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MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
of

the

FEDERAL RESERVE BAN K o f Dallas

~~~~~======~==========================================================~========================

VoIume 26, No.4

11

T

J

This copy is released for pub·

Da as, exas, une 1, 1941
lication in afterndon papers- May 30
~~~==~==============================~====~============================~======~~~====~=
The number of business failures in the Eleventh District deDISTRICT SUMMARY
A.ctivity in most lines of business and industry in the clined further during April and liabilities of defaulting firms
Eleventh District during April was either maintained close to were the smallest for any month thus far this year and were
t~e advanced level attained during the first quarter of 1941, or 9 per cent lower than in April, 1940. According to figures
compiled by Dun & Bradstreet, this district had 22 bankS OWed an improvement. The value of construction contracts
aWarded rose sharply to the highest level of record due in part ruptcies during the month, with liabilities aggregating
to heavy awards for national defense projects. The rate of pe- $196,000.
troleum production fell off slightly in April, but crude oil runs
AGRICULTURE
to refinery stills reached a new peak, reflecting the heavy deFarmers in nearly all sections of the Eleventh District made
rand for refined products. Activity at cotton textile mills in
rapid progress with plowing and planting operations during the
eXas continued to expand. Although a seasonal contraction
:O?k place in operations at cottonseed oil mills, output and first three weeks of April, but heavy rains in the subsequent
hipments of cottonseed products were substantially larger than two weeks brought field work to a virtual standstill, particuthe respective totals in April last year. The distribution of larly in the eastern half of the district. In the latter area row
lllerchandise through reporting department stores expanded sea- crops are from one to six weeks late, and the cultivation of
Sonally in April and exceeded the volume of sales in April last crops that are up has been seriously delayed. Moreover, some
year by a wide margin. Sales at reporting wholesale establish- acreage in north and east Texas intended for planting to corn
rents were about the same as in March and nearly one-fifth may be diverted to grain sorghums, due to the lateness of the
arger than a year ago. Although row crops in the eastern half season. Although the generally cool weather and wet soil this
of the district are later than usual, the outlook for agricultural spring have retarded plant growth and field work in the eastern
half of the district, the outlook for agricultural production
~~d !ivestock production is promising throughout most of the
and livestock development in the western half of the district
Istnct, as physical conditions are generally favorable.
is the best in several years. In northwest Texas, seeding of row
BUSINESS
crops is expected to begin at about the usual time under almost
ideal moisture conditions. The cotton crop is making good
t .The April business of 'reporting department stores in this disprogress in south Texas, but considerable replanting will be
rtc~, which was augmented by heavy pre-Easter purchases
~urmg the early part of the month, was 8 per cent larger than necessary in central Texas and along the Gulf Coast, due to the
Ib. March and the dollar value- of sales was one-fifth greater damage caused by heavy washing rains. A period of fair weather
~ an in April last year. The gain over the month was seasonal will enable farmers to make rapid progress in overcoming the
lU character and this bank's index of department store sales, handicap of a late start.
~hich is adjusted for average seasonal changes and the variable
The Texas wheat crop responded to favorable physical conate of Easter, remained at 118 per cent of the 1923-1925 ditions during April, with the result that prospective producaVerage. Department store business during the months of tion on May 1 showed a marked gain over that a month earlier.
March and April this year, which reflects total Easter purchases, According to the Department of Agriculture, the indicated
Was 12 per cent greater than in the corresponding two months production of wheat rose 6,200,000 bushels in April to a total
?f 1940. During the first half of May, sales at weekly report- of 47,614,000 bushels, which, if realized, will be the second
Ing department stores were 18 per cent above those in that largest crop of record. The May 1 estimate of wheat producperiod last year.
tion in Texas compares with a harvest of 29,355,000 bushels in
. Merchandise inventories at reporting department stores were 1940 and with an average production of 31,360,000 bushels
lUcreased by more than the average seasonal amount in April, during the ten years, 1930-1939. Wheat acreage abandoned in
d the adjusted index of stocks rose to the highest level since Texas, which is estimated at 22 per cent of the 4,360,000 acres
Ovember, 1930. At the close of April the value of inven- sown last fall, compares with an average abandonment of 33 per
tories Was 3 per cent higher than a year earlier.
turchases by retailers during April at representative wholeCONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AWARDED
[LEVENTH ftDfRAL R£SlRVt DISTRICT
sa. e firms in seven lines of trade operating in the Eleventh Dis- MJ LLL,!!'O~"'U;or!!:..OO~LL~AASL-"-_-'-_--'_ _"-_-r_--,_ _.,-~~~~LAAS
t
lCt reflected the strong consumer and industrial demand for ..
""
t / products of industry, as well as some tendency on the part
o I retailers to build up inventories of merchandise. Aggregate 40 ~-+--+--l--+--+--I--+--I - - ! - - - I 4 0
Sa es during April at 71 reporting wholesale firms were nearly
Ine-fifth greater than in the corresponding month of 1940, the
~rgest gain recorded for any similar comparison in recent years. 30 I---I---+---I---I---+---I--+-n
mong the individual lines of trade, substantial increases over
\ year ago were recorded in the distribution of drugs, groceries,
I- f - - - f - --l 20
e eCtr~cal goods, hardware, including industrial supplies, and 201---1---+--1-lllachmery and equipment. During the first four months of the
~ul'rent year the business of reporting wholesale firms averaged
--+---110
4 per cent greater than in that period of 1940. Wholesalers 10
Clntinued to build up their respective inventories, and at the
~ Ose of April the dollar value of stocks at reporting firms was
6 per cent larger than a year earlier.

