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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

C h a ir m a n a n d F e d e r a l R e s e r v e A g e n t

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA__________________________________________ NOVEMBER 30, 1934
N comparison with other months of
the past four years, October and
early November showed a volume of
trade in the Fifth Federal reserve dis­
trict fully up to seasonal level, and
basic conditions on the whole appear
more favorable for Fall and Winter
business than they have been since the
depression set in. In banking circles,
rediscounts for member banks at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
declined further between the middle
of October and the middle of Novem­
ber, but the Bank increased its direct
loans to industry, and there was the
usual increase for this season in the
circulation of Federal reserve notes.
Reporting member banks in the larger cities increased
their loans during the past month, and their deposits
rose more than is accounted for by the increase in
loans. Debits to individual accounts figures in five
weeks ended November 14 showed a seasonal decline
in comparison with debits in the five preceding weeks,
but exceeded debits in the five weeks ended November
15, 1933, by 13.4 per cent. The record of commercial
failures in the Nation and in the Fifth district was
relatively bad in October, increasing more than the
seasonal average over the number of failures in Sep­
tember, but the record was still materially better than
that of October last year. Employment changed little
during the past month, and continues the weakest link
in the business chain. Coal production in October
showed a normal advance over September output, and
also exceeded production in October 1933. Textile
mills in the Fifth district, after voluntarily restricting
operations in July and August and experiencing the
strike in September, resumed operations on approxi­
mately a full time basis in October, and consumed more
cotton than in October a year ago. Building opera­
tions, as reflected in permits issued by inspectors in
leading cities, showed a material increase over permits
issued in recent months and in the corresponding period
last year, probably due to the Government’s housing




improvement campaign. Retail trade
as reflected in department store sales
exceeded the volume of trade in Octo­
ber last year by 20 per cent, and col­
lections of outstanding accounts dur­
ing the past month were the highest
for any month in a number of years.
Wholesale trade in October was better
in four of five reporting lines than in
October last year, shoes being the only
line to fall below the 1933 level. Col­
lections in wholesale lines were also
better in October than in any recent
month. Cotton growers with prices
more than sufficiently higher to com­
pensate for decreased production this
year are in better position to buy con­
sumers’ goods, and tobacco growers are realizing more
money for their 1934 crop than for any other crop in a
number of years. Farmers throughout the Fifth dis­
trict raised relatively large crops of food and feed
crops, and all money crops yieded well. Weather for
harvesting was unusually favorable, and preparations
for Fall planting of grain are well advanced through­
out the district.

Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

Nov. 15
1934

000 omitted
Oct. 15 Nov. 15
1934
1933

Rediscounts h eld ---------------- $ 110 $ 417 $ 6,818
Open market paper------------209
216
492
o
Industrial advances_________
481
1,289
Foreign loans on goldL---------599
0
0
Government securities ______ 103,563 103,563
78,563
Total earning assets_______ 105,770 104,677
85,873
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 173,141 170,126 149,697
Members' reserve deposits____ 128,110 126,991
80,536
Cash reserves-------------------- 203,001 205,050 166,601
66.31
66.98
Reserve ra tio -------------------69.55

Between October 15 and November 15, both this
year, rediscounts for member banks at the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond declined by $307,000, and the
portfolio of open market paper dropped by $7,000.

2

MONTHLY REVIEW

There was no change in the Bank’s holdings of Gov­
ernment securities during the month, but industrial ad­
vances rose by $808,000, and the Bank participated in
foreign loans on gold to the extent of $599,000. These
changes resulted in a net gain in total earning assets
amounting to $1,093,000. The past month witnessed a
seasonal increase of $3,015,000 in the circulation of
Federal Reserve notes. Member bank reserve deposits
rose further last month, by $1,119,000. The several
changes in the statement lowered the cash reserves of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by $2,049,000
between October 15 and November 15, and reduced the
ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities
combined by 67/100th of a point.
During the year between November 15, 1933, and
November 15, 1934, rediscounts at the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond declined by $6,708,000, and
holdings of open market paper declined by $283,000.
On the other hand, the Bank increased its ownership
of Government securities by $25,000,000, and on the
1934 date was lending $1,289,000 direct to industry,
In addition, on November 15 this year the Bank was
participating in a System foreign loan on gold, our
share of the loan being $599,000. The net change in
total earning assets during the year was an increase
of $19,897,000. Federal reserve notes in actual cir­
culation rose by $23,444,000 between November 15 last
year and this, partly due to generally increased business
and partly to the need for more money to handle crop
marketing at the higher prices prevailing this year for
the leading crops, cotton and tobacco. Member bank
reserve deposits increased by $47,574,000 during the
past year. Cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank
of Richmond rose by $36,400,000 between November
15, 1933, and November 15, 1934, but because of the
marked increases in note circulation and reserve de­
posits, the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit
liabilities combined declined by 3.24 points during the
year.

