined note and deposit liabilities rose from 77.60% on October 15th to 82.67% on November 15th.
On November 15, 1923, the volume of rediscounts for member banks held by the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond totaled $62,655,000; Federal Reserve notes in actual circulation totaled $101,946,000; member
bank reserve deposits aggregated $63,228,000; cash reserves of the bank amounted to $109,486,000; and
the ratio of cash reserves to combined note and deposit liabilities was 64.95%.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
Fourteen mutual savings banks in Baltimore reported total deposits at the end of October amounting •
to $ 14 5 ,13 1,4 11, the highest figure on record. A year ago aggregate deposits in these banks amounted to
$138,814,399; on October 3 1, 1922 the total was $130,293,419; on October 3 1, 1921 it was $122,881,047;
and on October 3 1, 1920 it was $ 12 1,4 11,0 12 .

BUSINESS FAILURES IN THE TWELVE FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS
OCTOBER, 1924 AND 1923.
Per Cent
Increase or
Decrease

Number
City and District
Boston, First..................................
New York, Second.........................
Philadelphia, Third.........................
Cleveland, Fourth...........................
Richmond, Fifth .................................

1924

1923

143
356
59
176

130
351
62
137
91
107
208
84
90
96

11 1

Atlanta, Sixth.................................
Chicago, Seventh............................
St. Louis, Eighth............................
Minneapolis, Ninth.........................
Kansas City, Tenth.........................
Dallas, Eleventh..............................
San Francisco, Twelfth...................

90
268
79
65
130
46
173

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

1,696

10.0

1.4
— 4.8
28.5

22.0

— 15.9
28.8
— 6.0
— 27.8
35.4
— 58.6
— 16.0

11 1

206
1,673

1.4%

Liabilities
1924

1923

Per Cent of
Increase or
Decrease

$ 2,728,188
11,206,118
1,388,662
4,737,431
1,765,371
1,767,982
4,337,448
1,945,106
1,160,571
1,277,290
543,300
3,241,337

$ 15,610,419
34,602,500
1,557,615
7,706,539
2,266,828
2,085,051
4,790,027
1,308,833
1,118,598
1,340,804
2,417,470
4,497,057

—
—
—
—
—
—
—

$ 36,098,804

$ 79,301,741

— 54.5%

82.5%
67.6

10.8

38.5

22.1

15.2
9.4
48.6
3.8
— 4.7
— 77.5
— 27.9

The figures in the accompanying table were furnished by R. G. Dun & Co., and in commenting upon
them Dun's Review for November 8th says, “ A large number of commercial failures in the United States
invariably occurs during the closing months of a year, and the October total exceeds that of any previous
month since last May. Numbering 1,696, last month’s defaults compare with 1,306 in September, while
the liabilities rose from $34,296,276 to $36,098,804. In point of number, the October failures increased
about 30 per cent over those for September, which marked the low level this year, and the indebtedness was
heavier by 5 per cent. The failures during October of the current year, though slightly outnumbering those
for the same month of last year, involved less than one-half the amount reported for the earlier period, this
difference in the indebtedness being accounted for by a falling off in large defaults last month. Thus, there
were 48 failures for $100,000 or more in each case, involving $15,988,338, wrhereas in October of last year
81 such defaults occurred, with liabilities of $60,724,317. For the ten months of 1924, commercial failures
numbering 16,922 compare with 15,173 for a similar period last year, and liabilities of $466,822,260 contrast
with a total of $437,480,368 for ten months of I923.,,




3

The failure record in the Fifth District in October in comparison with October 1923 does not show up
as well as the national average, the number of failures increasing 22.0% over those reported in October
last year and the liabilities decreasing only 22.1 % in comparison with a national increase in number of in­
solvencies amounting to 1.4 % and a national decrease in liabilities of 54.5% . In comparison with earlier
months this year, however, the Fifth District shows up well, only three months this year having a smaller
number of failures than October, and only one month witnessing a lower total of liabilities.

