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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

NOVEMBER 30, 1932

H ERE were seasonal increases
in October was about in line with
in trade in some lines in Octo­
the record of other recent months,
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
ber and the first half of Novem­
but was worse than the National
*
ber, and there were also evidences
record for th at particular month.
of improved basic conditions in the
There was no improvement in em­
Fifth Federal reserve district. In
ployment conditions in the district
banking, developments indicated
last month, but rather some sea­
sonal increase in the number of un­
that some money has returned to
circulation from hoards. First, de­
employed.
Coal production in­
mand deposits in reporting member
creased seasonally in October, but
was less than production in Octo­
banks increased between the mid­
dle of October and the middle of
ber last year. In the textile field,
November, in spite of a decline in
mills continued operations on full
day-light shifts, and this activity,
loans during the same period. F ur­
with increased payrolls for textile
ther, the actual circulation of Fed­
workers, has been reflected in im­
eral reserve notes of the Richmond
proved trade in mill centers. Cot­
bank declined last month, while or­
dinarily circulation rises several millions of dollars ton prices were somewhat lower between midin late October and early November. Since other October and mid-November than in the preceding
indicators show a seasonal expansion in trade, with month, but cotton consumption in the United
a resultant need for more money with which to States in October exceeded consumption in Octo­
transact business, the increased deposits and de­ ber last year, and cotton exports also were larger
creased circulation show that additional funds are than in 1931. Tobacco manufacturing declined in
coming into trade channels from sources outside October in comparison with the same month a year
the banks. Rediscounts for member banks at ago. Auction tobacco markets in the Fifth dis­
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond declined trict sold much less tobacco last month than they
slightly last month, liquidation of agricultural sold in October last year, and this year’s prices,
loans in country banks exceeding the needs for while somewhat higher than those of 1931, were
commercial credit at city banks. Savings deposits low in view of the short crop of tobacco this y e a r;
in mutual savings banks increased in October, and the continuation of low prices for tobacco being
time deposits in reporting member banks remained due to the carry-over from the 1931 and earlier
practically unchanged. Debits to individual ac­ crops. In the face of such a condition, it will re­
counts figures during four weeks ended November quire more than one short crop, or increased con­
9 showed a seasonal decrease in comparison with sumption, to raise tobacco prices materially.
debits in the preceding four weeks, ended October Retail trade as reflected in department store busi­
12, but the decline was less than occurs in most ness increased in October over September, but by
years. In comparison with debits in four weeks less than the seasonal amount. However, part of
ended November 11 last year, debits in the cor­ this relatively small increase last month was due
responding period this year were only 18 per cent to large sales in September. Wholesale trade in
less, in spite of a lower level of general business October compared fairly well with trade in Oc­
activity this year, lower price levels in many lines, tober 1931, in view of many price changes during
and the adverse influence of the new tax on checks. the year, and for the second successive month shoe
The commercial failure record of the Fifth disrict jobbers reported larger sales than in the corre­

T




MONTHLY REVIEW

2

sponding month of the preceding year. Crops for
1932 are practically made and harvested, and on
the whole yields in the Fifth district were lower
than yields in 1931, partly due to acreage reduc­
tion in some crops and drought conditions in the
district during much of the growing season. Farm ­
ers in many instances raised more feed and food
stuffs than last year, and this year’s crops were
made very cheaply, but total farm cash income
promises to be even less this year than last, in
spite of somewhat better prices for cotton, to ­
bacco, and some other crops.

Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

Nov. 15
1932

000 omitted
Oct. 15 Nov. 15
1932
1931

Rediscounts held .................... $ 18,310 $ 20,251 $ 41,042
2,157
1,945
16,150
Open market paper------------47,133
47,133
27,406
Government securities ---------700
0
0
Other earning assets-----------67,388
69,541
85,298
Total earning assets---------Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 100,889 102,961 101,770
50,029
54,251
49,006
Members* reserve deposits-----86,607
99,216
93,727
Cash reserves_____________
60.22
52.28
61.00
Reserve ratio --------------------

Rediscounts for member banks held by the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond declined by $1,$942,000 between October IS and November 15,
both this year, and the portfolio of open market
paper declined by $212,000. Agricultural liquida­
tion slightly exceeded commercial borrowing at
the member banks during the month, accounting
for the decline in rediscounts at the reserve bank.
There was no change in the bank’s holdings of
Government securities last month, but the reduc­
tions in rediscounts and in open m arket paper low­
ered the total earning assets of the Richmond bank
by $2,153,000. The most interesting change in the
statement is in the volume of Federal reserve notes
in circulation, a decrease of $2,072,000 occurring
at a season when circulation is expected to in­
crease several millions of dollars. The decline
probably indicates the return of money to trade
channels from hoarding in sufficient amount to
provide for increased needs for money on account
of fall trade. Member bank reserve deposits de­
clined $1,023,000 between the middle of October
and the middle of November, little more than a
daily fluctuation. The several changes previously
mentioned, with others of less importance, low­
ered the cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond by $5,489,000 last month, and reduced
the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit lia­
bilities combined by a fraction of a point.
A comparison of the November 15, 1932, figures
in the statem ent of the Richmond reserve bank
with those of November 15, 1931, shows the same
material differences recorded in other recent
months. Rediscounts for member banks held by
the reserve bank decreased $22,732,000 during the
year and the portfolio of open m arket paper de­




