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
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, Chairman

and

F ederal Reserve Agent

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
trade
begins in
est in September,
many lines
FALLbusinessusually andseasonalearn­
of
take a
up­

OCTOBER 31, 1932
A

turn. This seasonal rise in business
volume occurred in the Fifth Federal
reserve district last month, and in a
few lines was in larger volume than
seasonal influence alone would explain.
In banking, the developments in Sep­
tember and early October were mostly
of an unseasonal nature, among them
being a decline in rediscounts for
member banks at the Federal reserve
bank, a decline in outstanding loans in
reporting member banks located in
leading cities, a slight decrease in the
circulation of Federal reserve notes,
and practically no net change in deposits in member
banks in spite of a reduction in loans. Time deposits
in both member banks and in mutual savings banks in­
creased in September. Debits to individual accounts
figures in twenty-four leading cities in the four weeks
ended October 12, 1932, totaled 19.3 per cent more
than debits in the preceding four weeks, ended Sep­
tember 14, an increase only partly due to seasonal in­
fluences. Every one of the twenty-four cities reported
higher figures for the later period. Commercial fail­
ures in September in the Fifth district compared favor­
ably in both number and in aggregate liabilities in­
volved with the record of other recent months, and last
month’s liabilities were less than those of September
1931. Employment showed some seasonal changes
last month, but there was no material net increase or
decrease in the number of employed persons in the
district. Textile payrolls were increased during Sep­
tember, chiefly by increase in the number of days per
week the mills are now running. Practically all mills
are on full daylight time in the latter part of October,
and cotton consumption in September increased more
than seasonally. Coal production increased in Septem­
ber, as usual, and by about the usual amount. Spot
cotton prices declined further between the middle of
September and the middle of October, influenced ad­
versely by the Department of Agriculture’s increase




in its estimate of probable production,
made on October 8. Cotton consump­
tion and cotton exports increased nota­
bly in September, and average hours
of operation per spindle in the United
States rose from 175 in August to 218
in September. Auction tobacco mar­
kets in the Carolinas sold much less
tobacco than in September 1931, but
the tobacco sold brought better prices
than those of last year. Agricultural
prospects on the whole declined con­
siderably during September because of
dry weather, some sections experienc­
ing drought conditions almost as se­
vere as those of 1930. The drought
was not as extensive this year, how­
ever, and also developed later in the growing season,
and therefore did much less damage than the record
drought of 1930. Construction work provided for in
building permits issued and contracts actually awarded
last month was in very small volume, as in all other
recent months. Retail trade as reflected in sales in
thirty-three leading department stores in the Fifth
district increased more than seasonally last month, and
averaged only 10.8 per cent less than sales in Septem­
ber 1931, while cumulative sales in the first nine months
of this year averaged 18.8 per cent below sales in the
corresponding period last year. Wholesale trade re­
ports in five leading lines also showed seasonally in­
creased sales in September, and shoe sales were ahead
of sales in September last year, this being the first line
to report in ten months an increase in comparison with
the corresponding month of the preceding year.

FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT

Reserve Bank Statement
Rediscounts for member banks by the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond declined by $3,304,000 be­
tween September 15 and October 15, both this year,
in keeping with a seasonal trend. At this time of year
liquidation of agricultural indebtedness normally ex­
ceeds mercantile borrowing, but this year the decline
in rediscounts was almost entirely in city bank borrow-

MONTHLY REVIEW

2
ITEMS

000 omitted
Oct. 15 Sept. 15 Oct 15
1932
1931
1932

Rediscounts held_....................._ $ 20,251 $ 23,555
2,495
2,157
Open market paper.------------47,133
47,133
Government securities...............
0
0
Other earning assets-----------73,183
69,541
Total earning assets----------Circulation of Fed. Res. notes.. 102,961 104,740
49,007
50,029
Members* reserve deposits-----96,417
99,216
Cash reserves--------------------59.95
61.00
Reserve ratio---------------------