TEXTILES— The textile industry in the Fifth District is slowly working back toward a reasonably
satisfactory volume of business. Orders for future delivery were placed in considerably larger volume in
October than in September, and the mills manufactured more cloth and yarn, as is evidenced by cotton
consumption amounting to 216,322 bales during October in comparison with 177,088 bales used in Sep­
tember this year and 208,938 bales consumed in October 1923. Mills have been showing much interest
in spot cotton during the past two or three weeks, and textile executives are expecting the industry to reach
a much sounder basis of operation during the next few months. This year’s cotton crop is sufficiently large
to furnish, for the present at least, adequate raw material at lower prices than prevailed last year, but ap­
parently is not large enough to leave an unduly large surplus. The mills are expecting a better demand for
textiles during the next year than was experienced during the past year, the expectation being based upon
healthy business conditions in the agricultural West and the industrial East.
COTTON— Since our October Review was written the trend of spot cotton prices has been upward.
From an average of 22.07 cents per pound paid to growers in the Carolinas during the week ending Oc­
tober 1 8th, the price of cotton rose to an average of 23.63 cents per pound during the week ending November
22nd. The higher prices now prevailing in comparison with last month are generally ascribed to the greater
interest in raw cotton recently shown by both domestic and foreign consumers.
The Department of Agriculture’s latest cotton report based on the November 14th condition, estimated
the year’s probable production as 12,992,000 bales as compared with the October 1st estimate of 12,497,000.
October weather was practically ideal for the cotton crop, and the condition improved in North and South
Carolina. In Virginia the prospects declined slightly during October. North Carolina’s crop is now esti­
mated at 760,000 bales in comparison with 1,020,000 bales grown last year, South Carolina’s probable pro­
duction is 720,000 bales compared with 795,000 bales in 1923, and Virginia’s estimate is 30,000 bales com­
pared with 50,000 bales last year.
The Census Bureau’s ginning report to November 14th showed 11,147,524 bales compared with ap­
proximately 8,369,498 bales ginned to November 14th last year, which is about in keeping with the in­
crease in this year’s crop.
Cotton consumption in American mills increased 22% in October in comparison with September, and
was only 9,196 bales less than consumption in October 1923. The Census Bureau’s report estimated Oc­
tober 1924 consumption at 532,629 bales, compared with 435,216 bales used in September and 541,825 bales
consumed in October 1923. Cotton on hand in consuming establishments at the end of October totaled
730,656 bales, compared with 514,537 bales on September 30, 1924 and 1,102,583 bales on October 3 1, 1923.
Public warehouses and compresses held 4,224,854 bales on October 3 1, 1924, 2,072,956 bales on September
30, 1924, and 3,485,839 bales on October 3 1, 1923. Cotton consumed in the cotton growing states in October
amounted to 373,390 bales, compared with 303,478 bales in September this year and 357,673 bales in October
1923. Imports during October totaled 18 ,113 bales, compared with 9,654 bales in September and 7,615 bales
in October 1923, while exports totaled 947,556 bales in October, 737,016 bales in September and 781,722 bales
in October last year.
TOBACCO — The Virginia tobacco crop was harvested somewhat later than usual this year, conse­
quently the markets did not open until October. Reports of warehousemen to the Commissioner of A gri­
culture showed producers’ sales of Bright tobacco during October amounting to 12,644,687 pounds, at an
average price of $21.68 per hundred pounds, compared with 9,682,185 pounds sold in October 1923 at an
average of $20.34 per hundred. Only about 2,000 pounds of Dark tobacco were sold last month, all of it
at Petersburg. Danville sold 7,249,926 pounds, more than half the state total, and Danville’s average of
$23.75 per hundred was also the highest average price. As is usually the case at the opening of the season,
the quality of the leaf sold graded low, but the grades averaged slightly better than in October 1923.
One hundred and one North Carolina warehouses sold 67,986,780 pounds of tobacco for growers in
October, at an average price of $23.88 per hundred, compared with 68,617,235 pounds at an average of
$21.52 per hundred sold in October 1923. The Wilson warehouses led in volume of sales with 13,728,920
pounds, but Raleigh’s average price of $29.90 was the highest price. The quality of offerings was somewhat
better than in September, but was not above average years.
The South Carolina auction markets sold 39,759,569 pounds during the months of August, September
and October. The crop in South Carolina was inferior in quality and sold at a lower price than last year.
September rains stimulated growth in Maryland and that state’s tobacco crop will be larger than was
expected earlier in the season, but the quality will be rough and common.




