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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON,

CHAIRMAN AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

OCTOBER 31, 1931

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
trade began
September,
ness took a seasonal upturn. The volume of busi­
F ALLSeptember andinearly Octoberand general busi­
ness in
was less than in
recent years, but showed about the usual increase over
the business done in August. In banking, September
and early October witnessed some marked changes,
among them being exceptional withdrawals from sav­
ings and time deposits in member banks, an unusually
rapid rise in the outstanding circulation of Federal re­
serve notes, a decline in loans at member banks, and a
material increase in rediscounts at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond. Debits to individual accounts fig­
ures for five weeks ended October 14, 1931, showed
about the usual seasonal increase over debits in the pre­
ceding five weeks, ended September 9, 1931, but were
nearly 14 per cent less than debits in the correspond­
ing five weeks last year, ended October 15, 1930. Com­
mercial failures in the Fifth district in September were
10.5 per cent less in number than failures in September
1930, but aggregate liabilities involved in insolvencies
in the 1931 month were approximately 50 per cent
greater. Employment conditions showed no improve­
ment in September or the first half of October. Coal
production in September showed a seasonal increase
over August production, but was much below the pro­
duction of September 1930. Fifth district textile mills
continued to operate on orders for immediate shipment,
but cotton consumption in the district and in the United
States in September exceeded consumption in Septem­
ber last year. Cotton prices declined further during
September, but the decline was at least temporarily
checked in the first half of October. Retail and whole­
sale trade in September both showed seasonal increases
over August trade, but was in less volume than in Sep­
tember last year. The Department of Agriculture fur­
ther increased its estimate of cotton production for 1931
in its October 8 report. Tobacco markets in the Carolinas and border counties in Virginia were open in Sep­
tember and sold about the usual amount of tobacco at
prices below those of last year. September weather was
too dry and hot for development of late crops, except
cotton, but was ideal for curing and harvesting crops
which matured before September. The district has
fine yields of all crops this year, but the prices for




nearly all agricultural products are very low and the
year’s operations will not be profitable to many far­
mers. One of the best features of the situation in agri­
culture is the abundance of food and feed crops raised
in the Fifth district this year, and the possession of
these products will enable farmers to get along with
less cash or credit this coming winter than they needed
last year, when the drought in Maryland, Virginia,
West Virginia, and to some extent in North Carolina,
killed all gardens, reduced fruit and truck yields to a
minimum, cut yields of corn and hay in half or worse,
and burned up pasture grasses.

Reserve Bank Statement
ITEMS

Oct. 15
1931

Rediscounts held __________
Open market paper------------Government securities_______
Other earning assets______ ___
Total earning assets_______
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes...
Members* reserve deposits-----Cash reserves_____________
Reserve ra tio _____________

$32,157
33,056
21,558
700
87,471
93,119
59,443
82,853
50.48

000 omitted
Sept. 15 Oct. 15
1931
1930
$23,032
2,628
31,558
700
57,918
72,910
60,017
91,596
64.88

$18,002
8,392
16,983
0
43,377
66,809
63,822
97,236
72.37

Rediscounts for member banks held by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond rose by $9,125,000 between
September 15 and October 15, both this year, an un­
usual rise at a season when liquidation of agricultural
indebtedness normally exceeds mercantile borrowing.
As a matter of fact, the increase in rediscounts was not
due to increased borrowing at member banks, but was
caused by the needs of the banks for funds with which
to meet deposit withdrawals. During the past month
the Richmond bank also increased its portfolio of open
market paper by $30,428,000, but reduced its holdings
of Government securities by $10,000,000. T h e s e
changes increased the Bank’s total earning assets by
$29,553,000 between September 15 and October 15.
The volume of Federal reserve notes in actual circu­
lation increases moderately at this season in most years
but a rise during the past month totaling $20,209,000
is much larger than is accounted for by seasonal in­

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

fluences. The large increase in note circulation is due
in large part to the desire of banks to strengthen their
cash position and to withdrawals from commercial
banks, chiefly of savings deposits which have not been
redeposited. Member bank reserve deposits dropped
$574,000 last month. The several changes mentioned,
with others of less importance, reduced the cash re­
serves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by
$8,743,000 between September 15 and October 15, and
lowered the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit
liabilities combined by 14.40 points. Effective October
20, 1931, the discount rate on all classes of paper was
raised from 3 to 4 per cent.
A comparison of the figures on the statement for
October 15, 1931, with corresponding figures reported
on October 15, 1930, shows marked changes in most
items. Rediscounts for member banks rose $14,155,000
during the year, an increase of 78.6 per cent, the rise
occurring during the past two months. The Bank also
increased its portfolio of open market paper by $24,664,000 during the year, and its holdings of Govern­
ment securities by $4,575,000. These transactions
raised the total earning assets of the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond by $44,094,000 between October
15, 1930, and October 15, 1931, most of which oc­
curred between September 15 and October 15 this year,
as shown in the tabulation. The circulation of Federal
reserve notes at the middle of October this year showed
an increase of $26,310,000 in comparison with the cir­
culation on the corresponding date a year ago; likewise
most of this increase occurred within the month ending
October 15, 1931. Member bank reserve deposits de­
creased by $4,379,000 during the year, partly due to
lower deposits in member banks and partly to a re­
duction in the number of member banks. The large
increase in holdings of open market paper and Govern­
ment securities lowered the cash reserves of the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of Richmond by $14,383,000 during
the year, and the ratio of reserves to note and deposit
liabilities combined declined by 21.89 points.

