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MONTHLY REVIEW
of Financial and Business Conditions

«

___

F ifth
Federal

i

^’Kicnmond a

__

jg

Reserve

....va.

4

ist r ic t

Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Va.
HE most interesting change in the statement of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond between the mid­
dle of October and the middle of November was an in­
crease in holdings of Government securities, resulting
from purchases made on the open market by the Reserve
System in order to provide funds to meet seasonal with­
drawals of currency from the banks and other seasonal
requirements. Discounts for member banks declined
during the month, but continued higher than discounts a
year earlier. Circulation of Federal Reserve notes showed
a further seasonal rise, but rather less than is expected
at this time of year. Reporting member banks showed
an increase in loans and a material rise in investments in
securities, but on the contrary they also reported a sharp
decline in demand deposits which was general in the
reporting banks. Debits to individual accounts figures in
the chief cities of the Fifth district increased by 12.1 per
cent over debits in September, caused chiefly by quarterly
payments falling due early in October, and debits in Oc­
tober this year also exceeded those reported for October
last year by 3.5 per cent.
General business failed to make seasonal gains in Oc­
tober and early November, and a number of indicators
were more unfavorable than for many months. Employ­
ment slumped badly, and from the entire district, except
West Virginia coal fields, come reports of reduced forces,
shortened hours, or both. Commercial failures in the
Fifth district last month were relatively more numerous
than in the Nation as a whole, and exceeded October
1936 figures by a larger percentage, but in total liabilities
involved the district record was better than the record for
the United States. Registrations of new passenger auto­
mobiles in the Fifth district in October declined from the
September level, but exceeded October 1936 registrations
by 11.8 per cent. Construction activity, in both building
permits issued and contracts actually awarded, not only
showed a seasonal decline from September, but also
dropped materially below October 1936 figures. The es­
timated value of permits issued in 31 cities in October
1937 was 6.6 percent below October 1936 figures, and
October contract awards were 35.1 per cent less than
awards in October 1936. Coal production increased sea­

T




D

November 30, 1937
sonally in October in comparison with September, but
was 7.6 per cent below October 1936 production. Textile
mills in the Fifth district were forced to curtail operations
by lack of new orders and many cancellations of old or­
ders, accompanied by burdensome inventories built up
in two or three recent months. Both cotton and rayon
mills have made or are planning to make material reduc­
tions in manufacture until inventories can be reduced.
Retail trade in department stores held up better through
October than most other lines, but was in slightly less
volume than in October 1936, and wholesale trade in
four of five reporting lines declined from last year’s
figures.
The Department of Agriculture on November 8 fore­
cast a record cotton yield of 18,243,000 bales this year,
but spot cotton prices, already slightly below 8 cents per
pound, were not affected by the unfavorable report, Gov­
ernment loan plans serving to peg prices afe present levels.
It appears that cotton growers will receive less cash this
fall from their crop than they received in the fall of 1936,
but if and when proposed subsidies are paid on part of
the 1937 crop the total receipts from this year’s crop may
approximate the 1936 receipts. Tobacco growers are in
a much more favorable position, having materially larger
yields which are selling for slightly higher prices than a
year ago. Apple and potato growers got much larger
yields this year than in 1936, but prices were better last
year and the crops were probably more profitable in that
year. On the whole, tobacco and cattle people will have
more cash to spend this fall than they had a year ago,
but all other farmers will have less, and general business
in the Fifth district will be affected accordingly.
There follows a statistical summary of conditions de­
scribed above:
%
Oct. 1937______Oct. 1936
Debits ^to individual accounts (24
................................. ......
cities)
No. of business failures, 5th district
Liabilities in failures, 5th district..
Sales, 57 dept, stores, 5th district...
Sales, 57 wholesale firms in 5 lines
Registrations, new passenger autos.
Value bldg. permits (31 cities)........
Value of contracts awarded, 5th dist.
Cotton consumption, 5th dist. (Bales)
Soft coal mined, U. S. (Tons) ..........

