View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

MONTHLY

REVIEW

BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
DISTRICT SUMMARY— September trade in
the Fifth reserve district was in seasonal volume
in most lines, and fall business about equals that
of last year. In the case of the district’s leading
cash crops, the estimated production of cotton
is larger than last year although the price to
date has been somewhat lower and for tobacco
both production and prices are smaller than in
1927. The textile situation is not as good this
year as it was last year, but it improved distinct­
ly in September and early October. Debits to
individual accounts figures are approximately
equal to those of 1927. Savings deposits are at
record levels, and business failures compare fav­
orably with recent years. Labor is better em­
ployed than last year, and with a building pro­
gram larger than that of the past winter the
prospects for employment during the next few
months are good. Coal production is up to sea­
sonal levels, and West Virginia continues to lead
all states in output. Retail trade in September
was in large volume, exceeding that of Septem­
ber 1927 by approximately 4.5 per cent, and in­
ventories in department stores are lower than a
year ago. Wholesale trade is not so good as re­
tail trade.
RESERVE B A N K OPERATIONS— Redis­
counts for member banks at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond decreased from $58,371,000
on September 15, 1928, to $50,666,000 on October
15th, an unusual development at the season of
fall crop marketing and discounting of bills for
fall and winter merchandise. The increased need
for cash incident to tobacco and cotton market­
ing raised the actual circulation of Federal re­
serve notes from $60,406,000 at the middle of
September to $69,896,000 at the middle of Oc­
tober. In spite of the decrease in rediscounts-




OCTOBER. 31, 1928
held by the bank, the total earning assets of the
Richmond institution rose from $70,134,000 on
September 15th to $70,224,000 on October 15th,
the figure for this item being raised by an in­
crease in the holdings of bankers’ acceptances
purchased from member banks and in the open
market. Member banks reduced their reserve
balances last month, their deposits at the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond declining from
$71,958,000 to $67,799,000 between September
15th and October 15th. The several changes
mentioned raised the cash reserves of the Rich­
mond bank from $72,866,000 to $79,550,000 dur­
ing the month under review, and also increased
the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit
liabilities combined from 53.43 per cent to 56.04
per cent.
On October 15, 1928, bills discounted for mem­
ber banks in the Fifth district were approximate­
ly 74 per cent more than a year earlier, but the
circulation of Federal reserve notes was slightly
less on the 1928 date. Although the bills dis­
counted this year exceeded those of October 15,
1927, by more than $21,000,000, reduced holdings
of acceptances and Govejrnment securities in
comparison with last year lowered the total of
earning assets of the Richmond bank. On Oc­
tober 15th last year rediscounts for member
banks totaled $29,176,000, compared with $50,666.000 this year, and the circulation of reserve
notes was $71,151,000 on October 15, 1927, com­
pared with $69,896,000 on October 15, 1928. Total
earning assets of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond declined during the year from $91,732.000 to $70,224,000 as a result of decreases in
holdings of acceptances and Government securi­
ties. Reserve deposits of member banks, which
aggregated $71,403,000 last year, totaled $67,799.000 at the middle of October this year. The
cash reserves of the Richmond bank totaled
$61,794,000 on October 15, 1927, but rose to $79,550.000 on the corresponding date this year,
while the ratio of cash reserves to note and de­
posit liabilities combined rose during the year
from 42.11 per cent to 56.04 per cent.

Business Conditions in the United States will be found on page 8

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

Oct. 10, 1928

Sept. 12, 1928
$

$

2,553,000
179.626.000
335.768.000
517.947.000
156.384.000
40.832.000
12.759.000
359.350.000
247.445.000
22.490.000

Loans Secured by U. S. Government Obligations...............
Loans Secured by Other Stocks and Bonds............................
All Other Loans and Discounts, Largely Commercial.........
Total Loans and Discounts............... ............................
Total Investments in Bonds and Securities........................
Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve Bank........................
Cash in Vaults
........................................................................
Demand Deposits
■
...................................................................
Time Deposits
..........................................................................
Borrowed from Federal Reserve Bank..................................