Member Bank Statement
ITEMS

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) ---------All other loans--------------------Total loans and discounts------Investments in stocks and bonds..
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.---Cash in vaults---------------------Demand deposits____________
Time deposits___________ ___
Borrowed from F. R. Bank.___

Savings and Time Deposits
Oct 14
1931

000 omitted
Sept. 16 Oct. 15
1931
1930

$147,752 $157,408 $174,239
246,846 247,706 294,213
394,598 405,114 468,452
242,325 233,384 191,492
37,786
39,371
41,235
14,552
10,913
15,485
330,044 328,098 351,720
243,727 259,630 256,208
12,494
8,358
4,787

The accompanying table shows the principal items of
condition of fifty member banks in thirteen leading
cities of the Fifth district as of three dates, October
14, 1931, September 16, 1931, and October 15, 1930,
thus affording an opportunity for comparison of the
latest available figures with those of the corresponding
dates a month and a year earlier. It should be under­
stood that the figures in the table reflect conditions on




the report dates only, and are not necessarily the high­
est or lowest figures that occurred during the interval
between the dates.
Total loans and discounts in the reporting banks de­
creased by $10,516,000 during the past month, contrary
to seasonal trend in city banks. Loans on stocks and
bonds declined $9,656,000, while all other loans de­
creased $860,000. On the other hand, investments in
bonds and securities rose in the reporting banks by
$8,941,000 between the middle of September and the
middle of October, and cash in vaults rose by $933,000.
In spite of the decrease in loans, there was an increase
of $1,946,000 in demand deposits during the month,
but in time deposits there was an exceptionally large
decrease amounting to $15,903,000. The fifty report­
ing banks increased their borrowing at the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond by $4,136,000 between
September 16 and October 14. Twenty-one of the
fifty banks were rediscounting at the reserve bank at
the middle of October.
In comparison with figures reported last year, those
for October 14, 1931, showed some marked changes.
Total loans and discounts at the reporting banks drop­
ped $73,854,000 between October 15, 1930, and Oc­
tober 14, 1931, loans on stocks and bonds declining
$26,487,000 and all other loans decreasing $47,367,000.
On the other hand, investments in stocks and bonds
rose by $50,833,000 during the year, and cash in vaults
increased by $4,572,000. Deposits declined materially
during the period under review, demand deposits de­
creasing $21,676,000 and time deposits dropping $12,481,000. As a result of lower deposits, reserve bal­
ances of the reporting banks declined $3,449,000 be­
tween the middle of October last year and this. On
October 14, 1931, twenty-one of the reporting banks
were borrowing $12,494,000 from the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond, an increase of $7,707,000
over total borrowings by 12 of the same banks on Oc­
tober 15, 1930.

Savings deposits in twelve mutual savings banks in
Baltimore increased in September, and at the end of the
month totaled $212,323,816, compared with $210,116,559 on August 31, 1931, and $196,729,159 on Septem­
ber 30, 1930. In fifty reporting member banks in lead­
ing cities of the Fifth district, savings and time de­
posits declined sharply during the past month, totaling
only $243,727,000 on October 14, 1931, compared with
$259,630,000 on September 16, 1931, and $256,208,000
on October 15, 1930.

Debits to Individual Accounts
The accompanying table shows debits to individual,
firm and corporation accounts in clearing house banks
in the leading cities of the Fifth Federal reserve dis­
trict for three equal periods of five weeks each, ended
October 14 and September 9, 1931, and October 15,
1930. If proper allowance be made for price changes
during the periods under review, the figures serve as
an approximate measure of general business.