$1,426,155,000 $1,378,433,000
38
27
694,000
564,000 $
$
$ 12,723,068 $ 12,982,415
5,612,398 $
5,928,852
$
13,570
15,176
6,064,906
5,665,087 $
$
$ 15,943,500 $ 24,585,100
304,419
255,925
40,040,000
43,321,000

Change
+ 3.5
+ 40.7
— 18.7
— 2.0
- 5.3
+ 11.8
— 6.6
— 35.1
— 15.9
— 7.6

MONTHLY REVIEW

2
BA N K IN G CONDITIONS

R eserve B a n k S t a t e m e n t :
In order to provide funds
to meet seasonal withdrawals of currency from the banks
and other seasonal requirements, the Federal Reserve
System entered the open market during the first half of
November and purchased a limited amount of Govern­
ment securities. The System allotted $1,026,000 of these
purchases to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and
the Bank’s holdings of Governments were thereby in­
creased by the amount mentioned. Discounts for member
banks at the Richmond Reserve bank declined by $254,000
last month and industrial advances for working capital
dropped by $61,000, these changes partly offsetting the
rise in Government security holdings. Federal Reserve
notes in circulation continued a seasonal rise, but some­
what less than in most years. Member bank reserve de­
posits rose by $11,985,000 between the middle of October
and the middle of November, and the cash reserves of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond increased by
$10,752,000. There was a small rise in the ratio of cash
reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined.
Items
Discounts held ...................................
Open market paper ...........................
Industrial advances .........................
Government securities ..................... .........
Total earning assets .......................
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes .........
Members’ reserve deposits ............... .
Cash reserves ..................................... .......
Reserve ratio ................................................

000 omitted
Oct. 15
Nov. 15
1937
1937
$
515
$
769
109
110
2,374
2,435
134,061
133,035
137,060
136,348
213,936
212,734
232,471
220,486
345,238
334,486
72.46
72.02

Nov. 15
1936
$
34
121
3,360
125,510
129,025
205,813
220,898
324,575
72.63

S t a t e m e n t o f 41 R e p o r t i n g M e m b e r B a n k s :
Loans
continued to rise moderately in 41 regularly reporting
member banks in 12 Fifth district cities between October
13 and November 10, and there were also increases in
investments in securities and in reserve balances with the
Reserve bank. On the other hand, an unusually large
decline occurecf in demand deposits during the period, and
small decreases were also indicated for cash in vaults
and for time deposits. The increase in security holdings
was due almost entirely to more or less temporary fluctu­
ations in three large banks, but the decline in demand
deposits was general among the 41 banks.
ITEMS
Investments in securities ...................
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank...........
Cash in vaults ....................................
Demand deposits ........................................
Time deposits .....................................
Money borrowed ..........................................

000 omitted
Nov. 10
Oct. 13
1937
1937
$252,835
$250,207
394,573
366,845
129,331
127,976
20,143
20,499
462,962
478,746
196,840
197,312
0
0

Nov. 11
1936
$217,048
446,907
141,578
18,919
469,162
196,999
0

: Fall trade, beginning
in September, continues to increase in October, and a
rise of 12 .1 per cent in aggregate debits to individual ac­
counts in October over those in September is a seasonal
development. Last month’s debits also exceeded October
1936 debits by 3.5 per cent. All of the 24 cities showed
higher figures for October than for September except
four, and all showed higher figures than for October 1936
except seven. Danville debits rose 101.7 per cent in Oc­
tober over September, due to the operation of auction
D e b it s t o I n d iv i d u a l A c c o u n t




tobacco markets last month, and increased tobacco sales
also accounted for increases of 33.6 per cent and 14.7 per
cent in Durham and Winston-Salem, respectively.
CITIES

Oct.
1937

Maryland
Baltimore ............
Cumberland ........
Hagerstown ........