Statement of 28 Member Banks
ITEMS

Nov. 14
1934

are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that
occurred during the periods under review.
The twenty-eight reporting member banks increased
their loans by $6,319,000 between October 10 and No­
vember 14, both this year, a seasonal rise occurring in
“all other loans” amounting to $3,210,000 and loans on
securities rising by $3,109,000. In banks in the larger
centers, borrowing by merchants to discount bills for
: fall merchandise at this season usually exceeds liquida­
tion of indebtedness by farmers as a result of marketing
of agricultural products. Investments in securities,
chiefly Government obligations, rose by $1,513,000
during the past month. The reporting banks further
increased their reserve balance at the reserve bank
between October 10 and November 14, but the rise of
$2,562,000 was little more than a daily fluctuation due
to clearing operations. Cash in vaults declined by
] $45,000 last month. Aggregate deposits rose during
j the period under review by $9,630,000, of which all
j but $4,000 was in demand deposits. Time deposits
j were somewhat reduced and demand deposits corre­
j spondingly increased during the month by a transfer
j of Christmas Savings funds from time to demand
deposits on November 1. None of the twenty-eight
reporting banks were borrowing at the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond on either November 14 or
October 10.
During the year between November 15, 1933, and
November 14, 1934, total loans in the reporting mem­
ber banks decreased $9,340,000, all of which was in
“all other loans.” Investments in securities rose by
$29,387,000 during the year, and aggregate reserve
balance with the reserve bank increased by $27,865,000,
the reserve balances on both dates being much larger
than actual requirements. Cash in vaults rose by
$2,355,000 during the past year. Aggregate deposits
in the twenty-eight banks rose by $52,887,000 between
the middle of November last year and this year, a gain
in demand deposits amounting to $48,414,000 account­
ing for most of the increase. On November 15, 1933,
two of the twenty-eight banks were borrowing a total
000 omitted
of $246,000 at the reserve bank, but none of them were
rediscounting on November 14, 1934.
Oct. 10 Nov. 15
1934

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ____ $ 60,190 $ 57,081
All other loans------------------ 108,370 105,160
Total loans and discounts---- 168,560 162,241
Investments in securities____ 190,614 189,101
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.... 57,642
55,080
12,232
12,187
Cash in vaults_____________
Demand deposits__________ 240,038 230,408
Time deposits_____________ 133,499 133,495
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.—
0
0

1933

$ 59,835
118,065
177,900
161,227
29,777
9,832
191,624
129,026
246

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in twenty-eight reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings
bank in Baltimore totaled $329,235,051 at the end of
October 1934, a higher figure than either $327,052,500
reported at the end of September this year or $314,431,540 at the end of October last year. Deposits in
both member and mutual savings banks showed in­
creases for the past month and past year.

The accompanying table shows totals of the prin­ Debits to Individual Accounts
cipal items of condition reported by twenty-eight mem- j
beij banks in ten leading cities of the Fifth Federal j The debits to individual, firm and corporation ac­
reserve district as of three dates, November 14 and counts figures shown in the accompanying table for
October 10, this year, and November 15 last year, thus three equal periods of five weeks include all checks
affording opportunity for comparison of the latest drawn against depositors* accounts in the banks of
available figures with those a month and a year earlier. twenty-three leading trade centers of the Fifth Federal
It should be understood that the figures in the table reserve district.




MONTHLY REVIEW
CITIES

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, Va............
Roanoke, Va............ Washington, D. C.__
Wilmington, N. C_
_
Winston-Salem, N. C.
District Totals...... ..

000 omitted
Total debits, five weeks ended
Nov. 15,
Oct. 10,
Nov. 14,
1934
1933
1934
$

10,874
299,030
13,570
46,205
56,897
22,593
6,894
18,510
48,932
13,629
16,968
7,734
13,047
14,856
7,732
48,280
3,838
29,558
166,506
21,594
196,352
9,959
37,418

$1,110,976

$

10,851
312,565
15,858
45,843
51,144
21,888
7,351
10,513
55,196
12,495
14,853
7,721
13,100
15,379
8,142
59,036
3,704
25,306
183,471
21,506
199,641
10,090
36,251

$1,141,904

$
>

9,727
253,660
12,384
38,377
49,136
19,724
6,692
10,378
38,118
8,160
16,335
6,378
11,348
16,138
7,297
42,006
3,623
20,365
138,119
21,722
189,643
8,662
33,656