Oct. 12, 1927

2,997,000
186.109.000
332.583.000
521.689.000
156.676.000
39.699.000
11.872.000
358.800.000
245.405.000
26.054.000

$

4,698,000
158.842.000
372.912.000
536.452.000
170.257.000
42.179.000
14.244.000
395.299.000
241.835.000
15.664.000

The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition of sixty-four regularly reporting
member banks as of three dates, October 10, 1928, September 12, 1928, and October 12, 1927, thus
affording an opportunity for comparing the latest available figures with those of the corresponding
dates a month and a year earlier. It should be understood that the figures in the table reflect con­
ditions as of the report dates only, and are not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that oc­
curred during the interval between the dates.
Between September 12th and October 10th, both this year, loans secured by U. S. Government
obligations decreased $444,000, and loans on other stocks and bonds declined $6,483,000, but all other
loans and discounts rose seasonally by $3,185,000. These changes resulted in a net decrease in total
loans to customers amounting to $3,742,000. The reporting banks reduced their investments in bonds
and securities during the month by $292,000, and raised their balance at the reserve bank by $1,133,000. The fall season with its increased demand for cash raised the cash in vaults by $887,000 be­
tween September 12th and October 10th. Demand deposits increased $550,000 during the period under
review, and time deposits rose $2,040,000, a net deposit gain of $2,590,000. The reductions in loans
and investments and the gain in deposits enabled the reporting banks to reduce their rediscounts at
the reserve bank by $3,564,000 during the month.
In comparison with the figures reported on October 12, 1927, those reported on October 10, 1928,
show a decrease of $2,145,000 in loans on Government securities and a decline of $37,144,000 in com­
mercial, agricultural and industrial loans, but loans on stocks and bonds other than Government se­
curities rose $20,784,000. These changes give a net increase during the year in total loans to cus­
tomers amounting to $18,505,000. The sixty-four banks reduced their investments in bonds and se­
curities by $13,873,000 during the year, and their aggregate reserve deposits at the reserve bank de­
clined $1,347,000. Cash in vaults dropped $1,485,000 during the twelve months under review. A ggre­
gate deposits in reporting banks declined $30,339,000 between October 12th last year and October
10th this year, demand deposits decreasing $35,949,000 while time deposits rose $5,610,000. The re­
porting member banks increased their rediscounts at the reserve bank by $6,886,000 during the year.
DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
CITIES

TO T A L DEBITS DURING T H E FOUR W EEK S ENDED
October 10, 1928

Asheville, N. C...... ...................... ......................
Baltimore, Md......................................................
Charleston, S. C................................................
Charleston, W. V a............................................
Charlotte, N. C...................................................
Columbia, S. C....................................................
Cumberland, Md............................................... ~
Danville, V a........................................................
Durham, N. C.....................................................
Greensboro, N. C....................... ........................
Greenville, S. C..................................................
Hagerstown, Md. ...............................................
Huntington, W. V a.............................................
Lynchburg, V a ....................................................
Newport News, V a...... ......................................
Norfolk, V a................................... ......................
Portsmouth Va
..
......................
Raleigh, N. C.......................................................
Richmond, V a......................................................
Roanoke, V a........................................................
Spartanburg, S. C.............................................
Washington, D. C................................... ............
Wilmington, N. C.......... ....................................
Winston-Salem, N. C.........................................

$

37,351,000
380,724,000
21,535,000
34,882,000
54,352,000
21,462,000
10,244,000
8,216,000
30,625,000
21,884,000
21 ,102,000
10,513,000
21,545,000
23,212,000
9,767,000
57.514.000
4,826.000
21.268.000
152,740,000
27,624,000
13,774,000
269,659,000
15,980,000
39,529,000

District Totals ...................................................

$1,310,328,000

* This Norfolk figure contains debits fo r Portsmouth also.




2

September 12, 1928
$

24,528,000
287,436,000
22,433,000
30,968,000
44,283,000
17,500,000
8,226,000
7,022,000
27,410,000
19,293,000
15,391,000
8,282,000
18,670,000
15,896,000
8,180,000
52,299,000
5.054,000
16,689,000
131,278.000
25,228.000
10 .022,000
199,396.000
13,464.000
33,095,000

$1,042,043,000

October 12, 1927
$

36,870,000
407,623,000
29,456,000
37,644,000
56,596,000
21,451,000
8,482,000
9,770,000
34,934,000
24,368,000
26.948.000
10.003.000
22,376,000
21,757,000
9,246,000
*65,351,000
21,255,000
140,814,000
29,398,000
14,174,000
228,282,000
20,874,000
47,768,000