000 omitted
Sept.
Oct.
1937
1936

c of Change
/c
Year
Month

$ 378,930
9,350
9,459

$ 346,830
9,546
8,934

$ 386,628
9,879
8,179

+ 9.3
— 2.1
+ 5.9

— 2.0
— 5.4
+ 15.6

259,753

231,540

258,049

+ 12.2

+

Portsmouth ........
Richmond ............
Roanoke ..............

19,069
16,664
9,102
51,553
3,995
217,476
27,757

9,453
15,271
8,241
47,833
3,919
185,495
26,692

15,558
16,672
9,681
49,857
3,882
198,662
31,686

+ 101.7
+ 9.1
+ 10.4
+ 7.8
+ 1.9
+ 17.2
+ 4.0

+ 22.6
— .1
— 6.0
+ 3.4
+ 2.9
+ 9.5
— 12.4

West Virginia
Charleston .........
Huntington ........

57,592
19,954

51,346
17,427

47,310
19,550

+ 12.2
+ 14.5

+ 21.7
+ 2.1

North Carolina
Asheville ............
Charlotte ............
Durham ..............
Greensboro ..........
Raleigh ..............
Wilmington ........
Winston-Salem .

13,687
65,879
57,686
19,001
43,025
12,256
48,990

13,946
60,432
43,176
17,957
35,471
12,505
42,728

12,889
63,072
50,172
17,805
37,058
12,831
43,982

— 1.9
+ 9.0
+ 33.6
+ 5.8
+ 21.3
- 2.0
+ 14.7

+ 6.2
+ 4.5
+ 15.0
+ 6.7
+ 16.1
— 4.5
+ 11.4

South Carolina
Charleston ..........
Columbia ............
Greenville ..........
Spartanburg . . . .
Fifth District . . .

20,765
31,376
21,913
10,923
$1,426,155

20,147
32,372
21,335
9,644
$1,272,240

19,215
30,230
25,515
10,071
$1,378,433

+
+
+
+

+ 8.1
+ 3.8
— 14.1
+ 8.5
+ 3.5

Dist. of Col.
Washington , .
Virginia
Danville .............
Lynchburg ..........
Newport News . .

3.1
3.1
2.7
13.3
12.1

-7

M u t u a l S a v i n g s B a n k D e p o s it s :
Ten mutual savings banks in Baltimore had deposits totaling $218,355,228
on October 31, 1937, an increase of three-tenths of 1 per
cent over $217,676,535 on deposit on September 30, 1937,
and 3.1 per cent above $211,848,824 on October 31, 1936.
Aggregate deposits in the ten reporting banks set new
records at the end of each of the past three months.

BU SIN E SS CONDITIONS
Marked changes occurred during the
past month in employment, and signs indicate a falling off
in enrollment or payrolls, or both, in most of the indus­
tries in the Fifth district. Coal mining increased season­
ally during recent weeks, and tobacco manufacturing con­
tinued at approximately the same level, but activity de­
clined at both cotton and rayon textile mills, railroad
shops, lumber plants, in all types of construction work,
and in miscellaneous fields. Many plants which have not
yet reduced operating time are planning curtailment in the
near future, chiefly by reducing average hours of work
for all employees rather than laying off part of the work­
ers. The following figures, compiled by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics from records submitted by a large num­
ber of identical industries, show the trends of employ­
ment and payrolls in the Fifth district from September
to October, the latest available figures:
E m ploym ent:

STATES
Maryland ...............................................................
D. of Columbia ....................................................
Virginia ................................................................
West Virginia ......................................................
North Carolina ....................................................
South Carolina ....................................................

