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MONTHLY REVIEW
CREDIT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS

WILLIAM W. HOXTON, C h a irm a n

an d F e d e ra l R e serv e A gent

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

SEPTEMBER 30, 1934

increased operations in August over
USINESS in the Fifth Federal
July, but did not reach the level of
reserve district in August and
FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
operations of August last year. The
early September was fully up to sea­
threatened strike in the industry ap­
sonal level in comparison with other
recent months, and current crop con­
parently stimulated very little addition­
ditions and prices indicate larger in­
al production before the shut-down oc­
comes this year in agricultural sections
curred. Construction work continues
of the district. Rediscounts at the
in relatively small volume in the Fifth
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
district, but recent weeks witnessed
remained practically at the same low
some improvement. Retail trade in
figure between August IS and Septem­
August, as reflected in department
ber IS, member banks being able to
store sales, made an excellent record
care for seasonal demands for credit
in the Fifth reserve district, averaging
by merchants for discounting Fall bills
10 per cent above sales in August 1933,
without assistance from the reserve
the highest increase reported by any
bank. The circulation of Federal re­
serve notes registered the usual sea­
reserve district. Wholesale trade also
sonal increase during the past month, the rise being showed improvement last month in all lines for which
somewhat larger than in most years. No change oc­ data are available. Dry goods and shoe jobbers re­
curred in the reserve bank’s ownership of Government ported larger seasonal increases in sales in August than
securities. Reporting member banks in leading cities
slightly increased loans between the middle of August usual. In agriculture, prospects for per acre yields in
and the middle of September, and also increased invest­ the Fifth district are excellent this year, composite crop
ments in securities and reserve balances at the reserve condition figures on September 1 for all states in the
bank. Demand deposits rose considerably last month, district being above the ten-year average, with South
but there was a slight decline in time deposits. Debits Carolina showing the highest figure for the entire
to individual accounts figures in four weeks ended Sep­
tember 12, 1934, showed a 4 per cent decrease in com­ United States. Tobacco production is smaller than
parison with the preceding four weeks, ended August last year, due to acreage reduction, and the same state­
IS, but increased 21 per cent in comparison with debits ment applies to cotton. However, tobacco prices are
for four weeks ended September 13, 1933. Commer­ practically double those of last year, and the purchasing
cial failure figures for both number of insolvencies and power of tobacco farmers will be much larger this Fall
liabilities involved in August in the Fifth district were
better than for any other August since 1920, and com­ than for several years. Cotton prices have not ad­
pared more favorably than National figures with Au­ vanced as much as tobacco prices, but there has been a
gust 1933 totals. Employment changed relatively little sufficient rise to compensate fully for reduced produc­
in August and early September, except for the strike tion. Food and feed crops in the district yielded well,
in the textile field, but there are some signs of increased and farmers are well supplied for their needs. Weather
construction work in the Fifth district. Coal produc­
tion in August showed a seasonal rise above July pro­ throughout the Summer was favorable for farming
duction, but was nearly 20 per cent below production operations except in West Virginia, which had insuf­
in August last year. West Virginia continued to lead ficient rain, and on the whole the outlook for Fall and
all states in the output of bituminous coal. Textile mills Winter business appears better than it was a year ago.

B




MONTHLY REVIEW

2

Statement of 28 Member Banks

Reserve Bank Statement
000 omitted
ITEMS

Sept. 15
1934

Aug. 15
1934

Sept. 15
1933

Rediscounts held ---------------- $ 720 $ 723 $ 10,452
239
193
Open market paper--------------193
0
0
Industrial advances ............
80
67,971
103,563
Government securities______ 103,563
78,662
Total earning assets______ 104,556 104,479
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes- 157,768 143,256 138,869
67,342
Members’ reserve deposits____ 131,437 124,049
Cash reserves-------------------- 198,572 170,321 147,986
67.78
62.81
Reserve ra tio -------------------66.07

Principal items on the statement of the Federal Re­
serve Bank of Richmond for three mid-month dates are
shown in the accompanying table, affording opportunity
for comparison of the latest available figures, those for
September IS, 1934, with the figures for corresponding
dates a month and a year earlier. In the past month,
rediscounts for member banks decreased $3,000, but
the Bank advanced $80,000 on industrial loans, a net
increase of $77,000 in total earning assets. The port­
folio of open market paper and holdings of Govern­
ment securities remained unchanged during the month.
Circulation of Federal reserve notes rose by more than
the seasonal amount between August 15 and September
15, advancing by $14,512,000, probably due in large
part to the opening of tobacco markets in North Caro­
lina and to early cotton sales. Member bank reserve
deposits rose by $7,388,000 during the past month,
carrying reserves farther in excess of legal require­
ments. Aggregate cash reserves of the Federal Reserve
Bank of Richmond increased by $28,251,000 between
the middle of August and the middle of September,
and the ratio of cash reserves to note and deposit lia­
bilities combined rose by 3.26 points.
A comparison of the condition figures for September
15, 1934, with those reported for September 15, 1933,
shows marked changes in most items. Rediscounts for
member banks, which were very small a year ago, de­
clined further by $9,732,000, and the portfolio of open
market paper also dropped $46,000. On the other hand,
holdings of Government securities rose by $35,592,000
during the year. Total earning assets increased by
$25,894,000 between the middle of September last year
and this. The circulation of Federal reserve notes rose
by $18,899,000 during the past year, and member bank
reserve deposits increased by $64,095,000. The in­
crease in note circulation was due in part to higher
prices prevailing in many lines this year, especially in
receipts for tobacco and some other early agricultural
products, and the rise in reserve deposits reflects sur­
plus funds in possession of the member banks. The
several changes in the statement previously mentioned,
with others of less importance, increased the cash re­
serves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by
$50,586,000 during the year, but the ratio of reserves
to note and deposit liabilities combined declined by 1.71
points.




