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F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K O F R IC H M O N D
General Business and Agricultural Conditions in the
Fifth Federal Reserve District
By CALD W ELL HARDY, Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, SEPTEMBER 30, 1922.
NATIONAL SUMMARY*

DISTRICT SUMMARY

The chief development of the current month has
been the improvement in the labor situation] The
amount of voluntary unemployment has been great­
ly reduced and wages have shown a distinct upward
tendency. Mining output increased about 3 per­
cent during August and has shown a tremendous
expansion during September, due to the reopening
of most of the bituminous and anthracite coal mines.
The general price level has remained constant dur­
ing the month. The August index number of the
Federal Reserve Board was the same as that for
July. Manufacturing was slightly curtailed in Au­
gust but has recovered during September. Iron fur­
naces and steel mills are increasing their rate of
production to satisfy the continued large demand of
railroads and automobile companies. Cotton mills
and knit goods factories have increased their output
and woolen machinery is slightly more active, while
August silk consumption was the largest for any
month since 1919. The continued building activity
has resulted in an improved demand for lumber,
cement and other building materials. The average
condition of farm crops declined somewhat during
August. The cotton crop has suffered severe dam­
age from boll weevils and from drought. The esti­
mates of the corn crop have been much reduced, but
the prospects for spring wheat have continually im­
proved. Wholesale trade improved substantially
during August in all reporting lines. Every District
reports increased sales in dry goods which averaged
almost 50 per cent higher than in July. Retail trade
improved considerably during August and the vol­
ume of business was larger in most sections than in
August 1921. The banks are in a strong position
and are meeting the seasonal demand for credit with
ease. This seasonal demand has led to increases in
rates for both call and time money at New York.
European exchange rates have generally declined
during September, and there has also been a slight
decline in Asiatic exchanges.

As we look back over the past few months and
take stock of progress made toward a restoration of
normal business and industrial activity, we are con­
vinced that many of the serious obstacles that con­
fronted us six months ago have been removed.
Obstacles there still are, but business does not se­
riously fear them. Taxes are burdensome, the ef­
fects of the new tariff are problematical, and Euro­
pean political and financial conditions appear to be
almost hopelessly tangled, but the coal and trans­
portation strikes have been practically settled, and
crop prospects are, on the whole, good. In the Fifth
District specifically, the cotton crop is short, but the
crop has been made economically and prices bid fair
to be remunerative. The banks of the District are
in better condition to care for the needs of business
than they have been for several years. Both demand
and time deposits are steadily increasing. Debits
to individual accounts reflect a growing volume of
transactions through the banks of the leading trade
centers. Labor is almost normally employed, and
many industries are adding steadily to their forces.
The fuel situation is at least much better than it was
a month ago. Textile mills are busy on sufficient
orders to take their output, and the future is re­
garded optimistically by the mill authorities. To­
bacco yields in the states comprising the Fifth Dis­
trict are fair to good, and prices on the opening of
the markets are much higher than they were last
year. The new Tobacco Growers Association ap­
pears to have made a good beginning, and the great
majority of the farmers who went into the Associ­
ation are well pleased with the returns to them.
Building permits for new construction broke all
available records in August for that month of the
year, and as a natural result of this great volume of
construction work all dealers in building materials
are enjoying many orders. Retail trade is opening
up nicely for fall, and wholesale trade in August
exceeded last August in the volume of business done
in units of merchandise sold in all of the lines from
which figures are available. Collections are re­
ported by 82% of our reporting wholesalers as
either Fair or Good, a very satisfactory average for
August, a month which is too early to feel appre­
ciably the influence of the money put into circula­
tion by fall marketing of agricultural products.

* This National Summary compiled by the Division of Analysis and Research of the Federal Reserve Board.




CONDITION OF SEVENTY-NINE REPORTING MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES.
Sept. 6, 1922

ITEMS
1. Total Loans and Discounts (exclusive
of rediscounts).................................... $
2. Total Investments in Bonds and Securi­
ties ........................................................
3. Total Loans and Investments...................
4. Reserve Balance with Federal Reserve
Bank......................................................
5. Cash in Vaults.............................................
,6. Demand Deposits.......................................
7. Time Deposits.............................................
8. Discounted with Federal Reserve Bank....