MONTHLY REVIEW
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, five weeks ended
Oct. 15,
Sept. 9
Oct. 14,
1931
1930
1931

15,941
10,104
18,133
20,007
12,068
52,427
5,073
22,473
152,674
28,837
10,033
279,439
12,731
40,181

12,171
388,087
19,026
36,333
41,973i
19,594
8,399
5,987
27,973
16,438
13,726
8,207
15,587
16,639
11,560
47,123
4,201
22,615
126,361
26,059
9,074
221,216
10,762
29,537

40,770
512,062
30,483
44,874
54,882
27,741
11,075
8,733
30,402
24,445
19,609
10,712
22,710
24,892
13,001
61,778
4,827
31,783
178,373
32,141
14,033
295,827
16,342
42,978

$1,343,715

$1,138,648

$1,554,473

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

13,751
450,326
18,368
41,640
49,114
21,156
10,463
8,067
30,609

District Totals ------

20,100

During the five weeks ended October 14, 1931, ag­
gregate debits to individual accounts showed a seasonal
increase of $205,067,O X or 18 per cent, over debits
C ),
during the preceding like period this year, ended Sep­
tember 9, the increase being due to quarterly settlements
on October 1 and to the opening of early fall trade
during the later period. Twenty-two of the twentyfour reporting cities showed higher figures for the more
recent period, Charleston, S. C., and Raleigh, N. C.,
being the only cities which failed to make the seasonal
gain.
In comparison with figures reported for five weeks
last year, ended October 15, 1930, corresponding fig­
ures for the five weeks ended October 14, 1931, show
a total decrease of $210,758,000, or 13.6 per cent. All
of the reporting cities showed lower figures for the
1931 period except Durham, N. C., and Portsmouth,
Va.

Commercial Failures

Business failures in the Fifth reserve district in Sep­
tember 1931 numbered 102, with estimated liabilities
totaling $2,740,714, compared with 64 failures and lia­
bilities amounting to $2,595,092 in August this year
and 114 failures and $1,831,506 in liabilities reported
in September 1930. The increase in insolvencies in
September over the August number is seasonal, but is
larger this year than in most years, chiefly due to very
low figures in August. Bankruptcies in the United
States numbered 1,936 in September 1931, with liabili­
ties aggregating $47,255,650, compared with 1,963 fail­
ures and liabilities totaling $46,947,021 in September
1930. The Fifth district showed a decline of 10.5 per
cent in number of failures in September in comparison
with the number in September last year, while the




3

United States reported a decline of only 1.4 per cent,
but in the aggregate of liabilities involved in September
1931 bankruptcies the district showed an increase of
49.6 per cent, while the United States as a whole in­
creased only 7/10ths of 1 per cent.

Employment

The outlook for improvement in employment con­
ditions in the Fifth district did not improve during the
past month, although in a few lines of industry and
trade there was some seasonal increase in activity.
Social agencies expect the coming winter will bring
more calls for assistance than last winter, but they also
state that the public now has a better understanding
of the need for the extension of help this year. The
problem of handling relief work is being left to local
organizations, but both National and local agencies are
striving to arouse financial support for relief agencies.

Coal Production

There was a seasonal increase in the production of
bituminous coal in September, and 31,919,000 net tons
were mined, compared with 30,534,000 tons dug in
August this year and 38,632,000 tons in September
1930. Total production of soft coal in the United
States in the present calendar year to October 10 (ap­
proximately 240 working days) amounted to 293,440,000 net tons, compared with 353,164,000 tons mined
during the corresponding period last year, and 406,472,000 tons in 1929.
In its September 26 report, the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal pro­
duction figures for the month of August, and West
Virginia with 8,747,000 continued to lead the country,
Pennsylvania ranking second with 7,476,000 tons.
Local coal yards raised retail coal prices to winter
levels around October 1, and all sizes of coal are in
stock, so that immediate deliveries can be made on all
orders.

Textiles

Although textile mills are receiving a very small
volume of forward orders, stocks in secondary hands
are low, making necessary a considerable volume of
replacement orders at frequent intervals. Fifth dis­
trict cotton mills used 215,410 bales in September, of
which North Carolina mills used 112,879 bales, South
Carolina mills used 91,368 bales, and Virginia mills
11,163 bales. In August this year the Fifth district
mills consumed 197,404 bales, and in September 1930
they used 177,575 bales. Consumption of cotton in
the Fifth district in September amounted to 46.45 per
cent of National consumption, compared with 46.36 per
cent of National consumption used in the district in
August this year and 45.14 per cent in September 1930.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices on ten leading Southern markets
continued to decline to October 2, when the average
price for 7/8 inch upland cotton, middling basis, was
down to 5.10 cents per pound. Since that time there
has been a slight recovery, and on October 16, the
latest date for which official figures are available, the