clined $14,205,000, but holdings of Government se­
curities rose $19,727,000. These changes resulted
in a net increase of $17,910,000 in total earning
assets during the year. The volume of Federal
reserve notes in actual circulation decreased $881,000 between November 15 last year and this, No­
vember 15, 1932, being the first mid-month date
in a year which showed lower circulation figures
than the corresponding date of the preceding year.
Since the fall of 1931 circulation has been excep­
tionally high as a result of hoarding, but it appears
that during October and November much money
was returned to circulation. Member bank reserve
deposits decreased $5,245,000 during the year, due
in part to lower deposits against which reserves
are carried and in part to a reduction in the num­
ber of member banks. Cash reserves of the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond rose $7,120,000
between November 15, 1931, and November 15,
1932, and the ratio of cash reserves to note and
deposit liabilities combined rose 7.94 points.

Member Bank Statement
ITEMS

Nov. 9
1932

000 omitted
Oct. 12 Nov. 11
1932
1931

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) _____ $118,178 | $119,114 $144,155
All other loans------------------- 194,787 197,151 242,076
312,965 316,265 386,231
Total loans and discounts---Investments in stocks & bonds.. 273,902 267,990 238,068
37,234
32,444
35,757
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank....
17,551
Cash «i vaults_______ ____
13,066
13,631
287,145 273,115 316,054
Demand deposits __________
231,072 231,184 238,204
Time deposits_____________
18,306
5,735
4,533
Borrowed from F. R. Bank......

The accompanying table shows the principal
items of condition of forty-nine regularly report­
ing member banks in the Fifth reserve district as
of three dates, thus affording an opportunity for
comparison of the latest available figures with
those of the corresponding dates a month and a
year earlier. It should be understood that the fig­
ures in the table reflect conditions as of the report
dates only, and are not necessarily the highest or
lowest figures th at occurred during the interval
between the dates.
Total loans and discounts declined $3,300,000 be­
tween October 12 and November 9 this year, loans
on securities decreasing $936,000 and all other loans
dropping $2,364,000. On the other hand, the re­
porting banks increased their investments in stocks
and bonds by $5,912,000 last month, and their ag­
gregate reserve balance at the reserve bank rose
by $3,313,000. Cash in vaults rose $565,000 during
the same period. Demand deposits increased $14,030,000 between October 12 and November 9, but
time deposits decreased slightly, by $112,000. The
forty-nine banks increased their borrowing at the
Federal reserve bank by $1,202,000 during the
month under review, and on November 9 sixteen
of the number were rediscounting, the same num­

MONTHLY REVIEW
ber as on October 12.
During the year between November 11, 1931, and
November 9, 1932, total loans in the reporting
member banks decreased $73,266,000, of which
$25,977,000 was in loans on securities and $47,289,000 was in all other loans. Investments in
securities rose $35,834,000 during the year, but
reserve balance with the reserve bank dropped
$1,477,000, cash in vaults declined $3,920,000, and
aggregate deposits decreased $36,041,000, demand
deposits dropping $28,909,000 and time deposits
$7,132,000. On November 9, 1932, aggregate bor­
rowings at the reserve bank by sixteen of the forty-nine reporting banks lacked $12,571,000 of
equaling the amount borrowed by thirty of the
same banks on November 11, 1931.

Time and Shavings Deposits
Time deposits in forty-nine reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in twelve mutual
savings banks in Baltimore totaled $438,683,140 at
the end of October 1932, a higher figure than $437,821,661 reported at the end of September this year,
but materially less than the total of $451,914,081
at the end of October 1931. Savings deposits in­
creased in mutual savings banks last month, but
time deposits declined slightly in reporting mem­
ber banks, the decline being due to the transfer
of Christmas Savings funds from time to demand
deposits early in November.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Nov. 9, I Oct. 12,
Nov. 11,
1932
!
1932
1931

