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MONTHLY

REVIEW

C REDIT, B U S I N E S S AND A G R I C U L T U R A L CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

OCTOBER 31, 1930

RICHMOND, VIRG IN IA

F

ALL trade opened up in September and early
October, but in smaller volume than in preceding
years, with considerable unemployment in cities
and unsatisfactory conditions in agricultural sections.
The banks of the district are finding less demand for
credit this year than a year ago, due to generally lower
levels of commercial and industrial activity, and they
have had to resort to investments to an increased de­
gree to keep their funds employed. Debits to indi­
vidual, firm and corporation accounts during the five
weeks ended October 15 this year showed a seasonal
increase over debits in the preceding five weeks, but
were approximately 8 per cent less than debits during
the corresponding period a year ago.
Commercial
failures in the Fifth district in September were more
numerous than in September 1929, and were relatively
more numerous than in most other sections of the
United States. Coal production in September showed
some increase over that of August, but was materially
below the production of September 1929, when indus­
trial production was at a higher rate than at present.
Conditions in the textile field showed a few signs of
improvement last month, but mills are still operating
at a lower rate than a year ago, and are working on
such close margins that profits are reported very small
on the business being done. Retail trade in Septem­
ber, as reflected in department store sales, made an ex­
ceptionally poor comparison with the same month of
the preceding year, averaging 9 per cent less in dollar
amount. Wholesale trade in five leading lines showed
seasonal improvement in September in comparison with
August, but compared unfavorably with September
1929 business. Construction work provided for in per­
mits issued and contracts awarded in September in the
Fifth reserve district reached the lowest levels for
many months.
The outstanding factors tending to influence the
trend of business in the Fifth district at present are,
as previously mentioned, a large volume of unemploy­
ment and very unsatisfactory conditions in agricultural
sections. With relatively little building going on, and
many industrial plants finding it necessary to cut their
production more or less, employment has decreased
further during recent weeks.




Prices of cotton and tobacco, the Fifth district’s
two leading money crops, are very low, cotton especial­
ly selling at the lowest price for ten years. Production
figures for nearly all crops were relatively good this
year in the two Carolinas, but the crops are not profit­
able at present prices. In Virginia, Maryland and
West Virginia the effect of low prices is greatly
increased by poor yields due to the record drought
which cut yields of most crops from 25 to 50 per
cent, and in some cases even more. Feed crops
were perhaps hurt worse than the money crops, and in
many cases farmers have been compelled to sell off
most of their live stock, funds from cash crops being
insufficient to enable them to purchase food for animals.
Reserve Bank Statement
000 omitted
ITEMS

Oct. 15
1930

Rediscounts held ..................... . $18,002
Open market paper.......................
8,392
Government securities .......... ..... 16,983
Total earning assets.................. 43,377
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.... 66,809
Members’ reserve deposits............ 63,822
Cash reserves ..............................
97,236
Reserve ratio................... ..........
72.37

Sept. 15
1930

Oct. 15
1929

$19,473
10,279
16,983
46,735
64,526
63,582
91,282
70.80

$51,152
17,167
1,809
70,128
84,688
62,089
87,444
58.02

Rediscounts for member banks held by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond declined by $1,471,000 be­
tween September 15 and October 15, both this year,
fall liquidation of indebtedness by country banks more
than balancing a small increase in city bank borrow­
ing. At this season of the year banks serving agricul­
tural sections repay rediscounts with funds received
from crop marketing, while city banks tend to increase
borrowing to meet the needs of merchant customers in
connection with their purchases of fall and winter mer­
chandise. During the past month the Richmond bank
also decreased its portfolio o( open market paper, by
$1,887,000. This decrease, with the decline in redis­
count holdings, lowered the total earning assets by
$3,358,000, or 7.2 per cent. A seasonal increase in the
circulation of Federal reserve notes amounting to

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

$2,283,000 occurred between the middle of September
and the middle of October, but member bank reserve
deposits showed only a daily fluctuation, increasing by
$240,000 between the two dates selected for compari­
son. The several changes mentioned, with others of
less importance, gave a net increase of $5,954,000 in
total cash reserves of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond during the month, and raised the ratio of
cash reserves to note and deposit liabilities combined
by 1.57 points.
A comparison of the figures on the statement for
October 15, 1930, with corresponding figures reported
on October 15, 1929, shows greater changes in every
item than occurred during the past month. Redis­
counts for member banks declined $33,150,000 during
the year, a drop of 64.8 per cent, and the bank’s hold­
ings of open market paper decreased by $8,775,000, or
51.1 per cent, in the same period. On the other hand,
holdings of Government securities rose by $15,174,000.
The reductions in rediscounts and open market paper
were greater than the increase in Government securi­
ties, and the Richmond bank’s total earning assets
therefore declined $26,751,000, or 38.1 per cent, be­
tween October 15, 1929, and October 15, 1930. The
circulation of Federal reserve notes at the middle of
October this year showed a decline of $17,879,000 in
comparison with the circulation on the corresponding
date a year ago, the decrease being partly due to lower
price levels this year, especially for many agricultural
products, and to a generally lower level of business
activity. Member bank reserve deposits increased
$1,733,000 during the year under review, larger re­
serves being required against increased deposits this
year. The changes in the items mentioned resulted in
a net increase in cash reserves during the year totaling
$9,792,000, and raised the ratio of cash reserves to note
and deposit liabilities combined by 14.35 points.
Member Bank Statement
000 omitted
ITEM S