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

average price was 5.71 cents. This price compares with
5.79 cents on September 18, 1931, and 9.50 cents on
October 17, 1930, a month and a year earlier, respec­
tively. Present cotton prices are very near the all time
low record.
Condition figures on the 1931 cotton crop, based on
the October 1 condition, were issued by the Depart­
ment of Agriculture on October 8. This report raised
the estimate of probable production in the United States
to 16,284,000 equivalent 500-pound bales, in compari­
son with an estimate of 15,685,000 bales on September
1, 1931, and final ginnings of 13,932,000 bales in 1930..
The October 1 report raised this year’s probable pro­
duction figures for North Carolina, left South Caro­
lina’s unchanged, and lowered Virginia’s estimate, all
in comparison with forecasts made a month earlier.
South Carolina’s yield is estimated at 929,000 bales,
compared with the same figure on September 1 and
1.001.000 bales grown last year. North Carolina’s
estimated crop of 730,000 bales compares with an esti­
mate of 715,000 bales on September 1, and 775,000
bales ginned in 1930. Virginia’s prospective yield of
39.000 bales compares unfavorably with 41,000 bales
predicted a month earlier and 42,000 bales in 1930.
Total production in the Fifth district is forecast at
1.698.000 bales, an increase of 13,000 bales during Sep­
tember but 120,000 bales less than last year. The de­
cline in prospective yield this year in the Fifth district
is entirely due to acreage reduction.
Ginning figures to October i, released by the Census
Bureau on October 8, showed 5,408,307 bales ginned
from this year’s crop, compared with 6,303,895 bales
of last year’s crop ginned before October. This year
weather conditions were favorable for continued growth
of cotton, and the crop did not open prematurely as it
did over much of the district last year. This has made
ginning later in 1931.
Cotton consumption in the United States in Septem­
ber 1931 showed an increase over consumption in the
longer month of August, and was materially larger
than in September last year. The number of bales used
totaled 463,704 in September 1931, compared with 425,819 bales used in August this year and 393,390 bales
in September 1930. Total consumption this cotton
year—August 1 through September 30—amounted to
889,523 bales, against 746,016 bales consumed in the
corresponding two months of last season. Manufac­
turing establishments held 775,523 bales on September
30, compared with 839,850 bales held on August 31
and 970,988 bales on September 30, 1930. Public
warehouses and compresses held 6,296,546 bales in
storage at the end of September this year, compared
with 4,426,154 bales so held a month earlier and 5,241,062 bales on September 30 last year. September ex­
ports totaled 558,192 bales, compared with 211,030
bales exported in August and 902,956 bales sent abroad
in September 1930. Total exports during the two
months of the present cotton year—‘ ugust 1-SeptemA
ber 30, inclusive—totaled 769,222 bales, a substantial
decrease under 1,268,992 bales shipped over seas during
the corresponding two months last year. Spindles ac­
tive at some time during September numbered 25,-




236,916, compared with 25,622,526 in August this year
and 26,066,510 in September 1930.
Cotton growing states consumed 375,911 bales in
September, compared with 341,542 bales in August
and 313,912 bales in September 1930. Last month’s
consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to
81.07 per cent of National consumption, a higher per­
centage than either 80.21 per cent in August this year
or 79.80 per cent in September 1930. Of the 375,911
bales of cotton consumed in the cotton growing states
in September, the Fifth district mills used 215,410
bales, or 57.3 per cent, a slightly higher figure than
56.57 per cent of Southern consumption attained by
Fifth district mills in September last year.

Tobacco
South Carolina auction m a r k e t s sold 28,271,959
pounds of producers’ tobacco in September, at an av­
erage price of $9.37 per hundred pounds, compared
with 36,306,991 pounds sold in September 1930, at
$13.13 per hundred. Total sales for the 1931 season
to the end of September amounted to 52,745,702
pounds, and the average season price was $9.95 per
hundred. Mullins led in sales last month with 12,332,194 pounds, Lake City ranking second with 5,974,262 pounds. South Carolina tobacco production
in 1931 was forecast on October 1 as 74,120,000 pounds,
compared with 96,250,000 pounds grown in 1930, and
a five-year average of 73,843,000 pounds.
North Carolina growers sold 93,355,542 pounds of
tobacco on auction floors in September, at an average
price of $9.56 per hundred pounds, compared with
111,800,168 pounds sold in September 1930 for $11.84
per hundred. Prices are distinctly lower than a year
ago as a result of a large crop in the United States and
a record carry-over of tobacco from previous years.
On October 1 the 1931 tobacco yield for North Caro­
lina was estimated at 496,760,000 pounds, compared
with 584,000,000 pounds harvested last year and a fiveyear average of 450,863,000 pounds. Greenville led in
September sales with 14,512,400 pounds, Wilson rank­
ing second with 13,862,331 pounds.
Virginia tobacco warehouses opened at the end of
September and sold 916,596 pounds for an average of
$7.51 per hundred pounds. Last year the Virginia
markets sold 615,321 pounds in September. The to­
bacco sold during September was of inferior grade.
Weather was favorable for harvesting tobacco in Sep­
tember, and 98 per cent of the crop was in by October
1. The October forecast of 114,112,000 pounds is
above the short crop of 111,776,000 pounds harvested
in 1930, but is less than the five-year average of 121,753,000 pounds.
Maryland's prospective yield of 33,000,000 pounds
of tobacco this year compares with 19,040,000 pounds
grown in 1930 and a five-year average of 24,423,000
pounds.
West Virginia tobacco declined in condition in Sep­
tember, but the October 1 forecast of 6,044,000 pounds
exceeds 5,040,000 pounds grown in 1930 and is nearly
equal to the five-year average of 6,130,000 pounds.

