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MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON. CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
DISTRICT SUMMARY.— On the whole, business in the Fifth reserve district was below sea­
sonal average in October. Conditions were
spotted, with both favorable and unfavorable in­
fluences plainly discernible, but the unfavorable
factors were more pronounced at the end of
October than in September or in October a year
ago.
Unemployment spread noticeably last
month, the volume of new construction work
undertaken declined to the lowest level in five
years, both wholesale and retail trade fell be­
low October 1926 business, and cotton produc­
tion estimates and cotton prices declined below
the September figures. The employment situ­
ation appears to be the chief obstacle to the de­
velopment of a normal fall and winter trade,
and there are no signs at present of much early
improvement.

In spite of the discouraging developments
enumerated, favorable factors that seem to offer
encouragement for the near future are visible.
Customers of member banks are liquidating the
year’s indebtedness in seasonal volume, and the
banks in turn are retiring their rediscounts at
the reserve bank and are building secondary
reserves by increasing their investments in se­
curities. Debits to individual accounts figures
for the four weeks ended November 9th exceed­
ed debits during the preceding month and the
corresponding four weeks a year ago. Bank
deposits, especially savings and time deposits,
are at record levels. Business failures in the
Fifth district were relatively low in number
during October, and the liabilities involved were
the smallest for any month this year. West
Virginia coal output continued to lead the country
last month. Textile mills continued operations
on full schedules in October and consumed more
cotton than in October 1926. The agricultural
prospects in the district are better on the aver­
age than last year, higher prices compensating
for reduced yields in cotton and apples. The
total farm income this year will probably exceed
the 1926 income, and as a rule farm expenses
were lower this year. Finally, collections appear
to be better than last year, especially in cotton

growing and textile sections.


NOVEMBER 30, 1927
RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS.— A sea­
sonal reduction in the demand for reserve bank
credit occurred in the Fifth district between
October 15th and November 15th, both this year,
member banks reducing their obligations with
the proceeds of crop marketing. The volume of
rediscounts held by the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond declined during the month from
$29,176,000 to $20,535,000. Increased needs for
currency incident to crop marketing and the
approach of the holiday shopping season raised
the circulation of Federal reserve notes from
$71,151,000 on October 15th to $76,509,000 on
November 15th. Total earning assets of the
Richmond bank, including Government securi­
ties owned and bills purchased in the open mar­
ket, declined during the period under review
from $91,732,000 to $80,522,000. Member banks
built their reserve deposits up from $71,403,000
to $80,522,000 during the month. As a result
of the changes enumerated, the cash reserves of
the Richmond bank rose from $61,794,000 on Oc­
tober 15th to $74,024,000 on November 15th, and
the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit li­
abilities combined rose from 42.11 per cent to
47.52 per cent.
On November 15, 1927, member banks were
borrowing much less from the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond than was the case a year
ago, and the demand for currency was also
smaller, due probably to the lessened volume
of construction work in the district. On No­
vember 15th last year rediscounts for member
banks at the Richmond bank totaled $37,160,000,
compared with $20,535,000 this year, and the
circulation of reserve notes was $82,247,000 on
November 15, 1926, compared with $76,509,000
on November 15, 1927. However, total earning
assets of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
rose during the year from $59,249,000 to $80,522,000, as a result of increased holdings of Gov­
ernment securities and acceptances purchased
in the open market. Reserve deposits of member
banks, which aggregated $68,846,000 last year,
rose to $75*065,000 at the middle of November
this year. The cash reserves of the Richmond
bank totaled $108,791,000 on November 15, 1926,
but declined to $74,024,000 on the corresponding
date this year, while the ratio of cash reserves
to note and deposit liabilities combined declined
during the year from 68.'86 per cent to 47.^2
per cent.

CONDITION OF SIXTY-SEVEN REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
ITEMS

Nov. 9, 1927

Oct. 12, 1927

Nov. 10, 1926

Total Loans and Discounts (including all
rediscounts) ...............................................
Total Investments in Bonds and Securities.J
Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve Bank
Cash in Vaults
..........................................
Demand Deposits .......................... .................
Time Deposits ...............................................
Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank.........