Oct. 15
1930

Sept. 10
1930

Oct. 16
1929

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ............ $174,239 $177,960 $197,218
289,359 318,745
All other loans.............................. 294,213
467,319
515,963
Total loans and discounts........ 468,452
183,064 153,876
Total inv. in stocks and bonds..... 191,492
41,235
41,010
40,020
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.....
10,913
11,115
12,079
Cash in vaults.......... .....................
Demand deposits ......................... 351,720 353,454 348,534
Time deposits .............................. 256,208 256,462 241,002
4,375
4,787
24,035
Borrowed from Fed. Res. Bank..

The accompanying table shows the principal items of
condition of fifty-six regularly reporting member banks
as of three dates, October 15, 1930, September 10,
1930, and October 16, 1929, thus affording an oppor­
tunity for comparison of the latest available figures
with those of the corresponding dates a month and a
year earlier. It should be understood that the figures
in the table reflect conditions on the report dates only,
and do not necessarily show the highest or lowest fig­




ures that occurred during the interval between the
dates.
The reporting member banks are located in thirteen
of the larger cities of the Fifth reserve district, and
therefore an increase in loans during the past month
amounting to $1,138,000 was a seasonal development.
Loans on stocks and bonds declined by $3,721,000, but
all other loans, which are chiefly commercial or indus­
trial at this time of year, rose by $4,854,000. The re­
porting banks increased their investments in bonds and
other securities by $8,428,000 during the past month.
Cash in vaults declined $202,000 while reserve bal­
ances at the reserve bank rose $225,000 between Sep­
tember 10 and October 15, both daily fluctuations only.
A seasonal decline in demand deposits amounting to
$1,734,000 occurred during the period under review,
merchants drawing upon their deposit balances at this
season for the purchase of fall goods. A small decline
also was reported in time deposits, amounting to
$254,000. Borrowing by the fifty-six reporting banks
at the Federal reserve bank changed little, being
$412,000 higher in amount on October 15 than on
September 10.
A comparison of the 1930 figures in the table with
those for 1929 shows a marked decrease in the demand
for credit at the reporting banks this year. Loans on
stocks and bonds declined by $22,979,000, or 11.7 per
cent, and all other loans dropped $24,532,000, or 7.7
per cent, during the year, a total decline in loans and
discounts amounting to $47,511,000, or 9.2 per cent.
On the other hand, deposits in the reporting institu­
tions rose $18,282,000, of which $3,186,000 was in de­
mand and $15,096,000 in time deposits. Larger de­
posit liabilities caused an increase in reserve balances
at the reserve bank, these rising by $1,215,000 during
the year. Increased deposits in the reporting banks,
with a decrease in the demand for local loans, enabled
the banks to reduce their borrowing at the reserve
bank by $19,248,000 during the year, and to increase
their investments in stocks and bonds by $37,616,000.
There was an unusually large reduction in cash in
vaults during the past year, but this was caused by a
special condition which arose in 1929 in connection
with the introduction of the new type of currency.
Debits to Individual Accounts
The debits to individual accounts figures shown in
the accompanying table for three equal periods of five
weeks include all checks drawn against depositors’ ac­
counts in the banks of twenty-four leading trade cen­
ters of the Fifth Federal reserve district, and if proper
allowance be made for price changes during the periods
under review, the figures serve as an approximate
measure of general business.
During the five weeks ended October 15, 1930, ag­
gregate debits to individual accounts showed a seasonal
increase of $281,158,000, or 22.1 per cent, over debits
during the preceding like period this year, ended Sep­
tember 10 , the increase being due to quarterly settle­
ments on October 1st and to the opening of early fall
trade during the later period. Twenty-two of the re1 porting cities showed higher figures for the more re­

MONTHLY REVIEW

cent period, while only two failed to show the usual
increase.
In comparison with figures reported for five weeks
last year, ended October 16, 1929, corresponding fig­
ures for the five weeks ended October 15, 1930, show
a decrease of $132,601,000, or 7.9 per cent, a not
wholly unfavorable comparison in view of generally
lower price levels prevailing this year. All of the re­
porting cities showed lower 1930 figures except three,
Asheville, Newport News, and Richmond.
000 omitted!
Total debits, five weeks ended
Oct. 16,
Oct. 15,
Sept. 10,
1929
1930
1930
Asheville, N. C........... $ 40,770
512,062
Baltimore, Md...............
30,483
Charleston, S. C...........
44,874
Charleston, W. Va......
54,882
Charlotte, N. C...........
27,741
Columbia, S. C.............
11,075
Cumberland, Md...........
8,733
Danville, Va..................
30,402
Durham, N. C...............
24,445
Greensboro, N. C.........
19,609
Greenville, S. C...........
10,712
Hagerstown, Md.
22,710
Huntington, W. Va.
24,892
Lynchburg, Va...........
13,001
Newport News, Va......
61,778
Norfolk, Va..................
4,827
Portsmouth, Va.......... ...
31,783
Raleigh, N. C...............
178,373
Richmond, Va...............
32,141
Roanoke, Va.................
14,033
Spartanburg, S. C.......
295,827
Washington, D. C.
16,342
Wilmington, N. C.
42,978'
Winston-Salem, N. C.~
District Totals ........