$ 961,648

A comparison of the total of $1,110,976,000 in debits
reported for the five weeks ended November 14, 1934,
with the total reported for the preceding five weeks,
ended October 10 this year, shows a decrease of $30,928,000, or 2.8 per cent. A decline during the more
recent period is seasonal, due to heavy payments of
dividends and interest on October 1, but the decrease
this year was less than occurs in most years. Twelve
of the twenty-three cities reported higher figures for
the more recent period, six of the increases being due
at least in part to improvement in the textile industry.
In comparison with figures reported for five weeks
last year, ended November IS, 1933, corresponding fig­
ures for the five weeks ended November 14,1934, show
a total increase of $149,328,000, or 13.4 per cent, a
somewhat smaller increase than was reported in other
recent months in comparison with corresponding pe­
riods last year. All of the reporting cities showed
higher figures for the 1934 period except Lynchburg
and Roanoke, the decline in the latter city being less
than 1 per cent.

Commercial Failures
After declining almost steadily each month this year,
business failures in the United States took a sharp
upturn in October, and exceeded September insol­
vencies by 38 per cent, a much larger than normal
seasonal rise. However, failures in October this year
continued below the number reported for the corre­
sponding month of the preceding year. October 1934
bankruptcies totaled 1,091, compared with 790 in Sep­
tember this year and 1,206 in October 1933. Liabilities
totaling $19,968,448 last month also exceeded $16,440,147 reported for September 1934, but were much




3

below $30,581,970 for October 1933. In the Fifth
1 reserve district, insolvencies in October numbered 48,
with aggregate liabilities totaling $778,492, compared
with 27 failures and liabilities totaling $431,992 in
September 1934, and 74 failures for $851,565 in Octo­
ber last year. Dun & Bradstreet Monthly Review for
November says that failures in October were relatively
heaviest in Eastern States, especially New England,
with a secondary bad spot on the Pacific Coast. The
Richmond district made the worst record for October
in the South, in comparison with the record for Sep­
tember, while the Atlanta district made the best com­
parison. In comparison with October 1933 failures,
the Richmond district was among the three leaders in
improvement, along with Chicago and Cleveland. Three
reserve districts, New York, Kansas City and San
Francisco, reported more insolvencies in October 1934
than in October 1933.
Employment

Employment conditions show no material change
since the October 31 issue of the Review was written.
A seasonal tendency toward increased unemployment
at this season has been partly overcome by the Govern­
ment’s drive for housing improvement, but on the other
hand a number of PWA projects have been completed
recently, thereby laying off additional workers. In­
creased coal production in October added to payrolls
of miners, and the textile mills of the Fifth district
appear to have recovered fully from the strike.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal production in the United States
totaled 32,504,000 net tons in October 1934, a seasonal
increase over 27,670,000 tons mined in September this
year, and also above October 1933 production of 29,656.000 tons. Total production of soft coal during
the calendar year to November 10 amounted to 306,108.000 net tons, compared with 279,107,000 tons
mined during the corresponding period last year. Ship­
ments of coal through Hampton Roads ports in 1934
prior to November 10 totaled 15,392,882 tons com­
pared with 14,852,536 tons shipped through the same
ports to the corresponding date in 1933.
In its October 27 report, the Bureau of Mines, De­
partment of Commerce, gave bituminous coal produc­
tion figures for the month of September. The report
credited West Virginia with 7,420,000 net tons, while
Pennsylvania, the second ranking state, dug 6,520,000
tons. In its November 3 report, the Bureau of Mines
stated that stocks of bituminous coal rose seasonally
during the third quarter of 1934, but on October 1
stocks in the hands of industrial consumers were esti­
mated to be sufficient to last 42 days, compared with a
46 day supply on hand a year ago.

Textiles
After the settlement of the textile strike in late
September, mills resumed operations promptly and in
October ran at about the same rate as in October last

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

year. Forward orders have been scarce, but on the
whole the mills have obtained sufficient business to keep
them operating approximately full time under code
rules. Fifth district mills consumed 235,752 bales of
cotton in October, an increase of 69 per cent over
139,319 bales used in September when the strike re­
tarded operations three weeks, and 1.4 per cent above
232,396 bales consumed in October 1933. Last month
North Carolina mills used 120,125 bales, South Caro­
lina mills used 102,066 bales, and Virginia mills 13,561
bales, the figures for South Carolina and Virginia ex­
ceeding those for October last year. Consumption of
cotton in the Fifth district in October amounted to
45.31 per cent of National consumption, a lower figure
than either 47.07 per cent of National consumption used
in the district in September this year or 46.11 per cent
used in October 1933.