ITEMS

000 omitted
Sept. 12 Aug. 15 Sept. 13
1934
1934
1933

Loans on stocks and bonds (in­
cluding Governments) _____ $ 57,154 $ 57,103
All other loans____________ 103,867 103,585
Total loans and discounts...... 161,021 160,688
Investments in stocks and bonds 186,051 185,973
Reserve bal. with F. R. Bank.... 56,479
51,093
Cash in vaults_____________
12,009
10,202
Demand deposits __________ 230,625 221,873
Time deposits ____________ 133,955 134,313
Borrowed from F. R. Bank___
0
0

$ 59,286
114,094
173,380
159,976
26,361
9,844
182,861
129,269
268

The accompanying table shows the principal items of
j condition on the weekly statement of twenty-eight reg­
ularly reporting member banks in ten leading cities of
the Fifth Federal reserve district as of three dates,
September 12 and August 15, this year, and September
13, last year, thus affording opportunity for compari­
son of the latest available figures with those a month
and a year earlier. It should be understood that the
figures shown are not necessarily the highest or lowest
figures which occurred during the periods under review,
but represent the condition of the banks on the report
dates only.
During the four weeks between August 15 and Sep­
tember 12, the reporting banks increased their loans by
$333,000, a small rise in view of the fact that at this
season merchants usually call upon their banks for loans
with which to discount bills for Fall goods. Loans on
stocks and bonds rose $51,000 last month, while All
j Other Loans rose by $282,000. The reporting banks
i increased their investments in securities $78,000 be­
tween August 15 and September 12. Aggregate re­
serve balances of the twenty-eight banks at the Fed­
eral reserve bank rose by $5,386,000 during the month,
and cash in vaults increased by $1,807,000. Demand
deposits rose by $8,752,000 since the middle of August,
j but there was a small decline in time deposits amount1 ing to $358,000. None of the twenty-eight reporting
j banks were borrowing at the Federal reserve bank dur­
ing the past month.
On September 13, 1933, all figures in the combined
statement of the reporting institutions were smaller
than figures on September 12, 1934, except the loan
and rediscount figures. Total loans declined $12,359,000 during the year, of which $2,132,000 was in loans
on securities and $10,227,000 was in All Other Loans.
Rediscounts at the reserve bank dropped from $268,000
borrowed by two of the reporting banks on Septem­
ber 13, 1933, to nothing on September 12, 1934. On
the other hand, the banks built up their reserve balances
at the Federal reserve bank by $30,118,000 during the
past year, and also increased their investments in se­
curities, chiefly Governments, by $26,075,000. Cash in
vaults rose by $2,165,000. Aggregate deposits inI creased $52,450,000 between the middle of September
j last year and this, demand deposits gaining $47,764,000
I and time deposits $4,686,000.

MONTHLY REVIEW

Time and Savings Deposits
Time deposits in twenty-eight reporting member
banks and aggregate deposits in eleven mutual savings
banks in Baltimore totaled $327,095,161 at the end of
August 1934, a higher figure than either $326,603,107
reported at the end of July this year or $314,058,864
at the end of August 1933. Mutual savings bank de­
posits increased last month while time deposits in the
reporting member banks decreased slightly, but both
groups of banks showed increases in time and savings
deposits for the year.

Debits to Individual Accounts
CITIES

000 omitted
Total debits, four weeks ended
Sept. 13,
Aug. 15,
Sept. 12,
1934
1933
1934

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, Va............
Roanoke, Va..............
Washington, D. C.....
Wilmington, N. C_
_
Winston-Salem, N. C.