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...............
Portsmouth, Va..........
Raleigh, N. C______
Richmond, V a ._____
Roanoke, Va.............
Spartanburg, S. C.....
Washington, D. C.
Wilmington, N. C,
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 6,740
243,313
9,553
25,009
31,871
10,948
4,778
5,090
17,820
12,203
10,983
4,942
9,054
11,074
5,688
30,364
2,739
14,617
104,905
17,652
5,345
164,967
6,651
21,887

$ 7,460
272,228
10,591
23,608
31,913
12,467
4,905
4,630
16,087
10,315
9,777
5,334
8,684
11,941
5,980
30,974
2,796
12,038
103,972
17,423
4,801
179,983
7,187
22,381

$ 10,160
295,590
11,562
32,651
34,734
18,127
6,865
7,877
22,790
15,815
13,951
5,923
12,659
13,849
9,008
38,859
3,732
20,033
110,202
22,182
8,520
199,433
10,230
27,858

Fifth District Totals

$778,193

$817,475

$952,610

The debits to individual, firm and corporation
accounts figures shown in the accompanying table
for three equal periods of four weeks include all




3

checks drawn against depositors’ accounts in the
banks of twenty-four leading trade centers of the
Fifth Federal reserve district.
A comparison of the total of $778,193,000 in
debits reported for the four weeks ended Novem­
ber 9, 1932, with the total reported for the pre­
ceding four weeks, ended October 12 this year,
shows a decrease of $39,282,000, or 4.8 per cent.
A decline during the more recent period is seaj sonal, due to heavy payments of dividends and
! interest on October 1, but the decrease this year
| was somewhat less than normally occurs. Ten of
i the twenty-four cities reported higher figures for
| the more recent four weeks, while last year only
I five cities reported higher figures in a comparison
| of the corresponding two periods.
| In comparison with total debits reported for the
j four weeks ended November 11, 1931, those re! ported for the corresponding period ended Novem­
ber 9, 1932, showed a decrease of $174,417,000, or
18.3 per cent. Every one of the tw enty-four re­
porting cities showed lower debits figures in the
1932 period than in the like period in 1931, due
chiefly to lower price levels in many lines this year,
to a generally lower level of business activity, and
to the influence of the tax on checks which has
materially lessened the use of checks in trade.

Commercial Failures
The commercial failure record in the Fifth Fed­
eral reserve district in October 1932 was worse
than the record for the United States as a whole.
Last month witnessed 119 insolvencies in the Fifth
district, with aggregate liabilities totaling $1,933,670, compared with 150 insolvencies and lia­
bilities totaling $2,638,430 in*the shorter month of
September this year and 92 insolvencies and $1,365,124 in liabilities in October 1931. The district
therefore shows an increase of 29 per cent in num­
ber of failures and a rise of 42 per cent in liabilities
involved in October 1932 in comparison with Oc­
tober 1931. On the other hand, there were 2,273
failures in the United States in October, with lia­
bilities totaling $52,869,974, compared with 2,362
failures and $70,660,436 in liabilities in October last
year, decreases last month of 4 per cent in number
of insolvencies and of 25 per cent in aggregate
liabilities. In the United States, seven of the
twelve reserve districts reported fewer failures in
October 1932 than in October 1931, and nine of
the twelve districts reported lower aggregate lia­
bilities.

Employment
Some seasonal additions to unemployment in
October and early November probably more than
offset additional work provided by a few industrial
plants and mines in the Fifth district, and there­
fore the general situation is certainly no better
and is probably somewhat worse than a month
ago. The conditions of unemployed people of

MONTHLY REVIEW

4

course becomes worse as their period of idleness
lengthens, due to the consumption of savings and
the accumulation of debts. Many of the Fifth dis­
trict’s industries are giving practically all their
employees at least part time work, but there is
relatively little construction work under way and
both skilled and manual labor normally employed
in building finds it almost impossible to obtain
work of any sort. The problem of caring for the
unemployed in the cities is further complicated by
floaters and an influx of people from rural sec­
tions and smaller towns, people who come to the
cities under the mistaken idea that work is more
plentiful in them.

Coal Production

Bituminous coal production in the United States
totaled 32,633,000 net tons in October 1932, a sea­
sonal increase over 26,314,000 tons mined in Sep­
tember this year but considerably short of the
output of 35,700,000 tons in October 1931. Total
production of soft coal during the calendar year
to November 5 amounted to 249,727,000 net tons,
comparded with 323,865,000 tons mined during the
corresponding period last year. Shipments of coal
through Hampton Roads in 1932 prior to Novem­
ber 6 totaled 13,993,318 tons, compared with 17,452,571 tons shipped through the same port to the
corresponding date in 1931.
In its October 22 report, the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal
production by States for the month of September.
These figures credit W est Virginia with 7,429,000
net tons, while Pennsylvania, the second ranking
state, mined only 6,302,000 tons.

