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MONTHLY
-B USINESS
REVIEW
oft h e
Volume 33

FEDERAL

RESERVE

BANK

Dallas, Texas, May 1, 1948

of

Dallas
Number 5

SIXTH ANNUAL DISTRICT SURVEY OF RETAIL CREDIT STORES:
SUMMARY AND COMMENTS

A continued expansion in the dollar value of sales, a marked rise in instalment business, a
substantial growth in receivables outstanding, an increase in bad debt losses, and a slowing down
in the rate of inventory accumulation constitute some of the principal developments at retail credit
stores in the Eleventh Federal Reserve District during 1947 which are analyzed in the following
pages. The data presented were obtained from the recently completed Sixth Annual Retail Credit
Survey, which was conducted as part of a yearly nationwide project of the Federal Reserve System.
In the current survey, data were obtained from representative firms in nine lines of retail trade
in which credit sales normally constitute an important portion of total sales: namely, automobile
dealerships, auto tire and accessory stores, department, furniture, hardware, household appliance,
jewelry, men's clothing, and women's apparel stores. The experience of firms, individually and collectively, in each of the several lines of trade varied widely, reflecting in part local factors and operating
policies and in a large measure the effect of economic conditions having a direct bearing upon the
supply of and demand for goods in that particular line of trade, as well as over-all economic conditions which exerted uneven pressures upon various segments of the economy.

Significant Economic Trends
A brief review of significant economic trends in the Nation and in the Eleventh Federal Reserve
District may be helpful in providing a background for a critical study of trade developments during
1947. For a more complete summary, the reader is referred to the article entitled, "Business and
Financial Trends in 1947," printed in the January 1, 1948 issue of the Monthly Business Review
and the summary of developments for the year 1947 in the February 1, 1948 issue.
In many phases of the economy, both nationally and regionally, newall-time records were
established during the year 1947, and in others activity was at a very high level, though not in
record volume. Factors of major importance to retailers were the high level of production, the
record number of people engaged in remunerative activity, and the record volume of disposable
income placed in the hands of the consuming public. On the supply side of the equation, the physical
volume of industrial production during 1947 rose to 187 percent of the 1935-39 average, an increase
of 10 percent over that in 1946. This increase in production was not shared proportionally by the
major commodity components. The ' most pronounced increase, 15 percent, occurred in the produc-,
tion of durable goods, reflecting the recovery of durable goods manufacturing from the relatively
low operation during the reconversion period in 1946 and the strong demand for these products of
industry. It should be emphasized, however, that shortages and the irregular flow of raw materials
continued to hamper the rate of operation in important durable goods industries and affected the
This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (FedHistory@dal.frb.org)

72

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

volume and composition of total production. The rise of about 12 percent in the output of minerals
resulted chiefly from the large and expanding demands of industry and of individuals for fuels and
other mineral products. In the important category of nondurable goods, where demands were less
urgent and where supplies in many sectors had caught up or were rapidly catching up with demand,
production increased slightly less than 6 percent. In many lines of nondurable goods the production
and flow of goods to consumers were at a high level during the war period, and in others manufacturing establishments were able to rea-ch a high level of production immediately after the close of
the war. As a result, the filling of pipe lines and the satisfaction of the backlog of demand were
accomplished much earlier than in the case of most durable goods. Agricultural production, which
amounted to 137 percent of the 1935-39 average in 1947, remained at about the same high level
of other recent years. In consequence of the high level of production and the expansion in construction, trade, and services, the number of persons gainfully employed in 1947 averaged approximately
59,500,000 persons, or about 1,000,000 more than in the preceding year. Therefore, it may be stated
that in 1947 there was virtually full utilization of the Nation's manpower and facility resources.
On the demand side of the equation, the backlog of requirements carried over from the war
period, combined with the large volume of liquid assets held by individual consumers, the large and
expanding current incomes of consumers, and utilization of credit resources, exerted strong pressures
upon the available supplies. The aggregate disposable personal income, representing total personal
income less personal taxes and nontax payments, reached a new peak during 1947 of $175,300,000,000,
an increase of about $17,000,000,000 or nearly 11 percent over the level of 1946. This increase
reflected chiefly the larger receipts from salaries and wages brought about by advancing salary and
wage rates and the increase in the number of persons gainfully employed. At the same time many
consumers made use of their accumulated liquid assets or of their credit resources to augment current
purchases. For instance, consumer credit outstanding increased by about $3,200,0 00,000 during 1947,
of which about $2,200,000,000 or nearly 70 percent represented a rise in instalment credit outstanding. This trend was partially offset by the disposition of other consumers to liquidate existing debts
or to increase their savings. The rate as well as the amount of net savings declined appreciably during
1947. The net increase in personal savings during the year, amounting to $10,900,000,000, was
$3,900,000,000 or 26 percent smaller than in 1946. In relation to total personal income, the rate
of savings was at 5.5 percent as compared with 8.4 percent in 1946.
A major factor bearing directly upon the dollar value of production and of sales, as well as
upon the distribution of demand among the several lines of trade, was the steady and substantial
rise in prices. The sharp upward movement in prices which developed after the middle of 1946 persisted throughout 1947. The wholesale price index compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics averaged 152 percent of the 1926 average as compared with 121 percent in 1946, an increase of about
26 percent. The index of consumers' prices, or the cost of living, rose to 159 percent of the 1935-39
average from 139 percent in 1946, an increase of 14 percent. Contributing to the price advances
was the persistence of sellers' markets for a large percentage of the Nation's products, which permitted rising costs to be passed on in higher selling prices. In other lines where supplies were overtaking or exceeding demand, curtailment of production had the effect of exerting an upward
pressure upon retail prices. Moreover, the large foreign demand, which was strongest in the spring
and summer when domestic demand showed signs of tapering off, exerted some influence on the
price structure.
Reflecting the effects of .price advances as well as the increases in real output, the · dollar value
of all goods and services produced in the United States during 1947 aggregated $230,000,000,000,
an increase of $26,000,000,000 or 13 percent more than in 1946. While a substantial share of the total
represented production of capital goods and net exports to foreign countries, personal consumption
expenditures of $164,400,000,000 were about 14 percent higher than in the preceding year. Of this
total, 12 percent represented expenditures for durable goods, 60 percent for nondurable goods, and
28 percent for all types of services. As compared with 1946, expenditures for durable goods increased
by 33 percent, those for nondurable goods rose by 14 percent, and those for services increased by
only 9 percent. Sales at all retail stores in the United States aggregated $117,700,000 ,000, representing an increase of $17,000,000,000 or 17 percent over the total for 1946. It wiJI be noted that
the increase in the dollar value of retail sales was approximately the same as that in disposable

f

f

~

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

73

personal income, but the percentage gain was somewhat larger. While inventories of retail stores
at the end of 1947 were 15 percent higher than a year earlier, the rate of increase was smaller
than that of sales.
In viewing the high levels of production and income and their effects upon retail distributors,
it should be emphasized that conditions were not uniform in the various segments of industry or
in the several lines of production. In some of the basic industries and in many lines of durable goods,
capacity production was inadequate to meet the strong demand for their products, shortages of
equipment or its delayed delivery had retarding effects upon production of other goods, and the
inability of consumers to obtain certain goods exerted an influence upon the distribution of consumer
expenditures because of the willingness of some consumers to divert their funds to the purchase of
other merchandise. Throughout the year the inadequate supply of steel had a limiting effect upon
industrial plant expansion and the production of such important goods as housing, automobiles, farm
implements, other equipment of various types, and many other lines of consumer durable goods.
Although consumer durable goods generally were available in much greater quantities than in other
recent years, the volume of sales doubtless would have been considerably larger if more units of goods
had been available. On the other hand, production in many lines of nondurable goods during 1947
showed a tendency to catch up with or exceed the effective demand. This was particularly true of
some soft goods lines, such as piece goods, men's and women's clothing, and household goods. It is
significant, however, that in virtually all lines of activity the high level of production, combined
with the improvement in the relationship between demand and supply, enabled retail merchants
to develop a better balanced inventory position and to readjust inventories more nearly in line with
consumer preferences.
In the Eleventh Federal Reserve District the pattern of developments was similar generally to
that in the Nation, but there were certain variations which should be noted. This area is essentially
a producer of raw materials and of semi processed goods. While manufacturing activity is expanding,
output of such products still represents only a small percentage of the national total, and its contribution to the region's income is small in comparison with that of other lines of economic activity.
Hence, the income of the region and the business of the retailers are dominated by the production
and value of its agricultural and mineral products and the activities related to them. During 1947,
the production of some major crops showed exceptionally large increases, exceeding those for the
Nation by a wide margin; and since prices of some commodities rose sharply, the increase in farm
income was much more pronounced than that in production. While income from other crops was
affected adversely by reduced production, lower prices, or both, the farmers of the region had a
larger increase in income than those of the Nation as a whole. Receipts from the sale of livestock
and livestock products also increased by more than the national average. Production of crude petroleum, which contributes heavily to the income of the region, also increased sharply, and as this product
was sold at a steadily rising price the increase in income was even more pronounced. Without detailing
other developments which add to or detract from the favorable picture presented above, it may be
stated that, taken as a whole, the income of this District during 1947 increased by a greater percentage
than that for the Nation. It should be recognized, however, that the various sections of the District
did not share proportionately in this increase. Likewise, the retail distributors located in the various
sections of the District were affected favorably or adversely in relation to the geographical distribution
of the income of the respective areas in which they are located.
Descriptive Facts About Survey
The factors discussed in the foregoing summary constitute the background for an understanding
of developments which were reflected in the several lines of retail trade of the District in the annual
Retail Credit Survey for 1947 conducted during February and March of this year.
Important items covered in the survey were total sales, cash sales, credit sales (charge-account
and instalment), accounts receivable, inventories, and bad debt losses of the reporting firm. The
data on balance sheet items included in the surveys of other recent years were not obtained for 1947.
Reports for 1947; with comparative figures for 1946, were received from 379 firms operating 550
retail outlets. These stores, located in 74 cities and towns throughout the territory of the Eleventh
Federal Reserve District, reported aggregate net sales in 1947 of approximately $428,000,000.

74

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

Although the majority of the reports and the major portion of sales represented establishments operating in the principal cities of the District, it should be noted that the reporting stores are fairly
well distributed among the nine lines of trade and are believed to constitute a reasonably representative
sample of retail trade developments in widely separated geographical areas of the Southwest.
Activities of national chain store outlets are reported, for . the most part, in consolidated form
to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and are reflected only in its analysis of
developments at retail credit stores in the Nation as a whole. 'For that reason, the sample of firms
included in the survey for the Eleventh Federal Reserve District represents chiefly independent
stores and local outlets of chains operating in limited areas. Moreover, because the main purpose of
the survey was a study of developments relating to credit conditions in retail trade, firms selling
for cash only were excluded from the sample.
Analysis of Data
In the following analysis, attention is directed first to general developments with respect to sales,
inventories, receivables, and bad debt losses and then to the more specific and detailed developments
in each line of trade surveyed. These presentations are followed by comments upon the variations in the
collective experiences of stores located in some of the principal cities of the District. Finally, attention
is given to certain comparisons of large, medium, and small businesses. It is believed that the analysis
brings out some of the more apparent relationships and presents what are considered to be significant
conclusions derived from the data. However, readers of this summary, especially the operators of
retail stores, may be able to find much information and many other significant relationships in the
tables presented with the text. For that reason, it is hoped that those interested in retail store operations will study the data carefully, not only to find new facts and relationships of interest to themselves
but also to test the validity of the conclusions herein presented.