$ 8,092
209,433
9,606
35,103
37,088
14,938
5,297
4,388
34,170
10,833
10,081
5,116
10,480
10,379
5,707
37,273
2,523
14,578
120,205
15,795
138,857
6,840
22,900

$ 8,162
242,353
9,014
37,628
39,769
18,552
5,169
4,890
21,559
9,636
9,715
5,878
10,124
10,733
5,725
39,384
2,886
23,114
102,739
16,184
149,965
6,691
2|3,150

$ 7,989
179,735
9,683
22,670
32,014
10,536
4,526
4,230
23,714
5,144
10,820
4,443
8,459
10*962
5,077
25,537
2,448
10,942
89,690
15,104
123,716
5,118
21,442

Fifth District Totals

$769,682

$803,020

$633,999

Debits to individual accounts figures shown in the
table for three equal periods of four weeks include all
checks drawn against depositors’ accounts in the banks
of twenty-three leading trade centers in the Fifth Fed­
eral reserve district. Figures for the four weeks ended
September 12, 1934, are included, and for comparison
the corresponding figures for the preceding four weeks
this year, ended August 15, 1934, and the same four
weeks last year, ended September 13, 1933, are also
listed.
Aggregate debits in the reporting cities declined
$33,338,000, or 4.2 per cent, in the latest four weeks,
compared with figures for the preceding like period,
only eight of the twenty-three cities showing higher
figures. The cities reporting increased debits last
month were Cumberland, M d.; Richmond, V a.; Hunt­
ington, W. V a.; Durham, Greensboro and Wilmington,
N. C.; Charleston and Greenville, S. C.
In comparison with debits to individual accounts
figures for the four weeks ended September 13, 1933,
the figures reported for the corresponding period this




3

year show an increase of $135,683,000, or 21.4 per
cent. Twenty of the twenty-three cities reported high­
er figures for the 1934 period, the three cities which
failed to gain being Charleston and Greenville, S. C.,
and Lynchburg, Va. Part of the increase in 1934
debits is doubtless due to higher price levels in many
lines.

Commercial Failures
Commercial insolvencies in the Fifth Federal re­
serve district in August 1934 totaled 51, with aggre­
gate liabilities amounting to $440,675, a decrease in
number of 44 per cent and a fall in liabilities of 77
per cent in comparison with 91 failures and estimated
liabilities totaling $1,917,769 in August 1933. The
number of failures in August was the smallest for any
August since 1920, and last month’s aggregate liabili­
ties were not only the lowest for August since 1919 but
were the lowest for any month since June 1920. The
record of the Fifth district in August was better than
the National average in both number of failures and
liabilities involved. In the United States as a whole,
failures in August 1934 numbering 929 showed a de­
crease of 36.9 per cent in comparison with 1,472 fail­
ures in August 1933, and last month’s liabilities totaling
$18,459,903 were 56.8 per cent less than liabilities in
August last year. All of the twelve reserve districts
showed fewer failures in August 1934 than in August
1933, and aggregate liabilities were also lower in all
districts in the 1934 month.

Employment
The outstanding feature in the employment situation
in the Fifth district at present is of course the textile
strike, which is of vital importance in the two Caro­
linas. It is difficult to secure accurate reports on the
effects of the strike, but thousands of workers are idle.
In Virginia the textile mills have continued operations
with little change, and in the Carolinas a large number
of mills did not shut down or have re-opened after
being closed a few days. On the whole, however, it
appears that the majority of mills in the Carolinas are
closed. In fields other than textiles, very little change
in employment conditions occurred between the middle
of August and the middle of September. Some im­
provement is noted in construction fields, but it is com­
paratively slight and has not given additional employ­
ment to many workers.

Coal Production
Bituminous coal production in the United States in
August 1934 totaled 27,490,000 net tons, an average
of 1,018,000 tons per working day, a seasonal increase
over 25,280,000 tons mined in July this year but 19
per cent below 33,910,000 tons dug in August 1933.
Total production of bituminous coal this calendar year
through September 8 totaled 241,848,000 net tons, com­
pared with 217,336,000 tons mined to the same date last
year. The August 25 report of the Bureau of Mines,
Department of Commerce, gave coal production by

4

MONTHLY REVIEW

states for July. West Virginia led all states with 7,685.000 tons, Pennsylvania ranking second with 6,850,000 tons. West Virginia also led in production this
raVndar year through July with 58,679,000 tons in
comparison with 55,219,000 tons for Pennsylvania.
Total production in the Fifth district in July was 8,396.000 tons, or 33.2 per cent of National production,
compared with 10,147,000 tons, or 34.4 per cent of
National production, mined in the Fifth district in
July last year.