N
h

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (FedHistory@dal.frb.org)

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
cent of seeded acreage during the past ten years. The indicated
per acre yield on the area remaining for harvest was placed at
14 bushels on May 1, as against the 1940 and the ten-year average yields of approximately 10 bushels. The estimated production of wheat in Oklahoma showed a small decline between
April 1 and May 1 but prospects indicate an above-average
harvest. The condition of oats and tame hay in this district on
May 1 was well above that a year ago and the ten-year average.
The May 1 condition of peaches in Texas indicated a record
harvest of 2,410,000 bushels. A considerable quantity of the
1941 citrus crop is reported to be dropping to the ground;
nevertheless, the bloom and set of both oranges and grapefruit
were heavy and the production outlook is generally favorable.
Livestock ranges in the Eleventh District continued to improve under favorable moisture conditions during April, and
prospects are now favorable for good summer grazing in virtually all areas. In fact, the condition of ranges in Texas at the
beginning of May was the best for that date since 1926, and
range vegetation is furnishing livestock with complete sustenance in all districts, despite the need for dry weather in east
and southeast Texas. Livestock are responding to the favorable
range conditions; on May 1 their condition was sharply higher
than the average for that date in all sections of the district.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the movement of
Texas cattle to northern feed lots was smaller than usual during April, due apparently to the excellent range conditions.
Sheep shearing in Texas and New Mexico has been retarded by
frequent rains, and as a consequence, marketings of yearling
lambs have been delayed. However, the excellent condition of
sheep and lambs on May 1 indicated that heavy shipments
would be made in May and June. The Department of Agriculture reported that fleeces this year are of good staple length
and contain less dirt and grease than a year ago.
Prices of cattle and calves on the Fort Worth market showed
wide fluctuations during April and the first half of May, but
on occasions some grades of animals brought the highest price
of the year. The net changes in market quotations for beef
animals between April 1 and May 15 were small; prices during
that period averaged considerably higher than a year ago. Hog
prices ruled strong throughout April and during the second
week of May the top price rose to $ 8.95 per hundredweight,
WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE STATISTICS
, . - - - - - P c r centage ohango in:
,
Numbor ~
Not sales---v--Stooks--..
of
April. 1041 from
Jan. 1 to
April. 1941 from
reporting
April,
March, Apr. 30, 1941
April,
March,
Rotail trado:
firms
1040
1941
trom 1940
1940
1941
Department stores:
Total lIth Dist . . . .
46
+21
+ 8
+12
+ 3
+ 4
Dallas ...... ..... ..
7
+17
+ 6
+ 0
+ 5
+ 3
Fort Worth ...... ..
4
+27
+ 6
+13
- 6
+ 9
Houston . ...... .... .
7
+21
+15
+10
- 3
+ 3
San Antonio .. ... . .
+18
+ 9
+ 4
6
+23
+ 2
Shreveport .... ... .
3
+15
+17
+ 9
Other cities . ...... .
19
+21
+10
+13
Indepondent stores:·
Arizona. . . . . . . . . ... 264
+21
+ 79
+11
New Mexioo .... \.. 175
+ 8
+
+ 7
Oklahoma. . . . . . . . . 539
+16
- 2
+13
Texns.. . .. . . . ..... 1,055
+20
+ 4
+14
Wholesalo trade:·
Maohinory, cqpt. &:
supplies... .. . .... .
3
+12
-13
+30
Drugs (inol. liquors).
14
+ 9
- 7
-2
+8
Eleetrioal supplies. . .
4
+48
+ 7
Groceries.. .. .. .. .. .
30
+ 12
- 6
+ii
Hardware. . .. . . ....
12
+33
+ 8
+23
Surgicol equipment . .
5
-12
No ohg.
Toboooo & produots.
3
+ 1
+11
- t
·Compiled by United Stotes Bureau of Census. fChange less than one-half of one per cent.
INDEXES OF DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND STOCKS
(1023·1925 average - 100)
April
March
February
1941
1041
1941
Sales (daily average):
Without sensonal adjustment .•. .. •..
117
112
100
With sensonal adjustment .......... . .
118
118
118
Stocks (end of month):
Without scasonal adjustment .•.. , .. .
77
74
67
74
With sensonal adjustment ..•.••..•, .. .
72
70