$1,554,473

$

22,816
425,999
24,411
42,519
46,158
20,058
10,472
7,618
30,494
19,467
17,958
10,303
21,551
18,317
12,086
54,171
5,575
17,721
147,067
31,221
9,504
231,850
13,212
32,767

$1,273,315

$

37,688
524,948
33,271
47,062
68,970
29,487
12,850
10,884
33,079
29,484
26,594
13,698
28,159
26,162
12,475
73,658
4,881
33,917
177,714
39,655
17,246
332,232
20,274
52,686

$1,687,074

Savings and Time Deposits
Savings deposits in twelve mutual savings banks
in Baltimore increased in September, and at the end of
the month totaled $196,729,159, compared with $195,664,767 on August 31, 1930, and $189,193,610 on
September 30, 1929. Time deposits in fifty-six regu­
larly reporting member banks totaled $256,208,000 on
October 15 this year, a slightly lower figure than
$256,462,000 reported on September 10, 1930, but 6.3
per cent above $241,002,000 in time deposits in the
same banks on October 16, 1929.
Commercial Failures
Business failures in the Fifth Federal reserve dis­
trict numbered 114 in September this year, with aggre­
gate liabilities amounting to $1,831,506, compared with
119 insolvencies and liabilities totaling $1,187,400 in
August 1930 and only 70 bankruptcies and liabilities
amounting to $1,111,141 in September last year. The
Fifth district increases in both number of failures and
aggregate liabilities involved were relatively greater in
September this year in comparison with September
1929 than the increases for the United States as a
whole.




3

Employment
No improvement in employment conditions in the
Fifth reserve district occurred in September and early
October, but on the contrary the outlook became worse
with the approach of inclement weather for outside
work. There was some seasonal increase in employ­
ment in coal mines, but this was more than offset by
decreases in other industries. As a result of the very
severe drought, combined with low prices for the Fifth
district’s two leading money crops, many farmers who
ordinarily spend their winters doing odd jobs on their
lands, living on their summer’s surplus, find them­
selves without any surplus this year, and in a great
many cases without sufficient funds to pay up this
year’s indebtedness. These people are beginning to
seek remunerative employment, to tide them over the
winter, and thus are coming into competition with the
already numerous workers in various trades who are
out of work. Many persons are asking for work at
reduced wages. There is no stoppage of industry
through industrial disputes except at Danville, Vir­
ginia, where approximately 4,000 textile workers went
on strike on September 29 and are still idle as this is
written in the third week of October.
Coal Production
There was a seasonal increase in the production of
bituminous coal in September, and 38,632,000 net tons
were mined, compared with 35,661,000 tons dug in
August this year and 45,334,000 tons in September
1929. Total production of soft coal in the United
States in the present calendar year to October 11 (ap­
proximately 241 working days) amounted to 355,071,000 net tons, compared with 406,410,000 tons mined
during the corresponding period last year and 377,639,000 tons in 1928. Coal shipped through Hampton
Roads in September totaled 1,698,784 tons, and ship­
ments since January 1 totaled 16,283,521 tons. Total
shipments this year through Fifth district ports
amounted to 18,575,728 net tons, or 67 per cent of
shipments through all tidewater ports, and exceed ship­
ments during the corresponding periods of the past two
years.
In its September 27 report, the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal pro­
duction figures for the month of August, and West
Virginia with 10,036,000 tons led the country, Penn­
sylvania ranking second with 9,620,000 tons. On Oc­
tober 11, the Bureau issued total production figures
for all states in 1929, West Virginia being placed sec­
ond with 138,518,855 tons. Virginia produced 12 ,748,306 tons in 1929, and Maryland mines brought up
2,649,114 tons.
Textiles
For the first time in many months, September and
early October showed some signs of better basic condi­
tions in textile manufacturing in the Fifth district.
There was no marked improvement, but a tendency
toward slightly increased operating time developed,
cotton consumption increased in comparison with Au­

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

gust, and there was some increase in interest among
buyers of textile products. Stocks in secondary hands
are relatively low, making necessary a considerable vol­
ume of replacement orders at frequent intervals. Fifth
district cotton mills consumed 177,575 bales in Sep­
tember, of which North Carolina mills used 98,478
bales, South Carolina mills 73,053 bales, and Virginia
mills 6,044 bales. In August this year the Fifth dis­
trict mills consumed 156,712 bales, and in September
1929 they used 239,909 bales. Consumption of cotton
in the Fifth district in September amounted to 45.04
per cent of National consumption, compared with 44.47
per cent of National consumption used in the district
in August this year and 43.95 per cent in September
1929.
Cotton Statistics