$522,774,000
172.603.000
44.159.000
15.213.000
394.648.000
248.866.000
13.171.000

$536,452,000
170.257.000
42.179.000
14.244.000
395.299.000
241.835.000
15.664.000

$520,344,000
135.185.000
42.612.000
14.688.000
386.855.000
208.972.000
16.570.000

The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition of sixty-seven regularly re­
porting member banks as of three dates, November 9, 1927, October 12, 1927, and November 10, 1926,
thus affording an opportunity for comparing the latest available figures with those of the corres­
ponding dates a month and a year earlier. It should be understood that the figures in the table
reflect conditions as of the report dates only, and are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures
that occurred during the interval between the dates.
During the month between October 12th and November 9th, both this year, a seasonal reduc­
tion of about normal proportions occurred in outstanding loans to customers of the sixty-seven re­
porting banks, rediscounts and loans held declining $13,678,000 between the two dates. The report­
ing banks increased their investments in bonds and securities by $2,346,000 and reduced their redis­
counts at the reserve bank by $2,493,000 during the same period. The reporting banks increased their
reserve deposits at the reserve bank by $1,980,000 and their cash in vaults by $969,000. Demand de­
posits naturally declined with the repayment of loans by their customers, but the decrease in de­
posits of $651,000 between October 12th and November 9th was very small, and in time deposits an
increase of $7,031,000 was reported.
Comparing the November 9, 1927, figures in the table with those reported for November 10, 1926,
a small increase of $2,430,000 in outstanding loans and discounts for customers during the year is
noted, while investments in bonds and securities rose $47,418,000. The reporting banks’ reserve bal­
ances at the Federal reserve bank rose $1,547,000 during the year, and cash in vaults gained $525,000.
Deposits rose $47,687,000 during the year, demand deposits rising $7,793,000 and time deposits $39,894,000. The stronger position of the reporting banks this year enabled them to reduce their bor­
rowing at the reserve bank by $3,399,000 between the middle of November last year and the corres­
ponding time this year.
DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
TOTAL DEBITS DURING THE FOUR WEEKS ENDED
CITIES

November 9, 1927

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......
WinstonnSalem, N. C.

$

District Totals .........

$1,343,270,000




25,940,000
413,677,000
28,126,000
35,419,000
57,516,000
22 ,866,000
9,290,000
15,246,000
40,105,000
26,861,000
33,228,000
10,030,000
23,926,000
17,531,000
8,407,000
74,517,000
22,785,000
151,153,000
26,803,000
16,986,000
217,079,000
20,895,000
44,884,000

2

October 12, 1927
$

36,870,000
407,623,000
29,456,000
37,644,000
56,596,000
21,451,000
8,482,000
9,770,000
34,934,000
24,368,000
26,948,000
10,003,000
22,376,000
21,757,000
9,246,000
65,351,000
21,255,000
140,814,000
29,398,000
14,174,000
228,282,000
20,874,000
47,768,000

$1,325,440,000

November 10, 1926
$

31,353,000
390,905,000
39,089,000
35,147,000
49.148.000
18.676.000
8,633,000
15,258,000
33,785,000
24,539,000
21,357,000
10,693,000
24,354,000
18,551,000
10,712,000
75,639,000
23,317,000
136,130,000
29,511,000
13,603,000
230,619,000
21,285,000
40,724,000