Total sales. After having increased sharply ' in 1946, due both to the increased flow of merchandise to consumers and the rapid rise in prices during the last half of the year, total sales of
reporting stores included in Table I registered a gain of only II percent in 1947 over the combined
sales of the same stores in 1946. This percentage gain was only about one- third as large as in the
preceding year and was very unevenly distributed among the several lines of trade. In each of the
reporting lines the percentage gain over the preceding year was smaller than that registered in 1946,
or a decrease in sales was reported. Moreover, the individual stores experiencing decreases in sales as
compared with the preceding year were more numerous in 1947 than in 1946, comprising nearly onefourth of all reporting stores. Automobile dealerships and household appliance stores again reported
large increases in sales, with all reporting stores except one showing sales gains during the year.
Furniture and hardware stores again experienced more than average sales gains, but the percentage
increases were much smaller than those in
T ABLE I
1946. Although the 1947 sales of auto tire
and accessory, department, and men's clothSALES AND STOCK
BY KIND OJ.' BUSINESS
ing stores were slightly in excess of those in
Eleventh Federal Reserve District
the preceding year, the number of stores
Number of store! showing
Percentage ell/loge
Number increaee Or decrease in
1947 over 1946
reporting decreased sales increased sharply.
of ~-total sales
Stocks atKind of business
Increase
Decrea.ae TotAl sales
of year·
Jewelry and women's apparel stores, which Automobile dealers.. .. . . .. 74
74
0
44
21
had the smallest percentage gains from 1945 to Auto tire and accessory
\)
stores . .. ... . . . . .....
40
37
77
5
1946, reported decreases in sales during 1947. Department. stores ....... .. 54
36
18
4
10
5tOl"(8

Furniture stores ...... . .. .

67

c Dd

47

20

13

11
From these comments it may be observed Hard ware stores . . . . . . . . . . 49
41
15
8
25
H ousehold appliance stores . 113
112
47
1
43
that sharpest percentage gains were registered
Jewelry stores ... . .. . .. .. . 32
21
11
- 10
1
in those lines of durable goods where the back- Men's clothing stores .. .. . . 43
25
18
1
13
-1
Women's apparel stores .. . . 41
11
30
7
log of demand was exceptionally large and the
rapidly increasing supply made it possible for
T ouu . .. ........... 550
426
124
11
11
'Dollar value at rct.ail.
consumers to acquire long-awaited and much
needed merchandise. In other lines, where consumers had previously made rapid progress in satisfying their most urgent demands, consumers
generaJIy not only showed a disposition to restrict the volume of their purchases but also showed
greater resistance to price advances and evidenced more concern over the quality of merchandise

f

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

·5
7

purchased. The resurgence of this price and quality consciousness, combined with increased and
better distributed supplies of merchandise, accelerated the return of the more highly competitive
conditions among retail stores that were characteristic of prewar trade. Promotional and clearance
sales were more frequent, and efforts to draw customers' attention to price or quality aspects of
merchandise were intensified. It should also be observed that in some lines of trade the increases in
sales were so small as to suggest that the gains resulted entirely from higher prices and that the unit
volume of sales declined.
TABLE II
Cash Sales. In contrast with developments
in 1946 when general and substantial increases SALES BY TYPE OF BUSINESS TRANSACTION AND ENDOF-YEAR RECEIVABLES BY KIND OF BUSINESS
occurred in cash sales, only three of the nine
lines of trade reported further increases in
Eleventh Federal Reserve District
1947. These increases occurred only in those
rercentage change 19.7 over 1946
lines of durable goods where the consumer
_ - - &olea
Receivables-cnd-of-year Charge
Total
Charge Instalment
purchases of long-awaited or much needed
Cash
actounts T
nstalment accounts accounts accounts
Kind of bU8ine55
21
88
19
18
28
merchandise were facilitated by the ability Automobile dealers .... 53
and accessory
and willingness to pay cash. A perusal of Auto tire......... . ... - 12 - 13
103
70
-t
95
stores
31
23
99
11
61
Table III will indicate that in only one line, Depart ment stores. . . . - 8
47
25
45
7
19
automobile dealerships, did cash sales consti- Furniture stores. .. .. .. ... -15
34
51
36
78
23
Hardware stores.
.
5
tute a larger percentage of total sales in 1947 Household appliance
23
32
27
64
58
stores.. . . . .. ......
14
than in 1946. In other lines, the declines in the Jewelry stores ..... . .. - 21
15
19
17
9 - 13
32
31
38
32
11
ratio of cash sales to total sales were fairly Men's clothing stores .. - 10
·23
48
24
3
9
uniform, ranging from four percentage points Women's apparel. stores - 10
23
76
32
17
13
Total. . . . . . . .
t
in the case of hardware and women's apparel
tlndicales cbange of less Hum one-half of one IX'rcent.
stores to nine percentage points in the case of
auto tire and accessory firms. On the whole,
however, cash sales still represented a relatively large proportion of total sales and exceeded the preWar
ratios by a substantial margin.

Credit sales. The shifting of sales from a cash to a credit basis in most reporting lines represented
the extension of a trend that has been in progress since the close of the war or before. The increase in
credit sales during 1947, as well as the division of credit sales between charge and instalment sales,
probably was influenced in varying degrees by the several factors discussed below. Consumers have
shown a tendency to re-establish credit relationships broken or discontinued during the war period or
to establish such relations at other retail outlets. This trend has been encouraged by retail stores
generally, since they have endeavored to re-establish relations with former credit customers and to
extend their credit facilities to present or potential customers who are considered good or satisfactory
credit risks. The use of credit f acilities has become more widespread as an increasing number of con~
sumers have sought to satisfy as rapidly as possible the backlog of demand that accumulated during
the war period. This trend was facilitated by the removal of controls on charge accounts on December 1, 1946, and on instalment accounts on November 1, 1947. Moreover, as merchandise became
mere plentiful and as credit controls were dropped, there was a trend toward the competitive easing
of credit terms as a stimulant to sales volume. This means of stimulating business has been resorted
to as a partial offset to consumer resistance to rising prices. Finally, rising prices have been exerting
increasing pressure upon the budgets of many families, with the result that more and more of the
ready cash has been diverted to the purchase of food and related products and of other items usually
sold on a cash basis.
Charge-account sales during 1947 increased at stores in all reporting lines of trade except auto
tire and accessories, but the increases generally were relatively small in comparison with the large
gains reported in 1946. As might have been expected, the most pronounced increases occurred at
hardware and household appliance stores and at automobile dealerships, where the unusually large
gains in total sales were made possible by the use of both cash and credit resources. Examination of
the ratios in Table III reveals that in six of the nine reporting lines of trade charge-account sales
constituted a largel' percentage of to tal sales in 1947 than in 1946. In general, the high ratios predominated in those lines where instalment sales are relatively unimportant or represent only a small
percentage of total sales.

76

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

Instalment sales increased during 1947 in all reporting lines except jewelry, and in five lines the
gains were impressive, ranging from 61 percent to 95 percent. Moreover, those large increases occurred
mostly in the same lines that experienced the most impressive gains in 1946. Four of these lines, however,
represent stores engaged predominantly in the
distribution of durable goods. In the case of
TABLE III
department, hardware, men's clothing, and
PERCENTAGE OF CASH AND CREDIT SALES TO TOTAL
women's apparel stores, instalment sales conSALES- BY KIND OF BUSINESS
stituted a very small percent of the total, since
Eleventh l'ederal Reserve District
credit sales are handled mostly on a charge- - - - : P e rcentage of total salC8'-- Charge accts. _
Instalmentaccount basis. In other reporting lines except
Kind of business
1947
1946
1947
1946
1IH7
1948
furniture, instalment sales during 1947 still
Automobile dealers ........ . . 59
56
30
36
11
8
Auto tire and accessory stores . 51
60
21
25
28
15
were less than one-third of total sales. The
Department stores ...... . .. . 42
47
53
49
5
4
high ratio at furniture stores merely reflects
Furniture stores .. . . .. .. .. . . 20
26
14
14
66
60
Hardware stores . . .. ....... . 4 0 4 4 5 8 5 4
2
2
the fact that furniture is sold largely on an
Housebold appliance stores .. . 22
28
48
45
30
27
Jewelry stores . ............ . 41
47
37
31
22
22
instalment basis, and that characteristic perMen's clothing stores . . .. ... . 49
54
48
43
3
3
sisted throughout the war period when the
Women's apparel stores ..... . 48
52
48
44
4
4
Tota!. ........... . . . . 4 4 4 8 4 5 4 4 1 1
8
significance of instalment sales generally declined substantially.
_-Ca8h-~

Receivables. As a background for the following discussion of year-end receivables outstanding,
the presentation of a few facts regarding the trend and composition of consumer credit outstanding
in the United States may be helpful. From Table IV it will be noted that while total consumer credit
outstanding increased by only one-third during 1947, there were extremely wide variations in the
percentage gains among the several types of credit. Instalment credit, which constituted slightly less
than one-half of the total outstanding at the end of the year, rose by 55 percent during 1947 and
reached a level only slightly below the record amount outstanding in August 1941. The factor
contributing most significantly to the rise last year was the expansion of 82 percent in instalment
sale credit. Again, there were wide variations in the percentage gains in sale credit originating
among the several lines of trade, ranging from 44 percent for furniture to 112 percent for automobiles. Despite the large gain during 1947, total instalment sale credit was still about one-fourth
below the 1941 peak. Modifying to some extent the large gain in instalment sale credit in 1947
was the more moderate increase of 37 percent
TABLE':'IV
in outstanding instalment loans made by various lending institutions. The fact that these
ESTIMATED CONSUMER CREDIT OUTSTANDING
loans are now more than one-third higher than
(In millio", of dollars)
in 1941 is indicative of the extent to which
_ Amount outatanding cnd-of·ycar - Percent change:
194:7
1046
1947 over 1946
instalment loans displaced instalment sale InstalmentType or credit ... . . . $ 6,154
:$ 3,976
55
credit-total.
2,839
1,558
82
credit during the war period. In comparison Sale credit-tota!. .. . . ...... .
1,151
544
112
Automobile .. ....... . .. . .. .
with the large increase in instalment credit,
Depart ment and mail order
93
stores . . .. .. . .. .. .. . . .. .. .
650
337
charge-account credit increased by only 18
44
Furnit ure stores. . . . . . . . . . . .
528
366
percent in 1947, after having risen by 56 per86
Household appliance storcs. .
52
28
56
Jewelry stores . . .. . . . . . . . . . .
192
123
cent in 1946.
All other stores. . . . . . . . . . . . .
266
160
Instalment loans... . . . . . . . . . .
3,315
2,418
Single payment loans.... . . . . . .
2,697
2,262
Charge accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3,612
3,054
Service credit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
916
874
Total consumer credit. . . $13,379
1,10,166
SOURCE: Federal R eserve Bulletin, March 1948.

66
37
19
'18
5
32

Turning to an analysis of the experience of
reporting stores in this District with receivables during 1947, it may be stated that in
most lines of trade the rise in charge-account
receivables was at a greater rate than that in
charge-account sales, indicating a general slowing down in the rate of collections. Except for auto
tire and accessory stores, the increase in charge accounts in each line was equal to or greater than
that for all charge accounts in the United States. With respect to instalment accounts, the increases
in six of the nine lines were more pronounced than the respective increases in instalment sales,
probably reflecting a lengthening of pay-out periods. Instalment accounts at reporting stores showed
a much smaller expansion than instalment sale credit in the United States. Where comparisons are
possible, only department and furniture stores increased instalment accounts by a greater percentage

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

77

than the national average. The underlying reasons for the relatively smaller growth of instalment
accounts in this District may be found in several factors, such as the continued large percentage
of cash sales, the more extensive use of charge-account credit, and the resort to lending institutions
for the financing of a larger percentage of purchases that ordinarily would create instalment sale credit.
Inventories. In comparison with the very
TABLE V
large increases in 1946, inventories at the rePERCENTAGE CHANGES IN BAD DEBT LOSSES AND
porting stores in the several lines of trade
RATIOS OF BAD DEBT LOSSES TO CREDIT SALES
BY KIND OF BUSINESS
showed only moderate increases during 1947.
In fact, the increases in a majority of the lines
Eleventh Federal Reserve District
were so small as to suggest that they resulted
Percentage change in Ratios of bad debt losses
bad debt lo.i3e.s
to total credit ..lEo
entirely from a rise in prices. The major in1947 over 1946
Kind of business
Total
1947
1946
creases occurred in those durable goods lines
Automobile dealers ... . . .... .... .. .
37
0.25
0.24
where adequate supplies have been difficult to Auto tire and accessory stores ..... .
119
0.70
0.42
--3
0.35
0.41
. .. .
Department stores
obtain or where inventories were relatively low Furniture stores .... .. .. . ... .. .....•..
.. ......
29
0.34
0.33
69
0.87
0.66
at the end of 1946. In soft goods lines, mer- Hard ware stores . .. ...... .. . . ... . .
43
0 .29
0.34
Household appliance stores ........ .
chants generally have become more cautious Jewelry stores ........ . ..... ..... .
20
1.21
1.04
37
0.93
0.76
Men's clothing stores .. ...
..
with respect to building up inventories and Women's apparel stores..•... ......• ..
30
0.57
0.48
...
15
0.41
0.42
Total. ................ .
have directed more effort toward ridding their
shelves of the less desirable goods and obtaining a better balance of supplies in accordance with consumer preference.
Bad debt losses. The increase in bad debt losses during 1947 was not an unusual or unexpected
development in view of the substantial expansion in credit sales, the slowing down in the rate of col.
lections, and the easing of credit terms. On a percentage basis the increases were quite large and showed
a wide variation as between the several lines of trade. The only kind of business to report a decrease
in bad debt losses in 1947 as compared with 1946 was department stores. When bad debt losses in the
several lines of trade are related to the respective credit sales it will be observed that the experience
was very favorable. The data presented in Table V show that the smallest losses in relation to credit
sales occurred at automobile dealerships, where they amounted to only 25 cents out of each $100 of
credit sales. The largest losses, amounting to $1.21 out of each $100 of credit sales, were reported
by jewelry stores.
Analysis by Line of Trade