Textiles
There was some increase in activity in the textile field
in August in comparison with July, but operations con­
tinued at a much lower level than a year earlier, in
spite of the threatened strike in the industry which
might have been expected to stimulate production be­
fore the shut-down. In August 1934, Fifth district
textile mills consumed 188,398 bales of cotton, an in­
crease of 13.8 per cent over 165,504 bales used in July
this year, but 27.7 per cent less than 260,402 bales con­
sumed in the district in August 1933. Last month
North Carolina mills consumed 97,069 bales, South
Carolina mills used 80,195 bales, and Virginia mills
11,134 bales, all the figures being lower than the ones
reported for August last year. Fifth district con­
sumption figures in August 1934 were 44.76 per cent
of National consumption, compared with 44.22 per cent
of National consumption attained by the Fifth district
mills in August last year.
On August 21, the Department of Commerce issued
a report on spindles in place, spindles active in July,
total spindle hours of operation in July, and average
hours of operation per spindle in place in July. On
July 31, 1934, there were 30,937,816 spindles in place
in the United States, North Carolina leading with 6,140,404, or 19.85 per cent of the total, South Carolina
ranking second with 5,789,142 spindles, or 18.71 per
cent, and Massachusetts third with 5,707,900 spindles,
or 18.45 per cent. The Fifth district as a whole had
40.67 per cent of total spindles in place in the United
States at the end of July 1934. In actual spindle
hours of operation, South Carolina led all states for
July withj 1,330,385,710 hours, or 25.82 per cent of
the National total of 5,151,979,342 hours, and North
Carolina ranked second with 1,104,917,376 hours, or
21.45 per cent, while Massachusetts had only 642,698,784 hours, or 12.47 per cent. The Fifth district, with
40.67 per cent of total spindles in the United States in
place in July, showed 50 per cent of total hours of
operation. In actual hours of operation per spindle in
place, South Carolina with an average of 230 hours per
spindle ranked first, Virginia with 215 hours ranked
second, and North Carolina with 180 hours ranked
fourth. The average hours of operation for the United
States was 167 per spindle in place.

Cotton Statistics
Spot cotton prices fluctuated frequently between the
middle of August and the middle of September, the
trend on the whole being downward as a result of the
unfavorable influence exerted by the strike in the tex­




tile industry. The average price for upland short
staple cotton, middling grade, on ten Southern spot
markets dropped from 13.09 cents per pound on Au­
gust 17 to 12.86 cents on September 14, the latest date
for which official figures are available.
The Department of Agriculture's second condition
report of the season, issued on September 8 as of Sep­
tember 1, estimated 1934 production of cotton as 9,252.000 bales of 500 pounds gross weight, an increase
of 57,000 bales over the estimate of production made
on the August 1 condition but 3,795,000 bales less than
the 1933 yield of 13,047,000 bales. During August
prospects for cotton improved in all States east of
Alabama, these gains being partly offset by decreases
in prospective yield west of Alabama. Texas showed
relatively no change during August, but sharp declines
in the condition of cotton occurred in Arkansas and
Oklahoma. The per acre yield in Oklahoma is the
lowest on record for that State. In the Fifth district
cotton growing states, South Carolina registered an
increase of 83,000 bales in prospective yield during
August, the crop improving in all sections of the State
except in the Piedmont counties where weevil damage
caused some deterioration. North Carolina prospects
rose by 50,000 bales last month, and the estimate for
production in Virginia rose 3,000 bales. The three
states show a combined gain in prospective yield of
136.000 bales. The South Carolina crop for 1934 is
now estimated to be 703,000 bales, compared with 735,000 bales picked last year; the North Carolina yield
this year of 656,000 bales compares with the 1933 crop
of 684,000 bales; and Virginia’s prospective yield of
38.000 bales exceeds last year’s yield of 37,000 bales.
The Census Bureau reports that 1,397,886 bales of
this year’s crop were ginned prior to September 1, a
slightly higher figure than 1,396,139 bales ginned be­
fore September last year, but in the Fifth district the
crop is later than a year ago and ginning figures to
September this year were materially smaller.
Cotton consumption in the United States in August
1934 rose moderately above the low July figure, but
was much below the figure for August 1933. Cotton
used in American mills last month totaled 420,949 bales,
compared with 359,372 bales used in July this year and
588,902 bales in August 1933. Manufacturing estab­
lishments held 1,081,218 bales on August 31, compared
with 1,230,369 bales held on July 31 and 1,155,556
bales on August 31, 1933. Public warehouses and
compresses held 5,824,025 bales in storage at the end
of August this year, compared with 5,565,140 bales so
held a month earlier and 5,799,467 bales on August 31
last year. August exports totaled 267,562 bales, com­
pared with 305,820 bales sent abroad in July 1934 and
530,627 bales exported in August 1933. Spindles
active at some time during August numbered 24,153,998, compared with 24,417,682 in July this year and
25,926,374 in August 1933.
Cotton growing states consumed 336,159 bales in
August, compared with 289,557 bales used in July and
464,705 bales in August 1933. Last month’s consump­
tion in the cotton growing states amounted to 79.86
per cent of National consumption, a lower figure than

MONTHLY REVIEW
80.57 per cent in July this year but above 78.91 per
cent in August last year. Of the 336,159 bales of
cotton consumed in the cotton growing states in Au­
gust, the Fifth district mills used 188,398 bales, or
56.04 per cent, exactly the same percentage of South­
ern consumption attained by Fifth district mills in
August 1933.