April
1040
09
103
74
71

the highest recorded since September, 1938. The market for
lambs followed an uneven downward course during the siJ(week period, due largely to seasonal factors, but the net decline
in prices appears to have been small.
FINANCE
Following a substantial incr~ase during the first half of
April, member bank reserve balances maintained at the Federal
Reserve Bank of Dallas declined sharply on April 17, reflecting
chiefly cash settlements for purchases of approximately $14,000,000 of two new issues of Reconstruction Finance Corporation notes that were allotted to buyers in this district. During
the remainder of April reserve balances showed little net
change, but resumed their upward trend during the first hal f
of May, increasing $18,000,000 to an all-time peak of $258,400,000 on May 15. The latter increase resulted in a substantial gain in daily average excess reserves which rose to a leve£1
near the record of $95,300,000 recorded during the first h~1
of February this year. In addition to the heavy volume of ava l•lable funds on deposit at the Reserve Bank, member banks In
this district continued tOo maintain large balances with correspondent banks. During the first half of April these balances
averaged $544,000,0 00, which was an all-time peak.
Federal Reserve notes of this bank in actual circulation followed a trend in April similar to that in the preceding th.ree
months. A moderate return flow of currency from circulation
occurred during the greater part of the month, but this movement was reversed by month-end requirements and on May 5
Federal Reserve note circulation, which totaled $103,400,000,
was at a new peak for the third consecutive month.
The demand for credit at weekly reporting member ba~ks
in the Eleventh District showed a further contraction during
the five weeks ended May 14. The net decline in loans during
the period amounted to about $5,000,000, due principally to
a decrease in advances for commercial, industrial and agriculci
tural purposes. "All other loans," which include personal an
instalment loans, continued to expand during April and the
first half of May. Although the trend in total loans at reporting banks has been seasonally downward since mid-February,
the decrease has been comparatively small for this season, and
CASH FARM INCOME FROM THE SALE OF PRINCIPAL FARM PRODUCTS
AND GOVERNMENT BENEFIT PAYMENTS
(In thousands of dollars)
r--February, 1941---..
Receipts from:
Govern- ,,.-----Total receipts----___----~, ment
February February Jan. 1 to Fob. 28
Crops Livestook· paymonts
1941
1940
1941
1940
Ari.ona ...... .
Louisiana ..... .
New Mexioo: . .
737
1,950
472
3,159
3,074
6,831
28' 126
Oklahoma .. . . .
3,417
7,600
5,092
16,109
13,376
31,661
74'149
10,233
13,010
11,623
34,866
34,585
78,760 ~
Texas .. ...... .

~:~~~

km

1,~~~

~:~~~

~:m

Total.....
19,300
26,716
18,543
64,649
61,175
·Inoludes receipts from the sale of livestook and livestock produots.
SOURCE: United States Dopartment of Agriculture.

u:m I!:m

144,168

131.204

LIVESTOCK RECEIPTS-(Numbor)
,---Fort Worth----.",-- San Antonio-b
April
April
Maroh
April
April
M19a~1
1941
1040
1941
1041
1940
38,384
33,175
19,083
14,884
iN~~
Cattle .......... ... .. .. .. 37,153
Calves .. . ............ . . . 18,844
10,174
16,390
15,547
14,307
4'171
17'094
Hogs .. . ................ . 49,040
36,162
53,887
12,265
8,321
87,719
146,318
45,439
8,172
6,740
'
Sheop . . ........... .
COMPARATIVE TOP LIVESTOCK PRICES
(Dollnrs per hundredweight)
,---Fort Worth----.",-- San Antonio---;-'
April
April
Maroh
April
April
MIO~I
1941
1940
1941
1041
1940
$10.00
$11 .50
$10.25
$ 8. 50
$10. 00
Beef steers ..... . ........ . $11.00
10.00
11.00
Stocker steers ........... . 11.25
.. 0:50 'jido
10.50
11.50
10.00
Heifers and yearlings ... . • 11 .35
7.50
8.50
7.50
8.00
7.00
7.50
Flutoh.r cows ..... . . . .. ..
11. 00
9.25
10.50
10.25
10.50
Calves .. ............... . 11.50
7.76
6.60
8.50
8.75
6.35
8.00
Hogs ................... .
8.25
7.50
8.25
0.50
11.75
Lambs ................. . 11.35

8
MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
on May 14 the total was only $3,500,000 smaller than the 1940 fornia, Illinois and Michigan regions. The advance in wholesale
peak recorded in the final week of December and advances gasoline prices during April averaged about one-half cent per
Were still $47,900,000 greater than a year ago. Investments at gallon.
CONDITION OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
repo.rting banks were increased further by $9,400,000 between
(In thousands of doU
ars)
A.pr~l 9 and May 14, reflecting substantial increa~es in holdings
April 15,
May 15,
May 15,
1940
1041
104 1
of direct and guaranteed obligations of the United States Gov$323,408
$240,750
$341 ,530
reserves . .
ernment. The rise of $6,200,000 in holdings of Government Total cash for momber......... ... ..•.... . ..........
335
53
43
Disoounts
banks .... ... .... ....... ....
30
Nono
None
guaranteed obligations represents chiefly purchases of the new Other bills discoun ted ...... . . ..... ... .....•.... . ..
470
277
277
Industrial advances ....... . .. .. . . . ... .... . . . .. . , ..
95,234
88,040
~econstruction Finance Corporation notes issued during April. United Slates Government seouri ties . . .... .... . . .. . . 88,040
88,376
9a.o75
88,300
. ....
otal investments of these banks on May 14 aggregated $283,- Total corning assets ..... .. . ....... ........ .... ...... .. 258,407
213,494
253 ,1 04
. . . .....
Momber bank resorve deposits .. . ..
00,567
78,714
300,000 which was only $3,400,000 below a two-year high Foderal Resorve notes in aotual oiroulation .. ....... ... 101,000
recorded on April 30, and $28,600,000 greater than a year ago.