Textiles

Fifth district textile mills held in October the
gains made in operating time in August and Sep­
tember, and further increased consumption of
cotton. The mill authorities contend, however,
that their operations are showing either a small
profit or no profit at all, but they are giving em­
ployment to their help and this has been reflected
in better business for merchants in textile locali­
ties in the past three months. Fifth district mills
consumed 242,038 bales of cotton in October, an
increase of 2.7 per cent over 235,734 bales used
in September this year and 9.4 per cent over
221,330 bales consumed in the district in October
1931. Last month North Carolina mills consumed
124,399 bales, South Carolina mills used 104,476
bales, and Virginia mills 13,163 bales. Consump­
tion of cotton in the Fifth district in October
amounted to 48.19 per cent of National consump­
tion, a higher figure than either 47.95 per cent of
National consumption used in the district in Sep­
tember this year or 48.01 per cent used in Oc­
tober 1931.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices ruled lower between the mid­




dle of October and the middle of November than
during the preceding month, chiefly because the
cotton crop of 1932 is turning out somewhat larger
than early season condition figures indicated would
be the case. In our Review last month we quoted
the average price for middling grade short staple
cotton on October 14 on ten leading Southern
markets as 6.36 cents per pound. On October 21
the price was 6.09 cents, on October 28, 6.17 cents,
November 4, 6.05 cents, November 11, 6.52 cents,
and November 18, 6.15 cents, the last the latest
date for which quotations are available.
Condition figures on the 1932 cotton crop, based on
the November 1 condition of the crop, were issued
by the Department of Agriculture on November 9.
This report raised the estimate of production in
the United States to 11,947,000 bales, in compari­
son with the estimate of 11,425,000 bales on Oc­
tober 1, 1932, and 17,096,000 bales ginned in 1931.
The November 1 report raised this year’s probable
production figures for two of the three cotton
growing states of the Fifth district, in comparison
with the estimates made a month earlier. South
Carolina’s yield is now estimated at 650,000 bales,
compared with prospects for 610,000 bales on Oc­
tober 1 and 1,005,000 bales grown last year. North
Carolina’s crop of 575,000 bales compares with an
j estimate of 519,000 bales on October 1, and 756,000
! bales ginned in 1931. Virginia’s prospective yield
I of 28,000 bales compares with 29,000 bales pre! dieted a month earlier and 42,000 bales grown in
I 1931. Total production in the Fifth district is fore­
j cast at 1,253,000 bales, an increase of 95,000 bales
. during October but 550,000 bales less than last
year’s production. The average number of pounds
I per acre was much lower in the Fifth district this
| year than in 1931, and in addition the acreage
planted to cotton was less this year.
Ginning figures to November 1, released by the Cen­
sus Bureau on November 9, showed 9,245,534 bales
ginned from this year’s crop, compared with 12,124,295 bales of last year’s crop ginned before
November. W eather during October was excellent
for cotton picking.
Cotton consumption in the United States in October
showed an increase over the month of September,
and was materially above consumption in October
last year. The number of bales used totaled 502,244
in October 1932, compared with 491,655 bales used
in September this year and 461,023 bales in Octo­
ber 1931. Total consumption this cotton year—
August 1 through October 31—amounted to 1,396,500 bales, against 1,350,388 bales consumed in
the corresponding three months of last season.
Manufacturing establishments held 1,266,816 bales
on October 31, compared with 1,087,286 bales held
on September 30 and 1,108,034 bales on October
31, 1931. Public warehouses and compresses held
9,826,875 bales in storage at the end of October
this year, compared with 7,969,280 bales so held a
month earlier and 9,460,691 bales on October 31
last year. October exports totaled 1,008,023 bales,

MONTHLY REVIEW
compared with 733,665 bales exported in Septem­
ber and 1,014,180 bales sent abroad in October
1931. Total exports during the three months of
the present cotton year—August 1-October 31, in­
clusive—totaled 2,193,842 bales, a higher figure
than 1,783,402 bales shipped over seas during the
corresponding three months last year. Spindles
active at some time during October numbered 24,587,732, compared with 23,883,948 in September
this year and 25,200,056 in October 1931.
Cotton growing states consumed 414,572 bales of
cotton in October, compared with 407,966 bales in
September and 378,144 bales in October 1931. Last
month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
amounted to 82.54 per cent of National consump­
tion, compared with 82.98 per cent in September
this year and 82.02 per cent in October 1931. Of
the 414,572 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton
growing states in October, the Fifth district mills
used 242,038 bales, or 58.38 per cent, a lower figure
than 58.53 per cent of Southern consumption at­
tained by Fifth district mills in October last year.