5

harvested last year and a five-year average production
of 732,591,000 pounds.

Agricultural Notes

Crops in all sections of the Fifth Federal reserve
district improved during August, and on September 1
all States in the district except West Virginia had pros­
pects for higher per acre yields than the ten-year aver­
Tobacco Marketing
age, all crops being combined. The average condition
South Carolina tobacco markets opened on August 9, figures for all crops in the several states on September
and growers were much pleased with prices, which av­ 1 were as follows: Maryland 102.9 per cent of the 10eraged nearly double the prices received in August year average, Virginia 105.6 per cent, West Virginia
last year. The South Carolina Commissioner of Agri­ 77.7 per cent, North Carolina 112.0 per cent, and
culture reports producers’ sales totaling 29,879,104 South Carolina 123.2 per cent, the South Carolina
pounds of tobacco in August this year, at an average figure being the highest in the United States. Crops
of $22.91 per hundred pounds, compared with sales in Maryland improved 5.6 per cent during August,
totaling 32,478,779 pounds at $12.83 per hundred in Virginia crops improved 4.1 per cent, West Virginia
August 1933. Although last month’s sales were 2,- crops 3.7 per cent, North Carolina 4.6 per cent, and
599,675 pounds less than sales in August 1933, tobacco South Carolina 11.6 per cent.
Maryland corn improved about 9 per cent during the
sold last month brought $2,680,462 more. The market
at Mullins led in sales in August with 10,064,921 past month, and on September 1 this year’s yield was
pounds, Lake City ranked second with 7,332,632 forecast as 16,480,000 bushels, compared with 16,240,pounds, and Timmonsville third with 3,479,954 pounds. 000 bushels gathered in 1933 and a five-year average
On a basis of the September 1 condition, the South production of 15,187,000 bushels. An oats crop of
Carolina tobacco crop this year is estimated to be 54,- 1.188.000 bushels compares with 1,100,000 bushels last
020.000 pounds, an increase over the August 1 fore­ year and a five-year average of 1,563,000 bushels. The
cast of 48,100,000 pounds, but only about 60 per cent 1934 Irish potato crop of 3,007,000 bushels is larger
of the 1933 crop of 88,580,000 pounds, the decrease in than the 1933 crop of 2,700,000 bushels, but is below
comparison with last year being due chiefly to acreage the five-year average production of 3,646,000 bushels.
reduction. This year’s production is 64 per cent of Sweet potatoes promise a much smaller yield this year,
675.000 bushels comparing with 840,000 bushels in
the five-year average yield of 83,820,000 pounds.
Aforth Carolina border markets in the South Caro­ 1933 and a five-year average of 1,493,000 bushels. The
lina belt opened on August 9, and later in the month prospects for hay in Maryland totaling 544,000 tons is
markets in the New Bright belt opened. North Caro­ better than last year’s yield of 529,000 tons, and is also
lina markets sold 55,419,012 pounds of tobacco for above the five-year average production of 475,000 tons.
growers during the month, at an average price of Pastures improved notably during August, advancing
$25.82 per hundred pounds, compared with 40,376,997 from a condition of 49 per cent on August 1 to 73 per
pounds sold by the same markets in August 1933 for cent on September 1, but on the latter date was below
$12.09 per hundred. Fairmont led in August sales 78 per cent a year earlier. Apple prospects improved
with 9,893,766 pounds, Lumberton ranking second with in August, but the commercial crop is forecast at only
7,254,309 pounds, but Ahoskie paid the highest aver­ 554.000 bushels this year, compared with 657,000 bush­
age price for the month, $27.51 per hundred pounds. els in 1933 and 1,355,000 bushels the five-year average.
Virginia farm work made satisfactory progress dur­
The tobacco crop in North Carolina improved in con­
dition during August, and the forecast of production ing August and considerable land has been prepared
was raised from 393,650,000 pounds on August 1 to for seeding fall grains. Corn improved in all parts of
400.900.000 pounds on September 1. The crop in 1933 the State, but in some sections rains came too late to
yielded 537,979,000 pounds, and the five-year average help early corn which had been damaged by the hot, dry
weather during July and the first part of August. Com
production is 506,763,000 pounds.
Growing tobacco improved in Virginia, Maryland and production is forecast at 36,125,000 bushels, an increase
West Virginia last month, and forecasts of prospective of about 3 per cent over the August forecast and prac­
yield were raised. On the basis of the September 1 tically the same as last year’s crop of 36,918,000 bush­
condition, Virginia farmers expect to cure 83,700,000 els. Late hay improved during August and the yield
pounds this year, compared with 97,046,000 pounds in will be larger than was expected earlier in the season.
1933 and a five-year average of 114,122,000 pounds. Heavy rains caused a good growth of grass on wheat
Maryland growers will probably harvest 24,480,000 fields and pastures so that farmers will be able to save
pounds, compared with 20,400,000 pounds last year and considerable quantities of hay from such land. Pro­
a five-year average of 23,638,000 pounds. West Vir­ duction of hay is forecast at 899,000 tons, which is an
ginia's crop is forecast to be 3,400,000 pounds in 1934, increase of about 5 per cent above the August fore­
compared with 4,322,000 pounds last year and a five- cast but 10 per cent less than last year’s crop of 992,000
year average of 4,248,000 pounds. The Fifth district tons. Many farmers, especially in the Eastern coun­
total production of tobacco in 1934 is forecast to be ties, will have surplus hay for sale. Pastures improved
566.500.000 pounds, compared with 748,327,000 pounds so much in August that on September 1 the condition