For readers engaged in or otherwise especially interested in a particular kind of business, there
are presented below brief summaries of significant developments during 1947 in each of the nine
lines of trade covered by the survey.
Automobile dealerships. Although 1947 production of automobiles virtually equaled the
record number turned out in 1941, supplies were much too small to satisfy the urgent demand.
Consequently, increased sales of cars, combined with the large parts and repair business, enabled
automobile dealers to increase greatly their aggregate volume of business. Total sales in 1947 exceeded
by 44 percent the very high level reached in 1946. In most divisions of the business, demand was
strong enough to enable dealers to require customers to make large down payments or, where desirable,
to make settlement in cash. Also, many customers were willing to pay cash in order to accelerate
deliveries. In consequence, cash sales in 1947 increased 53 percent over those in 1946 and constituted
59 percent of total sales as compared with 56 percent in 1946. The volume of charge-account sales
increased 21 percent, although they were only 30 percent of total sales in 1947 as against 36 percent
in 1946. Although instalment sales rose sharply for the second consecutive year, they constituted only
11 percent of total sales in 1947. Reflecting the good collection experience and probably the sale of
receivables, accounts receivable outstanding at the end of 1947 were only 19 percent larger than a
year ago even though total credit sales increased by a substantially larger percentage. Instalment

78

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

accounts at reporting stores in the District, which had been declining for several years, increased 28
percent during 1947. The size of this increase was small in relation both to the gain in instalment sales
of these firms and the rise of 112 percent in total automobile instalment credit outstanding in .the
United States. Inventories, which had more than doubled in 1946, showed a further increase of 21
percent in 1947. The rapid turnover, however, militated against the accumulation of merchandise.
Bad debt losses in 1947, while 37 percent larger than in 1946, represented only 25 cents for each
$100 of credit sales or about the same as in 1946.
Auto tire and accessory stores. The moderate increase during 1947 over 1946 of only 5 percent in total sales of auto tires and accessories is indicative of the fact that the most pressing demands
of consumers for these types of merchandise were satisfied relatively early in the postwar period. This
industry converted to peacetime production immediately after the end of the war and, with the.
increased productive facilities, was able to work off the backlog of demand and to build up adequate
inventories of tires and tubes in a relatively short time. The early return of competitive conditions
is suggested by the fact that steady prices in the earlier postwar period gave way to some price
reductions in 1947 and additional quality lines calculated to appeal to consumers at various income
levels were introduced. Collateral factors affecting the volume of sales were the tendency for new cars
to be equipped completely prior to delivery and the disposition of owners of old cars to hold new
equipment purchases to a minimum. During the year there was a sharp reversal in the trend of cash
and charge-account sales, which declined 12 percent and 13 percent, respectively, from 1946. Instalment sales, which normally represent an important element in this line of trade, increased 95 percent
in 1947 over 1946 and constituted 28 percent of total sales as compared with 15 percent in the
preceding year. Year-end instalment receivables, which had declined during the war period, rose by
132 percent in 1946 and again by 103 percent in 1947. Bad debt losses at reporting stores increased very
sharply, both in actual amo'unt' and in relation to credit sales, yet such losses in 1947 represented only
70 cents for each $100 of credit sales as compared with 42 cents in 1946.
The generally cautious inventory policies followed by dealers and the adequacy of supplies are
indicated by the fact that the 9 percent increase in year-end inventories was only moderately larger
than the percentage gain in the year's sales.
Department stores. The sales of department stores in the District, which had shown a substantial expansion throughout the war period, leveled off during 1947. Among the significant
developments during the year were the preponderance of declines in sales in those departments representing women's apparel and accessories and the very sharp increases in sales of several items of house
furnishings, which include the several kinds of household appliances. Sales of men's clothing increased
substantially, but those of other types of men's wear showed relatively small changes. During the
war and early postwar period, when durable goods were scarce, sales of women's apparel and accessories increased disproportionately to total sales, but during 1947 there was a trend toward the
correction of this distortion.
The decline of 8 percent in cash sales during 1947 was about counterbalanced by a rise in chargeaccount sales. Reflecting these trends, cash sales comprised only 42 per cent of total sales, while the proportion of charge-account sales rose to 53 percent. Instalment sales and year-end instalment receivables were both approximately double the small totals for the preceding year, but they still represented
a small proportion of the department store business. Department stores represented the only line of
trade to experience a decline in bad debt losses during 1947. Such losses were equivalent to 35 cents for
each $100 of credit sales in 1947, as against 41 cents in 1946.
Indicative of the cautious inventory policies among department stores of the District was the
maintenance of outstanding orders throughout most of 19 47 at a substantially lower level than in
1946. Although the value of inventories was high at the end of 1946, substantial reductions were ef-

4

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

79

fected during the first part of 1947 and were not increased significantly until the final quarter of the
year. At the year-end, stocks were 10 percent higher than at the close of 1946, but among individual
departments changes ranged from decreases of nearly one-third to increases of more than 200 percent.
These variations reflect in part the strenuous efforts to bring about a better balance between inventories of various types of goods and at the same time to maintain a firm control over total inventories.
Furniture stores. In many respects, the year 1947 was a period of adjustment in furniture
manufacturing and distribution. Demand continued at a high level, reflecting the furnishing of new
housing units, the heavy buying by veterans and others who were establishing or re-establishing homes,
and the widespread replacement of old furniture. At the same time, there was a noticeable shift in the
demand for the various types of furniture, with the emphasis upon better quality. Retailers generally
were confronted with the problem of reducing stocks of inferior quality merchandise and of increasing
supplies of better quality goods in the face of rising consumer resistance to high prices.
Total sales in 1947 showed a further increase of 13 percent over those in 1946. Reflecting the
diminishing importance of cash transactions in the furniture trade after a noticeable increase during
the war period, cash sales declined 15 percent in 1947, while increases of 7 percent and 19 percent,
respectively, occurred in charge-account and instalment-account sales. As a percentage of total sales,
cash sales declined to 20 percent in 1947 from 26 percent in 1946, charge-account sales remained unchanged at 14 percent, and instalment sales rose to 66 percent in 1947 from 60 percent in 1946. Although the percentage of business handled on an instalment basis in 1947 was larger in the furniture
trade than in any other of the nine reporting lines of trade, it is still well below the prewar ratio. As
compared with the preceding year, charge-account receivables at the end of 1947 were up 25 percent,
and outstanding instalment accounts were 47 percent larger, reflecting chiefly the easing of credit
terms. Bad debt losses increased 29 percent in 1947 over 1946, but such losses were held down to 34
cents per $100 of credit sales, or about the same as in 1946. Inventories increased 11 percent, or slightly
less than that in sales.
Hardware stores. A strong demand for items handled by hardware stores continued during
1947, with total sales of reporting stores exceeding those in the preceding year by 15 percent. AI·

though scarcities in supplies of many items, especially builders' hardware, persisted during much of
1947, supplies of most items were obtainable in much larger quantities than in the preceding year.
This fact made possible the building up of better balanced inventories and was responsible in part for
the increase of 25 percent in total inventories during the year. Hardware stores represented one of the
three reporting lines of trade in which cash sales continued to increase in 1947, but the size of the increase, 5 percent, was small. The proportion of total sales represented by cash sales, however, dropped
to 40 percent in 1947 from 44 percent in 1946. This decrease was counterbalanced by a rise in
charge-account sales, which constituted 58 percent of total sales in 1947 as against 54 percent in
1946. Instalment sales, which normally represent an insignificant portion of the hardware business,
constituted only 2 percent of total sales in each year. Total accounts receivable, represented chiefly
by charge accounts, increased 36 percent or a much larger percentage gain than that shown for credit
sales. The rise in credit sales was accompanied by an increase of 69 percent in bad debt losses. These
losses represented 87 cents per $100 of credit sales in 1947 as against only 66 cents in 1946.
Household appliance stores. The business of household appliance stores rose sharply in 1947,
the increase of 47 percent in total sales being the largest reported among the nine lines of trade included in the survey. This increase in sales was accompanied by a 43 percent expansion in inventories.
These gains, following much larger ones in 1946, reflect largely the unusual conditions of supply and
demand prevailing in this field. As early as 1946, radios and smaller household appliances were flowing
to consumers in very large volume, and by the end of that year output of the various types of major
appliances was nearing or exceeding the 1941 production rate. In 1947, output in each case was greatly

80

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

in excess of that in either 1946 or 1941. Hence, the retail stores wer~ favored by a large increase in
supplies and an eagerness for the goods. While cash sales increased 14 percent, the most impressive
gains were the 58 pe'rcent increase in charge-account sales and the 64 percent increase in instalment
sales. Although year-end receivables increased substantially, the gains were moderate in comparison
with the large increase in credit sales, indicating rapid customer liquidation of accounts and probably
the transfer of accounts to financing agencies. Although bad debt losses in 1947 were 43 percent larger
than in 1946, the much larger increase in credit sales accounted for the decline in losses per $100 of
credit sales to 29 cents from 34 cents in 1946.
Jewelry stores. Total sales of reporting jewelry stores declined 10 percent in 1947 after having
shown a smaller gain in 1946 than most other lines of trades. Since much of the merchandise handled
by jewelry stores is included in the luxury class by consumers, the return of long-awaited and much
needed durable goods to the market in large quantities has offered strong competition with jewelry for
the consumers' dollar. With an increasing number of consumers finding it difficut to meet the rising
cost of living out of current income, there has been a tendency to defer the purchase of unnecessary
or luxury goods. Cash sales declined 21 percent in 1947 as compared with 1946 and, conforming with
the trend in other recent years, showed a further decrease in relation to total sales. Nevertheless, cash
sales in 1947 represented 41 percent of total sales as compared with 37 percent for charge-account sales
and 22 percent for instalment-account sales. The slowing down of collections in the trade is indicated
by the increases during the year of 19 percent in charge-account receivables and of 15 percent in instalment-account receivables. The increase of 20 percent in bad debt losses was smaller than in most
other lines of trade, but these losses amounted to $1.21 per $100 of credit sales in 1947 and $1.04 in
1946. The dollar value of inventories at the end of 1947 was about the same as a year earlier.
Men's clothing stores. The increase of only one percent in the total sales of reporting men's
clothing stores in 1947 over 1946 was indicative of the rapidly diminishing backlog of demand. In the
latter part of 1945 and in 1946, the rapid discharge of men from the armed forces created a tremendous demand for clothing and furnishings, and the principal factor limiting the volume of sales at retail outlets was the inability of producers to turn out garments in sufficient quantity to satisfy the
urgent demand. In view of the shortages of cloth, manufacturers in turn were limited in the selection
of materials and patterns, with the result that output of various types of garments was influenced
strongly by the material available. Due to limited supplies and the urgency of demand, there was a
tendency for retailers to accept whatever merchandise was available for purchase. Toward the end
of 1946, however, the most urgent demand had been met, and by the end of the first quarter of 1947
it was evident that pipe lines generally had been filled. While demand continued strong throughout
the year, consumers generally showed increasing resistance to high prices and a growing reluctance to
purchase either the lower-priced, inferior quality garments or the higher-priced, fine quality garments.
Moreover, as supplies became more plentiful, consumers evidenced greater selectivity in the type and
quality of merchandise they would accept, and retailers, through the composition of orders, exerted
pressure upon manufacturers to supply goods more in line with consumer preferences.