$1,303,028,000

Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts in clearing house banks in twenty-three lead­
ing trade centers of the Fifth reserve district totaled $1,343,270,000 during the four weeks ended
November 9th this year, an increase of $17,830,000 over the preceding four weeks ended October
12th, when debits aggregating $1,325,440,000 were reported. The earlier period contained a large
volume of quarterly payments on October 1st, and the occurrence of the Election day holiday dur­
ing the later period gave the earlier period an additional business day. In view of these facts, the
larger figures reported for the four weeks ended November 9th reflect a very satisfactory beginning
of fall business. Fifteen of the twenty-three cities reported higher figures for the more recent pe­
riod.
In comparison with the four weeks ended November 10, 1926, when debits totaling $1,303,028,000
were reported, the aggregate of $1,343,270,000 reported for the corrpesonding period ended Novem­
ber 9th this year shows an increase of $40,242,000, but a majority of the cities declined during the
1927 period. Eleven cities reported higher 1927 figures while twelve cities reported lower figures,
but the increases wrere larger than the decreases, resulting in the district gain. Most of the cities
in the Carolinas reported substantial gains this year, probably due to higher cotton prices, a larger
tobacco crop, and increased activity of textile mills.
SAVINGS DEPOSITS—Total deposits in thirteen mutual savings banks in Baltimore at the end
of October this year totaled $172,642,769, compared with $169,873,170 on deposit at the end of Sep­
tember this year and $157,786,271 at the end of October 1926. On November 9, 1927, sixty-seven
regularly reporting member banks in leading cities of the Fifth reserve district had time deposits ag­
gregating $248,866,000, compared with $241,835,000 on October 12th this year and $208,972,000 on
November 10th last year.
BUSINESS FAILURES— According to Duns Review of November 5th, “ The number of commer­
cial failures in the United States invariably rises during the late months of a year, and the October
total of 1,787 insolvencies is about 1 3 ^ per cent above that for September, when, however, there
were fewer business days. The present aggregate also is the highest reported, since last June, and
defaults in each month this year have shown an increase over those for the corresponding periods
of 1926. The comparison with the 1,763 insolvencies of October of last year is quite close, but last
month’s liabilities of about $36,236,000 are considerably in excess of the $33,231,000 of October 1926.
For ten months of the current year failures have numbered 19,120, which is materially above the 17,874 defaults of the same period of 1926, and the present year’s indebtedness of $432,895,442 contrasts
with $330,929,000 in the ten months of the earlier year.”
Contrary to seasonal trends, business failures in the Fifth district did not increase in October
over September ,and liabilities involved in October failures were the lowest for any month since Sep­
tember 1926. Insolvencies in the district last month numbered 104, compared with 104 in September
and 127 in October last year, while October liabilities totaling $1,761,672 compared with $3,740,473
in September and $3,394,205 in October 1926.
LABOR— With the approach of winter, unemployment in the Fifth reserve district has spread
and there are more idle workers at present than there have been at any other time for several years.
Some of the larger cities, to which workers from smaller centers go when work slackens at home,
have a distinct labor problem. A number of industrial plants in the district are closed entirely or are
using only a part of their normal quota of workmen. Textile mills are busy and tobacco factories
are running full time, but practically all other industries in the district are operating on restricted
schedules. Throughout the Fifth district as a whole a much smaller volume of construction work
is under way than was the case a year ago. Employment conditions appear to be worse in the upper
half of the district, labor being better employed in the Carolinas than in Virginia and Maryland.
COAL—The total production of bituminous coal in October amounted to 44,000,000 net tons,
as against 41,928,000 tons in September this year and 54,127,000 tons in October 1926, according to
the November 19th report of the Bureau of Mines, Department of Commerce. The average daily
rate of production in October was 1,692,000 tons, an increase of 2.5 per cent over the September rate.
West Virginia continued to lead all states in total production. Lessened activity in the steel, auto­
mobile and other industries during recent weeks kept coal consumption figures below the seasonal
average, and on October 1st reserve stocks of soft coal were only 1,500,000 tons below the Ju ly 1st
figure. Retail coal prices continue relatively low in comparison with prices in other strike years,
and coal yards have adequate stocks to fill all orders promptly. The mild fall weather has retarded
the retail coal trade.
TEXTILES—Textile mills in the Fifth reserve district continued full time operations during Oc­
tober, and consumed 260,114 bales of cotton, but all three states used less cotton than in September.
North Carolina mills consumed 141,940 bales last month, South Carolina mills 106,681 bales, and V ir­
ginia mills 11,493 bales. In October last year the Fifth district mills consumed 236,566 bales. Un­
certainties as to this year’s cotton crop have reduced the volume of forward orders at the mills, but



3

practically no manufactured goods have accumulated. The mills expect the amount of forward buy­
ing- to increase as soon as the December ginning report is issued, unless it shows unexpectedly large
figures. The gradual shift of textile mills from New England to the South continues, a large corpo­
ration owning plants in both sections having recently closed its Northern properties and let contracts
for extensive additions to its South Carolina holdings.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF OCTOBER 1927 AND 1926.
Permits Issued
CITIES

z

New

298

22

7
4 Hagerstown, Md— 28
16
5 Danville Va.........
16
6 Lynchburg, Va....
85
7 Norfolk, Va..........
5
8 Petersburg, Va.....
9 Richmond, Va...... 105
61
10 Roanoke, Va........
11 Bluefield, W. Va...
17
12 Charleston, W. Va.
50
31
13 Clarksburg, W. Va
14 Huntington, W.Va.
53
15 Parkersburg,W.Va
27
25
16 Asheville, N. C.....
58
17 Charlotte, N. C....
60
18 Durham, N. C......
60
19 Greensboro, N. C.
42
20 High Point, N. C...
31
21 Raleigh, N. C.......
15
22 Salisbury, N. C....
9
23 Wilmington, N. C.
97
24 Winston-Salem, N. C.
16
25 Charleston, S. C ...
19
26 Columbia, S. C.....
10
27 Greenville, S. C ....
35
28 Spartanburg, S. C.
29 Washington, D. C. 180