4

AGRICULTURAL NOTES— The weather during October and the first half of November was ideal
for farm work, and excellent progress was made. Cotton picking is nearly finished, most of the corn has been
harvested, and practically all fall plowing and planting has been done. Grain is coming up nicely in the Carolinas, and promises to enter the winter in fine condition, but in Maryland the planting was done later than
usual and the grain is rather immature for this season. On account of practically perfect weather conditions
at harvesting time, nearly all the leading crops of the Fifth District are yielding larger returns than was
expected a month ago, although most yields are still below last year and the ten year average. Cotton prices
are distinctly lower than in 1923, and the crop is approximately 18 percent smaller this year. The prices
of nearly all other farm products are higher than they were a year ago, but not sufficiently high to make
up for the lower yields that generally prevail and it therefore seems certain that the farming population in
the Fifth District will have a considerably lower purchasing power next year than they had during the past
twelve months. However, the farmers are steadily making progress along the line of making their living
at home as far as possible, and low yields do not now work as great hardships as they did a few years ago.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF OCTOBER, 1924 AND 1923.
Permits Issued
New Construction
CITIES

A

New
1924 1923

MR L N
AYA D

1 Baltimore............
2 Cumberland........

3 Frederick............

4 Hagerstown*

V G IA
IR IN
Lynchburg...........
Norfolk...............
Petersburg.........
Richmond...........
Roanoke..............
WS V G IA
E T IR IN
Bluefield..............
Charleston....... .
Clarksburg...........
Huntington.........
Parkersburg........
N R HC R L A
O T A O IN
Asheville............
Charlotte.............
Durham..............
Greensboro.........
High Point.........
Raleigh...............
Salisbury............
Wilmington.........
Winston-Salem
S U HC R L A
O T A O IN
Charleston..........
Columbia.............
Greenville...........
Spartanburg.......
D T O C L M IA
IS . F O U B
Washington.........

Cent
Increase or Perof
Decrease Increase
Total
or
Valuation Decrease

Alterations

Repairs
1924

1923

1924

1923

678
26
14
44

498 1,918 1,276 $ 2,553,840 $ 3,130,428
12
99,460
12
56,355
35
44,800
4
3
1
1,520
58,702
28

25
119
4
152
103

186
5
160
137

38
45
40
166
41

54
85
28
148
35

56
63
19
81
52
53
31
16

58
53
13
73
56
47
17

4
38
14
7

102

74

9
25
27
39

30

11

31

393

1924

1923

$ 994,080
4,695
1,450
4,290

A

$ 724,560 $— 307,068 — 8.0& 1
6,460 — 44,870 — 42.4
2
75
44,655 2,799.7
3

4

6

7

8

9

10
11
12

13
14
15
16
17
18
19

20
21
22

23
24
25
26
27
28

437,335
213,214
5,442
490,745
161,640

10,385
339,110
7,210
1,755,086
419,430

23,184
30,040
3,888
108,387
9,740

12,780
1,105
2,835
73,705
16,827

437,354
— 96,961
—
715
—1,229,659
— 264,877

82,950
126,324
38,730
387,050
50,188

386,250
275,059
35,515
366,860
67,450

3,000
13,700
7,365
23,590
3,165

15,475
19,585

21,110

— 315,775 — 78.6
— 154,620 — 52.5
— 10,530 — 18.6
20,895
5.4
— 18,547 — 25.8

10
11
12

29,960
13,400
5,400
22,427
10,325
9,450

35,350
37,720

9,750
44,915

365,891 128.4
379,865 139.5
26,930
25.3
— 26,194 — 6.5
— 17,750 — 11.3
— 41,695 — 17.2
6,305
14.5
57,450 266.6
272,085
87.3