$1,325,440,000

Debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts in the leading trade centers of the Fifth re­
serve district are shown in the accompanying table for three periods of four weeks each, ended Oc­
tober 10, 1928, September 12, 1928, and October 12, 1927. The figures for the latest available four
weeks period, ended October 10th, may be compared with those reported for the preceding four
weeks ended September 12th this year and with those for the corresponding four weeks ended Oc­
tober 12, 1927.
Aggregate debits in twenty-four leading cities in the Fifth reserve district amounted to $1,310.328.000 during the four weeks ended October 10, 1928, an increase of 25.7 per cent over $1,042.043.000 reported for the preceding four weeks ended September 12th. All of the twenty-four cities
except two reported higher figures for the more recent period. The gains were seasonal, and were
due to quarterly payments around October 1st, to increased marketing of tobacco and cotton, to the
growth of fall retail trade, and to the fact that the more recent period under review contained one
more business day than the earlier period.
Debits totaling $1,310,328,000 during the four weeks ended October 10, 1928, were 1.1 per cent
below the total of $1,325,440,000 reported by the same cities for the four weeks ended October 12,
1927. Comparative figures for both years are available for twenty-three cities, of which only nine
reported larger totals this year while fourteen cities reported smaller figures. Richmond and Wash­
ington figures during the 1928 period exceeded those for the corresponding four weeks last year, but
the other large centers reported decreased totals this year.
SAVINGS DEPOSITS—Total deposits in twelve mutual savings banks in Baltimore at the end
of September this year amounted to $184,837,715, compared with $183,521,480 on deposit at the end
of August this year and $169,718,412 at the end of September 1927. The amount on deposit on Septembe 30th was the highest on record. On October 10th this year, sixty-four regularly reporting
member banks in leading cities of the Fifth district had time deposits aggregating $247,445,000, com­
pared with $245,405,000 on September 12th this year and $241,835,000 on October 12, 1927.
BUSINESS FAILURES—Business failures in the United States numbered 1,635 in September
1928, compared with 1,852 failures in August this year and 1,573 in September 1927. Aggregate lia­
bilities in September were $33,956,686, compared with liabilities totaling $58,201,830 in August 1928
and $32,786,125 in September 1927. In both the number of insolvencies and in liabilities involved the
September record showed a seasonal decline in comparison with the August record, but was slightly
less favorable than in September a year ago. During the quarter closed on September 30th, insol­
vencies in the United States totaled 5,210, with liabilities totaling $121,745,149, compared with 5,037
failures and liabilities amounting to $115,132,052 reported for the third quarter of 1927.
In the Fifth reserve district, September 1928 failures numbered 119, compared with 114 failures
in August this year and 104 in September 1927. Liabilities last month totaled $2,700,752, compared
with $2,546,548 in August 1928 and $3,740,473 in September 1927. During the quarter just closed,
Fifth district failures totaled 355, with liabilities aggregating $7,085,907, compared with 361 failures
and liabilities totaling $9,961,861 during the quarter ended September 30, 1927. According to Dun's
Review, failures were fewer in the 1928 quarter in Virginia and West Virginia, and liabilities were
lower in Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia.
LABOR—Accurate statistics on employment are difficult to secure, but the data which are avail­
able appear to indicate fairly satisfactory conditions in the Fifth district as a whole. There are a
number of idle workers in the cities, but the excess of workmen over jobs is not particularly large.
Tobacco factories in the district are running full time on advance holiday business, and textile mills
have recently experienced a better demand for their products. Coal production is at seasonal levels,
and building construction is in quite large volume. On the whole, the labor outlook seems to be
more favorable than it was at the beginning of the fall and winter season a year ago.
COAL—The total production of soft coal in the United States in the month of September
amounted to 41,301,000 net tons, as against 41,108,000 tons in August. The average daily rate of
output in September was 1,693,000 tons, an increase of 11.2 per cent over the August rate. In Sep­
tember 1927 production of soft coal totaled 41,763,000 net tons, about 1.1 per cent more than pro­
duction in September this year. Total production of bituminous coal during the present calendar
year to October 6th (approximately 237 working days) amounted to 364,002,000 net tons, compared
with 403,157,000 tons mined during the corresponding period in 1927. All retail coal yards have full
stocks and fill orders promptly, but mild weather during the first three weeks of October so retarded
the coal business that many yards are still advertising summer prices.
TEXTILES —The textile mills of the Fifth reserve district continue part time operations, but
the outlook has improved since the middle of September. The Department of Agriculture’s October
8th cotton condition report and forecast stimulated more interest in cotton and cotton goods, and
advices from textile executives indicate a considerable improvement in the demand for textile prod­
ucts. Cotton consumption in September in the Fifth district was low, however, the mills having
operated very cautiously to prevent the growth of surplus stocks in their warehouses. The mills
consumed 213,069 bales of cotton in September, of which North Carolina mills used 113,164 bales,




3

South Carolina mills 93,253 bales, and Virginia mills 6,652 bales. September consumption figures
compare with 222,987 bales used in August this year and 270,050 bales consumed in September last
year.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER 1928 AND 1927.
Permits Issued