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

ing instead of in country banks in which most of the
agricultural loans are held. During the past month the
Richmond bank also decreased nominally its holdings
of open market paper, but the portfolio of Government
securities remained unchanged. These changes de­
creased the Bank’s total earning assets by $3,642,000
between September 15 and October 15. The volume
of Federal reserve notes in actual circulation registered
an unseasonal decrease of $1,779,000 last month, but
this decline was due to the return of notes which had
been drawn out by the banks in one of the larger cities
as a safety fund during early September. The tension
having eased, the notes were returned to the reserve
bank for retirement. Member bank reserve deposits
rose by $1,022,000. The several changes mentioned,
with others of less importance, raised the cash reserves
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by $2,799.000 between September 15 and October 15, and
also raised the ratio of cash reserves to note and de­
posit liabilities combined by 1.05 points.
A comparison of the figures on the statement for
October 15, 1932, with corresponding figures reported
on October 15, 1931, shows marked changes in most
items. Rediscounts for member banks declined $11,906.000 during the year, a decrease of 37 per cent,
but the size of the decline was due to an unusual rise
in rediscounts which occurred between September 15
and October 15 last year. The Bank also decreased its
portfolio of open market paper by $30,899,000 during
the year, but increased its holding of Government se­
curities by $25,575,000. These transactions, with a
drop of $700,000 in other earning assets, lowered the
total earning assets of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond by $17,930,000 between October 15, 1931,
and October 15, 1932. The circulation of Federal
reserve notes at the middle of October this year showed
an increase of $9,842,000 in comparison with the cir­
culation on the corresponding date a year ago, partly
due to hoarding and partly to the influence of the
check tax which has increased the use of money and
reduced the volume of checks. Member bank reserve
deposits decreased by $9,414,000 during the year, partly
due to lower deposits in member banks and partly to
a reduction in the number of member banks. The
changes in the statement resulted in an increase in
cash reserves of the Richmond bank during the year
totaling $16,363,000, and the ratio of reserves to note
and deposit liabilities combined rose by 10.52 points.




Member Bank Statement
ITEMS

000 omitted
Oct. 12 Sept 14 Oct. 14
1932
1931
1932

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments)_____ $119,114 $120,458
All other loans_____________
197,151 198,448
Total loans and discounts__ 316,265 318,906
Investments in stocks and bonds 267,990 251,683
32,562
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank..
32,444
Cash in vaults_____________
13,189
13,066
Demand deposits___________
273,115 276,147
Time deposits______________ 231,184 228,413
Borrowed from F. R. Bank__
7,786
4,533

$147,752
246,846
394,598
242,325
37,786
15,485
330,044
243,727
12,494

The accompanying table shows the principal items
of condition of forty-nine member banks in twelve
leading cities of the Fifth Federal reserve district as
of three dates, October 12, 1932, September 14, 1932,
and October 14, 1931, 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 understood that the figures in the table
reflect conditions on the report dates only, and are
not necessarily the highest or lowest figures that oc­
curred during the interval between the dates.
Total loans and discounts in the reporting banks
decreased by $2,641,000 during the past month, con­
trary to seasonal trend in city banks. Loans on stocks
and bonds declined $1,344,000, while all other loans
decreased $1,297,000. On the other hand, investments
in bonds and securities rose in the reporting banks by
$16,307,000 between the middle of September and the
middle of October. Cash in vaults declined by $123,000 and reserve balance with the reserve bank dropped
$118,000, both mere daily fluctuations. Between Sep­
tember 14 and October 12, there was a small net de| cline in deposits, demand deposits decreasing $3,032,j 000 while time deposits rose $2,771,000. The fortyI nine reporting banks decreased their borrowing at the
| Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by $3,253,000 durj ing the month under review, and on October 12 only
j sixteen of the forty-nine banks were rediscounting,
j compared with nineteen of the same banks which were
| borrowing at the reserve bank a month earlier.
j In comparison with figures reported last year, those
, for October 12, 1932, show marked changes in most
| items. Total loans and discounts at the reporting
I banks dropped $78,333,000 between October 14, 1931,
j and October 12, 1932, loans on stocks and bonds dej dining $28,638,000 and all other loans decreasing
! $49,695,000. On the other hand, investments in stocks
and bonds rose by $25,665,000 during the year. Cash
in vaults decreased by $2,419,000 since mid-October
last year, chiefly because easier conditions in the banks
relieved the necessity for carrying large sums in their
vaults as a precautionary measure. Deposits declined
materially during the period under review, demand
deposits decreasing $56,929,000 and time deposits drop­
ping $12,543,000, but the decrease in deposits was less
than the decline in total loans. As a result of lower
deposits, reserve balances of the reporting banks de­
clined $5,342,000 between the middle of October last

MONTHLY REVIEW
year and this. On October 12, 1932, sixteen of the
reporting banks were borrowing $4,533,000 from the
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, a decrease of
$7,961,000 under total borrowings by twenty-one of the
same banks on October 14, 1931.