The decrease of 10 percent in cash sales during 1947 as compared with 1946 probably reflected
the re-establishment by veterans of credit relations with retailers and a diminishing supply of cash
resources. In contrast with the trend in cash sales, charge-account sales increased 11 percent and
instalment sales rose 32 percent. It should be observed, however, that cash sales in 1947 still constituted
49 percent of total sales or about the same ratio as charge-account sales. Despite the large percentage
increase in instalment-account sales, the increase in dollar amount was so small that the ratio to total
sales did not change from the 3 percent reported for 1946. The more pronounced increase in receivables than in credit sales indicated slower payments on outstanding accounts. The bad debt losses in
1947 increased by 14 percent or slightly more than the rise in credit sales. Losses from bad debts
amounted to 93 cents for each $100 of credit sales in 1947 as compared with 76 cents in 1946. The

•

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

81

inventories of reporting stores, after increasing 123 percent during 1946 from the low base at the end
of 1945, rose only 13 percent further in 1947. The principal problem of retailers during the latter
year was to achieve a better balance in the composition of inventories in relation to the current and
prospective demand for various types and qualities of merchandise.
Women's apparel stores. The production of and demand for women's apparel, which had
risen sharply in recent years and reached abTABLE VI
normally high levels in 1946, turned downPERCENTAGE CHANGE IN SALES, END-OF-YEAR RECEIVward in 1947. This readjustment to a lower
ABLES, AND STOCKS-BY KIND AND LOCATION OF
level occurred despite the drastic change in
BUSINESS
style which outmoded wardrobes and caused
Eleventh Federal Reserve District
Number _Percenta~ech8nge 104-7 over 1946--much larger purchases by many consumers
or
Total
otal cnd-of-yenr
stores
sales
Kind of buainess by location
receiVAbles
Stock! ·
than otherwise would have been made. AccomAutomobile dealers:
panying the rapid style change were price in21
19
Eleventh District .... .. .... .. .. 74
44
10
Amarillo .. . .. . ...............
4
52
35
creases on the new-style garments, a shift in
68
Corpus Christi. ..............
37
23
3
Dallas .......................
49
6
8
t
the composition of demand, and reduced-price
32
El Paso ......................
41
29
3
clearance sales on old-style merchandise. One
21
63
JJubbock ........ ............ .
4
36
11
San Antonio ..................
5
5
35
prominent development was the drift away
27
37
Seguin . ........ ..............
32
3
1l
Wichita Falls ...... ...........
16
J5
3
from coats, suits, and certain type of dresses
Auto tire and accessory stores:
and a stronger demand for skirts and blouses.
9
5
70
Eleventh District ......... . .... 77
63
22
Houston . .... ................
3 - 17
At reporting stores in the District, aggregate
Department stores:
dollar sales in 1947 were one percent below
10
4
31
Elpventh District . ....... ..... . 54
Abilene .. ....................
20
-3
3
t
those in 1946, and when adjustment is made
32
-2
5
Corp'us Christi. ..............
3
1
Dal as ... . .... .. .............
18
- 7
6
for the higher prices, unit sales apparently
2
Fort Worth ...........•......
6
3
35
declined substantially. The decline of 10 per47
Houston .....................
16
68
5
11
31
San Antonio .................
6
t
cent in cash sales was approximately counter18
7
Waco .......................
3 -t
Fllrniture stores:
balanced by an expansion in charge-account
11
45
Eleventh District .... ..... .. ... 67
13
sales. As in the case of men's clothing, sales of
11
Austin . .... .......... ........
3
7
73
Dallas .... ......... .. . .......
50
-7
5
6
women's apparel were about evenly divided
23
Denison .. . . .................
8
3 -5
40
37
between cash and charge-account sales. Inllouston .. ................... 11
24
4J
-13
San Antonio .................
6
8
stalment sales continued relatively unimporTIardware stores:
25
Eleventh District .............. 49
15
36
tant, constituting only 4 percent of total sales.
wngvie\v ... . ............... .
105
86
3
30
Accounts receivable outstanding at the end of
2
43
San Antonio .................
3
7
Household appliance stores:
1947 were nearly one-fourth higher than a
27
43
Eleventh District . .. . . ... .. .... 113
47
year earlier, an increase much larger than the
31
Dallas ....... ................
52
3
30
J ewelry stores:
gain in credit sales. The amount of losses from
17
1
Eleventh District .............. 32 -10
45
-9
bad debts increased 30 percent from 1946 to
Monroe. La.. ... • ....... .. ...
3 -10
17
12
Dallss ... . . ... . ..............
4 -15
1947, but the total was so small that it repre18
Houston .... ... ..............
4 -4
-2
Men's clothing stores:
sented only 57 cents from each $100 of credit
Eleventh District .............. 43
1
32
13
sales in 1947 as compared with 48 cents in
20
70
Shreveport, La ................
4
8
31
Houston ............... .. ....
4 -10
30
1946. The readjustment in demand was also
Women's atrare1 stores:
reflected in inventories. After increasing by
Eleventh istrict . . ...... ...... 41 -1
24
7
4
Dallas ................... ....
-3
3 -8
98 percent in 1946, inventories showed an in- 1
27
25
Houston ....... ...... ...... ..
6
·Retail value.
crease of only 7 percent in 1947.
tlndicates change or less than one-half of one percent.
Comparative Data by Cities and by Kind of Business

For the benefit of those who are interested in comparing their experience with the combined
figures of reporting stores in the same city, there is presented Table VI summarizing data on sales,
inventories, and year-end receivables. In some instances the sample of reporting stores may be too small
to assure the reliableness of the figures, but they are presented to permit comparisons for as many
cities as possible. A study of the data would suggest that in only a few instances is the variance of

82

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

the local data from those of the District so
great as to rule out peculiarities of the local
situation as a possible cause of the variance.
Comparative Data by Size of Business
There are presented in Table VII data on
sales, inventories, and inventory turnover by
size of store and by line of business. It will be
observed that the large stores showed the
largest increase in sales, while the medium-size
stores reported the smallest. The small stores,
however, reported the largest percentage gain
in inventories as well as the lowest rate of
turnover. The medium-size stores reported the
highest turnover rate. Except in the case of
automobile dealers, the turnover rates in the
several lines of business during 1947 did not
vary significantly ·from the respective ratios
in 1946.

TABLE VII
TOTAL SALES AND INVENTORIES BY SIZE OF STORE AND
KIND OF BUSINESS
Eleventh Federal Reserve District

CIa.$3ificutioll

Perrentage change
Number _
U147 over 1G46 Inyentory turnover
of
Tot-'ll Yc.u-end stocks..-----a.t retail
1047
1946
storcs '
B<llcs

Size classification:

J.Jarge stores .. .. .... .. . ...... 200

Medium stores ........ ..... 115
Small stores ..... . .. . ...•.... 81
All sizes ............... . .... 48G
Kind of business:
Automobile dealers . . ....... .. 71
Auto tire and accesso ry stores. 67
Department stores. . . . . . . . . . . 48
49
Furniture stores . ...
Hard \vare stores, . , .......... 39
Household appliance stores ... . 109
26
Jewelry stores . ........ .
M en's clothing stores .... . . . .. 42
35
Wome~'s apparel stores .......

1G
2

8

11

13
8
17
11

47
4
4

21

17

25
43
1
13
7

IG

4(J

- 8

1

- t

9

10
11

1. 0
5. 0
4. 1

4.8
5.3
4.5

4. 9

4.9

(J.O

7.4
4 .0
5.0
3.3
4 .0
4.2
2.1
4 .6
6.6

3.9
4.8
3.1
3.8
4.4
2.0
4 .2
6.1

-Identical stores reporting both. 8l&lcs and invcut.oricll.
fludicates change of less tban olle·hal£ of OliO peroollt.

Some Observations About Trade Developments in 1947

In concluding the comments on the 1947 Retail Credit Survey, it may be appropriate to summar·
ize some of the developments and trends suggested by the data reported and by collateral information obtained from other sources:
1. The increase in the dollar volume of sales during 1947 reflected chiefly an increase in prices
~nd consumer purchases of larger quantities of durable goods. In soft goods and luxury merchandise,
It appears that the unit volume of sales showed a downward trend and in some instances counterbalanced the effect of rising prices upon the dollar value of sales. These trends appear likely to persist
throughout most of the current year.
2. The price and quality consciousness of consumers was intensified during 1947. Reports of
consumer resistance to high prices and of their unwillingness to accept merchandise of inferior quality
have become more numerous. While necessity has required some shifts from higher-priced to lowerpriced merchandise, consumers generally are looking for quality merchandise at prices they consider
reasonable or can afford to pay. These trends may become more pronounced if rising prices should
place more pressure upon current incomes.
3. It appears that an increasing number of consumers are running short of dollars. Increased
living costs appear to be absorbing a growing proportion of current income, leaving fewer dollars to
be used in purchasing other merchandise.
_
4. The number of products in which shortages persist are becoming fewer. In most items
supplies have caught up or are rapidly catching up with demand. This development has already
increased competition among retail outlets, and it is likely to be intensified in 1948. Retailers are
returning to reduced-price and promotional sales as a means of stimulating consumer buying. As
supplies of goods increase and competition is intensified, there is a tendency for prices to level off or
decrease. In fact, prices of some goods, even among the durable items, are softening.
5. Significant developments have been the noticeable increase in credit sales and an increase in the
ratio to total sales. Moreover, the volume of outstanding accounts has risen at a more rapid rate than
credit sales, indicating a slowing down in the rate of collections. At the same time there has been a
competitive easing of credit terms, a trend which may be accelerated in the event competition for sales
volume becomes more pronounced. Under these circumstances, bad debt losses may increase.
6. Consumer demands for lower prices and better quality merchandise, combined with increased
operating costs, may tend to compress the profit margins of retailers.
The foregoing developments suggest some of the forces operating in the retail fields of merchandising. The strength of the forces during the current year will vary among the several lines of
trade and among individual retail outlets. As the year advances, changing conditions may tend to
strengthen or to soften their effect. It is hoped that study of these trends may be of value to individual retailers in their attempts to solve their own operating problems.

83

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

Review of Business, Industrial, Agricultural, and rmcmcial Conditions
DISTRICT SUMMARY
fanners have made good progress with field work but weather
conditions have been generally unfavorable for seed germination and crop development. Both surface and subsoil moisture
supplies are still deficient over much of the western portion of
the District, and the high winds during recent weeks have
tended to sap topsoil moisture in other areas. Planting intentions of farmers in the District indicate that the total acreage
planted to crops other than cotton may closely approximate
plantings in 1947. The sharp incre,"e in the acreage of crops
intended for grain sorghums is about counterbalanced by decreases in rh e acreages of several other crops. Scattered reports
from various sections of the District suggest an increase in cotton acreage. With the improvement in range conditions, livestock are recovering from the effects of the severe winter but
their condition is below average for this season.
The daily average production of crude petroleum in the District during March, amounting to 2,639,000 barrels, declined
slightly from the peak flte established in February but was
311,000 barrels higher than in March 1947. Current production allowables in Texas indicate that April production may
reach a new peak. After reaching a postwar peak in February,
the rate of construction contract awards declined substantially
in March. Nevertheless, total value of awards for the first quarter of the year closely approximated that of the corresponding
period last year. Due to the rise in building costs, however, the
physical volume of construction represented by the awards declined somewhat.
The dollar sales of department stores in the District during
March were 33 percent larger than in February and 18 percent
higher than in March 1947. Even after adjustment for the
early date of Easter this year, the increase in sales over March
last year was about 1 percent as compared with a year-to-year
gain of 6 percent during the first two months of the year.
Federal Reserve notes of the bank continued to decrease during the past month bringing the net decline since the first of the
year to about $36,000,000, the hrgest decline of record for this
period. Commercial, industrial, and agricultural loans of weekly
reporting member banks declined further between March 10
and April 14. Due to the sharp increase during the first half of
April, deposits at these banks showed little net change during
the period.