424,060,000

August 2, 1922
$

Sept. 7, 1921

424,847,000

$

413,769.000

123.919.000
547.979.000

125.458.000
550.305.000

121,120,000

33.687.000
13.675.000
331.996.000
143.422.000
10.178.000

35.338.000
13.285.000
338.269.000
141.847.000
9,214,000

29.429.000
14.451.000
296.279.000
122.166.000
70,433,000

534.889.000

I

The accompanying table shows the principal items of condition of seventy-nine regularly reporting mem­
ber banks in thirteen of the larger cities of the Fifth District, figures as of the close of business September 6,
1922, August 2, 1922, and September 7, 1921 being shown. The figures shown in the table afford a basis
of comparison for the current month with the previous month this year and with the corresponding month
last year.
Item 1, Total Loans and Discounts outstanding, shows a decrease from $424,847,000 on August 2, 1922
to $424,060,000 on September 6, 1922, but an increase from $413,769,000 on September 7, 1921. Item 2,
Total Investments in Bonds and Securities, shows a total of $123,919,000 on September 6, 1922, in compari­
son with $125,458,000 on August 2nd of this year and $121,120,000 on September 7, 1921. Item 4, Reserve
Balances with Federal Reserve Bank, declined to $33,687,000 on September 6th from $35,338,000 on August
2nd, of the current year, but were higher than the $29,429,000 balances on deposit September 7th, 1921. Item
5, Cash in Vaults, amounted to $13,675,000 on September 6, 1922, compared with $13,285,000 on August
2, 1922 and $14,451,000 on September 7, 1921. Item 6, Demand Deposits, shows a decline within the past
month from $338,269,000 on August 2nd to $331,996,000 on September 6th, but this year’s figures are con­
siderably higher than the $296,279,000 on deposit September 7, 1921. Item 7, Time Deposits, shows a con­
tinuation of the steady rise that has been going on for the past year, the total on September 6, 1922 having
reached $143,422,000 in comparison with $141,847,000 on August 2, 1922 and $122,166,000 on September 7,
1921. Finally, item 8, Discounts with the Federal Reserve Bank, shows a seasonal increase from $9,214,000
on August 2, 1922 to $10,178,000 on September 6, 1922, but a large decrease from the $70,433,000 redis­
counted with the Reserve Bank by the seventy-nine reporting members on September 7, 1921.

SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
During the past two years we have been receiving monthly reports from fifteen mutual savings banks in
Baltimore, showing total deposits in each bank on the last day of the month. At the close of August, 1922,
the total deposits in the fifteen banks amounted to $127,653,146 in comparison with $122,8 33,151 on deposit
August 3 1, 1921 and $120,195,124 on August 31, 1920. In view of the amount of voluntary and involuntary
unemployment among the industrial groups during the two years under review, the steady increase in deposits
in the above mentioned savings banks is striking, and apparently suggests that the workers with thrifty habits
have managed to keep pretty well employed.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OPERATIONS
During the month from August 16, 1922 to September 13, 1922, Cash Reserves held by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Richmond rose from $108,289,457.14 to $ 111,7 5 3 ,17 6 .18 , an increase of 3.2 % . Between
the same two dates , Total Bills on Hand increased from $35,695,153.34 to $35,800,698.94, the increase being
merely a daily fluctuation, but indicating that the steady decline in rediscounts has halted. Federal Reserve
Notes in Actual Circulation rose to $82,802,745 on September 13th from $79,573,080 on August 16th, a sea­
sonal increase usual at this time of the year. Member Bank Reserve Deposits fell from $56,374,043.45 on
August 16th to $55,642,339.07 on September 13th, a decrease of 1.3 % . The ratio of total reserves to De­
posit and Federal Reserve Note Liabilities combined was 78.54% on August 16th, but rose to 79.26% on Sep­
tember 13, 1922. On September 14, 1921, this ratio was 41.66% , and at that time we were rediscounting
with other Reserve banks $24,970,000 of our paper.

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT IN LEADING TRADE CENTERS
In the accompanying table we show debits to individual, firm and corporation accounts in twenty-three
cities of the Fifth Federal Reserve District during the weeks ending September 6, 1922 and August 2, 1922,
and also show debits in eleven of the cities for the week ending September 7, 1921. These figures afford
opportunities for comparing the volume of business during the week ending September 6, 1922 with the busi­
ness volume during the corresponding week the previous month this year and the same week a year ago.
Attention is called to the fact that the weeks ending September 6, 1922 and September 7, 1921 contained only
five business days, the Labor Day holiday occurring during those weeks. The week ending August 2, 1922,
however, was a full week of six business days.




DEBITS FOR THE WEEK ENDING
CITIES

August 2, 1922

Sept. 6, 1922
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, V a..........................................
Newport News, Va....................................
Norfolk, Va..............................................
Raleigh, N. C............................................
Richmond, Va..........................................
Roanoke, Va............................................
Spartanburg, S. C......................................
Washington, D. C......................................
Wilmington, N. C......................................
Winston-Salem, N. C.................................