Alterations

Repairs

1927 1926

1 Baltimore, Md.....
2 Cumberland, Md...
3 Frederick, Md.....

New Construction

506
35

10
20
12
22
102

4
115

86

16
52
17
57
39
25
71
49

66

59
44
16

21

99
16
17

10

29
309

1927

1926

740 1,228 $
4
5

0
10

14
27
97
7
77
49
7

8
6

4
4
49
31
4
87
9

10
12
11

94
26
49
27
17
422

1926

1927

0

5
7
40

68

9
87
34
4
14
9

1

4
54
17
9
41

12

15
13
5
54
30
44
28
14
527

815,800 $ 2,417,040
25,338
55,247
43,050
39,100
551,320
31,720
47,078
103,830
35,881
20,145
181,710
159,248
15,035
13,700
635,619
405,594
139,432
252,855
43,080
33,115
103,048
118,995
77,620
13,420
99,056
191,670
71,100
150,285
176,260
268,500
339,325
778,446
289,840
382,100
299,210
382,685
137,200
191,910
247,185
184,275
53,540
48,575
23,200
377,150
303,250
252,275
25,060
28,085
77,800
63,325
57,200
55,000
82,285
68,500
1,907,885
3,632,160

Totals......... 1,478 1,924 1,902 2,378 $ 6,903,407 $10,718,950

1926

1927
$ 185,000 $
805

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

29,175
364,445
6,050
96,487
2,840
5,685
4,100
20,700
39,598
17,685
12,750
9,615
3,710
364,795

701,520 $—2,117,760 — 67.9%
1,242 — 30,346 — 53.7
3,950
0
10.1
523,850 1,559.2
1,875
3,535 — 57,172 — 53.3
22,376
81,531 191.7
62,664
36,833
32.0
18,535 — 11,650 — 36.1
62,069
226,803
48.5
13,528 — 91,282 — 34.3
11,320
620
33.6
9,541
7,325
7.6
1,400
65,050 438.9
2,500 — 91,664 — 47.2
1,500 — 79,685 — 52.5
29,765 — 92,830 — 31.1
26,280 — 100,956 — 12.5
391,775 — 477,985 — 61.8
6,763 — 1.7
19,775 —
10,350 — 62,220 — 30.8
30,555
38,040
13.7
193 — 0.3
9,258 —
9,000 — 342,250 — 88.6
75,605
14,968
4.6
3,580 — 7.7
18,240 —
14,615
12,610
19.2
6,725
5,090
8.2
14,735
2,760
20.7
343,055 —1,702,535 — 42.8

$1,479,440

1
2

$1,868,096 —$ 4,204,199 — 33.4%

0

6,125
3,115
88,171
77,035
5,550
58,847
35,669
1,975
32,813
2,250
3,450

1,000

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

— 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.

Building permits providing for new construction issued in twenty-nine Fifth district cities dur­
ing October were the lowest in number for any month since January 1925, and the estirhated valua­
tion for new work last month was the lowest reported for any month since February 1922. October
witnessed 1,478 permits for new work, valued at $6,903,407, compared with 1,924 permits issued for
similar work in October 1926, with estimated valuation of $10,718,950. Alterations and repair per­
mits issued last month numbered 1,902, valued at $1,479,440, compared with 2,378 permits and a valu­
ation of $1,868,096 in October last year. Combined valuation figures for all classes of work totaled
$8,382,847 in October 1927 and $12,587,046 in October a year ago, a decline during the 1927 month of
$4,204,199, or 33.4 percent. Among the larger cities Norfolk, Richmond and Winston-Salem report­
ed higher aggregate figures last month in comparison with the corresponding month last year, but
Baltimore, Charlotte and Washington reported lower figures this year. Thirteen of the twenty-nine
cities reported higher valuation figures for October 1927 than for October 1926, but only ten cities re­
ported a larger number of permits.
Building contracts awarded in the Fifth district in October totaled $29,552,455, including both
urban and rural construction. Of this amount, $10,267,845 was for residential work, according to
statistics collected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation.
COTTON—In our Review last month we quoted weekly average prices paid to growers for spot
cotton on the Carolina markets through October 8th, when the price was 20.86 cents per pound.
From that figure the price gradually declined to 20.19 cents during the week ended October 22nd,
and then rose again to an average of 20.61 cents on November 5th. Favorable weather for late cot­
ton and the unexpectedly high figures of the Department of Agriculture’s condition report of No­
vember 9th lowered the average price to 20.16 cents per pound during the week ended November
12th, the latest period for which quotations are available.