Cotton prices continued to decline during the past
month, and on October 17 averaged only 9.50 cents
per pound for 7/8 inch, upland cotton, middling grade,
on ten leading Southern spot markets. With the ex­
ception of a quotation of 9.34 cents per pound on June
25, 1921, last week’s price was the lowest official quo­
tation since the demoralization of export trade by sub­
marine warfare during the early months of the World
War.
Condition figures on the 1930 cotton crop, based on
the October 1 condition of the crop, were issued by
the Department of Agriculture on October 8. This
report raised the estimate of production in the United
States to 14,486,000 equivalent 500-pound bales, in
comparison with an estimate of 14,340,000 bales on
September 1, 1930, and final ginnings of 14,828,000
bales in 1929. The October 1 report raised this year’s
probable production figures for North Carolina and
South Carolina, but lowered the Virginia estimate.
South Carolina’s yield is estimated at 1,010,000 bales,
compared with prospects for 997,000 bales on Septem­
ber 1 and 830,000 bales grown last year. North Caro­
lina’s crop of 870,000 bales compares with an estimate
of 819,000 bales on September 1, and 747,000 bales
ginned in 1929. Virginia’s prospective yield of 34,000
bales compares unfavorably with 40,000 bales predicted
a month earlier and 48,000 bales in 1929. Total pro­
duction in the Fifth district is forecast at 1,914,000
bales, an increase of 58,000 bales during September
and 289,000 bales above last year. The marked de­
cline in condition of the Virginia crop last month is a
direct result of the prolonged drought.
Ginning figures to October 1, released by the Census
Bureau on October 8, showed 6,304,608 bales ginned
from this year’s crop, compared with 5,903,265 bales
of last year’s crop ginned before October. Dry
weather over much of the cotton belt made for early
opening, reduced damage by boll weevils to a mini­
mum, and caused bolls to open completely which makes
picking easier. Picking is behind in some sections,
perhaps due in part to reduced prices offered for pick­
ing this season’s cheap crop.
Cotton Consumption in the United States in Sep­
tember 1930 showed an increase over consumption in
the longer month of August, but was materially less



than in September last year. The number of bales
used totaled 394,321 in September 1930, compared with
352,335 bales used in August this year and 545,834
bales in September 1929. Total consumption this cot­
ton year—August 1 through September 30—amounted
to 746,656 bales, against 1,104,588 bales consumed in
the corresponding two months of last season. Manu­
facturing establishments held 967,936 bales on Sep­
tember 30, compared with 1,011,661 bales held on
August 31 and 790,772 bales on September 30, 1929.
Public warehouses and compresses held 5,247,525 bales
in storage at the end of September this year, compared
with 3,464,699 bales so held a month earlier and
3,208,546 bales on September 30 last year. September
exports totaled 902,956 bales, compared with 366,036
bales exported in August and 725,876 bales sent abroad
in September 1929. Total exports during the two
months of the present cotton year (August 1-Septem­
ber 30, inclusive) totaled 1,265,992 bales, a substantial
increase over 951,894 bales shipped over seas during
the corresponding two months last year. Spindles
active at some time during September numbered 26,087,004, compared with 25,873,978 in August this year
and 30,035,470 in September 1929.
Cotton growing states consumed 314,623 bales in
September, compared with 283,731 bales in August
and 423,789 bales in September 1919. Last month’s
consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to
79.79 per cent of National consumption, a lower per­
centage than 80.53 per cent in August this year but
higher than 77.64 per cent in September 1929. Of the
314,623 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton growing
states in September, the Fifth district mills used
177,575 bales, or 56.44 per cent, a slightly lower figure
than 56.61 per cent of Southern consumption attained
by Fifth district mills in September last year.
Tobacco

South Carolina auction markets sold 36,306,991
pounds of producers’ tobacco in September, at an aver­
age price of $13.13 per hundred pounds, compared with
26,201,783 pounds sold in September 1929, at $14.91
per hundred. Total sales for the 1930 season to the
end of September amounted to 60,391,747 pounds, and
the average season price was $11.74 per hundred. Mul­
lins led in sales last month with 14,485,824 pounds,
Lake City ranking second with 6,946,294 pounds.
South Carolina tobacco production in 1930 was fore­
cast on October 1 as 94,430,000 pounds, compared with
82,992,000 pounds grown in 1929. This year’s crop
is the largest ever grown in the state.
North Carolina growers sold 111,231,294 pounds of
tobacco on auction floors in September, at an average
price of $11.84 per hundred pounds, compared with
107,569,257 pounds sold in September 1929 for $14.10
per hundred. Total sales for this season have been
relatively light for the large crop, and amount to 129,717,936 pounds prior to October 1. Prices are dis­
tinctly lower than a year ago, as a result of a large
crop in the United States as well as in North Carolina.
On October 1 the 1930 tobacco yield for North Caro­
lina was estimated at 539,095,000 pounds, compared