$

Totals for 11 cities..................................
Totals for 23 cities..................................

$

3,989,000
68.274.000
5.684.000
5.966.000
7.183.000
4.114.000
1.690.000
1.576.000
5.641.000
4.500.000
3.455.000
1.626.000
3.931.000
3.347.000
1.447.000
12.130.000
4,000,000
24.553.000
5.163.000
1.506.000
35.996.000
4.647.000
5.046.000

$

173,967,000
215,464,000

$

Sept. 7, 1921

4,570,000
103,957,000
5.811.000
6.518.000
6.503.000
4.109.000
1.836.000
1.838.000
4.502.000
4.408.000
3.653.000
1.962.000
4.467.000
3.492.000
1.854.000
14.003.000
3.900.000
24.603.000
4.545.000
1.761.000
39.108.000
3.862.000
6.418.000

$

213,976,000
257,680,000

$

94.105.000
6.090.000
4.941.000
3.614.000

2.695.000
'3,566,000
10,723*000
3.700.000
22.759.000
29.998.000
4.016.000
186,207,000

The figures for the twenty-three cities show a decrease in debits as between the week ending August 2,
1922 and the one ending September 6, 1922 from $257,680,000 to $215,464,000, a decline of 16.4%?. Most of
the decrease is due to the five day week ending September 6th, but part of the loss is undoubtedly chargeable
to a general uncertainty and hesitation in business as a result of the unsettled conditions in labor and legis­
lative circles.
A comparison of the figures from the eleven cities for which 1921 statistics are available shows a decline
from $186,207,000 reported for the week ending September 7, 1921 to $173,967,000 for the week ending
September 6, 1922, a decline of 6.6% . The decrease is due to the sharp decline in debits for Baltimore,
where the several strikes have been felt heavily, and to a minor decrease in Charleston, S. C., in which city
decreased activity in the Navy Yard and an unsettled banking situation played the leading roles. All of the
other reporting cities reported higher figures for the week ending September 6, 1922 than for the week end­
ing September 7, 1921.

BUSINESS FAILURES IN THE TWELVE FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS
AUGUST, 1922 AND 1921.
1922

1921

Per Cent
Increase or
Decrease

Boston, First.......................................
New York, Second.............................
Philadelphia Third............................
Cleveland, Fourth...............................
Richmond, Fifth..................................
Atlanta, Sixth.....................................
Chicago, Seventh................................
St. Louis, Eighth................................
Minneapolis, Ninth............................
Kansas City, Tenth............................
Dallas, Eleventh.................................
San Francisco, Twelfth.....................

118
269
76
156
134
152
243
135
69
95
85
182

118
216
68
137
98
198
204
67
72
75
137
172

0.0
24.5
11.8
13.9
36.7
—23.2
19.1
101.5
— 4.2
26.7
—38.0
5.8

Totals...........................................

1,714

1,562

Number
City and District

9.7 Vo

Liabilities
1922

1921

Per Cent of
Increase or
Decrease

$ 1,556,039
7,364,329
2,735,637
3,574,148
2,253,748
2,890,891
6,776,867
2,347,687
888,750
1,963,119
5,198,294
2,730,209

$ 2,821,841
9,685,653
2,090,756
5,183,707
2,658,017
4,489,443
4,123,520
2,200,012
1,458,576
966,896
1,991,284
5,234,704

— 44.9
— 24.0
30.8
— 31.1
— 15.2
— 35.6
64.3
6.7
— 39.1
103.0
161.1
— 47.8

$ 40,279,718

$ 42,904,409

—

6.1 fo

The above table, furnished by Dun’s Review, shows that the total number of business failures in the
United States was 1,7 14 during August, 1922, in comparison with 1,562 during August, 1921, an increase
this year of 9 .7% . On the other hand, total liabilities involved in the failures show a decrease from $42,904,409 reported in August, 1921 to $40,279,718 reported in August of this year, a decline of 6 .1% . Of
the twelve Federal Reserve Districts, one shows the same number of failures for August of both this year
and last, three show fewer failures, and eight show a larger number, the largest increase occurring in the




St. Louis District. In total liabilities involved, the record is better, seven of the twelve Districts reporting
lower totals in August, 1922 than in August, 1921. The Richmond District shows a larger number of fail­
ures this year than last, August, 1922 having witnessed 134 bankruptcies in comparison with 98 in August,
1921, an increase of 36.7% , but liabilities fell from $2,658,017 in August, 1921 to $2,253,748 in August, 1922,
a decline of 15 .2 % . The 134 insolvencies reported in the Richmond District in August is the lowest number
reported for any month since October, 1921, and total liabilities involved have been lower only in one other
month since October of last year. The average liability per failure in August, 1922 was $16,819 f ° r the
Fifth District and $23,500 for the United States, compared with averages in August, 1921 of $27,122 for
the Fifth District and $27,467 for the nation.