Percentage change from
Sept. to
Oct. 1937
In number
In amount
on payroll
of payroll
— 2.7
— .3
+ 2.6
+ 3.2
— 1.1
+ 1-6
+
.2
+ 3 .2
— 2.8
— 3.6
— 1.3
— 2.9

MONTHLY REVIEW
C o m m e r c ia l F a il u r e s :
Figures compiled by Dun &
Bradstreet on business failures show an increase of 40.7
per cent in October 1937 over October 1936 in the num­
ber of insolvencies in the Fifth Reserve district, com­
pared with an increase of 25.7 per cent for the United
States, but in aggregate liabilities involved in failures the
district showed a decrease of 18.7 per cent while the
Nation showed an increase of 12.9 per cent.
Number of failuresTotal Liabilities
District U. S.
District
38
768
$ 564,000
30
564
347,000
27
611
694,000

PERIOD
October
1937.................
September 1937.................
October
1936.................

10 Months, 1937............. ......... 394
10 Months, 1936............. ......... 391

7,299
7,805

$3,657,000
6,524,000

U. S.
$ 9,335,000
8,393,000
8,266,000
$ 92,225,000
123,433,000

: The number of
new cars sold in the Fifth district in October did not
equal the number sold in September, probably due to the
fact that many new models did not come out until late in
the month, but October registrations of new cars exceeded
October 1936 registrations by 11.8 per cent. Among Fifth
district states, North Carolina led with an increase of
27.5 per cent in registrations of new cars over October
1936. The three most popular makes comprised 62.6 per
cent of all Fifth district registrations last month, com­
pared with 68.3 per cent in October 1936. The follow­
ing figures were collected by R. L. Polk & Co. :
A u t o m o b il e N e w

C a r R e g is t r a t io n s

Registration of New Passenger Cars
STATES
Maryland ..........
D. of Col.............
Virginia ...........
West Va..............
No. Carolina .. .
So. Carolina
District

Oct.
1937
2,747
1,465
3,134
1,973
4,153
1,704
15,176

Oct.
1936
2,469
1,633
2,956
1,721
3,256
1,535
13,570

10 Months 10 Months
%
Change
Change 1937
1936
+ 11.3
40,664
36,719
+ 10.7
— 10.3
25,048
27,672
— 9.5
42,515
+ 4.7
+ 6.0
44,500
+ 14.6
32,156
+
.3
32,050
+ 27.5
47,096
39,428
+ 19.4
+ 11.0
24,203
19,747
+ 22.5
+ 11.8
213,667
198,131
+ 7.8
%

: Building permits issued last month not
only showed a seasonal decrease from those issued in
September, but were 19.8 per cent fewer in number and
6.6 per cent less in estimated valuation than permits issued
in October 1936. There were 2,681 permits issued in 31
Fifth district cities in October 1937, with estimated valu­
ation of $5,665,087, compared with 3,341 permits and
valuation of $6,064,906 issued in October 1936. Only 11
of the 31 reporting cities showed higher valuation figures
for the 1937 month.
Contract award figures for October, available by States
in F. W. Dodge Corporation reports, show a decrease in
the Fifth district of 35.1 per cent under awards in OctoKpr 1
Construction Contracts Awarded
C o n s t r u c t io n

STATES
Maryland .....................................
D. of Col..........................................
Virginia ........................................
West Virginia ............. . ............
North Carolina ...........................
South Carolina ...........................
District

Oct. 1937
$ 4,095,400
2,647,800
2,537,700
1,806,100
3,173,300
1,683,200
$15,943,500

Oct. 1936
$ 4,468,300
2,483,300
4,823,000
2,185,800
4,256,000
4,368,700
$24,585,100

% Change
— 8.3
—40.9
—47.4
-1 7 .4
—25.4
—61.5
—35.1

Coal M in in g :
Production of bituminous coal in Octo­
ber 1937 totaling 40,040,000 net tons was less than 43,321,000 tons dug in October last year, but 367,102,000
tons mined this calendar year prior to October 31 ex­
ceeded 346,435,000 tons dug in the corresponding 10
months last year. On October 1, 1937, consumers’ stocks
of coal totaled 46,036,000 tons, an increase of 33 per




3

cent over stocks totaling 34,604,000 tons on October 1,
1936, Hampton Roads ports shipped 17,817,434 tons
of soft coal between January 1 and October 31, 1937,
compared with 16,009,170 tons shipped in the correspond­
ing 1936 period. Official figures by states for September
production in tons this year and last are now available
from reports of the National Bitnminous Coal Commis­
sion :
STATES
West Virginia .........................
Virginia ...................................
Maryland .................................
5th District .........................
United States .....................