Cotton Statistics

I sus Bureau on November 8, showed 7,920,231 bales
j ginned from this year’s crop, compared with 10,355,031
; bales of last year’s crop ginned before November.
Weather conditions during October were excellent for
cotton picking, and little cotton remained in the fields
by the end of the month.
Cotton consumption in the United States in October
i showed a marked increase over the month of Septem| ber, and was also above consumption in October last
year. The increase in October consumption in com­
parison with that of September was of course due in
large part to the settlement of the strike which kept
a majority of cotton mills closed about three weeks in
the earlier month. The number of bales used totaled
520,310 in October 1934, compared with 295,960 bales
used in September this year and 504,055 bales in
October 1933. Total consumption this cotton year—
August 1 through October 31—amounted to 1,237,219
bales, against 1,592,439 bales consumed in the corre­
sponding three months of last season. Manufacturing
establishments held 1,139,721 bales on October 31, com­
pared with 1,056,744 bales held on September 30 and
1,363,343 bales on October 31, 1933. Public ware­
houses and compresses held 9,381,428 bales in storage
at the end of October this year, compared with 7,616,140 bales so held a month earlier and 9,474,446 bales
on October 31 last year. October exports totaled 615,593 bales, compared with 479,861 bales exported in
September and 1,044,824 bales sent abroad in October
1933. Total exports during the three months of the
present cotton year—August 1—October 31, inclusive—
totaled 1,363,016 bales, a lower figure than 2,444,695
bales shipped over seas during the corresponding three
months last year. Spindles active at some time during
October numbered 25,095,480, compared with 22,112,888 in September this year and 25,883,836 in October
1933.
Cotton growing states consumed 410,543 bales of cot­
ton in October, compared with 243,004 bales in Sep­
tember and 405,175 bales in October 1933. Last
month’s consumption in the cotton growing states
amounted to 78.9 per cent of National consumption,
compared with 82.1 per cent in September this year
and 80.4 per cent in October 1933. Of the 410,543
bales of cotton consumed in the cotton growing states
in October, the Fifth district mills used 235,752 bales,
or 57.4 per cent, the same percentage of Southern con­
sumption attained by Fifth district mills in October
last year.

Spot cotton prices, as represented by the average paid
on ten Southern markets on Friday of each week, de­
clined slightly during the second half of October, but
recovered part of the loss in the first half of November.
Middling grade upland cotton averaged 12.57 cents per
pound on October 12, but declined thereafter each
week to 12.25 cents per pound on November 2. On
November 9 the average on the ten markets was 12.45
cents, and on November 16, the latest date for which
official quotations are available, the price was 12.48
cents.
Condition figures on the 1934 cotton crop, based on
the November 1 condition of the crop, were issued by
the Department of Agriculture on November 8. This
report raised the estimate of production in the United
States to 9,634,000 bales, in comparison with the esti­
mate of 9,443,000 bales on October 1, 1934, and 13,047.000 bales ginned in 1933. Most of the increase
from last month took place in States along the Missis­
sippi River, particularly Arkansas, Missouri and Mis­
sissippi.
Increases are also shown for Texas and
Georgia. Oklahoma showed a decline last month. Con­
ditions during October were much more favorable than
usual and picking and ginning progressed rapidly in all
States with practically no losses of open cotton in the
fields. In the Fifth district, South Carolina’s prospec­
tive yield of 695,000 bales is the same as the October
estimate, and compares with 735,000 bales ginned in
1933. The North Carolina forecast of 650,000 bales
on November 1 was 4,000 bales larger than a month
earlier, and compares with last year’s yield of 684,000 Tobacco Marketing
bales. The Virginia crop declined 1,000 bales during
October, and prospects on November 1 for a yield of
South Carolina auction tobacco markets sold 1,547,35.000 bales shows a decrease from 37,000 bales ginned 299 pounds of growers’ tobacco in October this year,
from the 1933 crop. Total production in the Fifth dis­ for an average price of $19.24 per hundred pounds.
trict is forecast at 1,380,000 bales, an increase of 3,000 Total sales this year through October amounted to
bale$ during October but 76,000 bales less than last 52,952,175 pounds, and the average price was $21.60
year’s production. The per acre yields in the three per hundred. Last year sales for the entire season
Fifth district cotton States this year are materially totaled 81,676,897 pounds, but the average price was
higher than the figures last year, while the National only $12.59 per hundred. The November 1 estimate
I of tobacco production in South Carolina this year was
average per acre yield is less this year.
Ginning figures to November 1, released by the Cen- I 57,720,000 pounds, compared with 88,580,000 pounds