LABOR— The only changes of note in the labor situation in the Fifth District during the past month
have been the settlement of the coal strike, and the agreements reached between some of the leading railroads
and their striking employees. As we write, indications point strongly to an immediate return of all strikers
on the Seaboard, Southern and Baltimore and Ohio lines, three of the greatest railway systems operating in
the Fifth District. The Pennsylvania System, operating in this District through Maryland, appears to be
running successfully with new men, and the Chesapeake & Ohio, the Atlantic Coast Line, the Norfolk & West­
ern, and the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac are negotiating with their men, looking toward a full
settlement of the strike that has seriously interfered with transportation during recent weeks. It is evident
that the situation is clearing, and with the coal strike settled in both the bituminous and anthracite fields, the
danger of widespread industrial disturbance has probably passed.
There is now virtually no unemployment in the Fifth District, except the usual number of floaters who
are voluntarily idle a large part of the time. Building construction, road and street work, and public works
like sewer extension, laying of water and gas mains, etc., are giving steady employment to thousands of laborers
in the District. Although there have been a few scattered shut-downs because of fuel shortage, especially
among brick yards, practically all factories are running approximately full time, and are employing their
usual number of hands. In the Carolinas cotton and tobacco are being gathered, which gives employment to
additional workers among the agricultural population. Employment agencies report additional openings in
clerical work, and there is difficulty in securing domestic help to fill calls from employers. The approach
of cold weather will interfere with construction of the residence type, but workers released will doubtless find
employment on and in the many business and public buildings being erected in the District. Several large
employers of labor have added to their forces during the past month, among these being the American Loco­
motive Company and the Newport News Ship Building and Dry Dock Company.

COAL— The agreement reached between the miners and operators in the bituminous coal fields, men­
tioned in our Review last month, has increased the output of soft coal to the carrying capacity of the
railroads. Early in September, a truce was signed between the anthracite miners and operators, and hard
coal is now being produced again. A s far as the public is concerned, therefore, the coal strikes in both
fields have been settled, among the results of the strikes being the loss of five months wages by the miners
and an increase in coal prices to consumers.
The country enters the winter with reserves of coal practically exhausted, making the consumers depen­
dent upon current production for their needs. The United States Geological Survey, commenting upon the
coal outlook, says, “ Transportation is the dominant and limiting factor in soft coal supply. Restricted by
transportation difficulties the rate of soft coal production is seemingly fixed temporarily at 1,600,000 tons a
day, or 9,600,000 a week—this in spite of a strong market and prices sustained at high levels not only by de­
mand for current consumption, but also by the need for rebuilding ordinary reserves and by extraordinary
calls for household sizes.,, The price of coal has increased at the mines, the increase of course being
passed on to the ultimate consumer by the retailer. There has been much talk of Fair Price Commis­
sions and Investigating Committees to give the public some protection against profiteering, but nothing con­
crete has come of it.

TEXTILES— Conditions in the textile field have changed very little since our last month’s Review was
written, although the coal and railroad strikes have been felt adversely to an increasing degree. A number
of mills complain of difficulty in securing sufficient coal to meet their needs, and some of them have expe­
rienced delay in receiving shipments of cotton. However, no appreciable number of mills have had to curtail
running time for either of the above reasons, and practically all of them have received enough orders to take
their output. During August the North Carolina mills consumed 100,202 bales of cotton, the South Carolina
mills consumed 85,516 bales, and the Virginia mills consumed 10,463 bales, a total consumption of 196,181
bales in the Fifth District.
There is a rather wide-spread opinion among the mill men that prices they are receiving for their prod­
ucts are too low in comparison with prices of raw cotton and the scale of wages the mills are paying. The
market has been sufficiently active to absorb the production of the mills during recent months, but it has
resisted price advances stubbornly. This resistance has made it difficult for the mills to pass increased




manufacturing costs to the jobbers, retailers and ultimate consumers. The mill authorities believe that stocks
of manufactured goods in the hands of jobbers and retailers are low, however, and they say that any decided
revival in demand from consumers will raise prices to a more profitable figure.
The Census Bureau has announced that 32,499,324 cotton spindles were active during August of this
year, in comparison with 31,975,269 in Ju ly of this year and 32,930,755 in August, 1921. Of the active
spindles, the cotton growing states showed 15,613,632 during August, compared with 15,583,903 during July
of this year and 14,754,822 during August last year.