MONTHLY REVIEW

Agricultural Notes
Weather during September in the Fifth Federal
reserve district was hot and dry, and in some instances
reduced production of crops below expectations, but
on the other hand conditions were almost ideal for har­
vesting and probably this more than balanced the few
losses in yield.
Maryland crops were generally in good condition on
October 1. Prospects for oats, barley, hay, sweet po­
tatoes, grapes and pears improved during September,
prospects for corn and Irish potatoes remained un­
changed, and prospects for tobacco, apples, peaches and
buckwheat declined slightly. Maryland crops of tobac­
co, sweet potatoes, oats and barley promise the largest
yields since 1900. October 1 estimates of probable
production for the leading crops were as follows: corn,
20.400.000 bushels, compared with 7,276,000 bushels
in 1930 and 21,593,000 bushels the five-year average;
oats, 2,172,000 bushels, compared with 1,592,000 bush­
els in 1930 and 1,664,000 bushels the five-year average;
hay, 526,000 tons, compared with 344,000 tons in 1930
and 642,000 tons the five-year average; tobacco, 33,000,000 pounds, compared with 19,040,000 pounds in 1930
and 24,423,000 pounds the five-year average; Irish
potatoes, 3,360,000 bushels, compared with 2,427,000
bushels in 1930 and 4,051,000 bushels the five-year
average; sweet potatoes 1,824,000 bushels, compared
with 660,000 bushels in 1930 and 1,452,000 bush­
els the five-year average; and commercial apples, 679,000 barrels, compared with 330,000 barrels in 1930 and
444.000 barrels the five-year average.
Virginia farms have an abundant supply of food and
feed this season, in contrast with last year when all
supplies were short. A large part of the com crop
had been cut by October 1, and throughout the State
the crop was reported the best ever grown. Total pro­
duction is forecast at 47,833,000 bushels, compared with
the short crop of 17,227,000 bushels in 1930 and 44,077.000 bushels the five-year average. The oat crop
this year of 5,216,000 bushels exceeds 2,831,000 bush­
els threshed in 1930 and also 4,289,000 bushels the
five-year average production. Conditions of the late
Irish potato crop are spotted, the weather having been
too wet in August and too dry and hot in September.
Total production of Irish potatoes in Virginia this
year is forecast to be 14,756,000 bushels, compared with
13.989.000 bushels in 1930 and 16,374,000 bushels the
five-year average. Sweet potatoes declined slightly in
September, and this year’s crop of 4,940,000 bushels
compares with 2,960,000 bushels last year and 5,643,000 bushels the five-year average. Peanuts matured
earlier than usual and digging was progressing rapidly
at the beginning of October. The forecast of 120,930.000 pounds for the 1931 peanut crop in the State is
above the low yield of 83,790,000 pounds in 1930, but
is lower than the five-year average of 138,079,000
pounds. Excellent crops of late hay were harvested
during September, and this year’s total hay crop is fore­
cast at 1,126,000 tons, compared with the unusually
short crop of 512,000 tons in 1930 and a five-year av­
erage crop of 1,213,000 tons. All fruit crops were un­
usually good this season, but the commercial apple crop