MONTHLY REVIEW

with 511,550,000 pounds forecast on September 1 and
497.593.000 pounds harvested in 1929. The crop this
year turned out better than was expected, the leaves
being heavier than usual.
Virginia tobacco warehouses opened at the end of
September and sold 615,321 pounds for an average of
$9.24 per hundred pounds. Last year the markets did
not open until October. The tobacco sold during Sep­
tember was of very inferior grade. September weather
was favorable for harvesting and curing tobacco, and
the October 1 forecast of 92,274,000 pounds this year
shows some improvement over 91,000,000 pounds fore­
cast on September 1 but is far below 113,865,000
pounds grown in 1929.
Maryland’s prospective yield of 18,000,000 pounds
of tobacco this year was unchanged during September,
and compares very unfavorably with 25,600,000
pounds grown in 1929.
Maryland and Virginia are
the Fifth district states in which tobacco suffered most
severely from the drought.
West Virginia tobacco improved in September, and
the October 1 forecast of 6,664,000 pounds exceeds
6.588.000 pounds grown in 1929.
Agricultural Notes
Crop prospects as a whole improved in the two Caro­
linas and West Virginia during September, but de­
clined further in Maryland and Virginia as the long
drought continued unbroken in sections of the two
states.
Maryland’s composite condition figure on October 1
was 72.6 per cent of average conditions during the ten
years 1919-1928, compared with 74.1 per cent on Sep­
tember 1. The forecast of corn production in Mary­
land made on October 1 was 8,115,000 bushels, com­
pared with a forecast of 8,656,000 bushels a month
earlier and a yield of 19,162,000 bushels in 1929. The
oat crop estimate was raised from 1,290,000 bushels
on September 1 to 1,376,000 bushels on October 1,
which compares favorably with 1,333,000 bushels har­
vested in 1929. Hay yields were cut further in Sep­
tember, and the October 1 estimate of 408,000 tons
was lower than 473,000 tons predicted on September 1
and 648,000 tons cut last year. An Irish potato crop
of 3,079,000 bushels this year shows an improvement
during September, but is much lower than 4,000,000
bushels dug in 1929. Sweet potato prospects, on the
other hand, declined last month from 950,000 bushels
as of September 1 to 800,000 bushels on October 1,
only two-thirds of the 1929 yield of 1,250,000 bushels.
The commercial apple crop of Maryland is now fore­
cast at 279,000 barrels, compared with 455,000 barrels
gathered in 1929. Pastures improved from 15 per
cent to 20 per cent of the ten-year average during
September, but still showed the poorest condition of
any state in the United States. Maryland wheat farm­
ers are confronted with a serious difficulty in their
efforts to plant wheat for next season, the ground
being too dry to work or to germinate seed, but some
farmers have been successful in disking wheat fields.
Virginia crops suffered further loss during Septem­
ber as a result of the continued drought over most of




5

the state. Of the individual crops, peanuts showed
the greatest deterioration during September, while corn
lost approximately one-half bushel per acre. The hot,
dry weather caused crops to mature much earlier than
usual and harvest is now sufficiently advanced to indi­
cate that yields of the major crops will be even less
than was expected earlier in the season. The lack of
moisture has prevented the preparation of land for fall
seeding and this work has been greatly delayed. The
total production of corn based on the October 1 con­
dition is expected to be 16,138,000 bushels, compared
with 16,907,000 bushels indicated on September 1 and
44.138.000 bushels harvested last year. Peanuts indi­
cate a total production of only 80,850,000 pounds, com­
pared with 146,080,000 pounds harvested last year.
Reports on the yield of hay show that the crop is very
short in all sections of the state. The estimated total
production of 623,000 tons is about 45 per cent of last
year’s production. All late hay crops, including cowpeas and soy beans, are extremely short. Pastures im­
proved slightly in September, but are still extremely
short, a condition of only 30 per cent of the ten-year
average being reported for October 1. Late potato
prospects are very poor. The October 1 condition in­
dicates a yield of 15,093,000 bushels including a com­
mercial early crop of 11,880,000 bushels. Last year
the total crop was 17,461,000 bushels while the early
crop amounted to 12,070,000 bushels. The sweet po­
tato crop is the shortest produced during recent years.
The forecast of 3,220,000 bushels is 3,485,000 bushels
less than the 1929 crop. Car lot shipments of sweet
potatoes for Virginia to October 4 this season amounted
to 2,865 cars against 3,937 cars shipped to the same
date last season. The yield of oats is estimated to be
3.876.000 bushels, which is about equal to last year’s
crop of 3,841,000 bushels. Virginia commercial apple
prospects declined further during September and the
present forecast of 1,680,000 barrels is 270,000 barrels
below the September 1 estimate and 1,420,000 barrels
less than the 1929 crop. The number of apples on the
trees is about the same as last year, but the fruit is
stunted and of poor color, and frequently of inferior
quality.