COTTON— The Department of Agriculture’s report on the condition of this year’s cotton crop on Au­
gust 25th was released on September 1st. The condition as of August 25th was given as 57.0% , indi­
cating a crop of 10,575,000 bales, in comparison with a July 25th condition of 70.8% and an indicated yield of
11,449,000 bales. Only twice within the history of the Agricultural Department has it published an August
25th condition as low as this year’s figure. The crop in Virginia deteriorated from a condition of 80% on
July 25th to 68% on August 25th; North Carolina’s condition declined during the month from 78% to 65% ;
and South Carolina’s condition fell from 60% to 46% . The indicated yield for this year in Virginia is
estimated to be 23,000 bales in comparison with last year’s yield of 16,000 bales; North Carolina’s condition
indicates a production of 750,000 bales this year in comparison with 776,000 grown last year; and South Caro­
lina is expected to produce 687,000 bales in comparison with 755,000 produced in 1921.
The action of the market upon receipt of the Agricultural Department’s report showed that operators in
spot cotton and futures had previously discounted the month’s losses, and consequently the report was
not regarded as particularly bullish. Private reports released previous to the publication of the Govern­
ment’s figures had foreshadowed the decline in condition, and therefore the release of the report did not seri­
ously effect the market quotations. The report was distinctly bullish as far as the prospective supply of
cotton is concerned, however.
Spot prices for cotton have fluctuated during the past month from an average of 20.42 cents per pound
during the week ending August 12th to 21.27 cents during the week ending September 16th, the quotations
upon which the figures are based coming from scattered markets in the two Carolinas, and represent actual
prices paid for middling, 7/8 inch fiber. The highest weekly average reached during the past month was
21.84 cents during the week ending September 2nd, but there was a decline after the Agricultural Depart­
ment’s condition report to 20.90 cents during the week ending September 9th. All data on the growing
crop received since the latest Government report indicates that the condition on September 25th will show
further loss in condition, and a realization of this fact is tending to influence prices upward again. The coal
and rail strikes being now practically out of the way, the serious obstacle in the cotton market appears to be
the uncertainty in regard to European politics and finances.
The Census Bureau on September 14th gave out figures showing cotton consumption for August. Amer­
ican mills used 527,404 bales of lint and 60,825 bales of linters during August of this year, compared with
458,548 bales of lint and 55,424 bales of linters in Ju ly this year and 467,059 bales of lint and 52,106 bales of
linters in August last year. Cotton on hand August 31st was as follows: held in consuming establishments,
1,024,994 bales of lint and 116,891 bales of linters, compared with 1,215,10 3 bales of lint and 134,597 bales
of linters on July 31st this year and 1,006,066 bales of lint and 196,623 bales of linters on August 31st last
year. Held in public storage and at compresses, 1,549,789 bales of lint and 30,534 bales of linters, compared
with 1,488,083 bales of lint and 54,587 bales of linters on Ju ly 31st this year and 3,463,964 bales of lint and
241,140 bales of linters 011 August 31st last year. Exports during August totaled 273,308 bales of both lint
and linters, compared with 372,742 bales in Ju ly this year and 423,491 bales in August last year.

TOBACCO— Practically all of the tobacco in the Fifth District has been cut and housed, and the last
of it is in process of curing. Virginia has had the best tobacco growing season for many years, according to
official crop reports, and an excellent crop of fine quality tobacco has been produced. The crop matured
unusually early and by September 1st practically 75 per cent of all tobacco had been harvested. The Sep­
tember 1st condition of 90 per cent indicates a yield of 167,409,000 pounds compared with 91,850,000 pounds
grown last year and 144,736,000 pounds, the average for the five years 1916-20. The West Virginia condi­
tion on September 1st was 87 per cent of normal, and the indicated yield was estimated at 7,439,000 pounds
compared with 6,000,000 pounds produced last year. South Carolina’s tobacco crop condition was 65 per
cent of normal on September 1st, and the crop has been housed.
The markets in South Carolina have been open more than a month, and about half of the North Carolina
markets have been operating for several weeks. The remaining North Carolina markets will open September
19th. The average price paid in South Carolina in the auction sales during August was $21.05 Per hun­
dred pounds, in comparison with $ 12 .10 per hundred paid in August, 1921. According to the monthly report
of the South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, 23 warehouses in 16 markets sold 17,416,025 pounds of
tobacco for producers during August. This does not include the tobacco handled through the new Tobacco
Growers Co-operative Association. No accurate figures are available to show the amount of tobacco handled
through the Association warehouses, but perhaps some idea can be gotten by noting that auction sales handled




34,120,989 pounds of leaf for producers in South Carolina in August, 1921 in comparison with 17,416,025
pounds sold this year. It is reported that close to 18,000,000 pounds had reached the co-operative marketing
centers of South Carolina previous to September 15th.