Tobacco Manufacturing
The output of tobacco products has declined in
all recent months except cigarettes in August, and
all figures for October are lower than figures for
October 1931, according to stamp taxes paid to
the Federal Treasury. Taxes paid on all tobacco
products in October this year totaled $31,564,443,
compared with $34,801,850 in October 1931. In
actual quantity of production, cigarettes manufac­
tured dropped from 8,956,712,065 cigarettes in Oc­
tober 1931 to 8,351,667,453 cigarettes in October
1932, cigars dropped from 29,317,400 to 23,897,507,
manufactured tobacco, for smoking and chewing,
dropped from 30,496,706 pounds to 26,399,445
pounds, and snuff dropped from 3,642,354 pounds
to 2,447,307 pounds.

Tobacco Marketing
South Carolina tobacco was all sold during August
and September, and the auction markets were
closed in October. Sales were larger than had been
expected, and the forecast of production of tobacco
in South Carolina this year was raised by the De­
partm ent of Agriculture from 32,640,000 pounds on
October 1 to 39,232,000 pounds on November 1.
Last year the yield of tobacco was 70,070,000
pounds.
North Carolina markets sold 104,851,506 pounds of
producers’ tobacco in October 1932, at an average
price of $12.59 per hundred pounds. These figures
compare with 125,498,567 pounds sold for an aver­
age of $9.93 per hundred in October 1931. Total
sales this season to November 1 of 183,137,771
pounds show a decrease from 241,671,828 pounds
sold in 1931 before November, and final production
for 1932 estimated at 281,792,000 pounds is 41 per
cent less than the yield of 479,526,000 pounds in
1931. Greenville led the North Carolina markets




5

in October sales with 15,659,378 pounds, but two
markets at Ahoskie led in price with an average
of $14.41 per hundred pounds. Wilson ranked sec­
ond in October sales with 15,365,747 pounds.
Virginia leaf tobacco markets sold 7,826,210 pounds
for growers in October, at an average price of
$8.94 per hundred pounds. Last year the October
sales amounted to 13,156,044 pounds at an average
of $8.40 per hundred. October sales consisted en­
tirely of flue-cured types, as no fire-cured markets
opened before November. Danville led all markets
with total sales of 4,399,998 pounds, South Boston
ranking second with 1,036,560 pounds. Lawrenceville paid the highest average price in October,
$10.72 per hundred pounds. The quality of tobacco
sold in Virginia in October was very poor, aver­
aging 15 per cent good, 36 per cent medium, and
49 per cent common. Last year October sales
graded 17 per cent good, 33 per cent medium, and
50 per cent common. This year’s tobacco crop in
Virginia is estimated at 53,641,000 pounds, com­
pared with the short crop of 97,920,000 pounds har­
vested in 1931.

Agricultural Notes

Maryland crops received good rains in October and
early November, and pastures, early sown grains
and late potatoes were helped, but the sowing of
late grains was retarded and some potatoes rotted
in sections where the harvest was not complete.
Late cut hays were also damaged to some extent
by the wet weather. The estimate of this year’s
corn crop, 15,540,000 bushels, is about 25 per cent
less than the 1931 yield of 20,710,000 bushels, but
stocks of old corn on Maryland farms on Novem­
ber 1 totaled 969,000 bushels in comparison with
only 76,000 bushels of old corn carried over last
year. Average yields of Irish and sweet potatoes
were lower this year than last. Total production
of Irish potatoes is estimated at 3,298,000 bushels,
compared with 3,360,000 bushels last year, and
sweet potatoes this year total 1,200,000 bushels
against 2,013,000 bushels dug in 1931. Maryland’s
tobacco crop is estimated at 25,340,000 pounds this
year, compared with 32,160,000 pounds cured last
year and a ten-year average of 22,854,000 pounds.
Fruit production is generally lower this year than
last, and Maryland’s commercial apple crop is only
252,000 barrels against 650,000 barrels in 1931 and
a ten-year average of 416,000 barrels.
West Virginia crops suffered from dry weather dur­
ing a considerable part of the 1932 growing season.
The yield of corn is forecast at 10,600,000 bushels,
compared with 12,934,000 bushels harvested last
year. The late Irish potato crop did not quite
measure up to expectations, but this year’s total
crop of potatoes amounted to 3,400,000 bushels
compared with 3,200,000 bushels on approximately
the same acreage in 1931. Tobacco yield in W est
Virginia this year is only 2,691,000 pounds, com­
pared with 5,320,000 pounds harvested last year.
Apples were benefited by rains in October, but on