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in forty-nine reporting member banks
and aggregate deposits in twelve mutual savings banks
in Baltimore totaled $437,821,661 at the end of Sep­
tember 1932, a higher figure than $434,776,728 re­
ported at the end of August this year, but materially
less than the total of $456,050,816 at the end of Sep­
tember 1931. Deposits increased slightly during the
past month in both the reporting member banks and in
the mutual savings banks.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

Asheville, N. C-------Baltimore, Md-------Charleston, S. C.-----Charleston, W. Va.—
Charlotte, N. C.-----Columbia, S. C-------Cumberland, Md-----Danville, Va---------Durham, 'jN. C.------Greensboro, N. C.---Greenville, S. C-----Hagerstown, Md.----Huntington, W. Va....
Lynchburg, Va-------Newport News, Va—
Norfolk, Va_______
Portsmouth, Va-----Raleigh, N. C______
Richmond, Va______
Roanoke, Va---------Spartanburg, S. C.—
Washington, D. C. ..
Wilmington, N. C __
Winston-Salem, N. C.

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Sept. 14,
Oct. 14,
Oct. 12,
1932
1932
1931
$

7,460
272,228
10,591
23,608
31,913
12,467
4,905
4,630
16,087
10,315
9,777
5,334
8,684
11,941
5,980
30,974
2,796
12,038
103,972
17,423
4,801
179,983
7,187
22,381

$

6,790
226,943
9,292
21,731
30,779
10,839
4,317
3,635
13,589
8,613
7,935
4,394
8,192
9,525
5,185
26,097
2,517
9,677
84,508
14,279
4,459
147,710
6,052
18,201

$ 11,069
368,880
15,233
33,338
38,771
17,064
8,368
6,707
24,538
16,090
12,701
7,720
14,759
16,016
9,617
41,793
4,128
17,542
123,366
22,513
7,868
226,119
10,441
33,587

3

In comparison with figures reported for four weeks
last year, ended October 14, 1931, corresponding fig­
ures for the four weeks ended October 12, 1932, show
a total decrease of $270,753,000, or 24.9 per cent. All
of the reporting cities showed lower figures for the
1932 period. The decrease in 1932 debits is due to
several causes, among them being a generally lower
level of business activity, lower prices in many lines
this year, and the influence of the new tax on checks
which has materially reduced the use of checks and
thereby lowered debits to individual accounts.

Commercial Failures
Business failures in the Fifth Federal reserve dis­
trict in September 1932 numbered 150, with aggregate
liabilities totaling $2,638,430, compared with 171 fail­
ures and liabilities totaling $3,892,210 in August 1932
and 102 failures and $2,740,714 in liabilities reported
in September 1931. Last month’s failures were the
fewest in number for any month this year except April,
and last month’s liabilities were lower than for any
other months except May and January. Bankruptcies
in the United States numbered 2,182 in September
1932, with liabilities aggregating $56,127,634, com­
pared with 1,936 failures and liabilities totaling $47,255,650 in September 1931. The Fifth district showed
an increase of 47 per cent in number of failures in
September 1932 in comparison with the number in
September last year, while the United States reported
an increase of only 13 per cent, but in the aggregate of
liabilities involved in September 1932 bankruptcies the
district showed a decrease of 3.7 per cent, while the
United States as a whole increased 18.8 per cent.

Employment

There were no material changes in employment con­
ditions in the Fifth district during the past month.
Textile mills increased operations and either took on
additional workers or gave longer working hours to
persons already employed, and there was also some
seasonal rise in employment in coal mining, but the
approach of cold weather brought further unemploy­
ment, of a seasonal nature, in construction work as
$1,088,228 summer projects were completed. Fall trade during
Fifth District Totals $ 817,475 $ 685,259
the next two months will require temporary help in
many mercantile establishments, but on the other hand
The accompanying table shows debits to individual,
firm and corporation accounts in clearing house banks winter weather will increase the hardships of unem­
in the leading cities of the Fifth Federal reserve dis­ ployment and will cause a rise in the assistance which
organizations and
trict for three equal periods of four weeks each, ended charitableupon to furnish. governmental agencies will
be called
October 12 and September 14, 1932, and October 14,
1931.
During the four weeks ended October 12, 1932, ag­
gregate debits to individual accounts showed a seasonal
increase of $132,216,000, or 19.3 per cent, over debits
during the preceding like period this year, ended Sep­
tember 14, the increase being due to quarterly settle­
ments on October 1 and to the opening of early fall
trade during the later period. All of the twenty-four
reporting cities showed higher figures for the more
recent period.