5

declined in condition in September. This year’s crop
of apples entering into commercial channels is fore­
cast at 3,780,000 barrels, compared with only 1,300,000
barrels harvested in 1930 and a five-year average of
2.718.000 barrels. The size of the fruit in Virginia is
generally above average this year, but the quality is
irregular and prices are so low that growers report
that they cannot afford to pack the poorer grades of
apples.
West Virginia crop yields are much above those of
1930, but in most cases are lower than the five-year av­
erage production. This year’s corn crop has been cut
and is of good quality, totaling 15,624,000 bushels in
comparison with only 5,772,000 bushels last year and a
five-year average of 16,432,000 bushels. Oats yielded
4.004.000 bushels in West Virginia this year, compared
with 2,972,000 bushels in 1930 and 5,490,000 bushels
the five-year average. A 1931 hay yield of 890,000
tons is approximately twice the 1930 yield of 446,000
tons, but is below the five-year average of 1,126,000
tons. The tobacco crop of 6,044,000 pounds is much
larger than 5,040,000 pounds grown last year, but is
slightly below the five-year average of 6,130,000 pounds.
Irish potatoes did not do as well as most other crops
this year, and the forecast of production of 3,510,000
bushels, while larger than 2,800,000 bushels dug last
year, is much lower than the five-year average of 5,800,000 bushels. Sweet potatoes yielded 206,000 bushels
this year, compared with 150,000 bushels in 1930 and
254.000 bushels the five-year average production. The
commercial apple production is estimated at 1,877,000
barrels, compared with only 680,000 barrels last year
and a five-year average of 1,334,000 barrels. Fall pas­
tures in West Virginia are in excellent shape.
North Carolina corn production this year totaling
60.513.000 bushels is the largest on record for the
State, and compares with 51,865,000 bushels last year
and a five-year average production of 48,754,000 bush­
els. The stand of com was unusually good this year
and the ears are well filled. The oat crop in North
Carolina turned out 8,181,000 bushels this year, com­
pared with 6,521,000 bushels in 1930 and a five-year
average of 5,570,000 bushels. A hay yield of 990,000
tons is the highest per acre since 1923, and compares
with 748,000 tons in 1930 and the five-year average
production of 697,000 tons. The tobacco crop of 496,760.000 pounds is considerably less than 584,000,000
pounds harvested last year, chiefly due to a 7 per cent
acreage reduction and a lighter leaf this year, but is
above the five-year average production of 450,863,000
pounds. The peanut crop of 279,300,000 pounds ex­
ceeds last year’s crop of 191,700,000 pounds, and also
the five-year average of 207,819,000 pounds. The qual­
ity of the nuts this year is extra good. Late Irish po­
tatoes suffered a decline in condition during Septem­
ber, but the prospective yield of 10,544,000 bushels is
larger than last year’s crop of 8,590,000 bushels and
the five-year average crop of 7,394,000 bushels. The
per acre yield this year, however, is less than the aver­
age for the past ten years. Sweet potatoes also declined
in September, but this year’s crop of 11,385,000 bushels
is larger than either 9,506,000 bushels in 1930 or 8,342.000 bushels the five-year average.

MONTHLY REVIEW

6

South Carolina crop prospects were cut by unusually 1930, but an increase of 6.8 per cent over September
dry and hot weather in September, but major crops had 1930 valuation figures totaling $5,663,587. O n l y
about matured good yields and the outlook is above twelve of the thirty-two cities reported higher figures
the ten-year average. This year's corn crop of 25,000,- for the 1931 month, but Washington showed an in­
000 bushels is slightly smaller than 25,806,000 bushels crease of nearly a million and a quarter dollars and
gathered in 1930 but is larger than the five-year average several smaller cities reported relatively large increases.
production of 21,484,000 bushels. The tobacco esti­ In proportion to population, the best records for the
mate of 74,120,000 pounds is lower than the record month were made by Clarksburg, W. Va., and Durham,
crop of 96,250,000 pounds last year, but is larger than N. C.
the five-year average of 73,843,000 pounds. Much of
Contracts awarded in September for construction
the decline in comparison with last year is due to acre­ work in the Fifth district, including both rural and ur­
age reduction. Dry weather last month cut the sweet ban projects, totaled $20,573,415, compared with only
potato prospects, and the forecast of 3,850,000 bushels $12,548,985 in August 1931 and $16,162,532 in Sep­
is lower than 5,200,000 bushels dug in 1930 and the tember 1930. Of the awards in September this year,
five-year average of 4,377,000 bushels. South Caro­ $4,034,385, or only 19.6 per cent, was for residential
lina^ peanut crop is forecast to be 8,960,000 pounds work, while last year residential contracts in September
this year, compared with 8,400,000 pounds in 1930 and totaled $6,496,947, or 40.2 per cent of all awards.
a five-year average of 6,581,000 pounds. The hay yield
is smaller per acre than last year, but total production Retail Trade, 34 Department Stores
of 178,000 tons is slightly above the crop of 171,000
Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cit. District
tons cured in 1930. Fruit crops were excellent in South
Carolina this year, and the peach crop of 1,428,000 September 1931 sales, compared with sales in September 1930:
—11.1
— 52
— 1.3
—16.8
— 5.7
bushels was the largest on record.