Soft Coal Production in Tons Percentage
Sept. 1937
Sept. 1936
Change
10,668,000
10,440,000
+ 2.3
1,276,000
1,060,000
+20.4
135,000________ 142,000______ — 4.9
12,099,000
11,642,000
+ 3.9
39,055,000
37,192,000
+ 5.0

Demand for textile products, which began to
decline last spring and continued during the summer,
weakened further in October, and cancellations of orders
increased. Cotton and rayon cloth, yarn and knitting
mills were reluctant to curtail operations and consequently
built up inventories until they became unduly large. In
the past four to six weeks mills have found curtailment
of output necessary, and this has finally reached all the
way back to manufacturers of rayon thread. Consump­
tion of cotton by states in the Fifth district in October
1937, September 1937, and October 1936, in bales, is
shown below:
T e x t il e s :

MONTHS

No. Carolina So. Carolina Virginia

District

October
1937.........................
September 1937.........................
October
1936.........................

130,789
152,295
167,628

110,507
129,095
122,234

14,629
15,889
14,557

255,925
297,279
304,419

10 Months, 1937.....................
10 Months, 1936.....................

1,638,472
1,493,660

1,271,065
1,122,238

151,285
139,315

3,060,822
2,755,213

Figures on spindle activity in September were released
by the Bureau of the Census on October 20 . There were
26,843,000 spindles in place in American mills on Sep­
tember 30, of which Fifth district mills had 12,363,342
spindles. Actual spindle hours of operation in Septem­
ber totaled 7,658,339,165 hours in the United States,
South Carolina ranking first with 2,163,346,604 hours and
North Carolina second with 1,763,762,710 hours. For
the first time in many months, South Carolina with aver­
age operations of 381 hours per spindle in place lost the
lead to Tennessee, which had an average of 403 hours per
spindle. Virginia ranked third with 359 hours per spin­
dle, while North Carolina with 292 hours ranked seventh.
All Fifth district cotton manufacturing states were above
the National average of 285 hours of operation per spin­
dle in place.
C o t t o n : Spot cotton prices receded further between the
middle of October and the middle of November, falling
to an average of 7.75 cents per pound for middling grade
on November 5 on ten Southern markets, but there was a
partial recovery to 7.98 cents on November 12. At these
low prices, growers withheld considerable cotton from the
market and substantial quantities were pledged on Gov­
ernment loans. The Commodity Credit Corporation re­
ported a total of 2,270,000 bales of the 1937 crop pledged
on loans through November 18. On November 8 , the
Department of Agriculture’s forecast of production for
1937 of 18,243,000 bales indicated that this year’s crop
is the largest on record, and showed an increase of 47.1
per cent over 12,399,000 bales picked in 1936. Every

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

cotton growing state in the United States reported a
higher figure for 1937 production. Fifth district states
averaged an increase of 18.3 per cent. Production figures
by states for the district will be found elsewhere on this
page.
Cotton Consumed and On Hand
(Bales)
Oct.
1937

Fifth district states:
Cotton consumed .....................

Oct.
1936

Aug. 1 to Oct. 31
This Year Last Year

255,925

304,419

449,797

546,129

1,216,736
9,693,248

1,249,847
7,986,914

526,464

651,086

1,418,602
9,758,419
798,921

843,045

872,941

Cotton growing states:
Cotton consumed ............... ..
Cotton on hand Oct. 31 in
Consuming establishments .
Storage & Compresses . . . .