4

The Department of Agriculture’s fourth cotton condition report on the 1927 crop estimated this
year’s probable yield at 12,842,000 bales, based 011 the November 1st condition. This compares with
12.678.000 bales indicated on October 1st, and final ginnings of 17,977,374 bales in 1926. The No­
vember 1st estimate showing an increase of 164,000 bales over the October 1st estimate was higher
than the trade expected and cotton prices declined nearly a cent a pound.
The Bureau of the Census ginning report to November 1st showed 9,925,759 bales ginned prior
to that date this year, compared with 11,253,873 bales ginned to the same date in 1926 and 11,207,197
bales ginned before November 1st in 1925.
Cotton consumption in American mills in October totaled 612,935 bales, according to the report
of the Bureau of the Census made public on November 14th. This figure shows a slight decline from
627,321 bales consumed during the month of September this year, but is approximately 8 per cent
above 568,361 bales consumed in October 1926. Total consumption during the three months of the
present cotton year amounted to 1,873,690 bales, compared with 1,639,184 bales consumed during the
three months ended October 31, 1926. Cotton on hand at manufacturing establishments on October
31st this year totaled 1,327,095 bales, compared with 1,118,776 bales held on September 30th this year
and 1,213,199 bales held on October 31st last year. Bales in public warehouses and compresses num­
bered 5,433,129 at the end of October, 3,964,680 at the end of September, and 5,471,533 on October
31, 1926. Exports of cotton totaled 1,126,509 bales in October, compared with 631,041 bales sent
abroad in September this year and 1,369,820 bales in October 1926. Imports last month totaled 19,235 bales, compared with 28,346 bales imported in September this year and 30,877 bales in October
last year. Consumption of cotton in the growing states totaled 449,040 bales in October, compared
with 404,196 bales used in October last year. Last month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
amounted to 73.26 per cent of National consumption, compared with 71.12 per cent of National con­
sumption used in the cotton growing states in October last year.
Estimates of probable yields of cotton this year were reduced during October for South Caro­
lina and Virginia, but the prospects for North Carolina remained unchanged. A South Carolina crop
of 730,000 bales is indicated by the November 1st condition. The October 1st estimate was. 750,000
bales and the decline in prospective production was due to a poorer outturn in the northern part of
the State than was expected a month earlier. North Carolina’s crop is expected to yield 845,000 bales
this year. The Virginia cotton crop is estimated to be 34,000 bales, compared with 37,000 bales pre­
dicted on the October 1st condition. Weather conditions during the latter, half of October and the
first part of November were excellent for maturing late bolls and for gathering the open cotton.
The dry weather of October kept down rotting of weevil punctured bolls, and also enabled the growers
to pick most of the crop without discoloration of the lint. In view of the higher prices prevailing
this year, the 1927 cotton crop will be much more profitable to the growers than the 1926 crop, in
spite of the reduced yield.
TOBACCO—SOUTH CAROLINA tobacco has been sold for approximately two million dollars
more than the 1926 crop. This year’s production of 74,463,000 pounds compares favorably with 57,510.000 pounds grown in 1926 and a five-year average production of 60,600,000 pounds. The quality
of this year’s crop was 77 per cent, compared with a ten-year average of 72 per cent.
NORTH CAROLINA has the largest tobacco crop in the history of the State, the November
1st forecast being 437,488,000 pounds. The weather during the growing season wras unusually fav­
orable, and this resulted in a crop of good color and fair body or quality. Prices during September
were considered very low, and there was much complaint from growers, but October prices were
decidedly better. The auction markets in North Carolina sold 133,620,441 pounds of producers’ to­
bacco during October, for an average of $22.81 per hundred pounds, compared with 107,403,917
pounds sold in October 1926, at an average price of $26.73 Per hundred. Wilson led in October sales
with 23,421,694 pounds, Greenville ranking second with 18,422,626 pounds. Washington led in price,
selling 1,674,044 pounds for an average of $27.52 per hundred pounds.
V IRG IN IA auction markets sold 26,058,685 pounds of growers’ tobacco during October, com­
pared with 19,619,457 pounds sold in October 1926. Last month’s prices averaged $19.25 per hundred
pounds, compared with $24.51 last year. The quality of the crop varies considerably in the differ­
ent markets, and some relatively wide differences in prices were reported. Practically all tobacco
sold in October was of the flue-cured, or Bright, type, the fire-cured markets not opening until No­
vember 1st. Virginia’s total production of tobacco this year is expected to be 125,457,000 pounds,
compared with 137,032,000 pounds harvested in 1926.
AGRICULTURAL NOTES—M ARYLAN D crops benefitted by the absence of damaging frosts
and freezes in October, and on November 1st the composite condition of all crops was 107.3 Per cent
of average conditions during the past ten years. Corn cured much better than had been expected,
and the estimated yield of 21,566,000 bushels compares fairly well with the five-year average of 22,845.000 bushels. The white potato yield this year was 5,490,000 bushels, compared with the five-year
average of 3,740,000 bushels, and the sweet potato crop of 1,728,000 bushels compared with 1,359,000
bushels the five-year average. A tobacco yield of 25,685,000 pounds was also above the five-year