MONTHLY REVIEW
grown in the State in 1933 and a five-year average of
83.820.000 pounds. Production figures for the State
and sales figures in warehouses do not agree, some to­
bacco being grown in one State and sold in another
because of nearness of markets across State lines.
North Carolina markets sold 116,328,169 pounds of
producers’ tobacco in October 1934, at an average price
of $33.70 per hundred pounds. These figures compare
with 172,608,443 pounds sold for an average of $14.99
per hundred in October 1933. Total sales this season
to November 1 of 325,052,381 pounds show an increase
over 270,328,189 pounds sold in 1933 before Novem­
ber, but final production for 1934 estimated at 420,570.000 pounds is 22 per cent less than the yield of
537.979.000 pounds in 1933. Winston-Salem led the
North Carolina markets in October sales with 16,836,901 pounds, but three warehouses at Farmville led in
price with an average of $35.90 per hundred pounds.
Greenville ranked second in October sales with 15,491,384 pounds.
Virginia leaf tobacco markets sold 33,146,067 pounds
for growers in October, at an average price of $32.67
per hundred pounds. Last year the October sales
amounted to 10,764,048 pounds at an average of $14.29
per hundred. October sales consisted entirely of fluecured types, no fire-cured or sun-cured markets being
open during the month. Danville led all markets with
total sales of 17,001,542 pounds, South Boston ranking
second with 6,936,756 pounds. South Boston paid the
highest average price in October, $33.75 per hundred
pounds. The quality of tobacco sold in Virginia in
October was considerably better than the quality in
October last year, grading 45 per cent good, 33 per
cent medium, and only 22 per cent common. Last
year October sales averaged 37 per cent good, 40 per
cent medium, and 23 per cent common. This year’s
tobacco crop in Virginia is estimated at 87,397,000
pounds, compared with the crop of 97,046,000 pounds
harvested in 1933. Warehousemen estimated that 58
per cent of the flue-cured tobacco had been sold by
November 1, which is the highest percentage on record
sold to that date.

Tobacco Manufacturing
On November 21, the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue issued a report on taxes collected in October
1934 on manufactured tobacco products. October pro­
duction of cigarettes in the United States numbered
10,718,132,697, compared with 9,176,407,703 cigarettes
manufactured in October 1933. Smoking and chewing
tobacco production increased from 26,759,203 pounds
in October last year to 27,463,735 pounds in October
this year. Cigars manufactured rose from 408,451,691
in October 1933 to 494,456,319 in October 1934. Snuff
production decreased from 3,787,145 pounds to 3,042,730 pounds during the year. In the month of October
1934, taxes on cigarettes totaled $32,156,394, compared
with $27,532,043 collected in the corresponding month
last year. Taxes on smoking and chewing tobacco in­
creased during the same period from $4,817,361 to
$4,944,395, and cigar taxes rose from $1,127,627 to




5

$1,291,634. October was the first month in the past
five or six in which taxes on smoking and chewing
tobacco and on cigars exceeded taxes in the correspond­
ing month of the preceding year. Combined taxes to
the Federal Treasury on all forms of tobacco manu­
facturing totaled $38,940,114 in October 1934 and
$34,158,717 in October 1933, an increase this year of
14 per cent.

Agricultural Notes
Fall weather was favorable for crop harvesting, and
in the Fifth reserve district per acre yields were good
in the main. Prospective per acre yields this year,
expressed as percentages of the ten-year average (19211930), were as follows in Fifth district states: South
Carolina 122.4, North Carolina 113.1, Virginia 106.6,
Maryland 104.7, and West Virginia 84.9. Prices for
leading money crops were also above those a year
earlier.
Maryland farm work made rapid progress during
the dry weather of October and the handicap of a
wet September was largely overcome. Wheat sowing
averaged a little later than usual, but early sown wheat
is up to a good stand and has a thrifty appearance.
Com production estimated at 16,480,000 bushels com­
pares with 16,240,000 bushels last year and a five-year
average of 15,187,000 bushels. The Maryland tobacco
crop of 24,480,000 pounds compares with 20,400,000
pounds in 1933 and a five-year average of 23,638,000
pounds. Irish potatoes are expected to yield 3,069,000
bushels in 1934, against 2,700,000 bushels in 1933 and
a 1927-1931 average of 3,646,000 bushels. Sweet po­
tatoes totaling 700,000 bushels this year compare with
840.000 bushels last year and 1,493,000 bushels the
five-year average. Commercial apple production is fore­
cast at 615,000 bushels, compared with 657,000 bushels
in 1933 and an average of 1,355,000 bushels in 19271931:
Virginia weather conditions were unusually favorable
in October, and preliminary yield reports show that
production of many crops will be larger than expected
a month ago. The composite yield per acre of all crops
is estimated to be 6.6 per cent above the ten-year
average. Dry, dear weather during October enabled
farmers to save their crops in excellent condition. There
was some complaint that late sown grains were not
coming up well, but early sown grains had made an
excellent start in the first part of November. Com
husking made rapid progress during October and by
the first of November a, large part of the crop had
been housed. Total production of corn is estimated to
be 35,402,000 bushels, compared with 36,918,000 bush­
els harvested last year and the five-year average of
33.611.000 bushels. Peanut digging made rapid prog­
ress during October, and weather conditions were quite
favorable for curing, so picking was well under way
by the first of November. Early yield reports indicate
an evarage number of bags per acre, but the weight
per bag is lighter than usual, as generally happens dur­
ing a wet growing season. Total production is esti­
mated to be 146,000,000 pounds, which is slightly less