West Virginia late crops were benefitted by favor­
able weather in September, but 1930 is turning out one
of the poorest crop years in the history of the state.
The composite yield of all crops on October 1 averaged
only 58.4 per cent of the ten-year average, the second
lowest figure reported for any state in the country.
Corn production is now estimated at 6,356,000 bushels
and is only 46 per cent of the 13,892,000 bushels har­
vested in 1929. Oats produced 4,612,000 bushels this
year, compared with 5,616,000 bushels harvested last
season. The buckwheat crop indicates a production
of 380,000 bushels as compared with 760,000 bushels
harvested in 1929. The October 1 estimate of 593,000
tons of hay this year is little more than half of the
1.149.000 tons cut last year. The Irish potato crop is
forecast at 4,095,000 bushels, as compared with 6,555.000 bushels harvested in 1929. Sweet potatoes
indicate a yield of 132,000 bushels, about half the
average production for the past five years. West

MONTHLY REVIEW

6

Virginia’s apple crop suffered further injury during
the past month and present indications are for a yield
of 3,808,000 bushels against 5,600,000 bushels in 1929.
The commercial apple crop of 608,000 barrels is less
than half 1,400,000 barrels gathered last year.
North Carolina crops as a whole improved during
September, and on October 1 prospective yield this
year averaged 99.6 per cent of the past ten-year aver­
age. The corn crop is one of the best in the history
of the state in some counties but suffered considerably
from drought in others. The forecast of production
this year is 49,240,000 bushels, compared with 48,568.000 bushels harvested last year. The peanut crop
is short in commercial areas, due to lack of rain in
peanut counties, and this season’s prospective yield of
175.725.000 pounds is 21.7 per cent below 224,400,000
pounds raised in 1929. The condition of the Irish
potato crop changed little in September and on October
1 a yield of 8,494,000 bushels was indicated, an in­
crease of about 4 per cent over 8,130,000 bushels har­
vested last season. The sweet potato crop, grown pri­
marily in the eastern part of the state where weather
conditions were fairly favorable, is forecast at 8,460,000
bushels, but is below the 1929 yield of 9,126,000
bushels. The apple crop of North Carolina improved
considerably during September, but the expected pro­
duction of 2,555,000 bushels this year is 2.8 per cent
less than 2,628,000 bushels gathered in 1929, and the
1930 commercial yield of 128,000 barrels is nearly 15
per cent less than 150,000 barrels harvested last year.
The 1930 hay yield of 711,000 tons compares with
776.000 tons cut last year.
South Carolina weather during September was gen­
erally favorable for maturing and harvesting crops and
the outlook on October 1 was for average yields 17
per cent above the ten-year average. Compared with
last year, prospects indicate production of about 21
per cent more cotton, 14 per cent more tobacco, and 3
per cent more corn. Sweet potatoes and hay are about
19 per cent below last year’s exceptional returns but
are 20 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, above the
five-year average production. A corn crop of 23,888,000 bushels is indicated compared with 23,321,000
bushels last year. Sweet potatoes promise a yield of
about 4,680,000 bushels, compared with 5,750,000
bushels dug in 1929 and a five-year average of 3,907,000 bushels. Timely rains about the middle of Sep­
tember improved the crop of sweet potatoes about 12
per cent. The early and late Irish potato crops com­
bined show a total production of 3,337,000 bushels,
compared with 2,354,000 bushels last year. September
rains improved peanut prospects and the estimate of
production is now 7,000,000 pounds, compared with
7.350.000 pounds gathered in 1929. The hay crop is
forecast at 253,000 tons, which is less than the very
large yield of 313,000 tons last year but above the fiveyear average of 234,000 tons.
Construction

Building permits

issued by building inspectors in
thirty-two cities in the Fifth district in September
reached the lowest level for several years, probably the




lowest for any month since the war years when con­
struction work was discouraged unless for necessary
public use. Permits for new work issued in Septem­
ber in the 32 reporting cities totaled 1,022, with esti­
mated valuation of only $4,459,957. In September
last year permits for new work numbered 1,449, with
valuation figures totaling $8,461,487. Total valuation
figures in September for all classes of work, including
alterations and repairs, totaled only $5,663,587, a de­
crease of 42 per cent in comparison with $9,771,487 in
September 1929, which was itself a relatively poor
month. Only seven of the thirty two reporting cities
show higher valuation figures for September 1930 than
for September 1929, and in some cases these increases
were due to small figures last year rather than to large
ones this year. Richmond made the best record last
month in proportion to population, but Baltimore and
Washington figures were considerably less than usual.
Contracts awarded in September for construction
work in the Fifth district, including both rural and
urban projects, totaled only $16,162,532, compared with
$23,676,552 in August 1930 and $22,711,510 in Sep­
tember 1929. Of the awards in September this year,
$6,496,947, or 40.2 per cent, was for residential work,
a higher percentage than went for similar construction
in August this year or September last year.
Retail Trade, 34 Department Stores
! altimore
B
Washington
Other Cities
District
September 1930 sales, compared with sales in September 1929:
— 13.0
— 4.2
— 9.6
— 9.0
Jan. ^September 1930 sales, compared with Jan.-September 1929:
— .3
— 1.8
— 7.9
— 2.4
Sept. 30, 1930, stock, compared with stock on Sept. 30, 1929:
— 2.4
— 6.4
— 9.8
— 5.6
Sept. 30, 1930, stock, compared with stock on Aug. 31, 1930:
18.4
13.7
8.3
14.3
Number of times stock turned in September 1930:
.28
.301
.223
.274
Number of times stock turned since January 1, 1930:
2.521
2.524
1.919
2.383
Percentage of Sept. 1, 1930, receivables collected in September:
21.3
277____________ 26$ ____________ 24.3