1,467,084
......
....

1,553,316

Exports of cotton .......................

.Virginia (13) .
West Va. (10 )..
No. Carolina (7)
So. Carolina (12)
District (57)

Price Per Hundred
1937
1936
$17.74
27.96
26.13

26,078,781
13,892,142,613
517,565,260
2,987,947

28,425,928
13,203,851,027
551,114,413
3,620,453




7.7
10.5
7.5
12.8
4.8

Note: All figures in Retail& Wholesale tables represent percentage
changes except the collection ratios. Number of reporting firms shown in
parentheses.

A G R IC U LT U R A L CONDITIONS

1,613,127

Oct. 1936

+
+
+
+
+

117.6
38.4
62.3
52.1
82.0

1,636,780

$14.02
23.79
23.86

% Change

— 8.3
+ 5.2
— 6.1
— 17.5

D e p a r t m e n t S tores :

2.4
2.5
4.4
4.3
2.0

+11.2
— 12.3
—22.7
— 4.4
+ 5.7

861,016

Net Sales
Net Sales
Stocks
Ratio Oct.
Oct. 1937 Jan. 1 to date
Oct. 31, 1937
collections
comp, with compared with compared with
to accounts
October
same period Oct. 31 Sept. 30 outstanding
last year
1936
1937
1936
October
+ 16.4
34.2
+
.9
+ 4.0 + 5.9
+ 2.3
+ 7.5
32.2
+ 4.2 + 5.8
— 7.7
26.4
+
.3
+ 10.0 + 9 .9
— 4.0
+ 6.4
32.0
+ 4.0
+ 5.1 + 6.5
- 3.4
29.2

+
—
—
+
—

+ 8.1
+44.8
+33.4
+ 5.6
+10.2

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

12,352,984
168,948,337
31,083,244

Same stores by
States, with 28
stores added:

+10.1
+ 2.5
+ 7.1
+20.0
+11.3

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

Oct. 1937

Richmond (3). .
Baltimore (8)
Washington (6)
Other Cities (14)
District (29) .

— 9.5
—20.4
—29.8
— 5.6
— 7.5

1,412,603
8,034,194

The Bureau of Internal
Revenue reports tobacco products manufactured in Oc­
tober 1937 and 1936 as follows:

R e t a il T r a d e in

— 1.0
— 10.9
— 13.2
+ 3.1
— 2.5

e a r ly in N o v e m b e r a re in c lu d e d in th e ta b le s b e lo w , 1937
y ie ld s b e in g s h o w n in c o m p a r is o n w it h 1936 fig u r e s a n d

T obacco M anufacturing:

Smoking & Chewing
Tobacco, Pounds ..............
Cigarettes, Number ...............
Cigars, Number ......................
Snuff, Pounds...........................

Groceries (21).
Dry Goods (7)
Shoes (6)
Hardware (12)
Drugs (1 1 )...

1,855,867

Producers’ Tobacco Sales, Pounds
Oct. 1937
Oct. 1936
13,793,448
205,971,995
34,995,088

l in e s

1,732,681

Auction tobacco markets in the
Carolinas and Virginia reported sales and prices for Octo­
ber 1937 and 1936 as follows:
South Carolina . . .
North Carolina . . .
Virginia ................

Net Sales
Net Sales
Stocks Ratio Oct.
Oct. 1937
Jan. 1 to date Oct. 31, 1937 collections
comp, with
compared with compared with to accounts
Oct.
Sept.
same period Oct. 31 Sep. 30 outstanding
1936
1937
last year
1936
1937 October 1

C ro p C o n d it io n s a n d E s t i m a t e s :
E s tim a te s o f p r o ­
d u c t io n a s r e le a s e d b y th e D e p a r t m e n t o f A g r i c u l t u r e

T obacco M arketing :

STATES

F ir m s :

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

United States:
Cotton consumed ...................
Cotton on hand Oct. 31 in
Consuming establishments .
Storage & compresses........ .