15
16
17
18
19

139

254,984
258,865
101,150
378,210
146,875
233,395
43,550
11,800
266,835

25,435
17,000
6,600
26,739
22,275
5,650

7
119

625,400
635,130
126,880
347,704
117,175
195,500
49,855
43,650
546,115

20

21
100
21

48

17
71
23
48

7,275
208,919
425,458
172,162

60,965
109,614
100,185
82,040

15,429
19,383
20,980
15,645

8,972
15,891
14,286
15,947

230

464

567

3,666,144

1,931,580

382,092

341,516

Totals........ 2,417 2,108 3,230 2,622 $11,815,980 $10,873,811

5

$1,856,582

12

8

44
48

12
100

55

10
22
22

25

11
69

11

0
12

34

11

14

112

46

15
31

21

42
17
53
17
3
44
15

6
0

0

22,885
4,450

0

—

1 ,888.0
— 28.5
— 7.1
— 67.2
— 60.7

47,233 — 67.5
102,797
81.9
331,967 290.0
89,820
91.7

1,775,140

$1,464,091 $ 1,334,660

78.1

5

6

7

8

9

13
14

20
21
22

23
24
25
26
27

28

10.89b

♦Hagerstown 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.

The volume of construction work in the Fifth District for which permits were taken out in October
showed less than the normal seasonal diminution in comparison with earlier months this year. The number
of permits issued for new work in twenty-seven cities was 2,417, with estimated valuation of $11,815,980,
compared with 2,523 permits valued at $ 11,17 7 ,15 8 issued for the same class of work in September, and the
September figures were exceptionally high for that month. In comparison with October 1923, the October
figures this year were higher in both the number of permits issued and the total estimated valuation of the
work, 2,417 permits and $11,815,980 this year both exceeding the 2,108 permits and $10,873,811 reported




5

in October 1923. Sixteen cities reported the issuance of more permits for new work this year and fourteen
cities reported higher valuation figures in comparison with October last year. Taking the average of the
reporting cities in the several states in the District, the North Carolina cities show up exceptionally well,
seven of the nine reporting cities in that state showing more permits in October than a year ago and six
of the nine showing higher valuation figures. Among the three largest cities of the District, Baltimore
reports an increased number of permits but lower valuation figures, Richmond shows both fewer permits
and lower values, while Washington reports large increases this year in both the number and valuation of
permits. In combined valuation of both new work and repairs, increases of more than 100% were reported
by Frederick, Lynchburg, Asheville, Charlotte, Wilmington and Greenville, the increased valuation for all
reporting cities in the District averaging 10 .8% .
LABOR — Developments in labor circles are following seasonal trends very closely. Demand for un­
skilled labor for outside work is declining, and the coming of fall is having the usual depressing effect upon
construction work, resulting in an increase in the number of skilled workmen who are idle. Building oper­
ations are holding up well above the seasonal average, however, and there is probably sufficient work for all
laborers who can and will follow the job. In Richmond there is less construction work under way than
was the case a year ago, but in other neighboring cities there is probably sufficient employment for Rich­
mond’s mobile labor. Tobacco factories are operating at or near capacity, and are consequently employing
full quotas of workers. Conditions in the textile field are slowly but steadily improving, and mill operatives
are working more nearly full time than at any period during the past year. Inability to secure employment
in the cities is driving a few unskilled laborers to the rural districts, and as a result farmers report a slight
improvement in the available supply of agricultural workers. Relations between employers and employees
seem to be harmonious at present.