~ross deposits at reporting banks showed wide fluctuations
during the five-week period, but on May 14 they were about
equal to the all-time peak established four weeks earlier.
INDUSTRY
A significant development in this district during April was
the pronounced gain in construction work, reflecting chiefly
~ha:ply increased awards covering projects related directly or
Indirectly with the National Defense Program. The value of
COntracts let for new construction during the month, which
rose to a record volume of $46,500,000 was more than double
the respective totals for the preceding month and the correSPonding month last year. Among the principal classes of conStr.uction work, non-residential building showed the largest
gain in value due to heavy awards for commercial, manufacturing and educational and science buildings. Nevertheless,
residential building expanded sharply to the highest level in
hece~t years. Awards for the construction of national defense
oUslng and slum cl'earance projects showed a marked gain and
aWards for private residential construction were maintained at
t~e advanced level attained in March. Public works construction. during April closely approximated the heavy volume in
tpnl last year, and public utilities construction, which has
een in comparatively small volume in recent months, inCreased sharply to a level six times that in April, 1940. During
the first four months of the current year, the value of all conStruction contracts awarded in this district amounted to $112,6 00,000, which was 71 per cent larger than in the same period
~f 1940 and about one-fourth greater than the previous record
Or that period established in 1930.
. Coincident with the heavy volume of construction work
Initiated thus far this year, production and shipments of
cement at Texas mills have been in record proportions and
h~tivity at lumber mills in this district has been considerably
Igher than a year ago. During April the volume of unfilled
orders on the books of reporting lumber mills showed a subStantial gain, and at the close of the month the backlog of
orders was about double that at the end of April last year.
. Developments in the petroleum industry in this district and
In the United States during April included the continued
Str.ong d em and for refined products and furt her mcreases. m
'
.
prices of gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil and lubricants. Production
of crude oil during the month was in close alignment with de:and and above-ground stocks of petroleum showed litt~e
hange between March 31 and April 3 o. The rate of crude 011
runs to refinery stills rose to an all-time peak, with the conse~uent expansion in output of petroleum products, but the
eavy demand for products more than absorbed the increased
~UtPut. On May 3 stocks of gasoline and fuel oil in the United
tates were about '3 per cent smaller than a month earlier and
about 7 per cent lower than a year ago.
Although markets for crude oil continued strong throughOUt the country, increases in posted prices during April and
early in May were confined chiefly to the Appalachian, Cali-

CONDITION STATISTICS OF MEMBER BANKS I N LEADI NG CITIES
(In tbousands of dollars)
May 15,
April 9,
May 14,
1940
1941
104 1
Total loans and investments. . ...... . .... ... ....... $598,404
$522.030
$504,11 5
Tota l loans . ...... . .. . .... . ....... .. . . . . .. .. .....
315,223
207,301
320,235
Commeroial, industrial and agrioulturalloans . .....
213, 156
175,433
210,257
Open market paper. .. . . . . .. . .. .. . .. . .. .. .. . .. .•
2,410
2.350
1,930
Loans to brokers and dealers in seourities. . . . . . . . . .
3,050
2,346
3,269
Other loans for purohasing or oorrying 1IC0urities. .. .
11,805
13,352
11,923
Real esla!.e loans.......... ......... . .. . .... . ....
23,486
22,423
23,8 14
Loons to banks ........ . ....... . .. .. .... .... , .. .
458
501
532
All other loans .. .... .... .. .. .. .. .. ............ ·
00,840
50,860
59,50 1
Unitcd States Government dircet obligations.........
178,330
150,389
174,640
Obligations Cully guaranteed by United States Govt . .
43,4 01
45,940
37,207
Other securi ties. . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .
01.540
58,346
62,033
Reserves with Federal Reserve Bonk . ..... . ...... ...
102,208
135, 180
149,1 95
Balanoes with domestio bonks .... ... .. ....... .. ... ·
310,102
314,628
300,451
Demond deposits- adjusted". .. . .. . . .. . . . .........
501 ,343
470,4 82
546,487
Time deJloslts.. .. . .. .. . .. . . .. .. . .. .. . .. . .. .. . .. ...
136,304
130,541
130,050
United States Government deposits.. .... ... ........
28,783
30,824
27,653
Interbank deposits ................. ·· · · · · .. ·· · · ·· ·
20~JoOnOe
O
272,40 1
289,776
Borrowings from Federal Reservo Bonk ......... . . ..
N
None
None
"Inoludes all demand deposits. other than interbank Il;nd United States Government, Ie..
oash items reported as on hand or In the process of oolleotlon.
DEBITS TO I NDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
(In tho_sand. or dollars)
Petg.ohange
April
April
1941
1940
over year
Abilene ........ .. .. ... .. . $ 12,098
$ 8,649
+4 7
$
Austin.. . .... . .... .. ....
37,947
30,403
+ 4
Beaumont.. .......... ...
30,100
24,345
+24
Corsicana . .... ...... .. ...
3,811
3,342
+14
Dallas . . . ... ...... . .. .. . ...
311,555
257,803
+ 21
EI Paso .. .. . .... . .. .....
39,1 65
20,804
+ 31
Fort Worth........ ....... ..
92,441
81,802
+ 13
Galveston .. . .. . ....... .. .
20,277
24,001
+ 17
Houston.... .. .. .. ........
274,955
239,350
+ 15
Port Arthur ........ .......~
10,295
9,519
+ 8
5,217
4,190
+ 24
Roswell. .... .. ...... ......
Son Antonio .. ... .. .. ....
83 ,996
71,847
+ 17
Shreveport ...... .. .. ....
50,757
46,236
+ 10
Texarkana"............. .
9,834
7,25 1
+30
Tucson.......... .. .......
15,000
12,022
+ 24
Tyler
12,468
H,080
+ 7
1
Waoo:::: : :: :: :::: : :.:::::
15,267
13,795
+ 14
Wichita Falls .. ........ ...
18,080
17,327
+

