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MONTHLY

REVIEW

o f Financial and Business Conditions

F if t h
Federal

Reser ve
District

Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Va.

September 30, 1940

Summary of August Business Conditions
H E stimulating influence of the preparedness pro­
gram is beginning to be widely felt in the Fifth
Reserve district, and many Government contracts have
been awarded to industries in the district for articles
needed for the expanded A rm y and Navy. These direct
activities are also bringing indirect results, such as the
pressing need for additional housing developed in the
Newport News area by the great shipbuilding program
under way there. Increased industrial activity necessi­
tates additional plant capacity in a number of instances,
and plans are in the making for further construction in
the near future. V ery large additions to shipbuilding
facilities, airplane plants and powder manufacturers will
presently be made in the Fifth district.
In addition to new business flowing from the pre­
paredness program, ordinary commercial business was
up to or above seasonal level in August and early Sep­
tember. Distribution o f goods continued in greater vol­
ume than a year ago, and some seasonal advances over
July were registered. Sales in department stores in
August rose 27 per cent above July sales, and were 20
per cent larger than sales in August 1939. Retail fur­
niture sales were also larger last month than in either
the preceding month this year or the corresponding month
last year, and wholesale sales in August exceeded those
in either o f the two earlier periods mentioned. Sales of
new automobiles declined from the July level, but this
wr a seasonal development, and August sales were above
as
those o f August 1939.

Industrial activity held up well last month, although
gains over the level o f operations a year ago were smaller
than gains made over the same period by retail distri­
bution. Textile mills in the Fifth district found business
slow in early August, but during the latter part o f the
month demand picked up materially and cotton consump­
tion was approximately the same as in August 1939.
Rayon shipments again exceeded capacity production, and
reserve stocks o f yarn declined further. Coal mined
increased to a level 12 per cent above that o f August
last year. Tobacco manufacturing declined in August
from the high level o f August 1939. Building permits
issued and contracts awarded both decreased from July
figures, but continued in relatively large volume and both
were above permits and awards in August 1939.
The agricultural outlook improved during August for
most crops, in spite o f serious damage from floods during
the month in many sections o f the Fifth district. The
leading cash crop, tobacco, declined in prospective yield,
but cotton, the second most important crop from an in­
come standpoint, improved substantially. Increased yields
over those forecast on August 1 were predicted on Sep­
tember 1 for cotton, corn, oats, hay and sweet potatoes,
while lower yields were forecast for tobacco, apples and
peanuts. Pasture conditions improved in August in all
Fifth district states except W est Virginia, and all were
above the 10-year average.

T

BUSINESS STATISTICS— FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT

August 1940
Debits to individual accounts (25 cities).....
Sales, 30 department stores, 5th district.........
Sales, 37 furniture stores, 5th district.............
Sales, 196 wholesale firms, 5th district...........
Registrations, new autos, 5th district.............
Tobacco sold in 5th district (Pounds)..........
Average price of tobacco, per 100 lbs..............
Growers’ receipts from tobacco, 5th district..
Number of business failures, 5th district.......
Liabilities in failures, 5th district....................
Value of building permits, 31 cities................
Value of contracts awarded, 5th district.......
Cotton consumption, 5th district (B a les).......
Cotton price, 4 per lb., end of month...............
Print cloths, 39 in. 80x80s, end of month.......
Rayon yarn shipments, U. S. (P ou nds).........
Rayon yarn stocks, U. S. (P ou nds).................
Bituminous coal mined, U. S. (T on s).............




July 1940

August 1939

$1,307,118,000
$
8,958,091
$
1,476,379
$ 12,529,000
17,242

$1,408,226,000
7,074,213
$
972,989
$
$ 11,229,000
24,724

$1,228,451,000
$
7,439,682
$
1,288,618
$ 11,860,000
15,840

$
$
$
$
$

52,687,557
18.36
9,671,070
42
713,000
10,033,108
47,363,000
298,696
9.62
6.50
35,400,000
9,300,000
39,240,000