Coal Production

There was a seasonal increase in the production of
bituminous coal in September, and 26,266,000 net tons
were mined, compared with 22,489,000 tons dug in
August this year and 31,919,000 tons in September
1931. Total production of soft coal in the United
States in the present calendar year to October 8
amounted to 219,214,000 net tons, compared with 291,867,000 tons mined during the corresponding period

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

last year, and 404,477,000 tons in 1929, before the de­
pression began.
In its September 24 report, the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave bituminous coal pro­
duction figures for the month of August, and West
Virginia with 6,807,000 tons continued to lead the
country, Pennsylvania ranking second with 5,778,000
tons.
Nearly all retail coal yards have raised coal prices
from summer levels, but in many cases the increase
was somewhat less than occurs in most years. All
sizes of coal are in stock in sufficient quantity to fill
orders immediately.

bales on September 1, and 756,000 bales ginned in
1931. Virginia's prospective yield of 29,000 bales
compares unfavorably with 30,000 bales predicted a
month earlier and 42,000 bales grown in 1931. Total
production in the Fifth district is forecast at 1,158,000
bales, an increase of 15,000 bales during September
but 645,000 bales less than last year.
Ginning figures to October 1, released by the Cen­
sus Bureau on October 8, showed 4,835,465 bales gin­
ned from this year's crop, compared with 5,409,657
bales of last year's crop ginned before October. On
the whole, cotton opened earlier this year than in 1931,
and a larger percentage of the crop was ginned prior
to October 1.
Textiles
Cotton consumption in the United States in Sep­
Textile mills in the Fifth district continued to ex­ tember 1932 showed more than a seasonal increase over
pand their operations in September under the stimulus consumption in the longer month of August, and was
of a smaller cotton crop this year, and practically all materially larger than in September last year. The
mills are now running full time on a daylight basis, number of bales used totaled 491,655 in September
with scattered mills also working night shifts. Fifth 1932, compared with 402,601 bales used in August
district mills consumed 235,734 bales of cotton in Sep­ this year and 464,335 bales in September 1931. Total
tember, an increase of 27 per cent over 185,548 bales consumption this cotton year—August 1 through Sep­
used in August this year and 9.4 per cent over 215,410 tember 30—amounted to 894,256 bales, against 889,bales consumed in the district in September 1931. Last 365 bales consumed in the corresponding two months
month North Carolina mills consumed 119,083 bales, of last season. Manufacturing establishments held 1,South Carolina mills used 103,487 bales, and Virginia 087,286 bales on September 30, compared with 1,090,mills 13,164 bales. Consumption of cotton in the Fifth 421 bales held on August 31 and 777,858 bales on Sep­
district in September amounted to 47.97 per cent of tember 30, 1931. Public warehouses and compresses
National consumption, compared with 46.09 per cent held 7,969,280 bales in storage at the end of September
of National consumption used in the district in August this year, compared with 6,547,563 bales so held a
month earlier and 6,298,408 bales on September 30
this year and 46.39 per cent in September 1931.
last year. September exports totaled 733,665 bales,
compared with 452,154 bales exported in August and
Cotton Statistics
558,192 bales sent abroad in September 1931. Total
Spot cotton prices in late September and the first exports during the two months of the present cotton
half of October ruled lower than in the preceding year—August 1-September 30, inclusive—totaled 1,month. On September 16, the average price of % 185,819 bales, a substantial increase over 769,222 bales
inch staple, middling grade, upland cotton on ten lead­ shipped over seas during the corresponding two months
ing Southern spot markets was 6.83 cents per pound, last year. Spindles active at some time during Sep­
and on September 23 and 30 the average was 7.07 tember numbered 23,883,948, compared with 22,022,cents. In the first week of October the price dropped 490 in August this year and 25,230,618 in September
to 6.86 cents on the 7th, and still further to 6.36 cents 1931.
on October 14, the latest date for which figures are
Cotton growing states consumed 407,966 bales in
available. The latest decline was the result of the September, compared with 338,170 bales in August
Department of Agriculture's condition report of Oc­ and 377,531 bales in September 1931. Last month's
tober 8, which increased the earlier estimate of prob­ consumption in the cotton growing states amounted to
able cotton production this year.
82.98 per cent of National consumption, a lower per­
Condition figures on the 1932 cotton crop, based on centage than 84.00 per cent in August this year but
the October 1 condition, were issued by the Depart­ higher than 81.31 per cent in September 1931. Of
ment of Agriculture on October 8. This report raised the 407,966 bales of cotton consumed in the cotton
the estimate of probable production in the United growing states in September, Fifth district mills used
States to 11,425,000 equivalent 500-pound bales, in 235,734 bales, or 57.78 per cent, a slightly higher fig­
comparison with an estimate of 11,310,000 bales on ure than 57.06 per cent of Southern consumption at­
September 1, 1932, and final ginnings of 17,096,000 tained by Fifth district mills in September last year.
On October 20, the Department of Commerce issued
bales in 1931. The October 1 report raised this year's
probable production figures for North and South Caro­ a report on spindles in place in September, spindles
lina, but lowered Virginia's estimate, all in comparison active, total spindle hours of operation, and average
with forecasts made a month earlier. South Caro­ hours of operation per spindle. On September 30,
lina's yield is estimated at 610,000 bales, compared 1932, there were 31,545,832 spindles in place in the
with 599,000 bales on September 1 and 1,005,000 bales United States, North Carolina leading with 6,164,334,
grown last year. North Carolina's estimated crop of or 19.54 per cent of the total, Massachusetts ranking
519,000 bales compares with an estimate of 514,000 second with 6,142,718 spindles, or 19.47 per cent, and