0

CITIES

z

New

New Construction

Repairs

1928 1927

1928

1927

1928

1927

4
5
5
116
25
62
35
46
395

939 $ 6,054,400 $ 1,768,500
5
21,670
21,730
0
74,920
13,675
11
39,130
17,685
16
60,824
51,805
42
17,125
72,350
70
100,295
73,962
6
34,700
3,000
*17,000
69
237,141
735^244
38
156,871
289,663
3
6,950
31,820
26
80,385
109,547
16
88,500
33,804
2
53,750
100,250
12
107,150
118,925
45
141,620
409,935
22
510,604
509,705
3
113,200
307,425
66
309,820
161,345
6
173,050
215,035
13
83,290
320,535
5
43,860
163,615
6
6,900
32,925
11
54,200
18,800
71
295,768
531,182
27
21,075
86,339
64
144,600
76,500
42
53,200
49,200
14
216,160
53,645
481
3,725,910
1,534,030

Totals.............. 1,277 1,953 2,183

2,131 $13,018,049 $ 7,921,195

1 Baltimore, Md......
2 Cumberland, Md...

3 Frederick, Md......
4 Hagerstown, Md...
5 Danville, Va.........
6 Lynchburg, Va.....
7 Norfolk, Va..........
8 Petersburg, Va.....
9 *Pnrt«unnnth Va
10 Richmond, Va. .....
11 Roanoke, V a .......
12 Bluefield, W. Va...
13 Charleston, W. Va.
14 Clarksburg, W. Va.
15 Huntington, W. Va.
16 Parkersburg, W. Va....
17 Asheville, N. C .....
18 Charlotte, N. C....
19 Durham, N. C----20 Greensboro, N. C.
21 High Point, N. C...
22 Raleigh,. N. C.......
23 Rocky Mount, N.C.
24 Salisbury, N. C—
25 Wilmington, N. C...
.
26 Winston-Salem, N C._
27 Charleston, S. C....
28 Columbia, S. C ....
29 Greenville, S. C....
30 Spartanburg, S. C.
31 Washington, D. C.

290

22
8

16

11

15
61

714 1,034
19
8
5
4
17
7
14
20
18
26
62
62

8
*10

2

10
*22

97
54
5
38
23
49
15
15
75
36
60
30
23
17
3

108
63
13
41
34
49
38
30

83
26
4
13

11

66
58
54
58
33
15

12
8

103
9

123

20
10

24
14
23

15
138

20

212

11
5
15
47
43

2

63
3

10

Alterations
1928
$ 551,100 $
1,290
6,650
20,230
3,521
38,286
46,585
4,205
*11,225
58,435
5,993
1,800
11,240
21,600
15,000
15,415
9,385
21,380
1,215
47,899
750
34,625
1,975
915
14,300
50,928
19,076
8,970
26,450
10,477
241,245
$1,290,940

1927

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

191.9%
494,600 $ 4,342,400
3,240 —
2,010 — 8.0
0
67,895 496.5
4,225
170.9
37,450
3,940 —
9,438 — 14.6
21,372 — 38,311 — 40.9
36,650
32.8
36,268
2,568
33,337 598.7
54,170
10,366
4,050
9,840
14,500
1,500
4,850
21,750
35,640
4,725
44,764
2,500
4,400
4,125
6,400
8,500
38,475
33,885
25,495
32,060
1,700
240,190
$1,170,480 $

— 493,838 — 62.6
— 137,165 — 45.7
— 27,120 — 75.6
— 27,762 — 23.3
127.9
61,796
— 33,000 — 32.4
—
1,210 — 1.0
— 280,680 — 65.0
— 13,361 — 2.5
— 197,735 — 63.3
73.6
151,610
— 43,735 — 20.1
— 207,020 — 63.7
— 121,905 — 72.7
— 31,510 — 80.1
41,200
150.9
— 222,961 — 39.1
— 80,073 — 66.6
51,575
50.6
—
1,610 — 2.0
171,292 309.5
2,192,935
123.6
5,217,314

1
2
3
4
5
6

7

8

9

10
11
12

13
14
15
16
17
18
19

20
21
22

23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

57.4%

— Denotes decrease.
* Portsmouth figures not included in totals.
NOTE— The figures in the above table reflect the amount of work provided for in the corporation limits of the
several cities, but take no account of suburban developments.