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

November 1 this year’s commercial crop in W est
Virginia was estimated at only 693,000 barrels,
compared with 1,700,000 barrels gathered in 1931.
Virginia. Harvesting of corn, peanuts, apples and
late hay, and the seeding of fall grains during Oc­
tober were delayed by frequent rains. The rains,
however, broke the long drought and were of great
benefit to pastures, fall grains, late truck crops and
gardens. Some corn was destroyed by floods on
creeks and rivers, and also corn and peanuts
shocked in the fields suffered some loss. Produc­
tion of corn is forecast at 27,000,000 bushels, com­
pared with 43,061,000 bushels last year and a fiveyear average of 35,681,000 bushels. Approximately
8 per cent of the 1931 corn crop remained on farms
on November 1, and in most sections of the State
the carry-over of old corn with the new crop will
provide sufficient feed for livestock during the win­
ter. Peanut digging was delayed by heavy rains
during October, and very few peanuts had been
threshed prior to November 1. Total production
is forecast at 126,000,000 pounds, which is about
23 per cent less than last year’s crop of 164,160,000
pounds. The yield of late Irish potatoes was
slightly better than had been expected, early Oc­
tober rains helping the crop. The average yield
per acre was low, however, and the total potato
crop of Virginia this year is 9,682,000 bushels, com­
pared with 14,278,000 bushels harvested last year.
Sweet potatoes benefited from October rains, but
this year’s yield was only 3,610,000 bushels com­
pared with 4,750,000 bushels dug last year. The
commercial apple crop improved slightly during
October and the estimated production is 1,740,000
barrels, compared with 3,500,000 barrels gathered
in 1931. Many apples grew so rapidly during the
October rains that they developed cracks, which
made such fruit unfit for packing.
Niorth Carolina crop yields were greatly reduced by
hot, dry weather during the growing season, but
October weather was favorable for harvesting of
field crops with the exception of peanuts and hay.
In spite of October rains, considerable fall plowing
has been done. A corn crop of 35,520,000 bushels
in North Carolina is indicated by the November 1
condition, compared with 48,072,000 bushels gath­
ered last year. Sweet potatoes were materially
improved by October rains, and the forecast of
7,832,000 bushels made on November 1 is about 20
per cent above the 1931 yield of 6,560,000 bushels.
The crop of sweet potatoes will probably be poor
in keeping quality this year, due to the sappy na­
ture of the roots. Peanuts yielded better than had
been expectd, and the nuts are good, although dis­
colored from wet weather conditions. The crop
indicated on November 1 totaled 239,400,000
pounds, which is 22 per cent below last year’s yield
of 305,900,000 pounds but about 21 per cent more
than the five-year average.
South Carolina crops improved during October, and
on November 1 the composite condition figure for
all crops was about 50 per cent higher than a




month earlier. Compared with yields last year,
prospects are for 44 per cent less tobacco this year,
35 per cent less cotton, 22 per cent less soybeans
and 10 per cent less cowpeas, these decreases being
due to reduced acreage in cotton and tobacco and
to unfavorable weather during the growing season.
On the other hand, this year’s sweet potato crop
is 68 per cent larger than last year’s, hay shows
an increased yield of 13 per cent, peanuts increased
8 per cent, and sorghum sirup increased 11 per
cent. The increase in hay is due to larger acreage,
and in sweet potatoes and peanuts to both acreage
increase and better yields per acre. The South
Carolina corn crop this year is forecast at 18,532,000 bushels, compared with 22,994,000 bushels
in 1931, and this year’s hay yield of 202,000 tons
compares with 178,000 tons cured last year. Sweet
potatoes yielded 5,340,000 bushels this year, com­
pared with 3,180,000 bushels in 1931. The 1932
peanut crop of 9,800,000 pounds compares with last
year’s yield of 9,100,000 pounds.

Construction
Building Permits Issued, Fifth District Cities,
October 1932 and 1931
CITIES

Permits Issued
1932
1931

Baltimore, Md.......... . 1,365
16
Cumberland, Md.......
17
Frederick, Md..........
9
Hagerstown, Md. „....
28
Salisbury, Md............
8
Danville, Va.............
27
Lynchburg, Va..........
109
Norfolk, Va...............
6
Petersburg, Va.........
28
Portsmouth, Va........
85
Richmond, Va.......... .
28
Roanoke, Va.............
6
Bluefield, W. Va_
_
37
Charleston, W. Va...
10
Clarksburg, W. Va...
26
Huntington, W. Va....
10
Asheville, N. C.___
42
Charlotte, N. C____
15
Durham, N. C____
37
Greensboro, N. C._
9
High Point, N. C._
6
Raleigh, N. C...........
4
Rocky Mount, N. C..
5
Salisbury, N. C._
_
14
Wilmington, N. C.__
63
Winston-Salem, N. C.
50
Charleston, S. C.___
46
Columbia, S. C____
27
Greenville, S. C___
8
Rock Hill, S. C___
19
Spartanburg, S. C.....
611
Washington, D. G....
Totals __________ 2,771