AGRICULTURAL NOTES— The September report of the Virginia Crop Reporting Service says,
“ Crops have now reached such an advanced stage that the earlier reports of excellent yields can be definitely
confirmed. The production of corn, wheat, oats, tobacco, potatoes, hay, cotton and fruit will not only be
considerably more than the yield last year, which was an unusually poor season, but for most crops will be
above the average production for the past ten years. The peanut crop is the only one which will be smaller
than last year.” Prospects in the state for corn declined slightly during August, owing to lack of rain in some
sections of the Valley and Southwest Virginia, and to too much rain on the low lands in the Eastern and
Southeastern parts of the State, but in the entire Central district and in many other counties the crop is
unusually good. Present indications point to a crop this year of 54,784,000 bushels, which is 7,200,000
bushels more than the yield in 1921. The late white potato crop in Eastern Virginia was injured by heavy
rains early in August, but in other sections the condition is fair to good. Sweet potatoes are being har­
vested with yields up to the average. The peanut crop made some progress during the latter part of August,
but the season was too far advanced for great improvement to be made. The September forecast is 93,282.000 pounds, which is considerably less than last year’s production. The Virginia peach crop amounted
to 764,000 bushels or 56 per cent of a full crop. The commercial crop was approximately 400 cars. Hay
yields have been large in all sections of the state due to the frequent rains, so there will be an abundance of
forage in Virginia this winter. Pastures are still in excellent condition and will furnish good grazing during
the fall.
South Carolina’s corn crop will be slightly smaller than last year’s crop, the September 1st condition of
72 per cent of normal indicating a yield of 32,350,000 bushels as compared with the final estimate for last
year of 32,955,000 bushels. Excessive rains in South Carolina from early spring to the middle of August
did damage to both cotton and corn, and the dry period that then set in further damaged late corn. The
full extent of the damage to the crops from the dry weather during late August and early September can­
not yet be estimated accurately. Condition figures for miscellaneous crops in South Carolina on September
1st were as follows: sweet potatoes, 8 1% ; Irish potatoes, 76% ; peanuts, 80% ; rice, 75% ; sorghum for
syrup, 80% ; cowpeas, 85% ; hay, 88% ; millet, 8 1% ; grapes, 80% ; and pears, 6 5% .
The forecasts at present indicate an increased production in the entire United States over last year of
hay, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, oats, wheat, rice and tobacco. The forecast for sweet potatoes is 108,372.000 bushels, compared with 98,660,000 bushels in 1921, while the forecast for Irish potatoes is 438,398,000 bushels this year compared with 346,823,000 bushels last year. The estimated production of wheat is
818.474.000 bushels compared with 794,893,000 bushels in 1921, and of oats is 1,255,000,000 bushels compared
with 1,060,000,000 bushels a year ago.
BUILDING OPERATIONS FOR THE MONTHS OF AUGUST, 1922 AND 1921.
Building permit figures from twenty-three of the leading cities of the Fifth Federal Reserve District
for August show the highest number of permits for new construction on record for August. Twenty-two
of the reporting cities, for which figures for previous years are available for comparison, show a total of 2 ,15 1
permits for new work during August, 1922, compared with 1,630 permits for new work in August, 1921,
940 permits in August, 1920, and 1,623 in August, 1919. Total valuation for new work was reported as
$10,290,189 for August, 1922, $6,995,329 for August, 1921, $7,013,833 for August, 1920, and $9,608,999 for
August, 1919. Including permits for repairs and alterations, the total valuation of all work for which per­
mits were issued in August of this year amounted to $12,326,912, compared with a total of $8,716,876 for all
permits issued in August, 1921, an increase this year of $3,610,036, or 4 1.4 % . The increase in both number
of permits issued and in total valuation represents a genuine gain in the number of structures being erected,
and is not caused by one or two very large undertakings.
The number of permits issued for new construction in August is the largest issued since the Reserve
Bank began keeping building permit records, with the exception of May, 1922 and June, 1919, and, as stated
above, is the largest number ever issued during the month of August. Usually there is a gradual decline in
the number of permits issued each year after June, but the past month did not follow the rule. Of the
twenty-two cities, all but six reported more permits for new work this year than last for August, and in total
valuation for both new work and alterations or repairs all of the cities except four reported larger totals than
for August, 1921. The building activity appears to be generally District wide, with residence work still lead­
ing, but business construction is being undertaken in an increasing degree as confidence in the general sound­
ness of business conditions gains ground.
Going hand in hand with the large amount of construction work, orders to dealers in all types of builders’
supplies are plentiful. Lumber dealers are hard pushed to keep up with the demand, and prices have quite
generally stiffened on practically all grades of lumber. Brick yards are delayed in shipments in some cases
because of traffic and fuel troubles, and sand and gravel dealers are finding it difficult to secure sufficient
open top cars to handle their business. Glass manufacturers report plenty of orders at profitable prices.