Retail trade in the Fifth Federal reserve district in
September showed an increase of about 20 per cent
over the volume of business done in August, but
lacked 9 per cent of equaling the amount of sales in
September 1929, according to reports from thirty-four
leading department stores in the district. The Sep­
tember increase over August was somewhat less than
occurs in most years, and in comparison with the corre­
sponding month of the preceding year September made
the poorest record of any month for several years.
Only 5 of the 34 reporting stores showed higher sales
figures for September 1930 than for September 1929.
Total sales this year, through September 30, averaged
2.4 per cent less than sales from January 1 through
September 1929, although total sales in the first five
months of this year slightly exceeded sales in the cor­
responding period last year.
Stocks on the shelves of the 34 reporting stores in­
creased 14.3 per cent during September, a regular sea­
sonal development, but on September 30 averaged 5.6
per cent less in retail selling value than stocks on hand

MONTHLY REVIEW

on September 30, 1929. Part of this decrease in stocks
is due to lower price levels in many lines this year.
The reporting stores turned their stock .274 times in
September, and since January 1 stocks have been
turned an average of 2.383 times, a slightly higher
figure than 2.337 times for the corresponding period
last year.
Collections during September in 33 of the 34 report­
ing stores averaged 24.3 per cent of receivables out­
standing on September 1, a lower figure than 25.7
per cent collected in September a year ago. Ten of
the 33 stores reported better collections in September
1930, but 23 reported lower percentages.
Wholesale Trade, 65 Firms
Wholesale trade showed a seasonal increase in Sep­
tember over business done in August this year, but
was in less volume in every line for which data are
available than in September 1929. Cumulative sales
this year since January 1 were lower in every line
reported upon than in the corresponding nine months
last year.
Stocks increased during September in grocery and

7

hardware lines, but declined in dry goods and shoes.
At the end of September 1930, stocks were smaller in
all lines for which figures are available than a year
ago, except in shoes, which shows a material increase
this year.
Collections in September were better than a year ago
in groceries, but were slower in the other four lines
reported upon. On the other hand, all of the five
lines reported better collections in September than in
August this year except groceries.
24
9
5
15
12
Groceries Dry Goods * Shoes
Hardware
Drugs
September 1930 sales, compared with sales in September 1929:
— 8.7
—31.5
— 19.0
—23.4
— 4.0
Septemiber 1930 sales, compared with sales in August 1930:
2.4
16.7
.6
14.3
9.0
Jan.-Sept. 1930 sales, compared with Jan.-Sept. 1929 sales:
— 4.8
—17.7
— 8.0
— 14.8
— 4.4
Sept. 30, 1930, stocks, compared with Sept. 30, 1929, stocks:
— 7.2(9*) — 16.9(4*)
21.6(4*) — 8.7(8*)
Sept. 30, 1930, stocks, compared with Aug. 31, 1930, stocks:
16.6(9*) — 5.1(4*) —10.5(4*)
1.2(8*)
_____
Percentage of Sept. 1, 1930, receivables collected in September:
62.0(15*)
32.2(6*)
18.8(5*)
27.9(12*)
54.8(9*)
—Denotes decreased percentage.

*Number of reporting firms.

(Compiled October 21, 1930)
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER 1930 AND 1929.
Permits Issued
o
5

CITIES

New

Repairs

1930 1929
1
2
3
4
5

9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32

Charleston, S. C.........
Columbia, S. C...........
Greenville, S. C.........
Rock Hill, S. C.
Spartanburg, S. C.
Washington, D. C.
Totals...................

6
7
8

427
7
12
9
14
4
23
74
4
23
73
33
12
31
9
17
2
29
13
14
7
14
5
2
11
25
9
16
8
1
8
86
1,022

Baltimore, Md...........
Cumberland, Md____
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.
Huntington, W. Va___
Asheville, N. C...... .....
Charlotte, N. C.... .....
Durham, N. C............
Greensboro, N. C.
High Point, N. C.
Raleigh, N. C....... .....
Rocky Mount, N.C.
Salisbury, N. C..........
Wilmington, N. C____
Winston-Salem, N. C._

1930

1929

New Construction
1930

1929

1929

Increase or
Decrease
of
Total
Valuation

Alterati ons
1930

953 1,391 $ 1,548,512 $ 2,692,840
4
22,300
10
94,536
21,869
13
2
11,516
3,795
5
2
124,240
14
11,050
12
17,525
8
5,528
12
13,940
21
22,715
41,240
23
51
185,467
75 '
133,960
1
12
5,640
17,380
24
30,380
27
24,570
81
73
1,104,928
152,437
142,515
13
16
164,590
2
15,370
36,585
3
12
14
99,508
73,932
12
14,990
16,505
8
58,000
5
21,005
33
227,340
64,015
47
65
43
114,390
161,875
11
14
30,970
69,400
23
86,364
23
20,100
2
3
5,540
156,875
10
44,450
76,225
8
7
9,350
1
20,255
4
28,250
3
1,600
11
24,400
21,900
11
77
43,025
518,922
55
21
67,190
20
56,375
29
111,000
81,650
35
27
28
23,765
210,100
8
3,000
20,210
11
21
44,035
15,705
30
377
584
666,050
2,967,750