Building Permits Issued, Fifth District Cities,
September 1931 and 1930
Permits Iss’d
CITIES

Total Valuation

1931

1931

1930

1930

Baltimore, Md.............. 1,234 1,380 $1,463,160 $2,005,952
30,110
23,149
10
Cumberland, Md...........
11
2,875
38,899
8
Frederick, M d.--------25
9,825
6,080
Hagerstown, Md. -----13
14
23,700
14,005
Salisbury, Md...............
35
28
7,132
22,475
15
12
Danville, Va----- ------78,641
30,840
Lynchburg, Va..............
53
44
142,779
199,702
Norfolk, Va........... ..... 156
125
7,535
5,730
Petersburg, V a.-------29
5
26,615
50,527
Portsmouth, Va............
33
47
397,868
1,158,023
Richmond, Va.............
123
154
120,997
149,695
Roanoke, Va............... 46
41
2,440
15,745
Bluefield, W. Va------14
9
53,854
111,393
Charleston, W. Va.......
43
46
Clarksburg, W. Va----477,715
21,015
21
24
Huntington, W. Va.—
53,215
23
26,005
36
Asheville, N. C.-------6,115
69,482
35
33
Charlotte, N. C.-------109,477
94
141,001
46
Durham, N. C---------24
308,825
13
37,955
Greensboro, N. C.-----37
24,235
29,524
46
High Point, N. C.----- 9
29
44,000
6,555
Raleigh, N. C.--------24
19,342
22
53,100
Rocky Mount, N. C.—
12
8,475
6
18:265
Salisbury, N. C.-------6
13
79,060
1,725
Wilmington, N. C----22
20
24,050
34,800
Winston-Salem, N. C...
102
56.220
83
79,526
Charleston, S. C------30
35
37,773
66,573
Columbia, S. C.-------45
81,326
75
95,770
Greenville, S. C.____
35
42
42,545
62,505
Rock Hill, S. C______
9
12
12,435
5,164
Spartanburg, S. C-----29
15
3,795
19,940
Washington, D. C.___ 497
463
2,275,065
1,077,810
Totals ---------------- 2,852 2,968 $6,046,542 $5,663,587

Building permits issued by building inspectors in
thirty-two cities in the Fifth reserve district in Septem­
ber totaled 2,852, with estimated valuation amounting
to $6,046,542, a decrease of 3.9 per cent in number in
comparison with 2,968 permits issued in September




Jan.-September 1931 sales, compared with Jan.-September 1930:
_ 6.2
— 4.9
.9
—12.3
— 3.5
Sept. 30, 1931, stocks, compared with stocks on Sept. 30, 1930:
—12.6
—11.4
— 7.9
—13.6
—10.6
Sept. 30,1931, stocks, compared with stocks on August 31,1931:
4.2
15.2
14.1
9.6
12.9
Number of times stock was turned in September 1931:
.299
.299
.324
22
29S
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1931:
2.767
2.725
2.87
1.966
2.684
Percentage of Sept. 1, 1931, receivables collected in September:
27.2
21.9
28.0
23.4
24.6

Retail trade in the Fifth Federal reserve district
in September showed a seasonal increase of approxi­
mately 25 per cent over the volume of business done
in August, but fell 5.7 per cent below September 1930
business, according to reports from thirty-four leading
department stores in the district. Total sales this year,
through September 30, averaged 3.5 per cent less than
sales from January 1 through September 1930, a de­
crease probably accounted for chiefly by price declines
during the past year. Individual records of the report­
ing stores for the first nine months of this year show
wide variations, some stores declining much more than
the average and some others reporting higher figures
for 1931 than for 1930. As a rule, the stores in smaller
cities in which trade from farmers is relatively more
important show greater declines in sales this year than
the stores in the larger cities.
Stocks on the shelves of the reporting stores in­
creased an average of 12.9 per cent during September,
a seasonal rise, but on September 30 averaged 10.6
per cent less in retail selling value than stocks on hand
on September 30, 1930. Part of this decrease in stocks
is due to lower price levels in many lines this year. The
reporting stores turned their stock .298 times in Sep­
tember, and since January 1 stocks have been turned an
average of 2.684 times, a slightly higher figure than
2.383 times for the corresponding period last year.
Collections during September in the reporting stores

7

MONTHLY REVIEW
averaged 24.6 per cent of receivables outstanding on
September 1, a slightly higher figure than 24.3 per cent
collected in September a year ago.

W holesale Trade, 64 Firms
23

9

Groceries Dry Goods

6 1

Shoes

14

Hardware

12

Drugs

September 1931 sales, compared with sales in September 1930:
—15.0
—17.3
— 8.1
—10.6
— 7.8
September 1931 sales, compared with sales in August 1931:
7.7
25.3
42
12.6
7.5
Jan.-Sept. 1931 sales, compared with Jan.-Sept. 1930 sales:
—16.8
—22.1
— 62
—23.5
— 6.2
Sept. 30, 1931, stocks, compared with Sept. 30, 1930, stocks:
—15.0(8*) —29.0(4*) —18.9(5*) —15.8(7*)
_____
Sept. 30, 1931, stocks, compared with Aug. 31, 1931, stocks:
1.8(8*) — 4.5(4*) — 3.8(5*) — 2.2(7*)
_____
Percentage of Sept. 1, 1931, receivables collected in September:
63.3(14*) 32.1(6*)
22.8(6*)
30.8(11*) 51.5(8*)
—Denotes decrease.