W h o lesale T r ade, 57

th o s e f o r th e b a s e y e a r s

1928-1932.

f o r c r o p s h a r v e s te d p r io r t o

F ig u r e s a r e o m itt e d

N o v e m b e r , s u c h a s w h e a t,

o a ts , a n d h a y .
Cotton (Bales)
1937
1936
Virginia ..........................
40,000
33,000
North Carolina .............
720,000+
597,000
South Carolina .............
950,000+
816,000
18,243,000+
12,399,000
United States .............
Com (Bushels)
Maryland ......................
18,576,000+
18,396,000
Virginia ..........................
38,844,000+
30,014,000
West Virginia ...............
14,784,000+
11,569,000
North Carolina .............
45,357,000+
43,475,000
25,017,000
23,635,000
South Carolina .............
United States .............
2,651,393,000+ 1,529,327,000
Irish Potatoes (Bushels)
Maryland ........................
3,304,000
2,940,000
Virginia ..........................
10,998,000
7,380,000
West Virginia ...............
3,264,000—
1,920,000
North Carolina .............
9,384,000
5,986,000
South Carolina .............
2,875,000
1,656,000
United States .............
391,707,000—
329,997,000
Sweet Potatoes (Bushels)
1,040,000—
1,200,000
Maryland ........................
Virginia ..........................
5,070,000+
4,366,000
North Carolina .............
8,160,000—
7,560,000
4,860,000
4,845,000
South Carolina .............
United States .............
73,774,000—
64,144,000
Tobacco (Pounds)
Maryland ........................
24,850,000
29,600,000
Virginia ..........................
106,156,000+
96,734,000
West Virginia ...............
2,380,000—
1,282,000
North Carolina .............
577,190,000+
457,373,000
106,400,000
73,350,000
South Carolina...............
United States .............
1,485,148,000+ 1,153,083,000
Apples (Bushels)
Maryland ........................
2,847,000—
2,014,000
Virginia ..........................
18,000,000
8,500,000
West Virginia ...............
10,004,000+
4,395,000
4,505,000
1,890,000
North Carolina .............
United States .............
211,100,000+
117,506,000
Peanuts (Pounds)

1928-1932
45,000
752,000
856,000
14,667,000
14,431,000
30,388,000
11,054,000
38,415,000
20,240,000
2,554,772,000
3,339,000
14,328,000
3,445,000
7,540,000
2,748,000
372,115,000
1,299,000
4,270,000
7,141,000
4,648,000
66,368,000
24,318,000
98,409,000
4,224,000
469,135,000
75,918,000
1,427,174,000
2,067,000
13,116,000
6,837,000
3,199,000
164,355,000

Virginia .........................
173,880,000+
151,200,000
148,324,000
North Carolina .............
258,750,0004*
243,960,000
223,450,000
South Carolina .............
8,580,000+
8,160,000
8,760,000
United States .............
1,277,130,000+ 1,300,540,000
946,231,000
Note: Estimates marked ( + ) were raised last month, those marked
( —) were lowered, and others remained unchanged from October 1 to
November 1.

(Compiled November 20, 1937)

MONTHLYgREVIEW, November 30, 1937

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Compiled by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Volume of industrial production showed a further sharp decrease in Octo­
ber and the first three weeks o f November, and there was a reduction in employ­
ment. Commodity prices continued ito decline. Distribution of commodities to
consumers was maintained at the level of other recent months.

IN DU STRIAL PRODUCTION

PRODUCTION AND EMPLOYMENT

Index of physical volume of production, ad­
justed for seasonal variation, 1923-192S average
=100. By months, January 1929 to October 1937.

FACTORY EMPLOYMENT

Index of number employed, adjusted for sea­
sonal variation, 1923-1925 average=100>.
By
months, January 1929 to October 1937.