$ 457,440
849
17,030
2,285
2,955
1,604
8,125
14,235
90
20,147
53,095
7,180
375
11,885
6,025
5,000
5,467
26,611
6,985
9,424
1,015
8,650
8,915
125
10,400
36,501
10,198
14,120
38,740
2,164
4,235
411,760

556,400
4,156
220
1,075
3,600
10,070
25,760
40,550
13,320
12,045
118,241
6,565
8,500
16,850
3,610
3,447
26,985
27,962
17,200
8,851
650
51,725
1,000
4,650
4,900
21,291
3,530
13,175
18,445
14,310
5,767
265,150

$—1,243,288
— 75,543
27,163
— 119,235
—
7,120
— 16,878
— 36,160
25,192
— 24,970
13,912
887,345
— 21,460
— 29,340
20,611
900
— 35,442
— 184,843
— 48,836
— 48,645
— 65,691
— 150,970
— 74,850
—
2,990
— 31,175
8,000
— 460,687
—
4,147
— 28,405
— 166,040
— 29,356
— '29,862
—2,155,090

1,449 1,946 2,601 $ 4,459,957 $ 8,461,487

$1,203,630

$1,310,000

o

T

$—4,107,900

523
14
14
25
21
10
26
71
5
17
82
46
11
58
13
34
10
43
12
25
34
20
13
4
11
50
27
31
13
9
13
164

6

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
32

— Denotes decrease.
NOTE—The figures in the above table reflect the amount of work provided for in the corporation limits of the sev­
eral cities, but take no account of suburban developments.




8

MONTHLY REVIEW

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

Volume of factory production increased by about
the usual seasonal amount in September, while fac­
tory employment increased somewhat less than in other
recent years. The general level of prices, which had
advanced during August, declined during September
and the first half of October. At member banks in
leading cities there was a liquidation of security loans,
and a considerable growth in commercial loans and
in investments.
Industrial Production and Employment.
Output of factories increased seasonally in Sep­
tember, while that of mines declined. The Board’s
seasonally adjusted index of production in factories
and mines, which had shown a substantial decrease
for each of the preceding four months, declined by
about one-half per cent in September. Production
of iron and steel, lumber, and cement decreased, and
the output of automobiles continued to be in small
volume. Activity in the textile industries, including
cotton, wool, and silk, increased substantially, and
stocks of cotton cloth were further reduced. At bi­
tuminous coal mines there was an increase in output
of more than seasonal amount; output of copper was
larger than in August, and there was a further in­
crease in stocks of copper. Anthracite coal and petrol­
eum production and shipments of iron ore declined.
Employment in manufacturing establishments in­
creased less than is usual at this season, the increase
being chiefly in fruit and vegetable canning and in
clothing industries, while reductions in number of
employees were reported for the iron and steel, auto­
mobile, and lumber industries. Outside of factories,
increased employment was reported in retail estab­
lishments and coal mines.
Residential building increased materially in Sep­
tember, contrary to the usual seasonal trend, while the
volume of contracts for commercial buildings and
public works and utilities decreased. Total value of
building contracts awarded, as reported by the F. W.
Dodge Corporation, showed little change during the
month. In the first ten days of October there was
an increase in the daily average'volume of contracts
awarded.
Department of Agriculture estimates based on Oc­




tober 1 conditions indicate somewhat larger crops than
the estimates made a month earlier for cotton, com,
oats, hay, potatoes, and tobacco.
Distribution.
Freight car loadings continued at low levels during
September, the increases reported for most classes of
freight being less than ordinarily occur in this month.
Dollar volume of department store sales increased by
nearly 30 per cent, an increase about equal to the esti­
mated seasonal growth.
Wholesale Prices.
The index of wholesale prices on the average for
the month of September as a whole, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, was at about the same
level as in July and August. The movement of prices,
however, was upward in August, reflecting chiefly
advances in the prices of livestock and meats, while
in September the movement was downward, reflect­
ing declines in a large number of commodities, in­
cluding grains, livestock, meats, cotton, and copper.
In the first half of October there wtere wide fluctua­
tions in many agricultural prices, decreases in prices
of non-ferrous metals, and considerable increases in
the prices of sugar and coffee.
Bank Credit.
Security loans of reporting member banks in lead­
ing cities increased in the latter part of September,
but declined rapidly early in October, the decline re­
flecting a large volume of liquidation in loans to brok­
ers and dealers in securities. Commercial loans, which
up to the last week in September had not shown the
usual seasonal growth, increased by $150,000,000 in
the following three weeks. The banks’ holdings of
investments continued to increase.
In response to the seasonal demand for currency,
outstanding volume of reserve bank credit showed an
increase of $30,000,000 on the average between the
weeks ending September 20 and October 18.
Money rates in the open market continued at low
levels. The yield on high grade bonds declined fur­
ther until early in October, when bond prices declined
and there was a corresponding rise in yields.

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