Maroh
1941
14,207
33,773
28,202
3,701
303,702
44,047
87,700
28,149
278,724
9,9 14
4,579
84,433
52,718
8,800
15,342
11,393
16,556
17,750

Petg.change
over month
- 11
+12
+ 7
3
+ 3
+
- 12
+ 5
+ 4
- 1
+ 4
+14
- 1
- 4
+12
+ 2
+ 9
- 8
+ 2

Total .. .. .... .... $1,053,541
$901,097
+ 17
51,044,470
+ 1
.Includes figures of two bonks in Telarkana, Arknnsns, looated in the Eighth Distriet.
GROSS DEMAND AND TIME DEPOSITS OF MEMBER BANKS
(Average of doily figures-in thousand. of dollars)
Combined total
Reserve oity bonks
Country bonks
Gross
demand
April,
1930 .. .. ...... $1,178,060
April,
1940 . .... . . .. · 1,340,972
Deeember, 1940 . . ... . . .. . 1,474,217
J anuary, 1941 ... . ...... 1,495,852
Fobruary, 194 1.......... 1,533,864
Maroh,
1941. ... .• . . .. 1,529,028
April,
1041 ..... • .... 1,541,825

Beaumont . .. ...... ···· · .
Dallas . .. .... ...... ......
EI Paso .... .. . ...... .. ..
Fort Worth ....... ...... ·
Galveston . . . . . . . . ... . ·· .
Houston ....... . .... · .. · · · .
Port Arthur . .. .. ...... Son Antonio . ... . ... .. .. ..
Shreveport .. . . .. ... .. - • .
Waco ... . .... .. ....·.. ··..
Wichita Falls . . .. . .... . . .
All others . ................
Total .• , _ .. ......

Gross
Gross
demand
Time
domand
Time
$229.697 $672,316 $127,813 $505,750
563,873
128,764
777,099
232,400
632,3 14
131,022
84 1,903
237,308
639,018
133,1 00
230,594 856,234
134,206 657,083
24 1,40 1 870,181
649,080
130,080
244,000 870,948
050,139
135,900
801,686
243,942

Time
$101,884
103,645
105,680
106,305
107,285
107,9 17
107,952

SAVINGS DEPOSITS
Percentage change In
April 30, 1941
savings deposils from
r
Number of Number of Amount of ~
Maroh 31,
April 30,
savings
8avin~s
rec orting
1941
1040
deposi 8
depositors
anks
10,339 $ 4,305,018 + 7.9
+ .4
3
26,862,302 + 2.2
02,128
+ .5
8
8,482,834 + 4.4
19,OaO
+ .7
2
13,179,023 + 1.0
+ .4
35,074
3
- 1.1
12,081,053 - 1.9
19,113
4
32,738,009 + 4. 7
+ .6
78,189
10
3,250,705 + 1.0
+ .7
5,975
2
18,048,900 +1.3
23,503
+ .2
5
.8
12,270,209 + . 2
25,512
3
4,521,029 - 2.2
+ .04
8,111
3
.8
3,581,530 - 2.3
7,139
3
.3
30,68 1,250 + .8
62,802
69
115

387,815

$170,011,801

+ 1.8

+

.1

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

4

Drilling activity showed a substantial increase during April.
The daily average number of wells completed in the United
States during the month averaged 15 per cent greater than in
March; although the rate of completions in this district was
4 per cent smaller than a year ago, it was up 3 per cent in the
United States.
Activity at cotton mills in the United States continued to
expand in April, and consumption of cotton recorded a new
high for the second consecutive month. The United States
Bureau of Census reported that a total of 920,000 bales of cotton were utilized during the month, including 45,000 bales
distributed by the Surplus Marketing Administration for relief
purposes. According to trade reports, mill sales of cotton textiles declined in April, but showed a noticeable upturn early in
May. Despite the high rate of output, the backlog of unfilled
orders is exceptionally heavy and apparently buyers are experiencing some difficulty in obtaining goods for nearby delivery.
Prices of cotton yarn continued to advance during April, and
in the first half of May increased quotations were effected on
some cotton fabrics, including sheeting and print cloth. Prices
of representative cotton textiles are substantially higher than
the low levels prevailing a year ago. Mill margains, or the difference between the price of a pound of cotton and its cloth
equivalent, rose for the tenth consecutive month in April to
the highest level during the fifteen years for which data are
available.
VALUE OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AWARDED
(In thousands oC dollars)
April
April
Maroh
January 1 to
1941
1940
1041
1941
$ 20,154
$ 21,774r
Eleventh Distriolr-totnI .. . $ 46,512
$112,635
12,716
6,771
7,016r
Residential. ......... ..
36,645
33,790
13,383
All other ............ ..
13,868
76,990
406,675
300,504
479,003
Unitod Stntes·-total. ... .
1,462,156
166,462
135,420
Residential. .......... ,
147,859
542,086
240,213
165,084
382,044
All other ............ ..
020,070
·S7 statu cast of the Rooky Mountains.
I'-Revisod.
SOURCE: F. W. Dodge Corporation.