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As IndicatedJBy Reports from Twenty-nine Representative Department Stores
for the Month of October, 1924.
Baltimore

Richmond

Washington

Other
Cities

District

Percentage increase in net sales during
Oct. 1924, compared with Oct. 1923............

— 1.9

1.7

— 4.6

— 4.9

— 2.8

Percentage increase in net sales from
July 1 through Oct. 30, compared
with sales during the same four months
of 1923........................................................

0.3

2.7

2.6

— 1.9

1.0

Percentage increase in net sales during Oct.
1924, compared with average sales during
the corresponding month of 1920,1921 and
1922
.................................................

6.7

29.4

3.7

— 7.8

6.3

Percentage increase in stocks on hand at
the end of Oct. 1924, over stocks on
hand at the end of Oct. 1923......................

— 2.4

9.0

— 5.4

— 9.9

— 3.4

Percentage increase in stocks on hand at
the end of Oct. 1924, over stocks on
hand at the end of Sept. 1924......................

9.6

12.1

8.9

5.4

9.0

Percentage of average stocks on hand at
the end of each month since July 1, 1924,
to average net sales each month during
the same period, four month........................

432.4

404.2

420.9

548.3

438.5

Percentage of outstanding orders at the end
of Oct. 1924, to total purchases of
merchandise during the year 1923...............

5.5

8.4

4.8

5.8

5.6

—Denotes Decrease.

Retail trade in the Fifth District, as reflected in department store sales, was 2.8% less in dollar amount
in October than in October 1923, but cumulative sales from Ju ly 1st through October exceeded sales during
the corresponding four months last year by 1.0 % . In comparison with average October sales during 1920,
1921 and 1922, October sales this year showed an increase of 6 .3% . Stocks on hand in the reporting
stores were 3.4% less valuable on October 3 1, 1924 than on October 3 1, 1923, but were 9.0% greater than
those on hand at the end of September this year, last month's increase being seasonal. The percentage of
average stock on hand at the end of each month since Ju ly 1st to average monthly sales during the same
period, four months, was 438.5 % , and the volume of outstanding orders for merchandise at the end of Oc­
tober amounted to 5.6% of total 1923 purchases.




6

WHOLESALE TRADE
October 1924.
Groceries
Number of reporting firms in each line...........

Shoes

Hardware

15

43

Dry Goods

14

18

7

Furniture

Drugs
13

Percentage increase (or decrease) in net
sales during Oct. 1924, compared with
sales during Sept. 1924................................

8.1

—25.9

— 2.5

—11.1

0.9

0.3

Percentage increase (or decrease) in net
sales during Oct. 1924, compared with
sales during Oct. 1923................................

3.0

—25.5

—13.4

—19.2

22.5

— 4.5

Percentage increase (or decrease) in cumu­
lative sales from July 1 st through Oct.
31, 1924, compared with sales during the
corresponding four months of 1923............

0.6

—14.8

—13.9

—10.8

29.0

1.1

Percentage increase (or decrease) in stocks
on hand Oct. 31, 1924, compared with
Sept. 30, 1924...............................................

12.9(11)

— 5.8(8)

- 1.2(7)

3.9(5)

—12.0(3)

Percentage increase (or decrease) in stocks
on hand Oct. 31, 1924, compared with
Oct. 31, 1923..............................................

3.6 (7)

— 8.3(7)

—29.2(6)

5.5(3)

—14.0(2)

—Denotes decreased percentage.
NOTE:-The number of firms reporting stock figures for the dates compared is shown in parenthesis immediately after the
percentage figure.