MONTHLY REVIEW
South Carolina third with 5,697,796 spindles, or 18.06
per cent. The Fifth district as a whole had 39.75 per
cent of total spindles in place in the United States at
the end of September 1932. In actual spindle hours
of operation, South Carolina led all states for Septem­
ber with 1,896,627,580 hours, or 27.62 per cent of the
National total of 6,866,031,482 hours, and North Caro­
lina ranked second with 1,507,081,464 hours, or 21.95
per cent, while Massachusetts had only 715,781,158
hours, or 10.42 per cent. The Fifth district, with 39.75
per cent of total spindles in place in the United States
in September, showed 51.86 per cent of total hours
of operation. In actual hours of operation per spindle
in place, the Fifth district states did not compare so
favorably with others, South Carolina with an average
of 333 hours per spindle ranking second, North Caro­
lina with 244 hours ranking sixth, and Virginia with
231 hours ranking seventh. The average hours of
operation for the United States was 218, considerably
lower than the average in any Fifth district state.

Tobacco
South Carolina auction markets sold 20,201,276
pounds of producers’ tobacco in September, at an aver­
age price of $11.25 per hundred pounds, compared with
28,271,959 pounds sold in September 1931, at $9.37
per hundred. Total sales for the 1932 season to the
end of September amounted to 32,486,067 pounds, and
the average season price was $11.46 per hundred. Mul­
lins led in sales last month with 8,206,034 pounds,
Lake City ranking second with 4,540,653 pounds.
South Carolina tobacco production in 1932 was fore­
cast on October 1 as 32,640,000 pounds, compared with
70.070.000 pounds grown in 1931, and a five-year av­
erage of 68,328,000 pounds.
North Carolina growers sold 66,600,614 pounds of
tobacco on auction floors in September, at an average
price of $11.57 per hundred pounds, compared with
96,259,217 pounds sold in September 1931 for $9.56
per hundred. Prices are higher than a year ago as a
result of a short crop in the United States, but a record
carry-over of tobacco from previous years is partly
offsetting the effects of this year’s short crop. On
October 1 the 1932 tobacco yield for North Carolina
was estimated at 277,032,000 pounds, compared with
479.526.000 pounds harvested last year and a five-year
average of 403,133,000 pounds. Greenville led in Sep­
tember sales with 9,648,044 pounds, Wilson ranking
second with 9,020,085 pounds.
Virginia tobacco markets opened in October and no
sales figures are yet available. Last year the Virginia
markets sold 916,596 pounds in September. Weather
was favorable for harvesting tobacco in September,
but the crop is later than usual and only 83 per cent
of the crop had been gathered on October 1, com­
pared with 98 per cent of the 1931 crop harvested
prior to October. The forecast of production of to­
bacco in Virginia this year is 53,350,000 pounds, com­
pared with 97,920,000 pounds harvested in 1931 and a
five-year average production of 126,860,000 pounds.
Maryland's prospective yield of 25,340,000 pounds




5

of tobacco this year compares with 32,160,000 pounds
grown in 1931 and a five-year average of 24,369,000
pounds.
West Virginia tobacco prospects this year indicate a
probable production of 2,760,000 pounds, only a little
over half of 5,320,000 pounds grown in 1931, and also
much below the five-year average production of 4,868,000 pounds.