In October the Board’s seasonally adjusted index of industrial production
was 103 per cent of the 1923-1925 average as compared with 111 per cent in
September and an average of 116 per cent in the first eight months of this year.
There was a marked curtailment of activity in the durable goods industries.
Output of steel ingots, which had shown a steady decline since August, was at
an average rate of 59 per cent of capacity in October and by the third week
in November the rate had declined to 36 per cent. Automobile production in­
creased considerably in October as most manufacturers began assembly of 1938
model cars. In the first three weeks of November output o f automobiles showed
little change from the level reached iat the end of October, with assemblies by
one leading manufacturer continuing in exceptionally small volume. Produc­
tion of lumber and of plate glass declined further in October. In the non­
durable goods industries, where output had been declining since the spring of
this year, there was a further decrease in October. Cotton consumption showed
a sharp reduction and activity at woolen mills and shoe factories continued to
decline. There was an increase in output at sugar refineries, where activity had
been at a low level in September. In most other lines changes in output were
largely seasonal. Mineral production continued at about the level reached at
the close o f 1936 and maintained throughout this year.
Value of construction contracts awarded in October and the first half of
November was smaller than in the preceding six weeks, according to figures
of the F. W. Dodge Corporation. The decline was chiefly in private nonresidential construction.
Factory employment declined substantially in October and payrolls showed
little change, although an increase is usual at this season. Declines in the
number employed were reported by factories producing steel, machinery, lumber
and textiles, and in many smaller industries. There was a seasonal increase in
employment at automobile factories. Employment and payrolls increased sea­
sonally at mines and at establishments engaged in wholesale and retail trade.
DISTRIBUTION

WHOLESALE

PR IC E S

< i
*
A

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thr
Cm o itie
o md s
v
V

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/T i r v
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a r dc

13
92

<3
93

13
94

COMMODITY PRICES

13
95

13
96

13
97

Indexes compiled by the United States Bureau
of Labor Statistics, 1926=100. By weeks, 1932
to date.
Latest figure, week ending November
20, 1937.

M EM BE R BAN K CREDIT

aiLL’O S O O LLAPS
N F O

BHIJONS O D LLARS
F O

'3 13
4 95

13
96

13
95

I3
9S

Wednesday figures for reporting member banks
in 101 leading cities.
September 5, 1934, to
Nov. 17, 1937.




Sales at department stores and mail order sales increased seasonally in
October. Throughout the year sales at department stores have been sustained,
with seasonal fluctuations, and the Board’s adjusted index of these sales has
shown little change.
Freight car loadings declined in October and the first half of November,
reflecting smaller shipments of forest products, ore, and miscellaneous freight.

Prices of industrial materials, particularly non-ferrous metals, steel scrap,
rubber and hides, declined further from the middle o f October to the third
week of November, and there were some decreases in the prices of finished
industrial products. Livestock and meat prices declined substantially and coffee
prices dropped sharply following the announcement by Brazil of modification of
its control policy.
BANK CREDIT

During the first half of November the Federal Reserve banks purchased
$28,525,000 of United States Government securities, in accordance with the

policy adopted in September to provide additional reserves for meeting seasonal
currency and other requirements. Ftom the middle of October to November 17,
excess reserves of member banks increased from about $1,000,000,000 to $1,100,000,000, reflecting the Federal Reserve security purchases and a considerable
decline in required reserves at member banks in New York City, caused partly
by a reduction in demand deposits arising from a liquidation of brokers’ loans.
Loans to brokers and dealers reported by banks in leading cities declined by
$250,000,000 during the four weeks ending November 17. Commercial loans,
following a steady increase for several months, declined after the middle of
October. Member banks in New York City increased their holdings of United
States Government securities by over $150,000,000 while banks outside New
York City showed a further reduction. Deposits continued to show moderate
reductions.

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