1,525
15
9
14
27
6
30
160
4
36
130
51
7
37
28
21
37
79
20
37
21
15
11
3
21
76
34
64
27
15
27
565

Total Valuation
1932
1931
$1,995,960
$1,599,240
10,358
8,735
9,475
9,300
1,355
6,005
23t750
20,150
905
5,545
16,691
49,157
75,550
114,506
7,950
2,400
14,095
30,592
54,610
238,366
27,778
112,266
1,035
4,550
24,060
29,693
6,010
11,585
17,905
59,700
1,760
35,100
45,061
75,890
36,150
37,975
14,863
27,390
13,210
34,300
8,705
10,075
885
10,265
5,320
5,425
8,250
16,600
14,450
68,072
17,930
30,669
20,914
92,707
7,090
36,265
15,335
32,410
2,380
22,305
711,675
1,476,760

3,152 $3,211,466

$4,313.998

Construction work in the Fifth Federal reserve
district continues far below normal, and is the out­
standing factor in the unemployment situation, as
has been the case for more than a year. Building
permits issued in October in thirty-tw o cities in
the district totaled 2,771, in comparison with 3,152

MONTHLY REVIEW
permits issued in October 1931, and the estimated
valuation figures last month totaled only $3,211,466, a decrease of 25.6 per cent under the small
total of $4,313,998 in October 1931. Only five of
the thirty-tw o cities showed higher valuation fig­
ures for October 1932 than for October 1931, and
several of the larger cities, including Richmond and
Washington, reported much lower figures than for
October last year.
Contracts awarded in October for construction
work in the Fifth district, including both urban
and rural projects, totaled only $13,464,279, com­
pared with $23,342,082 in October 1931 and $25,569,298 in October 1930, according to figures col­
lected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the
awards in October this year, $3,294,019, or 24.5 per
cent, was for residential work, compared with
$6,446,982, or 27.6 per cent, for this type of work
in October 1931.

Retail Trade, 33 Department Stores
Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District
October 1932 sales, compared with sales in October 1931:
—19.4
—19.9
—20.9
—21.4
—20.4
Jan.-October 1932 sales, compared with Jan.-October 1931:
—20.3
—202
—16.1
—24.7
—19.0
Oct. 31, 1932, stocks, compared with stocks on Oct. 31, 1931:
—17.6
—17.9
—14.2
—22.9
—17.1
Oct. 31, 1932, stocks, compared with stocks on Sept. 30, 1932:
+16.1
+12.1
+ 8.7
+ 6.6
+10.6
Number of times stock was turned in October 1932:
.341
.354
.371
.26
.349
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1932:
2.875
2.879
3.026
2.084
2.843
Percentage of Oct. 1, 1932, receivables collected in October
29.3
22.3
27.6
26.6
25.2

October department store sales usually exceed
September sales by about 40 per cent, but this year
the increase was only 20 per cent, partly because
September sales were larger than usual in compar­
ison with other recent months and partly because
October weather was too warm and clear to stimu­
late the purchase of fall merchandise. In compari­
son with last year’s sales, those of October 1932
show an average decline of 20.4 per cent in thirtythree department stores, and the first ten months
of 1932 dropped 19.0 per cent below sales in the
corresponding period of 1931.
Stocks on the shelves of the reporting stores
showed further seasonal increase in October,
rising 10.6 per cent over stocks on September 30,




7

but on October 31 stocks were 17.1 per cent less
in selling value than stocks on hand on October
31, 1931. Stocks were turned an average of .349
times in October, and since January 1, 1932, stocks
have been turned 2.843 times, a lower figure than
3.041 times in the first ten months of 1931.
Collections during October showed a seasonal
increase over September collections but were
slower than the average for October last year,
25.2 per cent of outstanding receivables being col­
lected last month in comparison with 21.6 per cent
in September 1932 and 28.3 per cent in October
1931.

Wholesale Trade, 62 Firms
22
9
Groceries Dry Goods

6
Shoes

13
Hardware

12

Drugs

October 1932 sales, compared with sales in October 1931:
—16.4
—12.3
+11.8
—12.1
—19.5
October 1932 sales, compared with sales in September 1932:
— 6.6
— 7.1
—12.8
+ .8
— 3.3
Jan.-Oct. 1932 sales, compared with Jan.-Oct. 1931 sales:
—16.9
—22.4
—11.9
—20.4
—18.6
Oct. 31, 1932, stocks, compared with Oct. 31, 1931, stocks:
— 6.0(8*) — 9.3(4*) -35.9(5*) —14.0(7*)
Oct. 31, 1932, stocks, compared with Sept. 30, 1932, stocks:
+ 4.2(8*) + 1.6(4*) —12.0(5*) — 2.1(7*)
Percentage of Oct. 1, 1932, receivables collected in October:
56.8(13*) 37.2(6*)
45.9(6*)
32.0(11*) 45.7(8*)
—Denotes decreased percentage. *Number of reporting firms.