Permits Issued
CITIES

0

1922 1921

z

1922

1921

1922

1922

1921

1921

MR L N
AYA D

1 Baltimore.............
2 Cumberland.........
3 Frederick..............
V G IA
IR IN
4 Lynchburg............
5 Norfolk.................
6 Richmond.............
7 Roanoke
W S V G IA
E T IR IN
8 Charleston............
9 Clarksburg**
10 Huntington ........
11 Parkersburg.........
N R HC R L A
O T A O IN
12 Asheville...............
13 Charlotte
14 Durham................
15 Greensboro...........
16 High Point...........
17 Wilmington..........
18 Winston-Salem
S U HC R L A
O T A O IN
19 Charleston............
20 Columbia..............
21 Greenville.............
22 Spartanburg.........
D T O C L M IA
IS . F O U B
23 Washington..........

1,125 1,171 $ 2,782,850 $ 1,164,800
19
123,845
89,992
21
0
3,468
700
2
0

486
37
3

425
34

17
143
151
97

18
63
126
*119

69

94

20
113

Increase or Per Cent
of
Decrease Increase
Total
or
Valuation Decrease

Alterations

New Construction
Repairs

New

*134

40
82

16
84

86

100

55
19
19
16

34

$ 837,240
7,055

0

Z

$ 652,200 $ 1,803,090
17,740
23,168
0
2,768

49,525
403,075
792,881
316,401

33,550
378,411
664,413
*147,692

15,101
72,865
94,069
26,650

4,260
67,716
218,769

336,000
20,775
213,000
50,000

296,380

32,270

*246,833
30,000

18,330
3,640
31,605

20,000

197,432
* 313,490
117,925
110,095
204,475
72,000
241,935

132,235
216,410
53,900
138,675
43,350
187,500
102,277

1,260

99.2% 1
15.7
2
395.4
3

26,816
29,813
3,768
195,359

70.9
6.7
0.4
132.3

4
5

25,680

7.8

8

15,000

2,228 — 0.9
55.6
25,000

10
11

79,891
1,625
13,410
7,150
12,600
18,500
30,555

13,434 — 6.3
95,455
43.8
96.1
64,680
—
6,045 — 4.1
159,825 285.7
— 101,000 — 49.0
143,088 107.7

12

14,064
29,685
11,300
33,000
33,985

13
14
15
16
17
18

187.9
284.2
12.4
71.9

20
21
22

17

57
5

20
21

9
18
15

10

18
61

27
59

11
71

4
54

22

20

20

28

13
30
26
26

98
15
40

130
31
34

156,200
95,275
88,025
57,777

42,275
64,100
94,900
35,230

7,693
245,245
40,275
18,720

14,660
24,524
19,210
9,260

106,958
251,896
14,190
32,007

642

284

326

521

3,564,515

2,831,706

478,580

476,779

734,610

1,630 2,084 2,305 $10,290,189

$6,995,329

$2,036,723

24

22

25

22

Totals........ 2,151

♦Includes both new work and repairs.

7

8

’•'♦Clarksburg, W. Va., not included in totals.

7
9

—

49
36

70
*60
24
41

6

—

$1,721,547 $ 3,610,036

19

22.2 23
41.4%

—Denotes Decrease.

Structural steel plants are busy filling orders for steel frame work, and all kinds of plumbing supplies are
in brisk demand. The same may be said of paints and varnishes. The settlement of the coal strikes and the
agreement between some of the railroads and their striking shopmen have encouraged builders to expect their
fuel and transportation problems to be reasonably simple in the future, and optimism is therefore the order
of the day in construction fields.