The number of building permits for new construction issued in thirty Fifth district cities in
September totaled only 1,277, compared with 1,953 permits for new work issued in September 1927,
but the estimated valuation figure last month was $13,018,049, compared with $7,921,195 for Sep­
tember 1927. The large increase in valuation was due to higher figures this year in Baltimore and
Washington, the former reporting over $6,000,000 and the latter reporting nearly $3,750,000. In
total valuation for all classes of work, including alterations and repairs, the September 1928 total
of $14,308,989 shows an increase of $5,217,314, or 57.4 per cent, over the total of $9,091,675 reported
for September 1927. Only eleven of the thirty reporting cities showed higher figures for September
this year, while nineteen cities reported lower figures, but Baltimore and Washington increased
191.9 per cent and 123.6 per cent, respectively, and six other cities gained more than 100 per cent.
Richmond reported a very small total for September this year, falling 62.6 per cent below the Sep­
tember 1927 figure.
Contracts awarded in September for construction work in the Fifth district, including both
rural and urban projects, totaled $39,842,583, compared with $57,464,280 awarded in September 1927,
according to figures collected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the awards in September this
year, $10,233,243 was for residential work.
COTTON—Spot cotton prices on ten designated markets in the South rose about 2 cents per
pound between September 14th and October 19th. The average price for middling upland short staple
cotton on September 14th was 16.88 cents per pound, but in the following weeks the price gradually
recovered the ground lost in the week following the September 8th crop forecast of the Department
of Agriculture. Following the October 8th forecast, which reduced the September 8th figure, there
was a further rise in price, the average on ten markets on October 19th reaching 18.74 cents, which
is only about three-quarters of a cent a pound below the corresponding 1927 price.
The third cotton condition report of the year was issued by the Department of Agriculture on Oc­




4

tober 8th. The report estimated probable production in 1928 at 13,993,000 bales, based on the Oc­
tober 1st condition of 54.4 per cent of a normal. This figure compares with a forecast on Septem­
ber 1st of 14,439,000 bales and a crop in 1927 of 12,955,000 bales. The report estimated Virginia’s
crop at 45,000 bales, compared with 46,000 bales forecast on September 1st and final ginnings of
31.000 bales in 1927. North Carolina’s probable production was given as 925,000 bales, compared
with 970,000 bales forecast on September 1, 1928, and 861,000 bales grown last year. South Caro­
lina’s October 1st estimate of 820,000 bales compares with the September 1st forecast of 890,000
bales and a 1927 crop of 730,000 bales. The reductions in the production forecasts of 45,000 bales
in North Carolina and 70,000 bales in South Carolina show the extent of the damage done by the
rains and storms of September.
The Bureau of the Census ginning report to October 1st showed 4,961,032 bales ginned prior to
that date, compared with 5,944,739 bales ginned to the same date in 1927. The cotton crop is late
this year, which doubtless accounts for the smaller ginning figures.
Cotton consumption in American mills in September totaled 492,221 bales, according to the re­
port of the Census Bureau made public on October 15th. This figure shows a moderate decline from
526,729 bales consumed during the longer month of August this year, and is approximately 20 per
cent below 627,784 bales consumed in September 1927. Total consumption during the two months of
the present cotton year amounted to 1,018,950 bales, compared with 1,262,304 bales consumed during
the two months ended September 30, 1927. Cotton on hand at manufacturing establishments on
September 30th this year totaled 719,981 bales, compared with 782,068 bales held on August 31st
this year and 1,116,093 bales held on September 30th last year. Bales in public warehouses and com­
presses numbered 2,645,977 at the end of September,, 1,188,861 at the end of August, and 3,964,615
on September 30, 1927. Exports of cotton totaled 814,569 bales in September, compared with 259,489 bales sent abroad in August this year and 631,041 bales in September 1927. Imports last month
totaled 18,508 bales, compared with 24,258 bales imported in August this year and 28,347 bales in
September last year. Consumption of cotton in the growing states totaled 381,025 bales in Septem­
ber, compared with 462,378 bales used in September last year. Last month’s consumption in the cot­
ton growing states amounted to 77.41 per cent of National consumption, compared with 73.65 per
cent of National consumption used in the cotton growing states in September last year.
TOBACCO—SOUTH CAROLINA tobacco warehouses, which opened for the season early in
August, handled most of the year’s crop in August and September, although a few markets remained
open in October. During August and September the markets sold 73,537,821 pounds of producers’
tobacco, at an average of $12.71 per hundred pounds, compared with 73,955,196 pounds sold for an
average of $20.28 per hundred in August and September last year. The actual decrease in the cash
returns for this year’s sales during the two months was $5,656,388.71, or approximately 37 per cent,
under receipts in August and September 1927. Among the individual markets, Mullins led in sales
during the two months with 17,234,349 pounds, Lake City ranking second with 11,501,270 pounds
and Timmonsville third with 7,466,020 pounds. The total South Carolina crop this year is expected
to be about 75,379,000 pounds, compared with 75,920,000 pounds grown in 1927.
NORTH CAROLINA markets opened in September, and during the month sold 104,990,763
pounds of tobacco for growers, at an average price of $15.05 per hundred pounds. In September
1927 the same markets sold 108,684,096 pounds, for an average of $17.87 per hundred. Wilson led
in sales last month with 23,110,617 pounds, Greenville ranking second with 18,089,192 pounds and
Kinston third with 11,270,775 pounds. The total crop of tobacco in North Carolina this year is esti­
mated to be approximately 465,465,000 pounds, compared with 485,300,000 pounds grown in 1927.
On the basis of this crop estimate and present prices, indications are that the cash returns to to­
bacco growers will probably be lower than the returns from the 1927 crop.
V IRG IN IA tobacco markets opened on October 2nd, and no statistics on sales are yet avail­
able. Virginia tobacco suffered a heavy loss during September in both quantity and quality, the
heavy rains causing firing and wild fire. Burley tobacco promises an excellent yield, but the yields
of other types will be below the average. The total production this year is estimated at 111,777,000
pounds, compared with 127,971,000 pounds in 1927.
AGRICULTURAL NOTES—M ARYLAN D crops on the whole did not change materially during
September. Gains in condition of apples and sweet potatoes were offset by slight declines in corn,
tobacco and white potatoes. The rains during September delayed the preparation of wheat ground
in some sections. Carlot shipments of apples ran about 16 per cent greater than usual up to Oc­
tober 1st. The production of 19,929,000 bushels of corn was indicated on October 1st, compared with
22.660.000 bushels harvested in 1927. Potatoes on October 1st indicated a production of 4,916,000
bushels, about 6 per cent below the 1927 yield. Low prices have affected the quantity of potatoes
shipped, and Eastern Shore growers ran into very unfavorable market conditions as a result of
the delayed season and the consequent over-lapping of crops from other states. Late potato fields
felt the effects of the unfavorable weather which prevailed during September in some areas on the
Eastern Shore.