219,923,342
16.02
35,233,572
39
249,000
$
8,498,125

% Change
Month
Year
—
+
+
+
—

7
27
52
12
30

+ 6
4- 20
4- 15
4- 6
+ 9

— 18
— 6
— 29

— 76
4- 15
— 73
4- 8
4-186
4- 18

$
$
$
$
$

51
756,000
14,127,489
57,234,000
285,912
10.23
6.50
32,700,000
11,200,000
36,080,000

$

32,213,000
299,195
8.76
32,500,000
19,300,000
35,016,000

— 17
+ 4
— 6
0
+ 8
— 17
+ 9

4- 47
0
4- 10

—

4- ~9
— 52
+ 12

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

E M PLO Y M E N T

BA N K IN G STATISTICS
RESERVE BANK STATEMENT ITEMS
Fifth District
000
omitted
ITEMS

Sept. 15
1940

Discounts held ............................................
Foreign loans on gold ..............................
Open market p a p e r ....................................
Industrial advances ....................................
Government securities .............................
Total earning assets .............................
Circulation of Fed. Res. notes...............
Members’ reserve deposits .....................
Cash reserves ..............................................
Reserve ratio ................................................

$

Sept. 15
1939

Aug. 15
1940

$

250
$
140
13
0
0
0
849
790
121.994______122,470
123,106
123,400
242,825
231,824
323,639
304,162
520,860
493,514
81.51
80.35

200

87
23
1,043
151,912
153,265
210.496
273,187
398,943
72.48

SELECTED ITEMS— 41 REPORTING MEMBER BANKS
Fifth District
000 omitted
Sept. 13
ITEMS
Sept. 11
Aug. 14
1939
1940
1940
$248,637
Loans & discounts ......................................
$280,966
$274,662
433,539
Investments in securities .......................
435,123
442,623
183,969
Reserve bal. with F. R. bank ...............
213,120
195,192
23,043
Cash in vaults ............................................
24,374
23,084
521,368
Demand deposits ........................................
590,725
577,754
200,024
202,935
202,774
Time deposits ..............................................
0
Money borrowed ..........................................
0
0
MUTUAL SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
10 Baltimore Banks

Total deposits

Aug. 31
1940
$222,488,398

...............

July 31
1940
$222,693,076

Aug. 31.
1939
$219,426,239

SHOWS FU R T H E R

IM PR O V E M E N T

Employment in the aggregate increased substantially in
the Fifth district in recent weeks, principally in the ranks
o f skilled workers fitting into the defense program. Many
industrial plants have obtained contracts for A rm y and
Navy supplies, and have increased rates o f operations
accordingly. Shipyards and airplane plants are employ­
ing all available skilled men, and in fact are reported to
be having difficulty in finding sufficient labor o f desired
quality. Construction is active and is giving work to
nearly all building tradesmen. Coal mines are running
at a relatively high rate, and harvesting o f tobacco, cot­
ton, apples and other crops is providing seasonal employ­
ment for agricultural workers. The following figures,
compiled for the most part by the Bureau o f Labor
Statistics, show the trends o f employment and payrolls
in the Fifth district from July to August:
Percentage change from
July 1940 to Aug. 1940
In number
in amount
on payroll
of payroll

STATES
Maryland .............
Dist. of Columbia
Virginia ...............
West Virginia . ..
North Carolina . .
South Carolina . .

+
—
+
+
+

2.2
0.4
1.4
1.3
1.6
0.0

+
—
+
+
+
+

2.9
0.2
2.9
7.8
3.4
1.1

A U T O SALES A T SEASON AL LE V E L
DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
Fifth District
000 omitted