Sixty-two wholesale firms in five lines reported
on October business to the Bank. Sales in Oc­
tober in hardware were eight-tenths of 1 per cent
larger than sales in September this year, but the
other lines failed to register gains over the ear­
lier month. In comparison with sales in October
1931, sales last month were lower in every line
except shoes, which for the second successive
month exceeded sales in the same month of the
preceding year. Total sales for the first ten months
of 1932 were lower in all lines than sales in the
corresponding period in 1931, shoes showing the
smallest and dry goods the largest decline.
Stocks on hand on October 31, 1932, showed
slight increases in groceries and dry goods over
stocks on hand on September 30, but the other
lines reported stock reduction during October. On
October 31, stocks in all lines were lower than
stocks a year ago.
Collections in every line showed seasonal im­
provement in October over September, but were
slower in every line except in shoes than in Oc­
tober 1931.

(Compiled November 21, 1932)

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

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

Volume of industrial output, after increasing con­
siderably during August and September, remained
unchanged in October. Factory employment and
payrolls reported for the middle of the month,
showed a further increase. During October, as in
the last three weeks of September, wholesale com­
modity prices declined, and in the first three weeks
of November the general average was at the level
of early summer.

Production and Employment
Industrial production, as measured by the Board’s
seasonally adjusted index, continued in October at
66 per cent of the 1923-1925 average, as compared
with a low level of 58 per cent in July. In the tex­
tile industries, which had shown a rapid expansion
in August and September, there was a slight de­
crease in consumption of raw materials while out­
put of finished products increased somewhat. Shoe
production, which also had increased substantially
in recent months, showed a seasonal decline. Op­
erations at steel mills expanded from an average of
17 per cent of capacity in September to 19 per cent
in October, contrary to seasonal tendency, and, ac­
cording to trade reports, continued at about this
rate through the first three weeks of November.
Production of automobiles in October declined fur­
ther to a new low level. At coal mines activity con­
tinued to increase rapidly until the middle of Oc­
tober, but since that time a reduction, largely sea­
sonal in character, has been reported.
Employment in most manufacturing industries
increased between the middle of September and the
middle of October, and the Board’s seasonally ad­
justed index of factory employment showed an ad­
vance from 60 per cent of the 1923-1925 average
to 61 per cent. At textile mills working forces in­
creased by considerably more than the usual sea­
sonal amount, and substantial increases were also
reported at steel mills, lumber mills and carbuilding shops. In the canning and automobile indus­
tries there were decreases in employment.
Value of construction contracts awarded, as re­
ported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, continued
at low levels during October and the first half of
November.
The Department of Agriculture estimate of the
cotton crop, based on November 1 conditions, was
11,950,000 bales, about 525,000 bales larger than the
estimate a month earlier.




Distribution
From September to October volume of freight
traffic increased by more than the usual seasonal
amount; after the middle of October carloadings
declined, reflecting chiefly seasonal developments.
Dollar value of department store sales increased
by the usual amount in October.

Wholesale Prices

Wholesale commodity prices, as measured by the
monthly index of Bureau of Labor Statistics, de­
clined from 65 per cent of the 1926 average in Sep­
tember to 64 per cent in October. Weekly figures
show declines in the general average from early
September through the first week in November, re­
flecting reductions in the prices of many domestic
agricultural products and their manufactures, as
well as in the prices of steel rails, copper, coffee,
rubber, and silk. In the second week of November
prices of many leading commodities, including
grains, hogs, cotton, silk, zinc, lead, and tin ad­
vanced considerably, but later the prices of these
commodities declined.

Bank Credit

Volume of reserve bank credit showed little
change for the four-week period ending November
16. Member bank balances at the reserve banks
increased further by $75,000,000, and in the middle
of November were about $475,000,000 in excess of
legal reserve requirements. This growth in re­
serve balances reflected an increase of $60,000,000
in the stock of gold and the issue of additional nat­
ional bank notes. Demand for currency showed lit­
tle change during the four-week period.
Loans and investments of reporting member
banks in leading cities, outside New York City
and Chicago, declined further between the middle
of October and the middle of November, reflecting
a further reduction of loans at these banks. In
New York City the investments of member banks
increased by an amount larger than the decrease in
loans, so that total loans and investments of these
banks showed a further increase.
Money rates in the open market continued at
low levels during October and the first half of No­
vember. Rates on 90 - day bankers’ acceptances
were unchanged at ^ of 1 per cent, and rates on
prime commercial paper declined from a range of
1^4-2 to a range of lJ^-1^4 per cent.

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