6

MONTHLY REVIEW

averaged 90 per cent, compared with 67 per cent a bushels exceeds last year’s yield of 3,206,000 bushels.
month earlier. Excellent Fall grazing is now assured The 1934 hay crop of 664,000 tons is larger than the
for. all sections of the State. Fruit crops benefitted 1933 yield of 563,000 tons, but demand for hay will
from August rains, apples increasing rapidly in size. be very large during the Winter and additional hay will
Total production of apples is estimated to be 7,950,000 probably have to be imported into the State. Prospects
bushels, compared with 10,900,000 bushels last year for peanuts on September 1 indicate a yield of 262,and a five-year average of 12,914,000 bushels. The 900.000 pounds, compared with 231,181,000 pounds dug
increase in the size of apples increased the forecast for from the 1933 crop. The prospective sweet potato crop
the commercial crop last month, the estimate based on of 8,300,000 bushels is much above the 1933 yield of
September 1 being 1,930,000 barrels, compared with 6.794.000 bushels, and the 1934 Irish potato yield of
1.750.000 barrels last year and 2,680,000 barrels the 10.324.000 bushels also far exceeds last year’s crop of
five-year average production. The quality of the crop 7.573.000 bushels. The 1934 apple crop of 3,000,000
is unusually good, so a larger percentage than in re­ bushels is smaller than last year’s crop of 3,386,000
cent years will be packed. The peach crop turned out bushels, but the peach crop of 2,312,000 bushels was
slightly better than had been expected due to excellent better than last year’s pick of 1,857,000 bushels.
size and quality. The crop was quite small because of
South Carolina crops on a per acre basis are the best
winter killing and frost damage, so that the total pro­ in the United States, although total production will be
duction was only 378,000 bushels, compared with 990,- somewhat less than in 1933 due to acreage reduction in
000 bushels gathered last year and the five-year aver­ cotton and tobacco. On September 1, the estimate of
age of 858,000 bushels. Peanut production this year com production of 22,212,000 bushels compared with
is forecast at 138,700,000 pounds, which is slightly 21.324.000 bushels forecast on August 1, and last year’s
larger than last year’s yield and about the same as the production of 22,808,000 bushels. This year’s crop of
five-year average production. Frequent rains caused a oats totals 6,596,000 bushels, compared with 7,215,000
heavy growth of vines, but in a wet season the yield is bushels last year and a five-year average of 8,117,000
usually smaller than expected. Prospects for late po­ bushels. South Carolina’s hay yield of 206,000 tons is
tatoes improved slightly in most sections of the State above last year’s yield of 195,000 tons, and also above
and the yield is now expected to be about average. Total the five-year average production of 183,000 tons. Pas­
production of Irish potatoes, including the early crop, tures were better on September 1 than last year, and
is estimated to be 13,803,000 bushels, compared with also above the five-year average. A peanut crop of 10,the small yield last year of 8,649,000 bushels and the 880.000 pounds is forecast this year, compared with
five-year average production of 15,989,000 bushels. 9.520.000 pounds in 1933 and a five-year average of
August rains caused a heavy growth of sweet potato 8.055.000 pounds. The 1934 Irish potato crop of 2,vines but the yield is not expected to be any larger than 625.000 bushels is above last year’s crop of 1,744,000
was forecast a month ago. Total production is esti­ bushels, but is less than the five-year average produc­
mated at 4,080,000 bushels, slightly more than last tion of 2,944,000 bushels. On the other hand, the sweet
year’s crop of 3,885,000 bushels but below the five-year potato crop of 4,617,000 bushels this year is less than
last year’s yield of 4,648,000 bushels, but is above the
average yield of 4,602,000 bushels.
West Virginia experienced a drought during the average yield of 4,247,000 bushels for the five-year
Spring and Summer months, but heavy rains fell during base period. South Carolina made a good crop of
August and brought improvement to growing crops. peaches this year, totaling 1,610,000 bushels, compared
Corn improved 6 per cent during the month, but the with the five-year average yield of 1,172,000 bushels.
prospective yield of 11,772,000 bushels compares un­
favorably with last year’s crop of 13,920,000 bushels. Construction
Oats production was unsatisfactory in West Virginia
Building permits issued in August in thirty leading
this year, and the yield of 1,960,000 bushels is lower
than either 2,356,000 bushels last year or the five-year cities of the Fifth reserve district numbered 2,095, com­
average production of 3,352,000 bushels. The hay crop pared wth 1,782 permits issued in August 1933, an in­
is very short, estimated production of 368,000 tons com­ crease of 17.6 per cent this year, and estimated valu­
paring with 690,000 tons cured last year and a five-year ation figures for last month totaled $3,255,807, an in­
average crops of 683,000 tons. Reports indicate a crease of 94.4 per cent in comparison with valuation
shortage of hay supplies on farms in many counties this figures totaling $1,675,062 in August last year. Twentyyear. The Irish potato crop in West Virginia is esti­ one of the thirty reporting cities showed higher valu­
mated to be 2,660,000 bushels for 1934, compared with ation figures for the 1934 month. Among the five
2.331.000 bushels dug in 1933 and a five-year average largest cities, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond and
of 3,522,000 bushels. Apple production is estimated at Norfolk increased, while Charlotte decreased. Colum­
3.220.000 bushels, of which 1,764,000 bushels make up bia, S. C., made the best record in estimated valuation
the commercial crop. Last year the commercial crop figures in August 1934, population of reporting cities
totaled 2,100,000 bushels, and the five-year average pro­ being taken into consideration.
duction is 3,918,000 bushels.
Contracts awarded in August for construction work
North Carolina crop yields this year are nearly all in the Fifth district, including both rural and urban
above 1933 yields. Corn prospects indicate a yield of projects, totaled $12,110,714, compared with $6,156,49.280.000 bushels, compared with 40,713,000 bushels 503 awarded in August 1933, according to figures col­
gathered last year. This year’s oats crop of 3,440,000 lected by the F. W. Dodge Corporation. Of the awards