5

average production of 23,875,000 pounds. On the other hand, apples and other fruits yielded much smaller
crops this year than the five-year average, but on the whole the prices received were good. Winter
wheat1 has come up in exceptionally good condition in most of Maryland and had ideal weather in
which to get started.
V IR G IN IA crops improved during October, and on November ist averaged 106.9 Per cent of av­
erage conditions for the past ten years. The total production of corn, white potatoes, sweet potatoes
and hay will be larger than last year, while the production of cotton, tobacco, wheat ,and fruits will
be less. Improved prices for cotton and fruits, and for live stock,; is expected to hold up the farm
income to the 1926 level. The corn crop in Virginia matured much later than usual, but the crop is
yielding better than last year in nearly1 all parts of the State. Production this year is estimated at
48,140,000 bushels, compared with 46,585,000 bushels last year. Late potatoes yielded better than-had
been expected, and production for 1927 is estimated at 19,650,000 bushels, compared with 11,658,000
bushels dug in 1926. Favorable growing conditions during October permitted the sweet potato crop
to remain in the ground longer than usual. Production is estimated to be 5,670,000 bushels, compared
with 5,375,°°o bushels in 1926, but this year’s prices are low. The peanut crop was unusually late
this season, but the yield is expected to be about 133,760,000 pounds, compared with 131,100,000
pounds last year. The Virginia commercial apple crop of 1,300,000 barrels compares quite unfavor­
ably with 3,700,000 barrels gathered in 1926, but prices are better this year and in many of the com­
mercial sections the growers will receive larger returns than last year. The fruit is not as high
grade this year as last, but the fruit is sound and will probably keep well. Practically every apple has
been sold this year, while a year ago many were left in the orchards or fed to livestock.
NORTH CAROLINA crops this year promise to average unusually well in production and prices
are fairly satisfactory. The few crops that are making yields below the average are cotton, apples
and most fruits. The gross value of crops will probably be ahead of last year. With a production
of 52,380,000 bushels, North Carolina has the best corn crop for many years, except 1923 when the
yield was the same. A sweet potato crop of 9,718,000 bushels shows a decided increase over the fiveyear average. The quality of potatoes is also extra good. The growing conditions were almost
ideal throughout the season, following an unfavorable planting period.
SOUTH CAROLINA crop yields, with the exception of cotton,are all above the ten-year aver­
age. Judging from reported yields per acre, 1927 has been the best year since 1920 for all crops
except cotton. A corn crop of approximately 25,000,000 bushels is 3,000,000 bushels more than the
1926 crop. A sweet potato yield of about 5,500,000 bushels compares with a crop of 4,160,000 bushels
last year. The year’s white potato crop is given as 2,975,000 bushels, compared with 3,219,000 bushels
last year. The peanut crop of 11,250,000 pounds far exceeds 6,500,000 pounds harvested in 1926.
W EST V IR G IN IA agricultural returns are somewhat belowr those of 1926. The production of
all fruits is far below that of last year, and corn, wheat, oats, rye, tobacco and sorghum show de­
creased yields. A few crops show larger yields this year, but not enough to offset the decreases.
WHOLESALE TRADE, OCTOBER 1927
Percentage increase in October 1927 sales, compared with sales in October 1926:
32 Groceries
12 Dry Goods
5 Shoes
16 Hardware
5 Furniture
13 Drugs
— 4.8
— 10.5
.7
— 3.0
— 18.0
2.7
Percentage increase in October 1927 sales, compared with sales in September 1927:
.05
— 20.4
— 18.3
— 4.2.
— 7.0
— 2.4
Percentage increase in total sales since Jan. 1, 1927, compared with sales in the first ten months of 1926:
— 5.5
— 1.3
3.1
3.5
— 6.3
— .6
Percentage increase in stock on October 31, 1927, compared with stock on October 31, 1926:
1.2(12*)
9.6(4*)
— 16.5(4*)
— 6.4(8*)
Percentage increase in stock on October 31, 1927, compared with stock on September 30, 1927:
10.3(11*)
— 2.3(4*)
_ 4 .6 (4 * )
— 1.1(8*)
Percentage of collections in October to total accounts receivable on October 1, 1927:
_______ 66.3(19*)__________ 34.5(8*)___________ 36.4(5*)___________ 39.0(12*)
31.2(3*)
54.2(8*)
— Denotes decreased percentage.