°

BUSINESS
Despite the setback caused by the severe cold wave during
the second week of March, pre-Easter buying at department
stores was in large volume. During the two weeks immediately
preceding Easter, when favorable weather prevailed, sales rose
sharply and exceeded tho'e in the corresponding weeks of 1947
by a wide margin. In the weeks following Easter, widespread
clearance and promotion sales featuring reduced prices were
successful in maintaining business at a relatively high level. For
the full month of March, dollar sales were one-third higher than
in February and 18 percent aboye those in March last year. The
adjusted index of sales, which makes allowance for seasonal
factors and the varying d2te of Easter, rose in March to 384
percent of the 1935-39 ayerage from 368 percent in February
and 347 percent in March 1947.
Cash sales during March constituted 36 percent of total
sales, a slight increase from rhe previous month but a noticeabl e
decline from the 4 1 percent registered in March last yea r. Simultaneousl y with the increased use of cash in making purchases,
department store collections in March showed a tendency to

recover, at least temporarily, from the downward trend evident
in recent months. The ratio of collections on charge accounts
outstanding at the first cf March rose to 53 percent from 51
percent in February, regaining the level recorded in January.
Collections on instalment accounts outstanding at the beginning
of March amounted to 25 percent as compared to 19 percent iri
February and 22 percent in January. The increases in cash sales
and in collections probably reflected in part the higher pay rolls
as out-of-door workers returned to continuous employment
after long periods of unemployment during the severe weather
earlier in the year.
WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE STATISTICS
Number

Relall trade:
Department stores:
Total 11th Dist.... .

Corpus Chri8ti . . . . .
Dallas . . . . ... . . . . .
Fort Worth . . . " ...

Houston .. . , .. . . . . .
San Antonio , ... . . .
Shreveport, La .. .. .
Other citie.s . .. , . .. .
Retail furniture:
Total 11th Disi.. . ..
D.llaa. . ... ... . . . .
Hnuston... . .. . . . . .
Port Arthur . . . .. . .

San Antonio . . . ....
Wholesale trade:·

of
reporting
firms
48
4
7
4
7
5
3
18

38
3
3

:::;::::~~,P~~~nta~~~C~M~n~~~m~~~~::~
Net sales
Stock.! t
March 1948 from
Jan. 1 to
March February Mar. 81 , 1948
1947
1948
rrom 1947
18
33
\1
41
- 1
3
15
26
6
20
31
\1
32
40
23
10
28
11
31
45
19
15
37
6

Hardware. .. . . ....
ludustrial supplies ..
Drugs.... . ... ... ..
Dry Goods .. . .. ...

9
3

GrO<leries... .. . . ..

22

4
7

19
6
21
62
23

8
23
2
4

14
32
8
31

- 'i

5

a

4

11
6
- 2
48
19

9

1

-

March 1948 from
March February
194,7
1948
25
7
12
8
16
7
30
16
40
3
14
1

iii
-

7
5

3
4

-

20
34
8
11

3
6
1
5

12

-

3

Tobacoo &; product.6.
8
4
to
2
·Compiled by United States Bureau of CensUl!!. (Wholesale trade figures preliminary.)
tstocks at end of month,

INDEXES 0.' DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND STOCKS
Daily average salca-(l935-39=-lOO)

Unadjusted·
March February January
1948
1948
1948
324
316
District . .. .. 384
320
Dallas . . .. . . 363
295
Houston .... . 447
3b9
348

March
1947
3a7r
329r
351

Adjuated

March February January
1948
1948
1948
308
890
384
374
364
359
408
447
502

Stocks-(19311'l9-IOO)
Adjuated
Unadjusted·
March February January March M ....h February January
1948
1948
1948
1947
1948
1948
1948
424r
385
Di.strict .. .. . 399
377r
346
326
420
-Unadjustod for seasonal variation.
r-Rerued.

March
1947
347r
340r
395

March
1947
343

The dollar value of inventories at department stores rose 7
percent during March, and the total at the end of the month
exceeded that of a year earlier by about one-fourth. The marked
widening in the margin of gain over last year since the end of
1947 reflects in part the smaller than anticipated sales volume
during the first quarter of 1948. The slowing down in demand
and the increase in stocks earlier in the year generated caution
on the part of many department store executives, with the result
that forward buying became more selective and the volume of
new orders was reduced. In consequence of these developments
and the heavy deliveries during March, outstanding orders declined further and at the end of the month were one-fourth
lower than at the close of February and 5 percent less than a
year ago.
The dollar sales at reporting furniture stores in the District,
which had declined in February, rose 19 percent in March and
exceeded the total for March 1947 by 11 percent. Credit sales
increased by a greater percentage than total sales and constituted 86 percent of the total in March this year as compared
with 82 percent in March last year. Furniture sales since the

84

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

first of the year, while exceeding those of the corresponding
period last year, also have been generally disappointing. Reports
indicate that consumer resistance to high prices is becoming
more persistent and widespread, and this development has created
uncertainty over the fllture trend of business. Reflecting in
part the cautious attitude of furniture store managers, efforts
have been made to maintain a firm control over inventories.
At the end of March total inventories were 3 percent above
those at the end of February and 7 percent above those at the
close of March 1947. At the end of 1947, inventories were 10
percent higher than a year earlier.
AGRICULTURE

Weather conditions in late March and' early April were generally unfavorable for planting and development of crops. The
already short moisture supply was rapidly depleted by high, dry
winds, causing further delay in planting many field crops. While
near mid-April rains which fell ever Louisiana and much of the
castern half of Texas were beneficial to seeded crops in those
areas, most of the western and northwestern sections of the
District remained dry. Planting of new crops in the commercial
vegetable areas has made considerable advancement, although
growing crops have been affected adversely by winds and moisture shortages. Due to lack of ra, n, range feeds have been in
i
short supply, causing further deterioration in condition of livestock in the western areas of the District.
PLANTED ACRES-TEXAS AND FIVE STATES
(Thousands of aeres)

- - - - Texas

Average
Crop
1937-46
Com . ... ,. ,. , . . " ." ". ,
4.502

J947
2,973

Winter wheat... . ... . ....

4,882

7.087

Oalo .. , . , . " " " " . " " ,
Barl.y , . .. . .. "."" " "

J 823
'330
43'
343
7,12)

J .758
171

Indicated
1948
2,705

e,aso

Average
1937-46
7,905

10,688 1

Five

8t.atea~

1947
6,471
15,437'1

Indicated
1948
6,198
15,162 1

J 653
3 607
3.490
3422
'2001
'110]1
6J4'
'691'
Flax..... . .. . . . . . .. . . . . .
tH
172
824
118'
210'
Rice" ." "" . """" "
47{
483
894'
1,090'
1,093'
All sorghum., ,, ,,, " , " "
6,748
6,7 84
9,7 58
7,666
8,6P
Irieb potatoee,,, ... " . " ,
~
43
1 0 0 .g
46
J36
Sweet potatoes. . . ..... . . .
62
56
48
176·
150.
13341
Soybeans alone".. ..... . . .
24
6
.5
15~
13641
1304
1 • . . •. . . .. .
8
Cowpeas alone
480
186
167
707
286'
269'
Pe&nute alone'. . . ... . . . ..
635
{)41
800
834 A
1,316'
1,1381
AU hay'........ .. .. .. ...
1,430
1,681
1,.547
3.447
4,056
3,795
IArUona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklaboma, and TeD!. 'Arizona, New Mexico, Okla.
home, and Texas. sSbon..time average. 'TelW t ArUcma, and Oklahoma. lI.cuisiana. and
Te:as. 'Texas, Louisiana. and Oklahoma. 'Grown alone (or all 1lllJ'DOSe$ j partly dupHcated
in hay acreage. 'Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. lAcreaga barvested.
SOURCE: Urutcd States Departm,nt of Agriewt"""

The 1948 wheat crop in Texas was forecast by the United
States Department of Agriculture on April 1 at 48,860,000
bushels. This estimate is 61 percent below the record crop of
124,270,000 bushels produced laSt year and compares with a
crop of 62,916,000 bushels in 1946 and the 10-year (1937-46)
average of 45,686,000 bushels. Although the seeded acreage,
estimated last December at 6,980,000 acres, is the second largest
of record, the April 1 prospects indicated a low yield of only
7 bushels per acre in 1948, compared with 16.4 bushels per
acre last year. \X'helt has made good growth in the northern
counties of the Texas Par.handle, but the rapid growth. high
temperatures, and winds exhausted surface moisture supplies,
and rains are badly needed to maintain progress. Wheat is standing up fairly well in other areas except in southern counties of
the High and Low Rolling Plains and Edwards Plateau, where
the effects of the drought are becoming more serious.
A considerable acreage of the Texas oat crop which was
killed by the March freeze has been plowed up, and although
mid-April rains were beneficial to the remaining oat crop in
the eastern part of t he District, additional moisture was needed
to mature the crop ir, parts of central and southern Texas. Corn
has made generally good grow th, although some acreage in
scattered areas of Texas was in need of rain. Cotton in Texas,

which was up to a good stand as far north as southcentral counties at mid-April, was also in need of additional moisture for
continued growth. A record acreage of cotton has been planted
in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, where production prospects
were improved by rains near the middle of April. Planting of
sorghums in west Texas was delayed while many farmers waited
for rain before seeding. Flax has made good growth in the Coastal Bend areas but is suffering from a lack of moisture in other
sections. Peanut planting was delayed by dry conditions prior
to the mid-April showers, which were beneficial to peanut
planters in many eastern localities. The seeding of rice in Texas
was in full swing early in April, with much of it being dry
planted.
Weather conditions generally were favorable in the commercial fruit and vegetable areas during the last part of March
and early April, except for strong winds. Field work was active
as growers replanted acrelges of such crops as snap beans, cantaloupes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons killed by the
early March freeze. High, dry winds delayed completion of
tomato transplanting in east Tex.s and caused further damage
to growing plants. The south Texas onion crop has made rapid
growth, favored by warm weather, and harvest was expected
to become active around mid-April. A fair-sized acreage of
onions has been planted in north Texas, despite adverse weather
and soil moisture conditions. Planting of watermelons and
cantaloupes in the midseason and late areas has been favored
by good moisture conditions, but it has been too dry for extensive replanting in the early areas. Harvest of spring potatoes
began in early April, and shipments began in volume about the
middle of the month. Although freeze damage to fruit crops
in northern counties of Texas appears to have been less than
expected, severe losses occurred in other areas, and current prospects are for a greatly r~duced production this year.
The development of n~w range feed was retarded in many
areas by the cold wave in early March, when tender growths of
clovers, rescue grass, and early weeds were frozen. In south, western, Edwards Plateau, Trans-Pecos, and South Plains counties of Texas and in southern N ew Mexico and Arizona the
growth of new range feed has been delayed by the continued
dry weather. Prospects for early improvement were dimmed by
high winds in March and April, which rapidly dissipated surface moisture. The condition of cattle ranges in Texas on April
1, although better than a month earlier, was still 6 percent below
average for this season. Sheep ranges were in a slightly less favorable condition than a month before and were 22 percent below
average.
Cattle generally were in below average condition on April 1,
reflecting shortages of range feeds and unfavorable weather conditions in many sections during the preceding month. The early
March storms caused heavy shrinkage to all cattle and heavy
death losses among newborn calves. Cattle in the eastern part
of the District are recovering rapidly on the generally plentiful
supply of feed, but in the dry wes tern areas they remain thin
and weak. Because of the extremely dry conditions, it is expected
that the spring movement of cattle to the Kansas and Oklahoma
grazing areas may exceed earlier intentions. The condition of
cattle in Texas on April 1 was unchanged from a month earlier
and 6 percent below average.
Sheep came through the winter in below average condition,
and the continued scarcity of green feed caused a further decline
in condition during March and April. Losses of newborn lambs
during the cold wave were heavy, and the development of early
lambs has been slow because of the low milk flow f rom ewes.
The condition of sheep in T exas on April 1 was dow n slightly
from a month earlier and 13 percent below average for this
season. Sheep shearing was making good progress in the prin-

86

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
cipal sheep raising areas of the District at mid-:\ pri!. The condition of goats in Texas on April 1 was reported to be 10 percent below average.
Combined receipts of livestock at the Fort Worth and San
Antonio markets during March were up 42 percent from February but 13 percent below March 1947. The greatest percentage increases over February came in receipts of sheep and lambs,
which almost doubled, although significant increases occurred
also in receipts of other classes of livestock. Receipts of cattle
and calves in March were considerably smaller than during the
same month last year; receipts of hogs and sheep were slightly
larger.
.
LIVESTOOK REOEIPT8--(Number)
---ForLWorth.---_ _ _ San Antonio - -_
March
Match February March
March February
1948
1947
1948
1948
1947
1948
Cattle ........ .. ........ . 34.3M
60,931
27,46,\
21,191
28,973
20,394
Calvea .•. ... . .. . . ... .•..
9,~
21,200
11,147
14,281
18,477
10,692
Rogs . . .. . .... . . . . ... . . . . 68,239
56,136
46,436
8,512
6,300
6,435
Sheep ...••.•...
75,524
88,932
32,754
37,266
12,851
25,269

COMPARATIVE TOP LlVESTOOK PRICES

(Dolla,. per hundredweighl)
~FortWorth,---_--

March
1948
$29.00

Heifers and yearlinp ..... .