5

VIRG IN IA crops suffered further losses during September as a result of heavy rain and wind
storms. Prospects for corn, tobacco and peanuts declined considerably during the month and the
production of these crops will be much less than had been expected earlier in the season. Farm work
was retarded by the frequent rains, so that farmers are nearly two weeks behind in their work. The
harvesting of crops and the preparation of land for sowing fall grains was delayed, but favorable
weather in October has enabled part of this delay to be caught up. The production of corn this
year is expected to be 43,778,000 bushels, compared with 47,967,000 bushels harvested last year.
Late hay crops made heavy growth in September, but weather conditions have been unfavorable
for saving these crops, and a portion of the crop has been lost. The total production of hay is esti­
mated to be 1,448,000 tons, compared with 1,469,000 tons last year. Pastures are in better condition
than usual at this season, and fall grazing is very good in all parts of the State. The excessive
rains during September caused a decline in peanut prospects. A wet season is generally unfavorable
for this crop. The total production is estimated at 129,276,000 pounds, compared with 116,128,000
pounds harvested in 1927. The early commercial white potato crop was the largest on record, and
approximately 27,000 cars have been shipped. The condition of late white potatoes declined in Sep­
tember, however. A few sections have fair yields, but generally the crop is quite disappointing.
Prospects for sweet potatoes declined during September as wet weather caused a heavy growth of
vines with a light set of tubers. The total production is estimated to be 5,166,000 bushels, compared
with 5,805,000 bushels harvested last year. The yield of oats is considerably better than had been
expected earlier in the season, and this year’s yield of 4,514,000 bushels compares with 3,999,000
bushels grown in 1927.
W EST V IR G IN IA estimates show increases over last year in the production of corn, oats, white
potatoes, tobacco, all classes of fruits, and sorghum syrup, while decreases are shown for wheat,
rye, buckwheat, hay and sweet potatoes. Corn has an estimated production of 16,196,000 bushels
against last year’s crop of 15,109,000 bushels. The oat crop of 5,908,000 bushels compares with 5,421,000 bushels harvested in 1927. Evidence still points to a record crop of potatoes and the State’s
crop is now forecast at 7,906,000 bushels, compared with 5,989,000 bushels dug last year. Tobacco
production in West Virginia this year is estimated at 6,750,000 pounds, compared with 6,000,000 pounds
last year. The season this year has been favroable for hay growing and pasturing.
NORTH CAROLINA crop conditions on October 1st showed the effects of excessive rains and
storms during September, which was the wettest September on record in the State. High winds,
resulting from tropical storms, blew down a large percentage of the crops. Many of these have re­
covered, but will be difficult to harvest. Flooded areas were general in the eastern half of the State,
and lands along river courses suffered heavy damage. The condition of corn on October 1st indi­
cated a yield of 41,764,000 bushels this year, compared with 53,626,000 bushels in 1927. The quality
of hay crops was affected appreciably by the heavy rainfall. The October 1st condition indicated a
production of 774,000 tons, compared with 845,000 tons cured last year. The early potato crop made
good yields but suffered on the market from low prices. The late crop indicates 9,770,000 bushels
for harvest, compared with 7,368,000 bushels in 1927. Sweet potato prospects are much below last
October. The 7,980,000 bushels expected are about 21 per cent below the 10,146,000 bushels harvested
in 1927. Growers complain that the peanut crop is light in yield but very good in quality thus far
this season. October 1st condition reports indicate a total production of 208,744,000 pounds, com­
pared with 157,527,000 pounds last year.
SOUTH CAROLINA crop prospects were further reduced in September by heavy rains and high
winds, although the latter part of the month was favorable for late crops and harvesting opera­
tions. On the whole, the best crop prospects are found in the upper third of the State where
weather conditions were more favorable. Of the major crops, corn shows about the greatest de­
terioration and is now expected to produce 18,928,000 bushels this year, compared with 25,449,000
bushels in 1927. Sweet potatoes, with a 1928 crop of approximately 4,095,000 bushels, are more than
a million bushels below the 5,300,000 bushel yield of last year. The early and late white potato
crops combined show a production of 4,277,000 bushels, compared with 3,034,000 bushels last year.
The indicated production of peanuts this year is 7,330,000 pounds, compared with 8,525,000 pounds
harvested in 1927.
WHOLESALE TRADE, SEPTEMBER 1928