MONTHLY REVIEW

Building Permits Issued in August
1934 and 1933
CITIES
Baltimore, Md..........
Cumberland, Md.......
Frederick, Md......—
Hagerstown, Md..... .
Salisbury, Md............
Danville, Va. ...
Lynchburg, Va.........Norfolk, Va........ .....
Petersburg, Va........
Portsmouth, Va........
Richmond, V a .------Roanoke, Va.............
Bluefield, W. Va___
Charleston, W. Va.....
Clarksburg, W. Va....
Huntington, W. Va.~
Asheville, N. C.-----Charlotte, N. C.-----Durham, N. C_____
Greensboro, N. C__
High Point, N. C.....«
Raleigh, N. C______
Rocky Mount, N. C.~
Salisbury, N. C.-----Winston-Salem, N. C.
Charleston, S. C.---Columbia, S. C.-----Greenville, S. C___
Rock Hill, S. C.
..
Spartanburg, S. C.__
Washington, D. C.....

Permits Issued
1934
1933
788
13
12
14
9
15
31
84
6

—

102
3C
8
77
37
12
34
23
25
51
19
15
3
2
58
37
33
31
12
42
472

District T otals---- 2,095
* Not included in totals.

Total Valuation
1933
1934

596 $ 628,560 $ 555,720
96,425
10,620
10
9,535
8,680
14
7,765
6,457
14
11,925
5,740
7
22,085
26,347
9
26,110
25,785
28
74,671
129,007
94
10,765
2,043
4
23,902^
24^
110,259
88,887
109
41,827
8,668
27
4,494
1,065
6
29,830
55,710
80
19,675
28,097
19
5,245
11,580
17
13,688
16,650
22
34,629
20,620
29
51,083
101,375
26
42,008
12,266
32
10,797
19,560
13
11,250
23,685
12
1,650
21,169
13
3,022
600
7
24,185
32,395
53
63,033
14,281
34
21,129
430,615
27
11,825
41,300
28
10,090
12
9,175
3,760
9,207
17
439,935
1,372,310
423
1,782

$3,255,807 $1,675,062

in August this year, $1,806,354, or 14.9 per cent, was
for residential work, while last year residential contracts
totaled $1,930,773, or 31.4 per cent of all awards in
August.




7

Retail Trade, 31 Department Stares_____________
Richmond Baltimore Washington Other Cities District

August 1934 sales, compared with sales in August 1933:
+12.4
+ 4.4
+14.5
+13.7
+10.3
Total sales Jan.-Aug. 1934 compared with Jan.-Aug. 1933:
+20.8
+15.5
+18.6
+26.1
+18.3
Aug. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on Aug. 31, 1933:
+21.3
— 3.9
—14.5
+ 2.0
— 5.7
Aug. 31, 1934, stocks, compared with stocks on July 31, 1934:
+ 7.2
+ 6.2
+ 4.3
+ 4.9
+ 5.4
Number of times stock was turned in August 1934:
.3
266
.31
282
288
Number of times stock was turned since January 1, 1934:
2.498
2207
2.457
2.182
2.333
Percentage of Aug. 1, 1934, receivables collected in August:
26.7
25.5
25.5
25.4
25.6
Note: Sales and stock changes are percentages.