Abilene ........
Am.rillo ... ....
Austin ... '.•'.. ...
Beaumont ......
Coreus Christi .•
Dol as· .........
E1 Paso .... .....
Fort Worth .....
Golveston ......
Houston ..........
Port Arthur ....
San Antonio ....
Shreveport .....
Waco ...........
Wiohita Falls ...

April 30
1940
$ 66,046
24,389
41,067
969,447
409,386
560,061

BUILDING PERMITS
Peroent_ie oh.nge
Percent'ie
April,1941
valu.tion Crom Jan. 1 to Apr. 30, 1041 ohan~e
valuatIOn
v
v
No. Valuation Apr.,1040 Mar.,1941 No.
Valuation from 1040
48 $ 71,671
-73
211 S 463,958
+ 10
+137
294,761
97
281
841,943
+ 23
+ 68
+ 8
497,012
168
0
2,009,802
763
- 27
+ 13
250,767
158
503
798,086
+105
+ 65
+ 77
232 1,981,504
5,565,800
946
+504
+114
+54
7
815 1,142,093
2,966
4,230,746
7
2
+
120
205,321
516
982,530
- 26
+ 27
+ 12
484,401
1,906,781
8
337
1,070
- 15
+11
+
341,118
269
- 42
784
1,140,940
+155
+ 35
478 1,380,ROO
1,849
7,088,709
- 19
- 10
- 47
102
94,433
402
360,100
-13
- 21
+ 26
440,070
508
2,068
2,387,901
- 23
6
+ 10
240,200
-11
121
485
1,133,014
- 45
- 27
94 1,344,622
1,900,551
288
+462
+308
t
170,836
217
75
- 5
513,549
- 16
+ 21

-

-

Consuming establishments in the United States continued to
make heavy purchases of raw cotton during April. At the
month-end their stocks amounted to 1,934,000 bales, which
was moderately higher than a month earlier and nearly onethird greater than a year ago. As a result of the heavy commercial demand, -repossessions of cotton from Government loa~
stocks are proceeding at a rapid rate. Prior to May 5 approXImately 1,500,000 bales of the 1940 cotton crop that had been
pledged as collateral for Government loans had been repossessed.
During the final week in April and the first half of ?viaY,
domestic cotton prices increased sharply to the highest level
since July, 1937. On May 15 the price of cotton, middling,
U-inch staple, at the ten designated spot markets averag.ed
12.59 cents per pound, as against 11.13 cents a month earh~r
and 9.60 cents a year ago. The recent advance in prices IS
attributed to the heavy domestic demand for raw cotton and
to the prospective legislation which would increase Government loan rates on some principal farm commodities.
No improvement dev~loped in the foreign demand for American cotton during April. Exports aggregated only 74,000
bales which brought total shipments for the season to 904,00 0
bales. The latter figure compares with shipments of 5,695,00 0
bales during the first nine months of the 1939-1940 season·
Operations at cottonseed oil mills in Texas and in the United
States declined seasonally in April but were maintained at a
considerably higher level than in the same month of 1940. Production of products at Texas mills during April was aboUj
double that in the corresponding month last year and at al
mills in the United States output was nearly two-thirds greater.
As compared with a year ago, shipments of cottonseed products from mills have shown a pronounced improvement during
the past two months, cottonseed oil and linters showing the
most significant gains.
CRUDE OIL PRODUCTION-(Barrels}
April, 1941
Inore.so or deorease in dailY
average produotion ~
Dailyavg.
Total
April, 1940
Maroh,l94 1
produotion
produotion
- 3,644
+ 3,030
5,342,500
178,083
North Te............. ....,. . ......
- 43,993
- 8,942
7,771,900
250,063
West Texas .. ............ ....... . .
- 53,654
_32,569
428,807
E.st Texas ..... ... ..... ........ . 12,866,900
- 57,090
_ 13,747
5,834,600
194,487
Bouth Texas ............... ..
+
355
- 2,179
7,557,950
251,932
Texa. Coastal. .... ,. ..... '.... .
Total Texas ... ... .
New Mexioo ... . ....... ..... .
North Louisinna ............ ..

39,373,850
3,265,250
2,120,200

1,312,462
108,842
70,673

-158,026
- 3,076
+ 1,690

Total Distriot ........