Agricultural Notes
Except in South Carolina, all crops in the Fifth re­
serve district deteriorated in September, due to con­
tinued hot, dry weather. Some sections of the dis­
trict, especially in Maryland and Virginia, approached
the severe drought conditions of 1930, but since the
extreme dryness this year developed later in the sea­
son and was less extensive in area, the damage done
to crops was less severe than the damage done in 1930.
Maryland weather was dry and hot for the fourth
consecutive month in September, and crops declined
materially. No general rains occurred between June 1
and October 1. The corn crop in Maryland this year
is estimated at 15,540,000 bushels, compared with 20,710.000 bushels harvested in 1931, and this year’s oat
crop of 1,440,000 bushels compares with 2,010,000
bushels threshed last year. Tame hay yields total
481.000 tons this year, an increase over 469,000 tons
cut in 1931, but the average condition of pastures in
Maryland on October 1 was only 45 per cent against
80 per cent on the same date a year ago. Irish po­
tatoes declined in production this year to 3,026,000
bushels from the 1931 yield of 3,360,000 bushels, and
sweet potatoes produced only 1,300,000 bushels in
1932 in comparison with 2,013,000 bushels last year.
The commercial apple crop of Maryland is only 259,000 barrels this year, compared with 650,000 barrels
picked in 1931, and the fruit this year is small and
poorly colored.
Virginia experienced drought weather in September,
and crops declined in condition throughout the state.
General rains early in October were very beneficial to
pastures, late gardens and vegetables, and also per­
mitted better preparation of the land for seeding fall
grain, but came too late to do much good to this year’s
major crops. The corn crop turned out about as had
been expected, with good yields on bottom lands but
very poor returns from upland fields. Total produc­
tion of corn this year is forecast at 27,000,000 bushels,
compared with 43,061,000 bushels last year and a fiveyear average of 35,681,000 bushels. The yield of oats
turned out slightly better than had been expected, but
the crop of 3,230,000 bushels was much lower than
4.838.000 bushels harvested last year. Hay crops are
smaller than usual, although early hay turned out well.
This year’s hay cut of 847,000 tons compares with
993.000 tons cut last year. Some of last year’s good
crop is still on the farms, and with this year’s yield
will provide sufficient feed for stock during the com­
ing winter except in about fifteen counties in central
and southern Virginia. The condition of pastures de­
clined throughout Virginia in September, and in most

6

MONTHLY REVIEW

sections of the state provided so little grazing that
farmers were forced to feed their livestock, but rains
at the end of September and in the first half of Oc­
tober greatly improved the growth of grass. Peanuts
did not develop well during September, and farmers
are finding fewer nuts on the vines than usual. Total
production of peanuts is forecast at 120,400,000 pounds,
compared with 164,160,000 pounds last year and a fiveyear average of 124,463,000 pounds. The late potato
crop was very poor in most parts of the state and some
growers actually harvested fewer potatoes than they
planted. A crop of 9,400,000 bushels is forecast on
the basis of the October 1 condition, compared with
14.278.000 bushels dug in 1931 and a five-year aver­
age production of 15,357,000 bushels. The sweet po­
tato yield this year is also lower than that of 1931,
the 1932 crop of 3,610,000 bushels comparing with
4.750.000 bushels dug last year. There was a reduc­
tion of about 20 per cent in the commercial apple crop
during September. As a result of the dry weather,
apples are much smaller than usual and worm injury
has reduced the percentage of the crop suitable for
packing. The October 1 forecast of 1,560,000 barrels
is less than half the 1931 crop of 3,500,000 barrels and
is also appreciably below the five-year average of 2,602.000 barrels. On account of the small size and
worm injury growers estimate that only 39 per cent
of the crop wiU pack U. S. No. 1 grade or better, com­
pared with 48 per cent last year.
West Virginia was dry in September, to the general
detriment of late crops and pastures. Corn pros­
pects on October 1 indicated a yield this year of 10,600.000 bushels, compared with 12,934,000 bushels
harvested in 1931. Nearly all corn had been cut and
shocked by the end of September. The yield of oats
this year is 2,992,000 bushels, compared with 3,552,000
bushels last year. Irish potatoes were nearly all har­
vested before October 1, and this year’s yield of 3,520.000 bushels exceeds the 1931 crop of 3,200,000
bushels. Apples suffered further loss in September,
and the part of the total crop which is classed as com­
mercial is 630,000 barrels, compared with 1,700,000
barrels shipped in 1931. Hay yields totaling 583,000
tons are reported for this year, against 650,000 tons cut
last year and a five-year average of 835,000 tons. On
October 1 the condition of pastures in West Virginia
was only 47 per cent of normal, compared with 86 per
cent a year ago.
North Carolina was extremely dry during July, Aug­
ust and September, and such crops as hay, fruits, corn
and potatoes suffered materially. General rains fell
early in October, but too late to be of much assistance
to leading crops. Corn production in North Carolina
is estimated to be 35,520,000 bushels this year, com­
pared with 48,072,000 bushels in 1931 and a five-year
average of 37,722,000 bushels. The oat crop turned
out 3,978,000 bushels, compared with 4,531,000 bushels
in 1931 and a five-year average of 2,756,000 bushels.
Hay yields total 588,000 tons this year, compared with
677.000 tons last year. The 1932 yield of sweet po­
tatoes is the only major crop which shows an increase
in yield over the 1931 yield, 7,120,000 bushels this year