WHOLESALE TRADE
Percentage Increase (or Decrease) in Net Sales During August, 1922, as Compared With July, 1922
and August, 1921.
Groceries
Number of reporting firms in each line............

Dry Goods

43

16

Shoes
19

Hardware

Furniture

Drugs

17

9

14

Net sales (selling price) during August, 1922,
compared with July, 1922..............................

68
.

44.9

45.9

9.6

28.8

4.7

Net sales (selling price) during August, 1922,
compared with August, 1921..........................

5.5

3.4

— 6.4

6.4

45.6

0.9

—Denotes Decrease.

Reports received for August from one hundred and eighteen wholesale firms show that business in all
lines is responding to the usual seasonal demand, every line reported upon showing gains in sales over sales
made in Ju ly 1922. The largest gains are shown in dry goods, boot and shoe, and furniture lines, but groc­
eries, hardware and drugs also show good gains. The best indication of progress being made toward
normal business, however, is shown by the comparison of the August 1922 figures with those for August 1921.
Every line reported upon shows a gain this year over last August, with the exception of shoes, and in that
line the decrease in the dollar amount of sales is less than the average decrease in shoe prices during the year.
It is obvious, therefore, that all lines sold more units of merchandise during August of this year than during




the corresponding month a year ago. The largest gain is shown by furniture, which gained 45.6% . With
labor troubles apparently being settled, and with fair prices for agricultural products, jobbers and wholesalers
have grounds for the optimism which practically all of them profess to feel.
One hundred and nineteen firms sent us information on Collections this month, and, of this number,
82.4% classified their collections as either Good or Fair, in comparison with 8 1.7% so classifying collections
last month, July 1922. We give below the classified reports by lines for August, and we have added the totals
for July for comparison.

Lines Sold

Collections Reported As
Fair
Slow
Poor

Good

Groceries ............................................................................. ..
Dry Goods ........................................................................ ....
Sh o es.......................................................................................
Hardware ...............................................................................
Furniture ...............................................................................
Drugs .....................................................................................
August Totals ..........................................................
Ju ly Totals ........................................................ .......

4
30
7
2
10
3
o
16
3
3
13
1
0
7
2
0
5__________ 8_________ 1__________
14
84
17
12
82
19

Total

2
1
1
o

43
16
20
17
9
o__________ 14
4
119
2
11 5

FIGURES ON RETAIL TRADE
As Indicated By Reports from Twenty-five Representative Department Stores
for the Month of August, 1922.
Baltimore

Percentage increase in net sales during
August, compared with August, 1921............

Richmond

Washington

Other
Cities

District

1.1

26.4

—

4
.8

—

4.7

1.8

12.2

—

5.9

—

9.3

9.2

18.4

0.5

7.8

— 4.5

5.2

Percentage increase in stocks on hand at
the end of August, 1922, over stocks on
hand at the end of July, 1922.....................

2.5

5.2

10.1

1.1

4.9

Percentage of average stocks on hand at
the end of each month since July 1,
to average net sales each month during
the same period, two months........................

493.9

449.4

509.2

575.5

508.3

Percentage of outstanding orders at the end
of August, 1922, to total purchases of
merchandise during the year 1921...............

7.5

12.5

7.4

7.0

7.8

Percentage increase in net sales from
July 1, through August 31, compared
with sales during the same two months
of 1921...............................................................

—

Percentage increase in net sales during
August, 1922, over sales in July, 1922........
Percentage increase in stocks on hand at
the end of August, 1922, over stocks on
hand at the end of August, 1921...............

—

0.8

—

6.3

—

4.3

2.8
7.0

—

2.9

—Denotes decrease.

Retail trade begins to pick up during the latter part of August, advance fall styles being sought by
early customers, and this year the usual gain over July is shown in reports received from the twenty-five
co-operatjing stores. August sales show a gain of 7.0% in dollar value over July sales, and in addition
August of this year shows a gain of 0.8% over August 1921. Baltimore and Richmond reported gains
over the corresponding month last year, while Washington and the miscellaneous cities averaged losses.
Stocks on hand at the end of August were 2.9% lower in selling value than at the end of August 1921 but
showed an increase of 4.9% over stocks on hand at the end of July 1922, this increase being seasonal and
due to the arrival of early fall goods. The percentage of average stocks on hand at the ends of July and
August, both this year, to average sales during the same two months is 508.3% , the arrival of fall mer­
chandise naturally tending to slow up the rate of turn-over of stocks to some extent. Outstanding orders at
the end of August amounted to 7.8% of total purchases of merchandise during the calendar year 1921.




(Compiled September 16,1922)