Butcher cows ... , .. .. ... .
CalvelI .•.....•. .... • . •••

n..... ......... ...... . ..
Lombo .•.•••..••.•••••••

February
1948
$28.00

March
1948
$28.75

23.00
29.00
26.50
23.50

Beef steers . . .... .
Stocker steers ... , ..•... ,.

Murch
1947
$26.50
16.00
22.00
D.50

22.00
D.OO
26.50
25.00

28 .00
23.25
22.00

~.~~

~ .gg

~.OO

:~gg

.23.00
28.;5

San Anlonio - - March
1947
$22 .25

February
1948
$28.60

'23.00

'28.60

16 .00
22.00
26.60

22.00
27.00
27.00

~.50

~.60

Prices received by farmers in Texas for most products during
the month ending March 15 made substantial gains, recovering
from the low levels reached in February. Commodities showing
the greatest price increases were feed grains, cotton, cattle,
poultry, hay, and oranges. Prices received for potatoes, sheep,
and wool remained unchanged, while prices of rice, cottonseed,
lambs, dairy products, and grapefruit declined. The index of
prices recei ved by farmers in the United States rose on March
15 to 283 percent of the 1910-14 average, after having dropped
from the all-time recorded high of 307 in January to 279 in
February. The index of prices paid by farmers, which declined
from the record high of 251 in January to 248 in February,
showed a further decline and stood at 247 on March 15,
F~ H FARM INOOME

(,<1
-<7 ' ... 1
J
~ I

oUS3ods of dollal'8)

Total receipt&
Receipts from- February February
Jan. 1 to Feb. 29
livcstocl:'
19!8
1947
1948
1947
ALoriu'.~r..ana·•.• • • • • . • • • • • • •• $ 7,738 S 4,001 $ 12,699 $ 12,539 • 33,786 • 27,371
• •••
_
14,457
4.764
19,221
11 ,300
46,221
34,611
New Mexioo. .. . . . . . . . . ..
5,009
3,655
8,664
6,888
20,000
16,811
Oklaboma.. . . . . . . . . . ....
19,083
18.260
37,343
35,148
89,881
76,161
Texas..... . . . . . . . . .. . . . .
74,345
41,428
115,773
81,082
286,707
182,774
- - February 1948

-

Cro[ll

Total. ........ $120,632 $ 73,068 $193,700 $146.963 $476,696
-Incllldel!l reeeipta (rom the sale of livestock and Bveatock produots.
SOURCE: United States Department of Agricliiture.

$336,628

Reports from conuuodity markets indicate that from March
15 to mid-April, prices received for most farm commodities
remained relatively stable. Cotton increased about 3 y, cents
per pound and wheat made a .Iight advance, but prices of other
grains made no significant changes. Prices received for spring
lambs and hogs moved up moderately, while prices of other meat
animals remained relatively unchanged.
Prospective Plantings for 1948

The Nation's farmers will plant a slightly larger total acreage
of principal crops in 1948 than in any of the past three seasons,

according to the United States Department of Agriculture. It
is expected that the totd acreage of all crops, including cotton
and certain others not yet surveyed, may exceed 361,000,?00
acres, compared with 357,839,000 acres in 1947 and a wartune
peak of 365,168,000 acres reached in 1944. The indicated acreages of peanuts, wheat, oats, barley, rice, and flax exceed the
1948 goals for these creps, while acreages of other crops fall
slightly below the goals. In the five states lying wholly or partly
within the Eleventh Federal Reserve District, farmers indicated
their intentions to plant a slightly larger total acreage to crops
other than cotton in 1948 than in 1947. The acreages of barley,
soybeans, sorghums, flax, rice, rye, beans, and spring wheat will
be larger than last year, while plantings of other crops are expected to be smaller than for the previous season.
Plans of Texas farmers for 1948 indicate an increase in grain
sorghum acreage, which will be offset by declines in acreages of
corn, oats, and wheat. The total acreage planted to other crops,
excluding cotton, will be about the same as last year. The combined acreage devoted to production of all major crops except
cotton is expected to total slightly less than 22,000,000 acres,
or about the same as in 1947. In Louisiana, the acreage of soybeans is expected to be larger than last year's; the same acreage
of cow peas and sorghums and smaller acreages of feed grains,
hay, peanuts, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are in prospect. The
indicated total acreage of these crops in Louisiana, amounting to
about 2,300,000 acres, is about 110,000 acres below the acreage
planted in 1947. Oklahoma farmers expect to increase plantings
of oats, cowpeas, and winter wheat; to plant about the same
acreage of sorghums and sweet potatoes; and to reduce the acreage of feed grains, hay, peanuts, soybeans, flax, and potatoes.
Total indicated plantings of about 13,950,000 acres of these
crops are about 3 percent larger than last year.
Estimates of intended cotton acreage are not available, but
reports from various sources ' indicate a probable increase of
plantings in Texas this year over 1947. Permits for cotton acrcage in the Lower Rio Grande Valley have becn issued for about
173,000 more acrcs than in 1947. Reports indicate an expansion
in acreage in other areas of south, cast, and central Texas and
possibly in northwest T~xas if moisture conditions permit.
FINANCE
Following a substantial increase in deposits during the year
1947, gross demand deposits of member banks in the Eleventh
Federal Reserve District declined during the first quarter of
1948 by approximately $2115,000,000, This shrinkage in deposits, which was characteristic of the trend for reserve city
banks and country bank. of the District, represented a decline
of approximately 5 percent. Loss of deposits, however, was most
marked among the resen'e city banks of the District, both in
aggregate amount and percentagewise, as figures reveal a shrinkage from a daily average during December 1947 of $2, 517.000,000 to a daily average during March 1948 of $2,358,00 0,000,
GROSS DEMAND AND TIME DEPOSITS OF MEMBER BANKS
(A'Icrago of daily ligures in thollsands of dollars)
Combined total

Gross
dcmand
1946 .. . . . . . .. 15,101,702
March
1947 ... . .. . .. . 4,n54,4 52
March
November 1947 .. . .. _. . _. S,2~ ,063
December 1947 .... . • . . . . 5,284,150
January 1948 ....
. 5.319,138
February 19<8 ... .. ..... 5.088, 150
11)48 .......... n,OlO,4fl4
l.fnrch

Reserve city ba.nka

Grose

Country banks

Groos

demand
Time
demand
Time
Timo
$4115.561 12,592.431 $296,725 $2,509,271 $168,839
517,295 2,225,418 326,693 2,429,034 190,6()2
543.085 2,524,890 337,324 2,761,173 206,36 1
619,698 2,516,849 342,638 2,767,301 207,060
557,571 2,527,706 349,429 2,791,432 208,142
564.973 2,392,425 355,853 2,695.725 209,120
569,800 2,351,864 357,6()5 2,66 1,600 212,195

In contrast with this decline of approximately $159,000,000,
country banks reported a decline of about $106,000,000. Dur-

86

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

ing the same period, however, time deposits increased by approxirnately $15.,000,000 at the reserve city banks of the District and
$5,000,000 at country banks.

Port Arthur, although numerous other cities reported increases
ranging from 15 to more than 20 percent.

Figures of the weekly reporting member banks of the District,
including selected member banks in leading cities, reflect a
similar trend for the first quarter of this year. Since the end
of March, however, when the weekly reporting member banks
showed total demand deposits of $2,514,000,000, the trend has
been upward, with figures for April 14 showing an increase
during the first two weeks of April amounting to about $116,000,000. During the two-week period from April 1 through '
April 14, demand deposits of individuals, partnerships, and corporations accounted for approximately $72,000,000 of the increase, while interbank deposits also increased substantially.

BANK DEBITS, END.OF-MONTH DEPOSITS, AND ANNUAL RATE OF TURNOVER
OF DEPOSITS

Changes in principal assets of the weekly reporting member
banks in the District during the five-week period since March
17 show a slight decline of approximately $8,000,000 in total
loans and discounts and an approximately equivalent decline in
total investments. The decline in loans and discounts during the
period was accounted for entirely by a steady shrinkage in com,..
mercial, industrial, and agricultural loans, which were reported
on April 14 to total $697,540,000 as compared with $713,877,000 on March 17. Moderate increases in real-estate loans,
loans for handling securiti~~, and the category "all other" loans
offset in part the more substantial decline in commercial, industrial, and agricultural loans. Principal changes in the investment
portfolios of these banks included an increase of about $3,500,000 in holdings of short-term Government securities and a decrease of about $12,500,000 in holdings of United States Government bonds. These most recent trends with respect to loans
and investments of the weekly reporting member banks show
little variation from the trends which have been in evidence
since early in the year.
CONDITION STATISTICS OF WEEKLY REPORTING MEMBER BANKS
IN LEADING CITIES-Eleventh Foderal Reserve District

(Thousands of doIIan)

Ap,il

a,

1948
Total loans and inyestments ... ... . . ............ . . 12,173,195
Total loans . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . • . • • • . • . • • • . •• • . • • • 1,010,607
Commercial, industrial, and agricultural loam. •••
6Q7,MO
Loans to brokers IIond dealers in securities . ...... .
6,207
Other loans for purchasing or carrying secnritiel!l. .
55,921
Rea~e.state

loans........... ... ............. . .

BO,7~8

Loans to banks.. ..... . . . . .. .. ................
376
All other loans. . ........... .. ..... . ..........
169,715
Total investments . .... . . ..... . . . .. ............ . 1,162,688
U. S. Treasury bills.............. . ............
11,311
U. S. Treasury certificates ofindebtedneas.... .. .
163,011
U. S. Treasury notes..... . ...... . ............ .
113,007
U. S. Government bonds (iDOl ltd. obligations). • 778,822
Other securities.... . ... . ...... . .. . ... . .. .. . ..
116,537
Reserves with Federal Reserve Bank ... ..... . . . .....
.67,.88
Balances with domestic banks. .. .. .. . . . . . . .. .. •. . • .
300,4.08
Demand deposits- adjusted- .. •. . . . . • . . .. " . , .. . . • 1,841,953
Time depoSIts. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. ..... . • . .• . .• •. .• . . .
399,846
United States Go,'crnment deposita.... . .. . .........
38,62'
Interbank deposits .. ,... . ............. . ... . . .. . . ..
53! '85
•
Borrowings from Federal Reserve Bank. '" . . . . . . . . .
nlon

April 16,
1947
12,060,492
815,531
5~3,234

6,t37

71,709
68,074
962
125,-415
1,2(4,961
31,5<9
239,257
117,~1l2

763,428
93,235
452,738
290,345
1,712,271
372,382
51,524
5<5.349

None

Mareh 10,
1948
12,191,962
1,018,563
716,406
5,924
5l;.030
18,399
463
161,341
1,173,399
8,524
162,0.12
88,160
BOO,946
113,727
480,571
268.106
1,845,769
388,703
35,031
5<4,051

(DolL'\r figures in thousands)
City
Ariz. , ... ...
MonfOC, IA .. . ..... . .
Shrcvcrrt, 1.0 .. . •...
R08we , N. M .. . .....
Abilene .. .. ...
Amarillo . ... .
Austin . ..
TUC80Il,

Beaumont

Corpus Christi .
Corsicana . .....
Dall.... ...
EIPaso .. . .. , .
Fort Worth .. ...
Galveston . . .
Houston.
wredo.
Lubbock ...........
Port Arthur . .... ..
San Angelo ....
SlIon Antonio ...