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

than the October forecast of 149,650,000 pounds. The
1933 crop was 111,150,000 pounds and the five-year
average 139,489,000 pounds. The harvest of apples
had been practically completed by the first of November
and owing to the excellent size and quality the crop
was larger than had been expected. The total produc­
tion is estimated to be 9,275,000 bushels, compared with
10,900,000 bushels last year and the five-year average
of 12,914,000 bushels. Commercial production is a
much larger percentage of the total crop than usual
because of a better set in commercial orchards and be­
cause of excellent quality permitting a larger per­
centage of the crop to be packed. Commercial pro­
duction is estimated at 2,187,000 barrels, compared
with 1,750,000 barrels last year and the five-year aver­
age of 2,680,000 barrels. The yield of late potatoes
was very irregular, some growers reporting fairly good
crops while others reported very poor. Some late crops
were damaged by frost. Total production this year,
including the early crop, is 13,803,000 bushels, com­
pared with 8,649,000 bushels in 1933 and 15,989,000
bushels the average for the three years 1927-1931.
Sweet potatoes yielded less than had been expected as
wet weather during August and September had caused
a heavy growth of vines. The commercial growers re­
port one of the smallest yields in recent years and the
farm crop has also made a poor yield. Total produc­
tion is estimated to be 4,080,000 bushels, compared
with the 1933 crop of 3,885,000 bushels.
West Virginia weather was too dry in October and
checked the crop improvement which resulted from late
August and September rains, but most crops were
matured or harvested before the dry spell set in. In
the northern section of the State there is reported some
shortage of water and pasturage. The estimated pro­
duction of corn this year is 11,990,000 bushels, com­
pared with 13,920,000 bushels in 1933 and a five-year
average production of 11,290,000 bushels. Corn husk­
ing was well advanced on November 1. The Irish
potato yield of 2,736,000 bushels exceeds last year's
short crop of 2,331,000 bushels, but is much below the
three-year average yield of 3,522,000 bushels. The
West Virginia tobacco improved last month, and on
November 1 a production of 3,250,000 pounds was
forecast. This year’s per acre yield of 650 pounds
exceeds 645 pounds in 1933, but the 1933 acreage was
larger than this year's and the yield was 4,322,000
pounds. Many apple orchards failed this year, but the
commercial crop of 2,475,000 bushels exceeds last
year's yield of 2,100,000 bushels.
North Carolina crops turned out well this year on
the whole, and yields are above the five-year average
except for cotton and tobacco, in which acreage re­
duction kept down total production. Corn was esti­
mated at 48,048,000 bushels on November 1, compared
with a five-year average of 40,713,000 bushels. The
1934 yield of peanuts is 250,950,000 pounds, in contrast
with average production of 231,181,000 pounds. The
Irish potato crop yielded 10,324,000 bushels, while the
five-year average yield was 7,573,000 bushels, and this
year's production of sweet potatoes totaling 8,715,000
bushels contrasted with 6,794,000 bushels the five-year




average. North Carolina's total apple crop this year is
forecast to be 3,525,000 bushels, while the five-year
average crop is 3,386,000 bushels.
South Carolina, in point of yield per acre, is ex­
ceeded only by Alabama in comparison with a ten-year
average production. On the other hand, preliminary
estimates indicate that the total volume of all crops
combined will be about 5 per cent less than either 1933
outturn or average yearly production for 1927-1931,
the smaller volume being due to curtailment of cotton
and tobacco acreages and to only fair returns from
grain crops. The 1934 corn crop, estimated at 21,324,000 bushels, is 7 per cent below last year's yield
of 22,808,000 bushels and 1 per cent above the average
production in 1927-1931 of 21,215,000 bushels. The
peanut crop of 10,240,000 pounds exceeds both the
1933 yield of 9,520,000 pounds and the three-year aver­
age of 8,055,000 pounds. South Carolina's Irish po­
tato crop of 2,625,000 bushels materially exceeded last
year's yield of 1,744,000 bushels, but fell short of the
three-year average crop of 2,944,000 bushels. This
year's sweet potato crop of 4,674,000 bushels is larger
than the 1933 yield of 4,648,000 bushels or the 19271931 average of 4,247,000 bushels. Production of
sorghum syrup totaled 424,000 gallons this year, 416,000 gallons in 1933, and 376,000 gallons as the average
in 1927-1931.