comparing with 6,560,000 bushels in 1931. The North
Carolina apple crop of 1,825,000 bushels is far below
last year’s yield of 5,328,000 bushels. Peanut pro­
duction is expected to total 239,400,000 pounds this
season, compared with 305,900,000 pounds harvested
in 1931.
South Carolina crops changed little during Septem­
ber, weather in that state being more favorable than in
the other states in the Fifth district. Crops average
about 27 per cent less than the good yields of 1931 and
about 10 per cent below the five-year average. Corn
production in South Carolina this year totaled 18,040,000 bushels, compared with 22,994,000 bushels in 1931,
and the hay crop of 202,000 tons exceeded last year’s
yield of 178,000 tons. Sweet potatoes turned out 4,800.000 bushels in 1932, compared with 3,180,000
bushels in 1931. Peanut production in South Carolina
totaled 8,750,000 pounds this year, compared with 9,100.000 pounds harvested last year, and this year’s
apple crop of 164,000 bushels compares with 320,000
bushels gathered in 1931. The tobacco and cotton
crops, mentioned elsewhere in this Review, account for
most of the decline in total agricultural production in
South Carolina this year in comparison with 1931.

Construction
Building Permits Issued, Fifth District Cities,
September 1932 and 1931
CITIES

Total Valuation
1932
1931
1,234 $1,649,280
$1,463,160
3,459
30,110
10
8,831
2,875
8
3,680
9,825
13
23,150
23,700
35
5,882
22,475
15
27,835
78,641
53
75,728
142,779
156
675
7,535
29
11,680
26,615
33
49,916
397,868
123
11,394
120,997
41
3,050
2,440
9
20,136
53,854
46
6,115
477,715
24
10,455
53,215
36
9,724
6,115
33
39,231
109,477
46
8,445
308,825
13
48,983
24,235
46
12,450
44,000
29
19,342
12 10,600
60
8,475
6
5,250
79,060
13
13,050
24,050
20
11,300
56,220
83
7,600
37,773
35
13,081
81,326
75
14,100
42,545
42
12,560
12,435
12
5,731
3,795
15
2,275,065
497 971,280

Permits Issued
1932
1931

Baltimore, Md--------- 1,102
9
Cumberland, Md----17
Frederick, Md._____
10
Hagerstown, Md.----33
Salisbury, -Md.-------12
Danville, Va._____ ...
31
Lynchburg, Va.------92
Norfolk, Va---------4
Petersburg, Va-------26
Portsmouth, Va-----Richmond, Va______ 103
23
Roanoke, Va.______
2
Bluefield, W. Va___
69
Charleston, W. Va__
24
Clarksburg, W. Va._
24
Huntington, W. Va....
18
Asheville, N. (C____
34
Charlotte, N. C____
7
Durham, N. C._____
43
Greensboro, N. C.___
8
High Point, N. C__
14
Raleigh, N. C._____
1
Rocky Mount, N. C—
..
4
Salisbury, N. C.____
15
Wilmington, N. C.__
42
Winston-Salem, N. C.
42
Charleston, S. C, __
41
Columbia, S. C..........
22
Greenville, S. C.
13
Rock Hill, S. C. ..
24
Spartanburg, S. C.__
Washington, D. C.__ 483
Totals __________ 2,392

2,852 $3,094,711

$6,046,542

Building permits issued by building inspectors in
thirty-two cities in the Fifth reserve district in Sep­
tember totaled 2,392, with estimated valuation amount­

MONTHLY REVIEW
ing to $3,094,711, a decrease of 16.1 per cent in num­
ber in comparison with 2,852 permits issued in Sep­
tember 1931, and a decrease of 48.8 per cent under
September 1931 valuation figures totaling $6,046,542.
Only seven of the thirty-two cities reported higher
figures for the 1932 month, and several cities which
issued relatively large amounts in permits in Septem­
ber last year declined drastically this year.
Contracts awarded in September for construction
work in the Fifth district, including both rural and
urban projects, totaled only $10,684,728, compared with
$13,611,282 in August 1932 and $20,573,415 in Sep­
tember 1931. Of the awards in September this year,
$2,076,918, or 19.4 per cent, was for residential work,
while last year residential contracts in September total­
ed $4,034,385, or 19.6 per cent of all awards.

W holesale Trade, 62 Firms___________________
22

9

6

Groceries Dry Goods Shoes

13

Hardware

12

Drugs

September 1932 sales, compared with sales in September 1931:
—16.5
— .8
+ .5
—17.5
—19.4
September 1932 sales, compared with sales in August 1932:
+ 7.3
+54.7
+24.0
+24.3
+ 7.6
Jan.-Sept. 1932 sales, compared with Jan.-Sept. 1931 sales:
—17.0
—24.0
—14.6
—21.4
—18.5
Sept. 30. 1932, stocks, compared with Sept. 30, 1931, stocks:
—10.1 (8^) —18.6 (4*^ —36.3(5*) —13.2(7*)
........
Sept. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with Aug. 31, 1932, stocks:
+ 7.1(8*) +7.6(4*) — 6.8(5*) + .4(7*)
Percentage of Sept. 1, 1932, receivables collected in September:
56.2(13*) 35.0(6*)
37.7(6*)
27.3(11*) -44.4(8*)
♦Number of reporting firms.