Wholesale trade showed a seasonal increase in Sep­
tember over August, but was in smaller volume in
every line for which data are available than in Septem­
ber 1930. Cumulative sales this year since January 1
were also lower in every line reported upon than in the
corresponding nine months last year.
Stocks increased during September in groceries, but
declined in dry goods, shoes and hardware. At the
end of September 1931, stocks were smaller in all lines
than a year ago.
Collections in September were better than a year ago
in groceries, shoes and hardware, but were slower in
dry goods and drugs. Better collections in September
than in August this year were shown in groceries, dry
goods and hardware.
(Compiled October 21, 1931)

*Number of reporting firms.

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

Industrial production and factory employment, which usually
increase at this season, showed little change from August to
September, and, consequently, the Board’s seasonally adjusted
indexes declined- The general level of wholesale prices also
declined. Gold exports and earmarkings, together with an in­
crease in domestic currency demand between the middle of
September and the middle of October, resulted in a large growth
of reserve bank credit in use and a rise in money rates.

P r o d u c tio n a n d E m p lo y m e n t
Industrial production, as measured by the Board’s seasonally
adjusted index, declined from 79 per cent of the 1923-1925
average in August to 76 per cent in September. Activity at
steel mills decreased from 31 per cent of capacity to 28 per
cent; output of automobiles was reduced substantially and
lumber production continued to decline. At cotton mills pro­
duction increased seasonally, while activity at woolen mills
and shoe factories declined contrary to the usual seasonal ten­
dency. Output of petroleum was smaller in September than in
August, but the rate of output prevailing at the end of Sep­
tember was higher than at die end of August.
The number employed at factories showed little change from
the middle of August to the middle of September, a period
when employment usually increases. In iron and steel mills,
automobile factories and lumber mills, employment decreased
further, contrary to the seasonal tendency; in the clothing and
silk industries there were substantial increases in employment,
partly of a seasonal character; in mills producing cotton goods,
employment increased less than usual, and in wollen mills it de­
clined from recent relatively high levels.
Data on value of building contracts awarded for the period
between the first of August and the middle of October, as re­
ported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, show a continuation
of the downward movement of recent months for residential as
well as for other types of construction.
Estimates by the Department of Agriculture, based on Oc­
tober 1 conditions, indicated a cotton crop of 16,284,000 bales,
the largest crop reported, except that of 1926, a total wheat crop
somewhat larger than usual, and a corn crop of 2,700,000,000
bushels, 29 per cent larger than last year, and 2 per cent smaller
than the five-year average.




D is tr ib u tio n
Freight-car loadings of merchandise and sales by department
stores increased in September, but by less than the usual sea­
sonal amount.

W h o le s a le P ric e s
The general level of wholesale prices declined from 70.2 per
cent of the 1926 average in August to 69.1 per cent in Sep­
tember, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. De­
creases in the prices of livestock, meats, hides, woolen goods,
cotton and cotton goods were offset in part by increases in prices
of dairy products, petroleum, and petroleum products. Further
declines in the price of cotton during the first few days of Oc­
tober were followed by substantial increases in subsequent days.

B a n k C r e d it
During the four weeks following the suspension of gold
payments in England on September 20, $600,000,000 of gold
was withdrawn from this country’s monetary stock in the form
of exports and earmarkings. Domestic demand for currency
continued to increase, the growth for the month ending in the
middle of October being about $400,000,000. The growth in
the amount of currency outstanding, however, slowed down
after the first few days in October. The demands for credit
arising from gold movements and currency growth were met
by member banks through the sale of acceptances to the reserve
banks and by rediscounts. Volume of reserve bank credit out­
standing consequently increased between the week ending Sep­
tember 19 and the week ending October 17 by $904,000,000, and
on October 17 stood at $2,169,000,000, the highest level for ten
years.
Gold and currency withdrawals resulted in a decrease of
deposits at member banks in leading cities. Loans and invest­
ments of these banks also declined, reflecting reductions in loans
to security brokers, as well as sales of acceptances to the re­
serve banks, and sales of United States securities.
During this period there was a rise in short-time money rates
in the open market and in yields on high grade bonds. On Oc­
tober 9 the Federal Reserve Bank of New York advanced its
/2
discount rate from V to 2 per cent and on October 16 to
3j4 per cent. Discount rates were also advanced at the Boston,
Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas
and San Francisco reserve banks.

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