Dist. of Col.
Washington

Aug.
1939

July
1940

Aug.
1940

% of Change
Month Year
-1 0

+

325,562
7,546
8,030

— 12
— 6
— 11

+ 12
+ 20
+ 13

13,284
63,979
30,647
19.776
50,205
11,992
40,162

12,499
61,310
41,281
18,095
40,266
11,111
40,681

+ 11
— 6
+ 27
— 2
— 26
— 4
+ '1

+ 18
— 2
— 6
+ 8
— 8
+ 4
+ 3

19,112
28,420
18,935
11,114

20,046
30,529
19,301
9,793

15,487
27,256
17,710
9,812

— 5
— 7
— 2
+ 14

+ 23
+ 4
+ 7
+ 13

7,311
13,065
13,931
50,357
5,839
155,626
28,729

6,948
15,426
13,640
58,013
4,906
155,127
28,051

9,170
13,405
9,602
43,747
3,913
169,458
24,621

+ 5
— 15
+ 2
— 13
+ 19
+ o
+ 2

-2 0
— 3
+ 45
+ 15
+ 49
— 8
+ 17

West Virginia
54,179
50,415
Charleston ...........
17,422
17,684
Huntington . . . . .
10,598
10,226
Parkersburg .........
$1,408,226
$1,307,118
District Totals . .
+ 0 indicates increase of less than
i

46,420
15,673
9,607
$1,228,451

—
+
—
—

+ 9
+ 13
+ 7
+ 6

$ 268,453

$ 299,105

$ 246,187

365,968
9,042
9,092

415,299
9,608
10,190

Greensboro ...........
Raleigh .................
Wilmington .........
Winston-Salem . .

14,752
60,299
38,815
19,448
37,033
11,561
41,891

South Carolina
Charleston ...........
Columbia .............
Greenville .............
Spartanburg -----

Maryland
Baltimore .............
Cumberland .........
Hagerstown .........
North Carolina
Asheville -----------Charlotte .............

Virginia
Danville ...............
Lynchburg ...........
Newport News . .
Norfolk .................
Portsmouth .........
Richmond .............
Roanoke ...........

9

REGISTRATION OF N E W PASSENGER CARS— NUMBER

7
2
4
7

o

r
-t

C O M M E R C IA L FAILU RES
PERIODS

Number of Failures
District U. S.

Total Liabilities
District
U. S.

August 1940 ............................
July 1940 ................................
August 1939 ...........................

42
51
39

1,128
1,175
1,126

$ 713,000
756,000
249,000

$ 12,997,000
16,213,000
12,637,000

8 Months, 1940 .....................
8 Months, 1939 .....................

387
405

9,422
10,154

4,885,000
4,400,000

112,691,000
128,067,000

Source: Dun & Bradstreet




Retail sales o f new automobiles in the Fifth district
declined seasonally in August from the July figures, but
exceeded August 1939 sales by 9 per cent. Last month’s
decrease was due to a tendency to wait for 1941 models,
and also to incomplete stocks from which to choose on
many dealers’ floors. Dealers were quite successful in
clearing out stocks o f 1940 cars before the new models
began to appear in September, and used cars also moved
from dealers’ lots and showrooms in large numbers. A s
the 1941 model year opens, agencies have few new last
year’s models on hand, and used car stocks o f popular
makes have been reduced to relatively low levels. Manu­
facturers report that the reception given the 1941 models
exceeds expectations, and increased sales over those for
last fall are confidently expected. The following regis­
tration figures for new passenger cars were furnished by
R. L. Polk & Co., o f D etroit:
STATES
Maryland ...........
Dist. of Col. . . .
West Virginia . .
No. Carolina . . .
So. Carolina . . .
Fifth District.

Aug.
1940

Aug.
1939

2,971
1,580
4,568
2,069
4,064
1,900
17,242

2,935
1,681
3,636
1,716
3,805
2,067
15,840

C O N STRU C TIO N

%
Change
+
—

+
+
+
+

CO NTIN UES

1
6
26
21
7
4
9

8 Months 8 Months
1940
1939
34,724
19,379
39,158
22,556
36,135
19,728
171,680

26,911
17,851
29,489
15,655
31,152
17,397
138,455

%

Change
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

29
9
33
44
16
13
24

R E L A T IV E L Y A C T IV E

Building permit and contract award figures in the Fifth
district were both lower in August than in July, but
nevertheless were in relatively large amounts and ex­
ceeded the figures for August last year. Permits issued
in 31 cities totaled $10,033,108 in August, a decrease o f
29 per cent from $14,127,489 in July 1940 but 18 per
cent above $8,498,125 in August 1939. Washington re­
ported $3,853,805 last month (Government work not in­
cluded) to top the district, followed in order by Balti-