Te:mrkanat .. .. . : .
Tyler .....
Waco ...
Wichit.a FaU; : : . .

Annual rate or turnover
- -Debits- - P ctg. change over End-o£-month
March Feb.
deposits·
MSl'<!h MK!ch Fcb.
March
1947
1948 M.... 31, 1948 1948
1947
1948
1948
9.1
8.2
'7.7
19
$ 65,758 21
1 86,5<6
41,134
9.0
8.~
33,540 20
18
9.8
12
10 .0
9.5
9.0
129,857 15
156,508
21
17,601
8.2
7 .6
14,107 18
9.5
33,134
14
40,800
9.7
8.8
U
23
14
12 .0
11 .8
10 .2
82,591
15
82,864
101,397
15.4
12 .6
12 .0
128,962 30
30
il4,946
12 .5
10 .3
10.6
100,850 41
16
13 . 1
11.4
10.8
78,764 23
72,OM
20
5 .0
10,151 15
21
10,620
6.1
5 .5
14 .0
14 .9
15
687,765
17 .2
981,488 30
12 . 1
IU
116,766
13 .2
128.283 18
0
11.9
11 .6
13
13 .3
2114,983 11
266.312
8 .0
Ill,211
8.5
73.361 21
6
9.5
12 .5
13 .0
18
826,349
15 .4
1,053.598 39
10 . 2
7.3
- 1
28
21,700
0.5
17.136
10 . 2
10 .6
67,131 41
10
69,733
11.8
U
• .8
24
39,560
11.9
39,615 38
8.9
7 .9
10
30.522 32
37.487
0 .8
8.0
311,296
9 .4
8 .5
243,889 10
15
7.8
6. 8
22,740
7.3
13,836 - 3
7
8.2
9. 1
18
50,008
0.7
4O,71H 24
• .0
51,345 12
61,952
7
0.8
' .0
7.0
76,321
7.8
51,245 20
15
8.0

Total- 24 cities. . ... $3,764,940

27

16

$3.392.776

13.3

1U

11 . 4

-Demand a.nd time deposita at the end of the month include e.!rtified and officerd' chew
ou~tanding but Cl.clude deposits to the credit of banks.
!This fi~ure includes only one bank in Texarkana, Texas. Total dcbite for aU bank!, in
Texarkana, Texas---Arkansas, including two banks located in the Eighth District, amo\Jnted to
124.496.

The condition statement of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Dallas for the month ending April 15 shows a further decline
in Federal Reserve notes in actual circulation amounting to
approximately $5,000,000. The return of currency from banks
since the first of the year has resulted in a decrease in the
amount of Federal reserve notes of this bank in actual circulation from $624,739,000 to $589,143,000 on April 15. During
the month ending April 15, member hank reserve deposits with
this Federal Reserve Bank declined by about $42,000,000. On
the other hand, toul earning assets of the bank amounted to
$936,066,000, an increase of approximately $12,500,000, represented almost entirely by an increase in holdings of Governmen t securities.
CONDITION OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS
(Thousands of dollars)

April 15,
1948
Total gold certificate reserves.
. ..•.• . •• •• •• . . . . .
Discounts for member banks . .. ..
Foreign loans on gold . . . . . .. .. .. . .. .. .. . . . . . . . .
U. S. Government. securities. . .............. . . .
Tot-'ll earning assets . . . . . . . .. .. .. .. .. . . . . . . . . .
Member bank reservc deposits .. . . . ....... . , . ..
Federal Reserve notes in actual circuln.t.ion ... . . ,

$525,097
649
0.202
930.310
936.066

197,919
589,143

April 15,
1947
1474,600
1110
389
905.499
905.988
759.435
573,465

March 15,
1948
1528.870
297
4.794
918.536
923.626
840.606
094,307

None

-Includcs all demand deposits other than Interbank and United States GOYernment, lesa
eaah items reported as on band or in protel!l of collection.

MEMBER BANK RESERVES AND RELATED FACTORS
Eleventh Federal Reserve Distrid

Bank debits in 24 cities throughout the District showed an
increase during March of about 16 percent over the total of the
preceding month, while the turnover of deposits during March
was at an annual rate of 13.3 in contrast with the rate of 11.4
during the preceding month and during March 1947. Banks in
all of the reporting cities showed increases in both debits and
rate of turnover of deposits. The increase in debit figures and in
the rate of turnover reflects at least in part the seasonal expansion in business activity resulting from Easter trade and the
opening of the spring season. Reporting cities in the District
showing the largest percentage increase in bank debits during
March over the preceding month include Austin, Laredo, and

(Millions of dollars)
Changes in weeks ended

Cumulativc changes

5 weeks
ended
Jail. 1 to
Apr. 14 , Apr. 7, Ma r.ll, Mar.24, Mar.17, Apr. H, Apr. 14.
1948
1948
Federal Reserve ereditJl'J48
1948
1948
1948
1948
locaL .... . .. .. .. ...... - 2.0
1. 9 -3.4 -2.6
9.5
3.4
-8 .7
Interdistriet commercial &:
finan cialtransactions .. .. 0 . 5 - 17 . 9
18 .4
1. 9 -7 .2
- ' .3
195
Treasury operatioos, . . . ..
6.8
23.4 - 22 .5 - 36.4 ---0 . ~
- 29 . 1 - 11 i .3
Currency transaetiolls .....
1.0 - 1. 3
0 .9
3. 8
4 .7
9. 1
43 .9
Other deposits at the
Feder31 Reserve Bank .. ,
0. 1
- 0.2
o 1 0 .9
0 .9
o6
Other Federal Reserve
accounts ... , ... . . .. , . .
0. 1 - 0. 2
0.1
0 .2
1.6
Member b3nk reserve
b&lances .. .. .... ... .. ..
6. 4
6 .1 -6. 7 - 33. 4
7.4
- 20 .2
60.4
Note: Amouuts preecded by a minu8 sign reduce reserves; aU others add to reserve!.

87

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
SAV ING S DEPOSITS
Reporting Banks-Eleventh Federal Reservo District.
Mareh 31, 1948

Number

City

reporting

Num~o{

saVLOgs

oonka

Dooumont •....•...•• ... ,
Dal1.~ ......... . . •.•. , ..
EI Paso, ....... .... .. ..•
Fort Worth ..............

depoait.ora

3
8
2

11,991
139,917
35,231

4
8
2
2
5
3
3
3

,

Waco . . ..... ... •.•• . ••. .
Wichita Falls ....... .....
All other ••...•.••••.•.•.

55

43,000
23,012
105,693
1,395
6,441
39,921
32,972
10,153
6,973
63,792

ToLal. •••• .•••

102

520,581

Galveston ........•.•.•.•

~b~k".·:::::::::: :::::

Port Arthur ..........• , .
San Antouio .............
Shreveport, La ••• . . .•.•.•

Percen~e

change in
epomt! from

savings
Amol;lllt of
savmga

deposita

I 6,323,689
78,968,626
23,623,884
35,079,690
21,486,248
72,049,290
1,757,709
4,946,283
47,609,908
20,704,382
9,657,633
4,653,868
04,796,904
1386,647,104

Mareh 31, February 29,
1947
-14. 1
2.6
- 1.2
1.3
2.6
1.8
- 9.8
- 7.1
2.8
- 2.3
- 0 .2
2.2

1.1

-

-

1048
1.5
0.9
0.4
1.0
0.4
0.3
16.3
0.6
0 .1
0 .6
0 .9
0.7
0.3

-

0.3

-

1.7

awards was maintained at about the same level by considerably
larger awards for public works, including dams, tunnels, channel dredging, a)ld road building projects, Public projects of this
character, however, usually employ fewer b~lilding craftsmen
and utilize less building 1l'_1terials than commercial and industrial buildings of comparable value, Moreover, public projects
generally are initiated less promptly and completed less rapidly,
Representative contractors state that the backlog of construction commitments will maintain construction activity in this
District at or near peak levels for several months, State employment services in the Southwes t report that in almost all major
labor market areas construction employment has increased rapidly following the sharp curtailment during severe weather in
January and February, and that contractors anticipate adding
to their labor forces through Mayor June.
BUILDlNGlPERMITS

NEW PAR BANKS

March 1948

The Fannen & Merchants State BanA, Burleso-n, Texas,
an insured nO'II member bank IO'cated in the territO'ry served
by the H ead Office O'f the Federal Reserve Bank O'f Dallas,
was added to' tbe Federal R eserve Par List on April 6, 1948.
Tbis bank has capital O'f $25,000, surplus of $20,000, and
undivided prO'fits O'f $12,805. Its O'fficers are: A. W, Haskew, President; W, A. Taylor, Vice Presideut; and G. E.
BransO'n, Sr" Cashier.
The First State Bank, Crane, Texas, a newly O'rganized
insured nonmember bank IO'cated in the territO'ry served
by the EI PasO' Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Dallas, was added to the Federal Reserve Par List on its
opening date, April 23, 1948. This bank has capital of
$> 6,000, surplus of $20,000, and ,.ndivided profits of
$15,000. Its officers are: G, H, Cowden, President; A. L.
E,'a"" Vice President; a11d A . L. Hood, Vice President
and Cashier,

INDUSTRY
The value of cO'nstruction contracts awarded in the Eleventh
Federal Reserve District declined to $ 5 0,400, 000 in March from
the peacetime high of $80,700,000 in the preceding month. During the first three months of this vear, the value of awards in
the District about equaled the totaf for the same period in 1947,
The physical volume of bl!ilding called for by new contracts
was smaller, however, with residential floor area commitments
about 12 percent smalier and nonresidential commitments only
about one-half as great,
VALUE OF CONSTRUCTION COllTRACTS AWARDED
(Tbousands of dollars)

Eleventh District- total.. .
lksidcntial. .... . ..... .
All other . ............ .

United States ' - total. .
Residential .. , .

All other . ..

March®
1948
I 50,409
20,403
30,006
689,763

March
1947
$ 58,899
24,915
33,98'

276,Ml

282.881
313,874

413,222

51)6,755

"37 states east of the Rocky Mountains.

1 to Ma.rch 31

February

JanU31]'

1948
$ 80,663
23,323
64,340
681,967
232,250
440,717

1948(0
$ 186,763
68,809
1I8,O'5
1,086,936
746,88g
1,239,047

19.7

I 187,379
71,207
116,172
1,610,500
748,61H
861,889

® -Prcliminsry.

SOURCE: F. W. Dodge Corporation .

Fewer large commerc,o l ond nonresidential projects were
awarded in the District d1l6ng th ~ first quarter of this year than
during the same period in 1947. The total value of nonresidential

City
No.
Abilene ......... .
100
209
Amarillo ........ .
Austin .......... . 375
Beaumont . . . . . . . .
449
259
Corplls Christi ... .
Oall&6 ....•...•.. 1,456
70
El Paoo ......... .
Fort Worth ...... . 64v
161
Galveston, ...... .
Houston ......... . 81 4
Lubbock ... .. . .. . 262
154
Port Arthur . ... . .
San Antonio .. ' .. . 1,650
Shreveport, Ln. ...• 375
Waco ....... . ... . 151
62
Wichita Falb .. . . .

Percentago
chanEle
valuatIon
Valuation Crom 1941
$ 1,283,265
105
2,748,820
98
6,028,024
60
1,866,779
81
6,269,212
52
26,713,994
142
2,546,553
32
5,272,110 - 6
679,4 39
9
31,890,527
122
3,127,137
t
471,722 - 18
9,795,585
79
16,431,851
474
4,184,597
139
1,230,696
169

Percentage chauge Jan. 1 toMar.31,IQ48

_---,---~_valuat ion

from

Valuation Mar.1947 Feb. 1948
163
172
$ 692,600
1,358,885
233
130
2,390,480
'9
53
93
70
8 12,29 1
736,132
-60
-8 1
12,535,757
161
105
656,775
33
-25
2,694,175
47
109
194,721
- 7
12
6,043,452
51
-44
1,148,248
--49
- 9
201,884
-13
10
3,962,942
III
71
12,657,682
•
336
767,117
22
- 3
470,160
206
23

Total.. .. .. 7,093 147,323,301·

.0

116

No.
266
.95
962
900
792
3,599
331
1,246
413
2,397
714
275
3,812
887
441
199

17,729 $120,040,316

105

·Ovtr 1,000 percent.

tChange less than one-half of one percent.