* Number of reporting firms.

Wholesale trade reports from 83 firms in 6 lines showed slightly larger sales in October than in
October last year in shoes and drugs, but grocery, dry goods, hardware and furniture sales decreased
during the 1927 month. The furniture business experienced the greatest decline, being adversely
affected by current interest in electric refrigerators, radio, and other relatively novel household de­
vices. Grocery sales in October were a very small fraction of 1 per cent above September sales, but
the other five lines showed lower totals for the later month.
In cumulative sales since January 1st,
sales in shoes and hardware were ahead of sales during the first ten months of 1926, but grocery,
dry goods, furniture and drug sales ran behind those of last year.
Stocks reported by wholesale grocers were larger on October 31st than on September 30th this



year, but dry goods, shoe and hardware stocks decreased moderately during the month. Grocery and
dry goods firms reported larger stocks on October 31st than a year ago, but shoe and hardware jobbers reported smaller stocks.
Collections improved during October, the percentage of collections to receivables as of October
1st being higher in every line except drugs than the corresponding percentages for September. The
October 1927 percentages were also higher than those of October last year in all lines except fur­
niture and drugs.
FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE

As Indicated By Reports from Twenty-Nine Representative Department Stores for the Month of October 1927
Percentage increase in October 1927 sales, compared with sales in October 1926:
Baltimore
Richmond
Washington
Other Cities
District
— 5.2
— 5.3
.04
— 6.9
— 3.4
Percentage increase in total sales since January 1st, over sales during the first ten months of 1926:
— 3.2
2.2
— 1.0
— 1.2
— 1.6
Percentage increase in October 1927 sales over average October sales during the three years 1923-1925:
— 1.4
3.6
3.7
— 5.9
.5
Percentage increase in stock on hand October 31, 1927, over stock on October 31, 1926:
— 4.7
— .7
3.6
7.7
.2
Percentage increase in stock on hand October 31, 1927, over stock on September 30, 1927:
9.3
7.4
13.4
11.2
10.9
Percentage of sales in October 1927 to average stock carried during that month:
31.3
28.5
31.0
21.1
29.6
Percentage of total sales since January 1st to average stock carried during each of the ten elapsed months:
251.2
263.3
264.2
205.9
251.6
Percentage of outstanding orders on October 31st to total purchases of goods in 1926:
5.9
6.8
5.7
5.0
5.9
Percentage of collections in October 1927 to total accounts receivable on October 1st:
24.9
29.4
30.1
34.1
27.8
— Denotes decreased percentage.