MONTHLY REVIEW
more with $1,681,806, Charleston, W . Va., with $598,854, N orfolk with $514,637, and Spartanburg with
$436,535.
Contracts awarded in the district in August 1940
totaling $47,363,000 were 17 per cent below the July
1940 figures but exceeded August 1939 figures by 47
per cent. The decline last month was chiefly in publicly
financed projects. Figures collected by the F. W . Dodge
Corporation by states for August 1940 and 1939 on
contracts actually awarded in the Fifth Reserve district
are as follow s:
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AW ARDED
STATES

Aug. 1940

Maryland ..........................................
$10,103,000
Dist. of Col........................................
3,114,000
Virginia ............................................
11,695,000
West Virginia ................................
2,392,000
North Carolina ..............................
15,733,000
South Carolina ............................. ............. 4,326,000
Fifth District ............................
$47,363,000

Aug. 1939 % Change
$ 8,568,000
10,035,000
6,760,000
2,050,000
3,271,000
1,529,000
$32,213,000

+ 18
— 69
+ 73
+ 17
+381
+183
+ 47

C O A L M IN IN G INCREASES F U R TH E R

Production o f bituminous coal rose further in the
United States in August, totaling 39,240,000 net tons,
an increase o f 9 per cent over 36,080,000 tons mined in
July 1940 and 12 per cent above 35,016,000 tons mined
in August 1939. Total output o f coal this calendar year
to September 14 amounting to 312,686,000 tons exceeds
1939 production to the same date of 245,750,000 tons by
27 per cent, but is 15 per cent below {he 1929 total o f
366,218,000 tons. Shipments o f coal through Hampton
Roads to September 14 were 16,065,403 tons in 1940 and
12,997,538 tons in 1939, an increase o f 24 per cent this
year, caused chiefly by a rise o f 305 per cent in loadings
o f foreign cargo coal in 1940. In the Fifth district, pro­
duction o f bituminous coal in August 1940, July 1940
and August 1939, was as follow s:
SOFT COAL PRODUCTION IN TONS
REGIONS
West Virginia .......................
Virginia ....................................
Maryland ..................................
5th District .........................
United States ...................
% in District .....................

Aug. 1940

July 1940

Aug. 1939

11,751,000
11,097,000
10,635,000
1,341,0001,165,000
1,331,000
113,000
98,000_________ 111,000
13,205,000
12,360,000
12,077,000
39,240,000
36,080,000
35,016,000
33.734.3
34.5

C O TTO N T E X TILE M ILLS IN CREASE A C T IV IT Y

3
COTTON CONSUMPTION— FIFTH DISTRICT
In bales

MONTHS

No. Carolina So. Carolina

Virginia

District

August 1940 .......................
July 1940 ................................
August 1939 ..........................

159,631
158,028
163,494

127,934
120,829
121,535

11,131
7,055
14,166

298,696
285,912
299,195

8 Months, 1940 ...................
8 Months, 1939 ...................

1,322,253
1,229,760

1,032,116
927,332

96,650
92,956

2,451,019
2,250,048

R A Y O N SHIPMENTS A G A IN EXCEED PRO D U CTIO N

Shipments o f rayon filament yarn to domestic mills
in August amounted to 35,400,000 pounds, o f which
33.500.000 pounds came from current production and
1.900.000 pounds were withdrawn from already low re­
serve stocks, according to data in Rayon Organon. Last
month’s shipments o f 35,400,000 pounds compared with
32.700.000 pounds shipped in July and 32,500,000 pounds
in August last year. Total shipments in the 8 elapsed
months o f 1940 amounted to 254,200,000 pounds as com ­
pared with 228,100,000 pounds in the first 8 months o f
1939, an increase o f 11 per cent. The 1939 shipments
exceeded production in the 8 months by '20,000,000
pounds,^ but output has been stepped up and this year
production has exceeded production in the same period
last year by 23 per cent. The amount o f yarn manu­
factured in August and early September was cut some­
thing like 2,500,000 pounds in southern mills by flooded
streams. Reserve stocks o f filament yarn totaled 9,300,000 pounds on August 31, against 11,200,000 pounds on
July 31, 1940, and 19,300,000 pounds on August 31, 1939.
C O TTO N STATISTICS