44,759,300

1,491,977

-159,511

SOURCE: Estimated Cram Amerioan Petroleum Institute weekly reports.

-

_54,407
+ 2,206
+ 431

_51,770

-

Total.... 3,622 $0,008,618
13,340 $31,415,316
+ 36
+
+
·Inoludes Righlond Park and University Park.
tlnorease over 1,000 per oent.

7

STATISTICS ON COTTONSEED AND COTTONSEED PRODUCTS
~--Texas---v-United States----..
August 1 to April 30
August I to April 30
This season
Last season
This season
Last season
Cottonseed reoeived at mills
(tons} .....................
1,072,741
808,517
4,377,679
4,002,481
1,038,740
Cottonseed orushed (tons) .....
934,012
4,013,564
3,951,304
Cottonseed on hand AprIl 30
40,748
(tons} .....................
10,573
402,857
171,803
Produotion of produots:
Crude oil (pounds) ......... 318,284,124
273,353,146 1,289,921,634 1,255,284,068
Cake and meal (tons) .......
485,687
449,950
1,778,919
1,789,259
263,599
Hulls (tons) . .......... ... .
240,769
1,008,603
1,002,139
257,469
Linters (running bales) ......
219,067
1,000,278
1,016,703
Stooks on hand April 30:
Crude oil (pounds) ..... .. .. 17,047,060
20,275,73
47,966,657
68,622,374
Cake and meal (tons) .......
58,871
41,388
266,255
151,905
85,975
Hulls (tons) ... .... .. . .. . "
20,453
109,414
63,810
Linters (running bales) ......
65,687
93,043
257,983
305,933
BOURCE: Bureau oC Census.

RECEIPTS, EXPORTS, AND STOCKS OF COTTON AT THE PORTS OF
HOUSTON AND GALVESTON-(Bales}
August 1 to April 30
April
April
Maroh
This season Last senson
1941
1940
1941
Receipts . ........ ...... .
111,064
98,475
93,738
1,790,190
3,70121'~~~
870,343
3,2,
Exports ....... , ........ .
79,267
195,905
104,306
....
Stooks, end of month .... . 1,882,269
1,376,601
1,009,601
CONSUMPTION, BTOCKS, AND EXPORTS OF OOTTON-(Bales}
August 1 to April aO n
April
April
Mnroh
This season Last senSo
1941
1940
1941
Consumption at:
174 571
103.760
Texas mills ..... . ... ,. ..
23,401
10,790
21,157
6,905;238
5,06a,OOO
United Sta teo mills . ....
920,142
623,008
854,179
U.S. stooks-cnd of month:
In consllming estab'mts . 1,033,507
1,470,529
1,9n,238
Publicstg. & compresses. 12,374,839 10,732,200 13,243,673
E~rt~ from U. S. to:
1,748,3Jo~
uited Kingdom. . . . . . .
8,288
111,655
4,362
352,638
702, 4
33,016
None
France................
None
None
480,O~2
None
Italy .......... .. . .....
None
47.404
None
18,9
NOM
Germany ........ .. .....
None
None
None
1,022'm
11,071
42,340
26,196
201,309
Other Europe ..........
803, 32
68,965
11,324
54,314
8,185
000,1
281,080
~r~~h~~ ~o~;;t~i~;. ·. :::: 43,326
55,700
58,540
5,604,062
Total OXportl .• __
74,000
344,609
97,202
904,001

---

--

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
JUNE

1, 1941

NATIONAL SUMMARY OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Complied by the Board of Governors of the Federal Relerve SYltem)

...

0'""'"

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
I'OIM'T'III TDW.

0

80

f-

Vr--'

\

./

80

40

J

PRODUCTlON
In April the Board's seasonally adjusted, index of industrial production declined to 139 per cent
of the, 19~5-1939 averag~, a ~rop of 4 POlOtS fro~ March. The decline reflected chiefly a sharp
reduction In output of bituminOus coal, as most mlOes were closed during the entire month. The
mines were reopened on April 30 and in the first half of May coal output increased rapidly.
Automobile production also declined in April, owing to stoppage of work at plants of the Ford
Motor Company during an industrial dispute. This Was settled about the middle of the month and
domestic output has since advanced to, a high monthly rate of over 500,000 cars and trucks. Announcement by the Oilice of Production Management that output in the twelve months ending
July 31 would approximate 5,290,000 units indicates that a rate close to that now prevailing should
be maintained through July, although there is usually a considerable decline in this period.
Steel production waS curtailed, somewhat in the latter half of April by shortages of coal and
coke and outpu~ declined from a level of 100 per cent of capacity to 94 per cent at the month end.
Subsequently ou tput increased, reaching 99 per cent by the middle of May.
In most other, lines activity continued. t? in.crease d~lring April an,d the first half of May.
Machinery production rose further and activity In the alCcraft and shipbuilding industries continued to expand rapidly. Consllmption of nonferrous metals also advanced, and, as in March
domestic sources of copper were, supplemented,?y I~rge supplies from L,.tin America. Textile pro~
duction rose further from the high rate prev31llOg In March. Consumption of raw cotton in April
amounted to 920,000 bales, a new record level, and rayon deliveries also rose to a new peak. At wool
textile mills activity was maintained near the high March rate. Continued advances were reported in
the chemical, paper, and food industries.
Anthracite production declined considerably in April, owing to a delay by dealers in placing
usual spring orders, but increased in the first half of May. Output of crude petroleum showed little
change from the March rate, following some increase from the reduced level of the winter months.
Iron ore shipments in April amounted to about 7,000,000 tons, an exceptionally large amount for
this time of year, and mine output of nonferrous metals continued at ncar capacity rates.
Value of construction contract awards in April declined somewhat from the high March total
owing principally to a smaller volume of defense plant contracts, according to F. \Y(. Dodge Corpora~
tion reports. There was an increase in contracts for publicly financed defense housing, and awards
for private residential building rose by about the usual seasonal amount.
DISTRIBUTION