Retail Trade, 33 Department Stores

Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

September 1932 sales, compared with sales in September 1931:
—10.4
—11.5
— 9.0
—15.6
—10.8
January-September 1932 sales, compared with Jan.-Sept. 1931:
—20.4
—20.2
—15.3
—25.1
—18.8
Sept. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with stocks on Sept. 30, 1931:
—20.9
—20.5
—12.6
—25.0
—18.2
Sept. 30, 1932, stocks, compared with stocks on August 31, 1932:
+ 5.7
+ 9.5
+13.3
+ 6.2
+10.2
Number of times stock was turned in September 1932:
.333
.323
.336
.247
.32
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1932:
2.552
2.536
2.664
1.831
2.505
Percentage of Sept. 1, 1932, receivables collected in September:
26.0
1&9_______24J_______ 2U _______ 21.6




7

(Compiled October 21, 1932)

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

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

Industrial activity and shipments of commodities by
rail increased from August to September by consid­
erably more than the usual seasonal amount. There
was also a more than seasonal increase in the volume
of factory employment and payrolls. The general level
of prices, after advancing for three months, showed a
decline beginning in the early part of September.

Production and Employment
Volume of industrial production, as measured by
the Board’s seasonally adjusted index, based on the
1923-1925 average, increased from a low point of 58
in July to 60 in August and 66 in September. The
advance in September reflected chiefly large increases
in activity at textile mills, shoe factories, meatpacking
establishments, and coal mines. In the steel industry,
where activity had shown none of the usual seasonal
increase in August, operations expanded considerably
during September and the first three weeks of October
to about 20 per cent of capacity. Daily average output
of automobiles and lumber in September showed little
change from recent low levels.
Factory employment increased from 58.8 per cent of
the 1923-1925 average in August to 60.3 per cent in
September, according to the Board's seasonally adjust­
ed index. Considerable increases were reported in the
cotton, woolen, silk, hosiery, and clothing industries,
and smaller increases at car building shops, foundries,
cement mills, and furniture factories. In the automo­
bile, tire and electrical machinery industries, employ­
ment declined.
During the three months ending with September
value of building contracts awarded, as reported by
the F. W. Dodge Corporation, was about the same as
in the preceding three months, although awards are
usually smaller in the third quarter. In the first half
of October the daily average of contracts declined
somewhat.

Distribution
Volume of freight-car loadings increased by con­
siderably more than the usual seasonal amount in Sep­
tember, reflecting chiefly larger shipments of coal and
miscellaneous freight. Department store sales increased
from the low level of August by somewhat more than
the usual seasonal percentage.




W holesale Prices
Wholesale commodity prices, as measured by the
monthly index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
showed little change from August to September. Dur­
ing August and early September there was a general
advance in prices followed by a decline which con­
tinued through the first half of October, when the av­
erage was 2 per cent below the high point in early Sep­
tember and 1 per cent above the low point of early
summer. Substantial decreases occurred after the be­
ginning of September in the prices of many domestic
agricultural commodities, including cotton, grains, and
livestock, and also in prices of gasoline, nonferrous
metals, and imported raw materials; while prices of
wool, worsted yarns, coal, and lumber increased some­
what during this period.

Bank Credit
During September and the first three weeks of Oc­
tober there were further additions to the reserve funds
of member banks, arising from increases in the coun­
try’s stock of monetary gold, from an unseasonal re­
turn flow of currency, and from issues of additional
national bank notes. Member bank indebtedness to
the reserve banks declined by more than $100,000,000
from September 7 to October 19 and their reserve bal­
ances increased by $180,000,000.
During September and the first two weeks of Oc­
tober reporting member banks in leading cities showed
a further growth in investment holdings, largely of
United States Government securities, but to some ex­
tent of other investments. Loans of reporting banks
declined further in September; in the early part of
October loans at banks in New York City showed an
increase. There was considerable growth in Govern­
ment deposits and in bankers’ balances during the pe­
riod ; time deposits also increased.
Money rates in the open market declined to lower
levels during the first half of October, the rate on
prime commercial paper being reduced from a range
of 2-2J4 to a range of 1 ^-2 per cent, and the rate on
90-day bankers’ acceptances from % of one per cent
to y2 of one per cent. Rates for call loans on stock
exchange collateral declined from 2 per cent to 1 per
cent.

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