The average price o f spot cotton on 10 southern mar­
kets, based on Friday quotations for middling grade,
1 5/16 in. staple, has fallen every week since the middle
o f June, and on September 13 was 9.42 cents per pound
against 10.68 cents on June 14, 1940, and 9.18 cents on
September 15 last year.
The second forecast o f the 1940 cotton crop, issued on
September 9 by the Department o f Agriculture, raised
the estimate materially, from 11,429,000 bales as o f A u ­
gust 1 to 12,772,000 bales on September 1. The crop is
now expected to exceed the 1939 yield o f 11,817,000 bales
by 8 per cent. Figures for production in Fifth district
states are shown on page 4.
COTTON CONSUMED AND ON HAND

Domestic mill activity, which had been only fairly well
maintained in the first half o f August, picked up sub­
stantially in late August and early September, and sales,
especially o f unfinished goods, exceeded mill butput.
The volume o f business was reported exceptionally large
in print cloths, but sheetings, twills, ducks and wide
industrial fabrics also sold freely. Reports from fin­
ishers indicate a temporary shortage o f grey sheetings.
Many mills are bidding on Government work in con­
nection with the preparedness program', and mills making
textiles suitable for Arm y or Navy needs expect to
operate at capacity for some time to come. Prices for
most constructions were about unchanged during August.
Mill margins averaged 11.23 cents in August this year,
against 11.00 cents for July 1940 and 11.41 cents in
August 1939. Consumption of cotton in August in the
Fifth district is shown below, in comparison with figures
for July this year and August last year:




(Bales)
August 1940
Fifth district states:
Cotton consumed .........................
Cotton growing states:
Cotton consumed .........................
Cotton on hand August 31 in
Consuming establishments , , ----Storage & compresses.............

298,696

August 1939
299,195

563,820

533,898

538,362

494,475
11,801,848

United States:
Cotton consumed .........................
Cotton on hand August 31 in
Consuming establishments . .
Storage & compresses ...........

654,503

630,667

737,962
9,120,291

653,087
11,829,439

Exports of cotton ...........................
Spindles active in m o n t h .............

64,743
22,078,162

214,541
22,009,882

T O BAC CO MARKETS OPEN

Auction tobacco markets opened in the Border belt on
August 20. This belt includes all South Carolina and 7
North Carolina markets. Prices on the opening were
about 12 per cent above last year’s figures. The pound-

MONTHLY REVIEW

4

age sold in the Fifth district in August 1940 was far
below the August 1939 figure, but last year the Border
markets opened early in the month and in addition W est­
ern North Carolina Bright Belt markets were open 10
days in August but did not open until September this
year. Sales in August, all of flue-cured type tobacco,
were as follow s:
STATES

Producers’ Tobacco Sales, Pounds
August 1940
August 103&

So Carolina .........
No. Carolina .........
Totai ...................

25,346,105
27,341,452
52,687,557

Price per Hundred
1940
1939

76,832,115
H 3.091.227
219,923,342

$17.78
18.89
$18.36

$15.97
16.05
$16.02

CROP FORECASTS

In spite o f severe damage by flood waters in August
to crops on bottom land in many sections o f the Fifth
district, prospects on the whole improved during the
month. The weather was favorable for late growth and
for harvesting work, and tobacco was the only m ajor
crop which lost ground. The following figures show
forecasts o f production made by the Department o f A gri­
culture on the basis o f September 1 conditions. Yield
figures marked ( + ) were raised between August 1
and September 1, and those marked ( — ) were lowered.

T O B A C C O M A N U F A C T U R IN G DECLINES

Cotton (Bales)

Bureau o f Internal Revenue receipts for August show
production of tobacco products as follows in the United
States *
August 1940

f

^

r

July 1940

August 1939

25,931,262
15,839,874,477

26,241,167
15,912,640,803
460,522,504

500,807,236

.......................

t o X p S T d T . .......
R E T A IL

Acreage
—
+
+
+

North Carolina . . . .
South Carolina . . . .
Fifth District . . .