ea

h

60

~A;:~~E..s..~

MANUFAjURES

40

~NF.RALO

20

J

'193!S

1
936

1
937

1
930

1939

1940

1941

~~de!al Res~rve index of physical volume of pre.-

avetlon, adJusted for seasonal variation, 1935-39
te;rage
100. Subgroups shown are expressed in
lOS of points in the total index. By months,
January, 1985, to April, 1941.

=

--

WHOLESALE PRICES OF BASIC COMMODITIES

~-

:btttE:m::
180

r-==;::=~;;:=:;::=:::;=::' :-::::==::::-~ 180
100
r-----f----4---~ 1 60

\r----~---+----~A-~ ,40
120
100

120
_

='""'~I__j--:.:t:-I-----I I OO

80
1935

1936

1
957

1
930

tIOn declined In Aptll, oWing to reduced output of coal and automobiles, but increased rapidly in the
first half of Mayas operations in these industries were resumed.

120

\ ..... /

t;:?r~ V

~holesa~e ~ommodity prices adva?ced sha,rply in April and the first half of May, with the
e~ceptlO~ ptl~clpall~ of ~etals for which maximum prices had been established. Industrial produc-

I 00

T~) IV

NOHOURADl.E

~

20

160
1
40

Ito
100

-

1
939

1
940

1941

~~e~u of Labor Statistics' indexes based on

eo

12
1989s utrs and 16 industrial materials, August,
100. Thursday figures, Janua ry 3, 1935, to
May 8, 1941.

=

, EXCESS RESERVES OF MEMBER BANKS ·

Sales of general merchandise at department and variety stores showed about the usual seasonal
rise from March to April, making allowance for the changing date of Easter. Retail sales of new
automobiles, which had amounted to 526,000 cars and trucks in March, rose further in April and
sales of used cars were at peak levels.
Freight-car loadings declined sharply in April, reflecting a reduction in shipments of coal and
coke, but increased in the first half of May when coal mines were reopened. By the middle of the
month total loadings had risen to a weekly rate one-fourth higher than in the corresponding period
last year and about the same as the seasonal peak reached in the autumn of 1940.
COMMODITY PRICES

.,
1
9J:J

1
$,136

10 37

1936

IS39

1
940

1 1
94

n':tneSday figures, January 2, 1935. to May 7,
and' C91OIOeroiai loans, which include industrial
1987 agrICultural loans, represent prior to May 19,
, so-called "Other Loans" as then reported.
~~OPIGU.u.I

MEMBER ,BANKS IN 101 LEADING ,CITIES

--~----+----+----~--~~~~- 1 2

r--i--+--I---!-,,:t!:.+---l---l.8

Prices of most basic commodities, both domestic and imported, advanced sharply further in
the first half of May following a short period of little change during the latter part of April.
Price increases were most pronounced for agricultural commodities reflecting in part the prospect
of legislation raising Federal loan rates for basic farm crops. Prices of a number of semimanufactured
industrial products, including petroleum products, coke, leather, textile yarns and fabrics, and building materials, also advanced. Metal prices, n~w for the most part subject to Federal control,
remained at the maximum levels establtshed earlter.
BANK CREDIT
Bank loans and investments have shown a marked rise since last summer, the increase at reporting banks in 101 leading cities amounting to $4,000,000,000 . In April and early May holdings of
investments by these banks increased consider~bly, ,m ostly at New, York City banks, ~eflecting substantial purchases of newly issued Reconstruction FIO~nce Corporatl~n notes. Increases 10 commercial
loans in this period were somewhat smaller than durlOg the precedlOg two months.
Excess reserves of member banks were $5,700,000,000 on May 14, Since January they have
declined by about $1,100,000,000, owing largely to increases in Treasury deposits with the Reserve
Banks and in currency in circulation. The decrease has occurred entirely at New York City banks.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SECURITY PRICES

W

~~--=t=::t::::::t:~~ a
1935

1936

19~7

1938

1
939

1
940

1
941

ednesday figures partly estimated, January 2,
1985, to May 7, 1941.

*

Prices of United States Government securities, which had risen sharply from April 9 to April 21,
bsequently declined irregularly through May 15. On that date the 1960-65 bonds were
of n
~int lower than on April 21 and about 1 y.; points below the all-time peak reac,hed on December
10, 1940. The yield on this issue is currently about 2.09 per cent, compared With 2'.03 per cent
on December 10.

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