Construction
Building Permits Issued in October
1934 and 1933
CITIES

Baltimore, M d.------Cumberland, M d......
Frederick, Md............
Hagerstown, Md'. —
Salisbury, Md............
Danville, Va..............
Lynchburg, Va...........
Norfolk, Va----------Petersburg, Va..........
Portsmouth, Va.........
Richmond, Va............
Roanoke, Va............ .
Bluefield, W. Va.
Charleston, W. Va.....
Clarksburg, W. Va—
Asheville, N. C.........
Charlotte, N. C.-----Durham, N. C_____
Greensboro, N. C.__
High Point, N. G....Raleigh, N. C--------Rocky Mount, N. G....
Salisbury, N. C....... Winston-Salem, N. C.
Charleston, S. C____
Columbia, S. C..........
Greenville, S. C....... .
Rock Hill, S. C____
Spartanburg, S. C.__
Washington, D. C.__

!

Permits Issued
1934
1933

Total Valuation
1934
1933

826
6
18
17
19
15
45
149
8
31
106
33
17
46
50
41
55
28
68
15
14
8
3
90
55
41
37
19
48
565

779
6
13
12
14
24
21
96
0
24
85
31
3
88
14
20
25
11
52
14
9
4
8
58
38
36
35
25
13
522

$1,998,600 $ 854,286
52,774
19,775
19,979
5,466
11,823
2,245
11,270
16,625
15,405
6,704
26,791
37,150
83,480
44,876
4,125
0
15,110
12,690
88,908
100,808
24,723
15,544
14,525
1,620
20,332
25,464
51,230
2,700
9,203
10,037
106,439
21,860
58,675
39,850
49,132
74,927
19,523
4,785
14,240
3,040
5,580
1,975
11,550
5,790
32,043
32,790
16,812
8,440
63,703
9,917
35,095
13,215
15,085
15,025
13,909
7,720
982,860
550,415

District Totals____ 2,473

2,080

$3,872,924 $1,945,739

Building permits issued by inspectors in thirty Fifth

MONTHLY REVIEW

7

district cities in October 1934 totaled 2,473, with esti­
mated valuation amounting to $3,872,924, compared
with 2,080 permits valued at $1,945,739 issued in Octo­
ber 1933, increases of approximately 19 per cent in
number and 99 per cent in total valuation in the 1934
month. Twenty-three of the thirty cities reported
larger valuation figures last month in comparison with
October 1933 figures, the best record made for many
months. Among the largest cities, higher 1934 figures
were reported by Baltimore, Charlotte, Norfolk and

Washington, but Charleston, W. Va., and Richmond
fell below their October 1933 figures.
Contracts actually awarded in October for construc­
tion work in the Fifth district, including both urban
and rural projects, totaled $10,936,722, compared with
$10,752,712 in October 1933 and $13,464,279 in Octo­
ber 1932, according to figures collected by the F. W.
Dodge Corporation. Of the awards in October this
year, $2,837,212, or 25.9 per cent, was for residential
work, compared with $2,173,187, or 20.2 per cent, for
this type of work in October 1933.

Retail Trade, 31 Department Stores

W holesale Trade, 58 Firms

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

October 1934 sales, compared with sales in October 1933:
+17.9
+13.0
+28.6
+18.9
+20.3
Total sales Jan.-Oct. 1934, compared with Jan.-Oct. 1933:
+19.8
+13.1
+19.6
+23.4
+17.4
Oct. 31, 1934. stocks, compared with stocks on Oct. 31, 1933:
+ 6.8
—12.5
—14.3
+ 1.4
—10.2
Oct. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Sept. 30, 1934:
+ 5.8
+ 4.0
+ 8.8
+ 7*6
+ 6.4
Number of times stock was turned in October 1934:
.37
.363
.416
.334
.381
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
3.194
2.848
3208
2.79
3.02
Percentage of Oct. 1, 1934, receivables collected in October:
31.9 .
30.3
29.1
30.3
30.0
Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages.