29,839,260
16,571,041,957

487,641,197

Sm°tobacco C
poundsf...............
Cigarettes *number ...............

% Change

3,091,422

2;9i7,649

AND

W H O LESALE

3,451,554

.................

Richmond (3) . . .
Baltimore (8) . . .
Washington (6) .
Other Cities (13)
District (30) . .

Net Sales
Jan. 1 to date
comp, with
last year
+
+

+ 1 4 .1
+ 2 5 .7
+ 1 9 .5
— 16.7,
+ 2 0 .4

6.5
9.5

+ 8.0
+ 9.4
+ 8.4

Same stores by states,
with 25 stores added:
Virginia (12) . . .
+ 1 4 .7
West Va. (10) . .
+ 1 1 .2
No. Carolina (9).
+ 14.5
So. Carolina (10)
+13*1

9.4
3.4
0.8
1.5
2.6

30.9
30.4
26.9
26.5
28.4

+ 8.7
+ 9.0
+ 5.9
+ 10.3
+ 7.8

+ 6.3
+ 12,5
+ 9.7

% Change in Sales, August and 8 Months in 1940

Individual
Baltimore, 9
Richmond, 5
Washington,

Aug. 1939

+
+
+
+
+
+

18
10
5
12
15
12

LINES

+ 15
— 2
+ 6
+ o
+ 17
+ 3
— o.
+ 26
+ 22
+ 8
— 14
+ 9
+ 6

Source: Bureau of the Census.




+ 13
+ 112
+
7
+ 80
— 13
+
0
+ io
+ 12
— 2
— 4
— 10
+
9
+ 12

...

1,344,000
2,197,000
2,086,000
4,228,000
8,910,000
18,765,000

2
3
1
7
5
4

518,000
983,000
718,000
991,000
541,000
3,751,000

464,000
923,000
644,000
696,000
362,000
3,089,000

2,375,000
6,786,000
3,040,000
8,200,000
3,108,000
23,509,000

3,098,000
11,507,000
2,925,000
7,976,000
2,424,000
27,930,000

1,440,000
4,128,000
8,624,000
6,834,000
21,026,000

1,090,000
4,156,000
8,163,000
5,220,000
18,629,000

27,405,000 +
29,796,000
86,193,000 — 143,847,000
2,465,000 —
2,736,000
428,470,000 — 811,675,000
77,400,000 +
133,200,000
621,933,000— 1,121,254,000

26,096,000
97,395,000
3,262,000
496,101,000
81,068,000
703,922,000

557,000 —
1,178,000
820,000
1,012,000 +
518,000 +
4,085,000 +

+ 1

+ 10
+ 13
+ 28

+ 3
—1

+ 13

+

0
+ 6

—

+ 6

—

+
-

.. .

+ 11
— 1
8

1
+ 1

4
0
1
0
|
0

2,782,000
10,452,000
3,200,000
8,748/000
3,192,000
28,374,000

Sweet Potatoes (Bushels)
................

+ 11
— 3
— 5
— 1
— 3

1,450,000 +
3,720,000 —
7,446,000 +
5,610,000 +
18,226,000 +

Tobacco (Pounds)

66

— 3

+ 15

West Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Fifth District

— 1

Maryland ...............
Virginia .................
West Virginia . . .
North Carolina . . .
South Carolina . . .
Fifth District ..

Ratio Aug.
Stocks
collections
Aug. 31, 1940
to accounts
compared with
July 31 outstanding
Aug. 31
August 1
1940
1939

+ 8
—6
+ 4

.................

North Carolina
South Carolina
Fifth District . .,

WHOLESALE TRADE, 196 FIRMS

Auto supplies (9) .........
Shoes (4) ..........................
Drugs (14) ........................
Dry Goods (7) .................
Electrical goods (14) . .
Groceries (62) .................
Hardware (16) ...............
Industrial supplies ( 9) . .
Plumbing & heating (5)
Paper & products (8)
Tobacco & products (6)
Miscellaneous (42) .........
Dist. Average (1 9 6 )..

+
+
+
+
+
+

.................

West Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Fifth District

Maryland

+ 18
+ 1
+ 10

+ 21
+ 1
+ 20

Net Sales
Aug. 1940
compared with
July
Aug.
1940
1939

1,128,000
1,600,000
1,460,000
5,692,000
11,515,000
21,395,000

1,085,000 +
1,932,000
1,386,000
6,000,000
10,670,000
21,073,000 +
Hay (Tons)

Maryland

8 Months 1039

+ 21
+ 20
+ 1
+ 2
+ 9
+ 15

cities:
stores ...........
s to r e s...........
7 stores . . .

+ 15
+ 5
— 10
— 1
— 1
— 2

.................

West Virginia
North C a ro lin a ___
South Carolina
Fifth District . . .

Maryland

RETAIL FURNITURE SALES

Maryland, 9 stores ...........
Dist. of Col., 7 stores . . .
Virginia, 10 stores ...........
North Carolina, 4 stores .
South Carolina, 7 stores
District, 37 stores .........

Maryland

Irish Potatoes (Bushels)

+ 11.1

STATES

15,923,000
32,255,000
12,448,000
42,517,000
22,306,000
125,449,000

Oats (Bushels)
Ratio Aug.
collections
to accounts
outstanding
Aug. 1

Stocks
Aug. 31, 19 40
comp, with
July
Aug.
1940
1939
+
+
+
—
+

18,216,000
36,530,000
13,994,000
48,087,000
25,433,000
!1.42,260,000

16,863,000
35,114,000
12,636,000 —
45,158,000 +
24,152,000
133,923,000+

+ 1
— 2
— 1
— 1
+ 2
— 0

DEPARTMENT STORE TRADE
Net Sales
Aug. 194®)
comp, with
Aug.
1939

37,000
658,000
820,000
1,515,000

Corn (Bushels)
Maryland

West Virginia ........
North Carolina
South Carolina . . . .
Fifth District . . .

TR A D E

13,000
457,000
871,000
1,341,000

21,000 +
630,000 +
903,000 +
1,554,000 +

6
9
1
4

Yield
1929-193S

Yield
1939

Yield
1940

35
84
44
75
60
61
76
79
67
65

— 33
— 6
— 41
— 40
— 38

Apples, Commercial (Bushels)
Maryland ...........
Virginia .............
West Virginia .
North Carolina .
Fifth District

2.015.000 —
10.150.000
4.469.000 +
910,000 —
17.544.000 —

2.362.000
10,800,000
5.670.000

19,952,000

1.922.000
10.279.000
4.622.000
935,000
17.758.000

189.175.000
290.700.000
11,840,000
491.715.000

146.706.000
242.658.000
8,607,000
397.971.000

1.120.000

Peanuts (Pounds)

+ 5
+ 5

Virginia .............
North Carolina .
South Carolina .
Fifth District

+ 15

+ 5

173.225.000 —
291.500.000 —
14,40:0,000 +
479.125.000 —

Pasture Condition, September 1

West Virginia ...........
North Carolina ...........
South Carolina ...........

(Compiled September 21, 1940)

76 +
97 +
79 —
85 +
72 +

72
91
81
89
81

65
75
74
80
69

MONTHLY REVIEW, September 30, 1940

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Compiled by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

P roduction and em ploym ent in A u g u st showed a fu rth er rise from the
level m aintained in June and July and distribution to consum ers also increased.
Prices o f industrial m aterials w ere som ewhat higher in the middle o f September
than a month earlier.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Index of physical volume of production, ad­
justed for seasonal variation, 1935-1939 average
=100. By months, January 1934 to August 1940.

FACTORY EMPLOYMENT

Index of number employed, adjusted for seas­
onal variation, 1923-1925 average=100. By months,
January 1934 to August 1940.

DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND STOCKS

The F ederal Reserve index o f industrial production is estim ated at 123 in
A u gu st as com pared w ith 12:1 in June and Ju ly and 111, the low point fo r the
year, in A p ril. This rise has reflected chiefly the direct and indirect effects o f
the defense program on industries producin g durable goods and textiles. Steel
production rose fu rth er in A u gust as new orders fo r steel continued in la rge
volum e, and fo r the month as a w hole m ills operated at 90 per cent o f ca­
pacity. Follow in g a tem porary decline over the Labor D ay week, the rate o f
output advanced to 93 per cent o f capacity in the third week o f September, In
m ost branches o f the m achinery industries a ctivity showed a continued expan­
sion in A u g u st and there w ere fu rth er sharp increases in shipbuilding and the
goods, consum ption o f n onferrous metals advanced to the highest levels since
m anufacture o f aircra ft. W ith the grow th in production o f finished durable
last w inter.
Output o f automobiles w as in sm all volum e in A u gu st ow ing to the seasonal
change-over to 1941 model cars. The low poin t in production w as reached
early in A u g u st; there w as a gradual rise later in that month follow ed b y a
sharp advance in the first tw o weeks o f Septem ber as m ost com panies began
volum e production on new models. Lum ber production, w hich had declined in
July, rose considerably in A ugust.
Textile mill activity continued to increase in A u gu st and w as at the highest
level since last January. Cotton consum ption advanced considerably fu rth er
and silk deliveries rose from the sm all volum e o f recent months. A ctiv ity at
w ool textile mills increased seasonally, follow in g a sharp rise in July, w hile at
rayon mills activity showed a less than seasonal increase but continued at a
high level.
M ining o f bituminous coal in A u g u st w as m aintained in large volum e f o r
the season, while production o f anthracite declined. Output o f crude p etro­
leum declined som ewhat fu rther.
Value o f new construction w ork undertaken in A u gust w as at about the
same level as in July, according to reports o f the F. W . D odge C orporation and
the Federal Reserve Bank o f San Fran cisco. The volum e o f contracts fo r
public projects continued unusually large and the am ount o f new private w ork
started w as larger than in July. Residential building w as at the h ighest level
in recent years, on a seasonally adjusted basis, reflecting fu rth er increases in
both private and public contracts.

DISTRIBUTION
D istribution o f com m odities to consum ers increased considerably fro m Ju ly
to A ugust. Sales at departm ent stores and by m ail order houses showed a
sharp rise and there w as a less than seasonal decline in v ariety store sales.
In the early p a rt o f September departm ent store sales continued to increase.
F reigh t-car loadings advanced from Ju ly to A u gu st when little change is
usual. Shipments o f coal and miscellaneous fr e ig h t increased w hile loadings
o f gra in showed more than a seasonal decline.

COMMODITY PRICES
Indexes of value of sales and stocks, adjusted
for seasonal variation, 1923-1925 average=100.
By months, January 1934 to August 1940.

CONSTRUCTION

CONTRACTS AWARDED

P rices o f several industrial m aterials, including copper, zinc, steel scrap,
lumber, hides, and prin t cloth, advanced som ewhat from the middle o f A u gu st
to the middle o f September and, ow ing p a rtly to seasonal developments, prices
o f foodstu ffs w ere also higher. Prices o f m ost other commodities showed little
change in this period, although some paper items w ere reduced and several
new models o f automobiles w ere announced at advanced prices.

AGRICULTURE
Production prospects fo r m ost m a jor crops increased during A ugust, accord­
ing to the D epartm ent o f A gricu lture. On the basis o f September 1 conditions
the cotton crop was estim ated at 12,772,000 bales, about 1,340,000 bales m ore
than w as indicated at the beginning o f A ugust. P relim inary estimates by the
D epartm ent indicate that cash fa rm income, including Governm ent paym ents,
w ill be about $8,900,000,000 fo r the calendar year 1940 as com pared w ith
$8,540,000,000 last year.

BANK CREDIT

Three-month moving averages of F. W . Dodge
Corporation data for value of contracts awarded
in 37 Eastern States, adjusted for seasonal varia­
tion. Latest figures based on data for July and
August and estimate for September.




Com mercial loans increased som ewhat at banks in New Y ork City and in
100 other leading cities during the fo u r weeks ending September 11, w hile th eir
holdings o f investments showed little change.

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SECURITY PRICES
U nited States Governm ent security prices increased in the la st h a lf o f
A u gust and the first w eek in September and w ere steady in the second w eek
in September.

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