Wholesale trade reports covering October business were received from n o firms. Sales in October
were greater than in September in groceries, furniture and drugs, but were less in dry goods, shoes and
hardware. In comparison with October 1923 sales, those made in October this year were greater in groceries,
and furniture, but were less in dry goods, shoes, hardware and drugs. Stock on hand increased during
October in groceries and hardware, but declined in dry goods, shoes and furniture. In comparison with
October 1923, stock on hand at the end of October this year was greater in dollar value in groceries and
hardware, but was less in dry goods, shoes and furniture. Higher prices now prevailing for groceries prob­
ably account for the increases in both sales and stocks this year in comparison with the same period in 1923.
Collections improved slightly during October in comparison with September, but were distinctly slower
than in October last year, when 89.9% of the reporting firms classified their collections as either Good or
Fair in comparison with 75.8% so classifying them in October this year. The classifications made by 99
identical firms for October 1923 and October 1924 were as follows:

Lines
Groceries ............................
Dry Goods ........................
Shoes ............................. —
Hardware _____________
Furniture_______________

D rugs................................. .
October Totals ______




Good
1924-1923
7
iS

1
1
1
1
3
14

7
4
S
2

S
38

Fair
1924-1923
26
17

9
5
9
5
7

61

8

6
8

S
7
5i

October Collections Reported
Slow
Poor
1924-1923
1924-1923
2
8
0
5
0
0
0
5
1
0
0
5

3
1

2
21

1
0
0
10

(Compiled November 22, 1924)

1
0
0
3

0
0
0
0

As
Total
1924-1923
40
40
IS
IS
11
11

14
7
12
99

14
7
12
99




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

PRODUCTION. The Federal Reserve Board’s index
of production in basic industries, adjusted to allow for seasonal
variations, increased 6% in October, and was 16 % above the
low point of midsummer, though still considerably below the
level of the early months of this year. Output of iron and
steel, cotton and woolen textlies, lumber, and bituminous coal
was substantially larger than the month before. Factory em­
ployment increased 2% in October, reflecting larger working
forces in most of the manufacturing industries. Building
contract awards increased and were 14 % above a year ago.
Crop estimates by the Department of Agriculture in No­
vember showed increases in the expected yields of corn, cotton,
tobacco and potatoes. The movement of crops to market in
October reached the largest volume in five years and exports
of grain and cotton were in greater volume than in the cor­
responding month of any recent year.
TR A D E. Railroad freight shipments were larger in
October than in any previous month, owing to exceptionally
heavy loadings of miscellaneous merchandise and grain. Whole­
sale trade increased slightly, but was 3 % less than in October
1923. Sales of dry goods, shoes and hardware were con­
siderably smaller than a year ago, while sales of groceries and
drugs were larger. Department store sales showed a seasonal
increase but were 4% less than last year, and sales of mail
order houses and chain stores also increased and were in greater
volume than in 1923. In preparation for Christmas trade
merchandise stocks at department stores increased substantially
and were 2% larger than a year ago.
PRICES. The wholesale price index of the Bureau of
Labor Statistics rose 2 % in October as a result of considerable
advances in the prices of farm products and feeds, and slight
increases in the prices of clothing and chemicals. Fuel and
metal prices declined and prices of building materials and
house furnishings were practically unchanged. During the
first half of November quotations on all grains, cotton, silk,
copper, and rubber advanced, while prices of raw sugar and
bituminous coal declined.
B A N K CREDIT. Loans for commercial purposes at
member banks in leading cities, which had increased rapidly
from the beginning of September to the middle of October,
advanced only slightly in the following four weeks. The
growth of loans secured by stocks and bonds was also rela­
tively small, notwithstanding great activity in the securities
market. Holdings of investments by these banks continued
the increase which began in the early months of the year.
A large part of the increase in demand deposits during the
four weeks ending November 12th, when they were higher
than at any previous time, was in bankers’ balances, indicating
a continued movement of funds to the large centers.
At the Reserve banks an increase in earning assets was the
result of larger offerings of acceptances, reflecting firmer money
conditions. While discounts and holdings of United States
securities remained practically unchanged during the four
weeks ending November 19th, the increase in acceptances
carried .total earning assets to the highest point since the
early part of the year. Money in circulation increased in
October for the third successive month and the total on No­
vember 1st was $215,000,000 larger than in August.
Money rates continued to show a firmer tendency and by
November 23rd were generally from one-quarter to one-half
of one per cent higher than in October.
8

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