Wholesale Trade, 57 Firms_____________________
20

7

Groceries Dry Goods

6

Shoes

13

Hardware

11

Drugs

August 1934 sales, compared with sales in August 1933:
+12.9
+62.0
+ 1.4
+ 2.6
+16.1
August 1934 sales, compared with sales in July 1934:
+14.5
+65.9
+93.5
+27.4
+ 7.9
Jan.-Aug. 1934 sales, compared with sales in Jan.-Aug. 1933:
+20.9
+31.3
+13.1
+32.6
+21.0
Aug. 31, 1934 stocks, compared with Aug. 31, 1933 stocks:
_ 4.3(8*) + 2.9(3*) + 2.4(4*) +12.6(7*)
----Aug. 31, 1934 stocks, compared with July 31, 1934 stocks:
+ 2.6(8*) — 8.0(3*) —14.9(4*) — .8(7*)
Percentage of Aug. 1, 1934, receivables collected in Aug.:
78.6(11*) 35.5(4*)
49.2(5*);
34.9(11*) 58.3(7*)
♦Number of reporting firms.
All figures in the table are percentages.

(Compiled September 21, 1934)

MONTHLY REVIEW

8

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

Total output of industry, which usually increases at | creases at this season, showed little change in August.
this season, showed little change in August. Factory Shipments of miscellaneous freight showed no seasonal
employment and payrolls increased between the middle expansion, while shipments of livestock increased con­
of July and the middle of August by about the usual siderably. Department store sales increased by an
seasonal amount. Distribution of commodities at de­ amount substantially larger than is usual in August
partment stores showed a more than seasonal growth. and were 2 per cent higher than a year ago.

Production and Employment
Output of basic industrial products, as measured by
the Board’s index, which makes allowance for usual
seasonal changes, declined from 75 per cent of the
1923-1925 average in July to 73 per cent in August.
At steel mills production continued to decline during
August and the early part of September, contrary to
seasonal tendency; in the middle of September a slight
increase in activity was reported. Output of auto­
mobiles, which had been maintained at a relatively high
rate during the spring and early summer, declined in
August. Lumber production showed an increase. In
the cotton textile industry production was in larger
volume in August than in July, but was retarded by
the strike in the first three weeks of September. At
meatpacking establishments output in August was larger than in any other recent month, accompanying
heavy marketings of cattle from drought areas.
Factory employment showed a seasonal increase be­
tween the middle of July and the middle of August,
reflecting considerable growth in employment in the
wearing apparel, canning, and meatpacking industries,
while employment in the iron and steel industries and
at railroad repair shops declined.
The value of construction contracts awarded, as re­
ported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, was about
the same in August as in each of the four preceding
months.
Department of Agriculture estimates as of Septem­
ber 1 indicate a corn crop 40 per cent smaller than the
average for the five years 1927-1931 and other feed
crops also are expected to be unusually small. The
condition of pastures on September 1 was poorer than
in any other recent year but some improvement has
been reported in the early part of September. The
spring wheat crop, estimated at 93,000,000 bushels, is
about one-third of the five-year average and the winter
wheat crop is also small. The cotton crop is esti­
mated at 9,300,000 bales, a sharp reduction from other
recent years.

Distribution

Volume of freight car loadings, which usually in-




Commodity Prices
Wholesale prices of commodities increased in August
and the first week of September, reflecting sharp ad­
vances in the prices of farm products and foods. Hog
prices advanced rapidly during the month of August
and in the latter part of the month cattle prices also
i showed a marked increase. Since the beginning of
| September, prices for both hogs and cattle have de! clined somewhat, and in the middle of the month there
have also been decreases in the prices of wheat and
j cotton. In August, as in other recent months, there
j was little change in prices of commodities other than
j farm products and foods.
I
! Bank Credit
,
! A seasonal increase in demand for currency by the
| public and an increase in Government deposits at the
I Reserve banks were reflected in a decline in member*
• bank reserve balances between the middle of August
; and the middle of September. On September 19 re! serve balances were about $1,700,000,000 in excess of
legal requirements. There was little change in the
! volume of reserve bank credit during August and Sepi tember.
Total loans and investments of reporting member
; banks showed little change between August 15 and
September 19; loans, other than security loans, in­
creased by $170,000,000 and holdings of securities by
$50,000,000, while security loans declined by $200,000,000. The increase in loans other than on securities
• occurred largely at banks in New York City and in the
Western districts and reflected chiefly a growth in
direct loans to customers for ordinary commercial pur­
poses and for financing the harvesting of crops. The
banks’ holdings of acceptances and commercial paper,
i which also reflect current business financing, increased
; during the period.
Short-term money rates continued at low levels.
Yields on both United States Government and cor­
porate bonds increased during August and the first
half of September.

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