Seventy-nine reports from wholesalers and jobbers in six important lines show rather less than
the usual expansion in trade in September in comparison with August. Increased sales during Sep­
tember were reported in groceries, dry goods and furniture, but sales of shoes, hardware and drugs
were less. In comparison with sales in September 1927, sales last month were less in every line
for which figures are available, and cumulative sales during the first nine months of 1928 were lower
in all lines except groceries than in the first three-quarters of 1927.
Stocks of groceries increased during September, but dry goods, shoe and hardware stocks de­
clined. At the end of September this year, stocks of shoes were larger than on September 30th last
year, but grocery, dry goods and hardware stocks were smaller than a year ago. The decreases in
grocery and dry goods stocks were doubtless due in part to lower prices prevailing this year for
some important items.




6

Collections in September were better than in August in hardware and furniture, but grocery
dry goods, shoe and drug collections were slower. In comparison with September 1927, the col­
lection percentages in September 1928 were lower in every line, hardware showing the greatest de­
cline.
Percentage increase in September 1928 sales, compared with sales in September 1927:

32 Groceries

10 Dry Goods

5 Shoes

15 Hardware

5 Furniture

12 Drugs

— 1.6
— 28.6
— 20.4
— 22.5
— 10.9
— 13.0
Percentage increase in September 1928 sales, compared with sales in August 1928:
5.1
6.4
— 14.5
— .9
6.7
— 1.7
Percentage increase in total sales since Jan. 1, 1928, compared with sales in the first nine months of 1927:
.8
— 20.0
— 6.3
— 13.8
— 23.6
— 4.1
Percentage increase in stock on September 30, 1928, compared with stock on September 30, 1927:
_
.1(11*)
— 5.2(4*)
7.0(4*)
— 3.3(8*)
Percentage increase in stock on September 30, 1928, compared with stock on August 31, 1928:
3.4(11*)
— 9.6(4*)
— 2.8(4*)
— 9.3(8*)
Percentage of collections in September to total accounts receivable on September 1, 1928:
28.3(12*)
25.8(3*)
50.2(8*)
60.7(19*)__________ 27.6(7*)___________ 18.9(5*)
— Denotes decreased percentage.

*Number of reporting firms.

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ As Indicated By Reports from Thirty Representative Department Stores for the Month of September 1928 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_
Percentage increase in September 1928 sales, compared with sales in September 1927:

Baltimore

Richmond

Washington

Other Cities

District

4.0
6.9
6.5
— 2.5
4.6
Percentage increase in total sales since January 1st, over sales during the first nine months of 1927:
— .9
3.2
2.9
— 6.2
.4
Percentage increase in September 1928 sales over average September sales during the three years 1923-1925, inc.:
8.5
29.1
18.0
— 2.5
12.9
Percentage increase in stock on hand September 30, 1928, over stock on September 30, 1927:
— 3.2
— 6.9
— 6.5
— 2.8
— 4.7
Percentage increase in stock on hand September 30, 1928, over stock on August 31, 1928:
11.6
9.8
9.2
8.4
10.1
Percentage of sales in September 1928 to average stock carried during that month:
24.9
30.6
28.9
19.2
26.1
Percentage of total sales since January 1st to average stock carried during each o f the nine elapsed months:
217.9
252.8
241.7
171.3
223.5
Percentage of collections in September 1928 to total accounts receivable on September 1st:
21.5
28.0
27.6
25.5
24.5

— Denotes decreased percentage.