Retail sales in October in the Fifth reserve district, as reflected by sales of twenty-nine leading
department stores, increased less than the usual amount over September, and averaged 3.4 per cent
below sales in October 1926. Mild weather last month delayed fall buying to a considerable extent,
and unsatisfactory employment conditions in some of the cities further handicapped the merchants.
Cumulative sales since January 1st averaged 1.6 per cent below sales during the first ten months of
1926. Compared with average October sales during the three years 1923-1925, sales in October
this year showed an increase of 5/ioths of 1 per cent.
Stocks on the shelves in the reporting stores rose seasonally during October with the receipt of
some holiday goods, and at the end of the month averaged practically the same as on October 31,
1926. October 31, 1927, stocks were 2/ioths of 1 per cent larger than stocks a year ago and 10.9 per
cent larger than a month earlier.
The rate of turnover increased seasonally in October. The percentage of sales in October to
average stock carried that month was 29.6 per cent, and the percentage of total sales since January
1st to average stocks carried during each of the ten months was 251.6 per cent, indicating an annual
rate of turnover of 3.02 times.
Collections in October totaled 27.8 per cent of receivables outstanding on the first of the month, a higher
figure than either 234 per cent attained in September 1927 or 27.7 per cent in October last year.




(Compiled November 21, 1927)

7

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

Industry and trade were less active in October than in the preceding month and were in smaller volume
than a year ago. The general level of wholesale commodity prices showed a further slight advance.
PRODUCTION. Production of manufactures declined in October, contrary to the usual seasonal
tendency, while the output of minerals remained in practically the same volume as in September. In Oc­
tober and November activity of iron and steel mills and of automobile plants was smaller than at any pre­
vious period of the year. There were also decreases during October in cotton consumption and in the pro­
duction of building materials, crude petroleum, and boots and shoes. The output of bituminous coal and
the number of hogs and cattle slaughtered increased by less than the usual seasonal amount. Production of
flour, copper and anthracite coal showed increases in October. Building contracts awarded increased con­
siderably owing to unusually large! awards in New York and Chicago in the last week of the month. The in­
creases were largest in contracts for residential and commercial buildings. Unusually favorable weather
during October in agricultural states resulted in increased yields for late fall crops. The indicated pro­
duction of corn, according to the November crop report of the Department of Agriculture, was placed as
2.753.000,° ° ° bushels, an increase of 150,000,000 bushels over the estimate of the previous month and
106.000.000 bushels over the yield a year ago. Larger yields, as compared with the previous month’s esti­
mates, were also indicated for cotton, tobacco and potatoes.
TRADE. Trade at wholesale and retail showed less than the usual seasonal increase in October. Com­
pared with October a year ago, wholesale trade in all leading lines except meats and drugs was smaller.
Department store sales were approximately 3 per cent smaller than in October 1926, while sales of mail
order houses and chain stores were somewhat larger. Inventories of merchandise carried by wholesale
firms were smaller in all reporting lines at the end of the month than in September. Compared with a year
ago, stocks were smaller in all lines except drugs. Stocks of department stores increased in October in an­
ticipation of the growth in sales that usually occurs in November and December, but at the end of the
month they were no larger than a year ago. Freight car loadings declined in October and the first part of
November, and were smaller than in the corresponding period of last year for all classes of freight except
grain and grain products.
PRICES. Wholesale commodity prices increased slightly in October, continuing the advance which be­
gan early in the summer, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics index for October was higher than for any pre­
vious month of this year. The advance in the average for all commodities from September to October
reflected increases in the prices of livestock, meats, and dairy products. Prices of corn, cotton, coal, metals,
paint materials and automobile tires, on the other hand, declined. During the first three weeks in No­
vember there were increases in the prices of grains, cattle, copper, hides and rubber, and decreases in hogs,
cotton, silk, coal, petroleum, and iron and steel.
BANK CREDIT. Total loans and investments of member banks in leading cities increased by nearly
$300,000,000 during the latter part of October and the first half of November and on November 16th were
the highest ever reported. Investments increased by more than $200,000,000, reflecting in large part pur­
chases of Treasury Certificates issued on November 15th, and loans 011 securities increased by about $125,000,000. Loans chiefly for commercial and agricultural purposes declined during the period from the sea­
son’s peak reached early in October. There was a continued increase in the demand for reserve bank credit
between October 19th and November 23rd, arising chiefly out of further exports of gold. Discounts for
member banks declined somewhat, while acceptances and holdings of United States Government securities
increased. Conditions in the money market remained moderately easy in November. Call loan rates re­
mained at the level reached in the latter part of October, and rates on prime commercial paper and bankers’
acceptances were unchanged.
Note. The occurrence of the Thanksgiving holiday and a Sunday in the last week of a short month made it advisable
to omit the usual charts this month rather than delay the printing and distribution of the Monthly Review.




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