21
7
Groceries Dry Goods

6

Shoes

13

Hardware

11

Drugs

October 1934 sales, compared with sales in October 1933:
+19.8
+ 6.4
— 4.5
+28.6
+19.7
October 1934 sales, compared with sales in September 1934:
+ 52
—10.1
—11.7
+19.8
+11.9
Jan.-Oct. 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Oct. 1933:
+18.7
+27.4
+ 4.8
+30.0
+19.0
Oct. 31, 1934 stocks, compared with Oct. 31, 1933 stocks:
+12.2(8*) — 5.9(3*) —28.4(4*) + 7.4(7*)
Oct. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with Sept. 30, 1934 stocks:
+ 7.5(8*) —20.1(3*) —26.2(4*) — 2.5(7*)
Percentage of Oct. 1, 1934, receivables collected in Oct.:
89.1(12*) 47.4(4*)
82.3(5*)
50.5(11*) 61.9(7*)
♦Number of reporting firms. All figures in the table are per­
centages.

(Compiled November 21, 1934)

8

MONTHLY REVIEW

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

Volume of industrial production and factory em­ Distribution
ployment, which usually shows little change at this
The number of freight cars loaded per working day
season, increased in October, reflecting chiefly the re­
decreased from September to October. Department
sumption of activity at textile mills. Wholesale com­
modity prices, after declining in September and Oc­ store sales showed a seasonal increase and were at
j about the same level, on a seasonally adjusted basis,
tober, advanced in the first half of November.
as in most other months since March. Rural sales of
general merchandise, as reported by the Department of
Industrial Production and Employment
Commerce, increased by less than the usual seasonal
amount following an unusually large increase in Sep­
Activity at industrial establishments, as measured by
the Board's seasonally adjusted index, showed an in­ tember.
crease from 71 per cent of the 1923-1925 average in
September to 73 per cent in October. Among the ! Commodity Prices
industries producing durable manufactures, output at
Wholesale commodity prices,
the
steel mills increased from 23 per cent of capacity for Bureau of Labor Statistics’ weeklyas measured byfrom
index, declined
the month of September to 25 per cent for October,
1926 average
week
while output of automobiles and lumber declined. In 77.8 jper cent of theper cent in the in the endingending
September 8 to 76.0
week
No­
November activity at steel mills continued to increase vember 3 and then rose in the following two weeks
and in the week ending November 24 was at about 28 to 76.7 per cent. The decline was largely in prices of
per cent of capacity. Automobile production has de­
farm products and
some declined further in connection with the preparation of i creases in the pricesfoods but there were also materials.
of textiles and building
new models. The production of non-durable manu­ Increases in the first half of November were largely
factures in the aggregate showed a considerable growth
in October, reflecting sharp increases at cotton, woolen, in the prices of farm products. The price of scrap
and silk mills, offset in part by a decline in activity at steel also advanced, while lead and zinc declined.
meatpacking establishments. The increase in output
at textile mills after the strike in September brought Bank Credit
output to a higher level than in August. Among the
Excess reserves of member banks were about $1,minerals, daily output of crude petroleum declined in 910,000,000 on November 21, showing an increase of
October and that of anthracite increased by an amount $150,000,000 in the preceding five weeks. The in­
smaller than is usual at this season.
crease in reserves held was $200,000,000, of which
Factory employment and payrolls in the country as $50,000,000 covered a growth in required reserves.
a whole increased considerably between the middle of Additions to reserves resulted mainly from gold im­
September and the middle of October. Sharp increases ports and further issues of silver certificates.
were reported at mills producing textile fabrics, while
Loans and investments of reporting member banks
in the automobile, shoe, and canning industries there
in leading cities declined somewhat in the four weeks
were declines of a seasonal nature.
The value of construction contracts awarded was ending November 14, following an increase in the
somewhat larger in October than in any other recent previous month. Substantial declines were shown in
month. There was an increase in residential work as loans on securities and in holdings of securities other
than those of the United States Government. Other
well as in publicly-financed projects.
loans, which had increased considerably in previous
months, also showed some decline, while holdings of
Agriculture
direct obligations of the United States Government
Department of Agriculture estimates, based on No­ and of securities fully guaranteed by the Government
vember 1 conditions, indicate a cotton crop of 9,634,- increased considerably. Customers' deposits continued
000 bales, 26 per cent smaller than the 1933 crop, and to increase, while Government deposits declined.
a corn crop of 1,372,000,000 bushels, 41 per cent
There was a further decline in open-market rates on
smaller than last season and 45 per cent smaller than bankers’ acceptances at the end of October to an offer­
the 1927-1931 average. The tobacco crop is also con­ ing rate of % per cent. Yields on short-term Gov­
siderably smaller than usual, while the white potato ernment securities and other short-term open-market
crop is slightly above the five-year average.
money rates showed little change.




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