Fall retail trade in the Fifth reserve district opened up splendidly in September, sales in thirty
leading department stores in the district averaging 23.6 per cent above sales in August. In the dis­
trict as a whole, sales in September were 4.6 per cent above sales in September 1927. Baltimore,
Richmond and Washington stores reported larger sales in September this year than in the same
month a year ago, but the Other Cities showed an average decline last month amounting to 2.5 per
cent. Total sales during the first nine months of 1928 averaged 4/ioths of 1 per cent above sales
during the corresponding period in 1927, and September 1928 sales were 12.9 per cent larger than
average September sales during the three years 1923-1925, inclusive.
Stocks increased seasonally during September, rising 10.1 per cent above stocks on the shelves
on August 31st, but on September 30th average stocks were 4.7 per cent less than stocks on Sep­
tember 30, 1927, twenty-two of the thirty stores reporting smaller inventories this year.
The' rate of turnover increased seasonally in September. The percentage of sales in September
to average stock carried that month was 26.1 per cent, and the total sales since January 1st to aver­
age stock carried during each of the nine elapsed months was 223.5 Per cent> indicating an annual
rate of turnover of 2.98 times. The turnover during the first nine months of 1927 indicated an an­
nual rate of 2.94 times.
Collections in September totaled 24.5 per cent of receivables outstanding on the first of the month,
exactly the same percentage attained in August this year, but better than 23.4 per cent of outstanding re­
ceivables collected in September 1927.




(Compiled October 20, 1928)

7

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

Index number of production of manufactures and minerals combined,
adjusted for seasonal variations (1923-25 average = 100). Latest
figure, Septeaber 114.
PERCENT

PER CENT

Index of United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (1926 s 100, ba3e
adopted by Bureau).
Latest figure, September 100.1.
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Monthly averages of daily figures for 12 Federal Reserve banks.
Latest figures are averages of first 23 days of October.

’
•tenthly averages of weokly figures for banks in 101 leading cities.
Latest" figures, averages for first 3 weekly reports in October.




Volume o f production and distribution o f commodities increased
seasonally in September, and was larger than a year ago. There
was a further advance in the general price level. Loans o f member
banks in leading cities increased in September and October in re­
sponse to the seasonal demand fo r commercial credit.

PRODUCTION. Industrial production increased further in
September, and the output o f manufactures was in larger volume
than in any previous month. Factory employment and payrolls also
increased. Production o f iron and steel and o f automobiles was
unusually large during September and October, although there has
recently been some curtailment o f operations in these industries.
There were also increases in September in the activity o f the tex­
tile, meat packing, and tire industries, and in the output o f coal,
petroleum and copper, while lumber production showed a decline.
Building contracts awarded, after declining in volume fo r three
months, increased considerably in September, and exceeded all pre­
vious records fo r that month.
The increase was due chiefly to
certain large contracts fo r industrial plants and subway construc­
tion. During the first three weeks o f October awards exceeded
those fo r the same period last year, the excess being especially large
in the Eastern districts. Department o f Agriculture estimates o f
this year’s crop yields indicate that the production o f all crops in
the aggregate will exceed last year’s output by about 5 per cent.
The corn crop is estimated at 2,903,000,000 bushels, or 5 per cent
above last year’ s production. The October 8th estimate indicated
a cotton crop o f 13,993,000 bales, or 446,000 bales less than was
forecast on September 8th, compared with a yield o f 12,955,000
bales in 1927.
TRADE. Department store sales increased considerably in
September and were larger than a year ago, reflecting in part the
influence o f cooler weather. Inventories o f department stores at
the end o f the month were smaller than on the same date o f last
year. Wholesale distribution in all leading lines except meats was
somewhat smaller than in September 1927. Freight car loadings
showed more than a seasonal increase in September and continued
large in October. Shipments o f miscellaneous commodities in recent
weeks have continued in larger volume than in previous years.
PRICES. Wholesale commodity prices increased further in
September and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ index advanced to 100.1
per cent o f the 1926 average. Increases, which were the largest
in farm products and foods, occurred in nearly all groups except
hides and leather and textiles, which showed slight declines. Since
the latter part o f September, there have been decreases in the prices
o f livestock and meats, grains, wool, and hides, and increases in
cotton, silk, rubber, and iron and steel.
BANK CREDIT. Demand fo r bank credit fo r commercial pur­
poses increased between the middle o f September and the middle of
October, reflecting seasonal activity in trade and the marketing o f
crops. There was also a growth in loans to brokers and dealers
in securities, though total loans on securities by reporting member
banks showed little change. During the fou r weeks ending October
24th, a growth o f about $40,000,000 in the total volume o f reserve
bank credit in use was due chiefly to continued increase in the
demand fo r currency, offset in part by a small inflow o f gold from
abroad. Reserve bank holdings o f acceptances increased by about
$140,000,000 during the period, while the volume o f discounts foi
member banks declined by about $100,000,000. United States se
curity holdings remained practically unchanged. Open market rates
on commercial paper and on bankers’ acceptances remained un­
changed between the middle o f September and the latter part of
October, while rates on security loans declined in October.

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