The daily average rate of production of crude oil in the
Eleventh District declined fractionally in March but probably
attained a new peak of slightly more than 2,650,000 barrels in
April in view of the increase of allowables in Texas for that
month to the highest level of record, Revisions of estimates of
maximum efficient recovery rate, in Texas fields will be completed during April and May, which may reduce the total rate
for the State, If the rates should be reduced, production in Texas
and the District may not exceed April levels until extensive
exploratory and developmental drilling has raised the efficient
productive capacity of Texas fields, since production allowables
are held to MER rates,
CRUDE OIL PRODUCTlOlI-(Barrels)
).farcb 1948

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

District I. ....
2 .... .
3.
4.
. .. .... ....
.
5.
6 ..
6 .......
Other
7b .... .
1e .... .
8 ......
9 ......
10 .........

Tol.ll.l Texas .......
New Mexico .........
North Louisiana .....

Total District ...... .
Outside District ..............
United States .... . ...........

Total
production
789,550
5,284,250
15,235,050
7,849,600
1,348,650
10,001,800
3,758,950
1,338,500
1,360,350
20,689,300
4,208,550

2,587,000
74,451,550
3,995,050
3,350,600
81,797,400
83,043,300
164,840,700

Dailyavg.
production
25,470
170,459
491,453
253,213
43,505
322,639
121,256
43,177
43,882
667,397
135,760
83,452
2,401,663
128,873
108,099
2,638,626
2,678,816
5,317,442

Inere:\Sc or dccrc.'lSe in dRily
average production from
Feb. 1948
-230
- 1.M1
- 6,997
- 1,437
- 845
7,639
- 1,244
- 1,923
-468
3,547
- 9,640
- 2,898
-16,137
3,873
- 600
- 12,864
- 22,459
- 35,323

'\{arch 1047
4,933
12,939
5,572
1I,81?

5,2W

8,339
10,39.1
6,719
9,003 .'.
193,447
6,649
- 1,159
272,929
24,662
13,119
310,610
157,928
468,538

SOURCE: Estimated from American Petroleum Institute weekly reports.

With the exception of tubular goods, sti ll in short supply,
drilling equipment and materials now can be obtained with litde
difficulty. Estimates of the publication, World Oil, arc that

88

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW

approximately 1,800 more wells will be drilled in the United
States in 1948 than the 33,000 drilled last year and that a new
footage record of about 119,000,000 feet will be attained, approximately 6,000,000 feet above the former record set in 1947.
In the Eleventh District, forecasts for the year are 12,500 new
wells and about 53,000,000 feet of drilling as compared with
10,860 wells and 46,000,000 feet of drilling in 1947. During
the first three months of this year about 1,000 more wells were
completed in the United St2tes than during the comparable
period in 1947. Completions were also considerably greater in
the Eleventh District, totaling 2,882 as compared with 2,127.
NUMBER OF WELLS COMPLETED
Janoary-Marcb® January.March JaDuary-March
1948
19H
1946
7.824
6,822
6,463
Elcvenlh Diatrict .. ..... ... .. . ....... .
2,882
2.127
2,251
New 1!exico . . . ........ .. . ...... _. .
121
100
m
North Louisiana ... . ............... .
279
128
183
TeXlUll .••.. . . ......•.•.... • •••. •• • •
2,462
1,878
1,907
®-Preliminary.

Area

United States.

The accompanying table presents estimated construction expenditures on crude petroleum and natural gas drilling computed by the United States Department of Commerce, with derived estimates of construction expenditures per well and per
thousand feet drilled. The estimates COver all costs of drilling,
including costs of casing, but do not cover costs of exploration
or costs of pumping equipment, production derricks, and other
production equipment,
CONSTRUCTION EXPENDITURES FOR CRUDE PETROLF.UM AND

NATURAL GAS DRILLING AND COST PER WELL AND PER DRILLED FOOT'

Area.

United Statea.

Four Southwestern
States'

Texas . .

Total

Number oC
wella

Year Expenditure Completed

1940 1400,791,000
1945 598,157,000
1946 660,022,000
1947 768,800,000
1940 234,5.\2,000
1945 295,502,000
1946 329,583,000
1947 391,147,000
1940 148,856,000
11145 188,002,000
11146 207,632,000
11147 228,074,000

Cotton consumption in United States mills totaled 6,301,316 bales during the first ~ig ht months of the 1947-48 season,
faIling nearly 10 percent below the peacetime record of 6,928,094 bales established during the same period in 1946-47, An upturn in consumption oC('1!rred in March 1948, the first month
in 1947-48 in which domestic consumption was larger than in
the comparable month of the preceding season. Should consumption continue at the present level during the remainder of the
season, United States consumption from August 1, 1947 to
July 31, 1948 would total approximately 9,700,000 bales as
compared with the record high for a peacetime period of 10,035,000 bales during the 1946-47 season and the war peak of
11,170,100 in 1941-42, P,ior to the war, cotton consumption in
the United States ranged between 5,000,000 and 7,200,000
bales per season,
DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION AND STOCKS OF COTl'ON-(Baleo)

SOURCE: TM Oil.nII C.. J•• rttal.

ESTJ~(ATED

high levels unless the f,,'orable margin of crude oil prices over
construction drilling costs ;~ absorbed by increases in costs of
exploration and production or offset by unfavorable discovery
experience with new wells,

30,040
26,879
29,228
33,098
13,196
11,248
12,649
16,335
9,094
7,196
7,804
9,301

Footage

Drilled
91,467,000
93,240,000
97,048,000
114,013,000
48,221,000
61,825,000
54,211,000
64,401,000
34,534,000
32,495,000
34,352,000
41,029,000

E~W~U ~~~~~::t
$13,342
22,254
22,240
23,228

$4 ,382

17 ,714

4,864
5,702
6,080
6,074
4,310
5,788
6,041
5,803

26,272
26,056
26,607
16,369
26,142
26,593
25,597

6,415

6,698
6,7-43

tEstimated expenditutefl cover aD C08te of drilling as wen &8 006L of eaaina. but exclude coet
of production equipment, such as pumping equipment and production derricks.

'Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tens.
SOURCES: United States Department of Commerce and The Oil and
Gas J01Lrnal.

It will be observed that total construction expenditures on
crude petroleum and natural gas drilling have increased considerably from 1940 to 1947 in the United States, the southwestern area, and Texas. The greater number of wells completed
and the greater depth to which wells have been drilled are responsible, in part, for the increases, but the principal cause is the
higher cost of drilling, In the Nation as a whole, estimated expenditures per thousand feet of well drilled rose from $4,382 in
1940 to $6,743 in 1947, an increase of 54 percent, The increases in the southwestr.rn area and in Texas were substantially
smaller, 25 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
The average price of crude oil 2t the well has risen more rapidly, however, than the construction cost of drilling, increasing from $1.02 per barrel in 1940 to $2,61 per barrel in the
spring of 1948, an increase of 156 percent, Drilling has been
stimulated by this development and probably will continue at

March
1948
14,720
878,714

March
1947
16,970
875,306

In oonauming eslabm'ts... 2,286,114
Pub~, stg. & oomp'""" .. 3,676,735

February AugUJ:i~ 1 to March 31
1948
This BC&30n Lns t season
13,745
104,028
147,749
6,301,316
6,928,094
786,231

2,234,321

Consumption at:
Texas mills ...... .
United States millB .

U, S. stor:ks---end

or month:

3,339,213

Consumption of cotton in Texas miUs probably will be
smaller this season than in any season since 1939-40, when it
totaled 139,310 bales, During the August 1947-March 1948
period, Texas consumption amounted to 104,028 bales as compared with 147,749 bab during the same period in 1946-47.
Although an uftum of mill consumption occurred during
March in T exas as well as in the United States, the increase was
less pronounced in the State, Should present levels of consumption continue in Texas, cotton consumption in the State would
amount to about 163,000 bales, about 50,000 bales below 194647 consumption and 104,000 bales below the record high in
1942-43,
COTTONSEED AND COTl'ONSEED PRODUCTS
Mareh 1948

_ - _ Te... -----'United StatesAugust 1 to March 31
August 1 to March 31
This seaaon Last season This season Last 86IUIOn
Cvttonseed received at mills (tons) . . . . . 1,112,647
562,018
3,920,323
2,961,16.\
Cottonseed crushed (tOilS) .. . . . ....... .
993,907
577,164
3,516,896
2,679,761
CoUoiUleed. on hand Marcb 31 (tons) ... .
173,168
42,108
502,956
399,110
Production of products:
Crude oil (thousand pounds) ........ .
307,284
174,072
1,089,080
837,862
Cake and meal (tons) . ... . .
469,499
271,188
1,830,288
1,182,667
Hulls (tons), " '" .. .
225,867
128,200
793.114
626,462
197,772
Linters (running bales) ... ......... .
330,351
1,100,834
861,285
Stoch on band Ma.rch 31 :
Crude oil {thousand pounds) .... .... .
10, 121
4,858
87,1IOli
72,546
Cake and me.'!.1 (tons) .. ..... .
15,236
28,578
86,060
128,193
Hulls (tons) . .................... .
12,5&1
16,328
43,100
52,718
Lillters (running bales) .. . . ... .
17,258
161,285
106,768
63,633
SOURCE: United States Bureau of CeIl!UlI.

At the end of March, stocks of cotton in consuming establishments in the United States totaled 2,286,114 bales and
were slightly larger than a year earlier, March 31 stocks in
pu'blic storage and compresses also were larger this year than
in 1947, but were much smaller than in any prior yea r since
1929. Continuation of present levels of mill consumption of
cotton would reduce toral domestic stocks to about 2,5 00,000
bales by July 3 1, 1948, as compared with the carry-over for the
last wartime season of about 10,340,000 bales on July 31,
1945.

~
~

MONTHLY BUSINESS REVIEW
May I, 1948

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

Curtailed coal output reduced industrial production in March
and the early part of A pri!. Value of department store sales continued at a level about 6 per cent higher than in the corresponding period a year ago. The general level of wholesale commodity
prices increased somewhat.

the 1935-39 average for January and February, after allowance
is made for the usual seasonal fluctuation. Value of department
store stocks reached a new peak at the end of February, when
the Board's seasonally adjusted index was 303 per cent of the
1935-39 average.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Work stoppages sharply reduced railroad shipments of coal
and coke from the early part of March to the middle of April.
Loadings of forest products and general merchandise continued
to show little change.

Industrial production declined slightly in March owing to a
sharp reduction in bituminous coal output after the mid dip. of
the month; and the Board's seasonally adjusted index was 192
per cent of the 1935-39 average as compared with 194 in February. Continuation of work stoppages at coal mines in April
has reduced total industrial production further this month.
Produ ction of durable manufactures increased in March,
mainly because of larger output of steel and automobiles. Steel
production for the month was at a new record peacetime rate.
Steel mill operations were somewhat curtailed at the end of
March because of reduced supplies of coal and declined considerably in the first three weeks of April. Activity in the automobile industry expanded in March to earlier postwar peak rates,
after being curtailed by fuel shortages in February. Production
of machinery and most other durable goods was maintained at
about the level of the preceding months.
Output of nondurable goods industries as a group decreased
slightly in March. Activity declined in the cotton textile, rubber products, coke, flour, and meat packing industries, but increased in the rayon textile, paperboard, and alcoholic beverage
industries. A substantial reduction in meat production under
Federal inspection reflected work stoppages in plants of major
packers beginning March 16. Paperboard production, following
some curtailment in February, increased 7 per cent to a new
record rate.
Output of minerals declined 10 per cent in March, reflecting
a drop in coal production due to work stoppages at most mines
beginning March 15. Coal mine operations continued at a very
low level during the first two weeks of April, but subsequently
increased sharply following settlement of an industrial dispute.
CONSTRUCTION
Value of construction contracts awarded, according to the
F. W. Dodge Corporation, showed little change in March, as a
decline in public aw ards offset a seasonal increase in private
awards mainly for residential building. The number of dwelling
units started in March, according to estimates of the Department of Labor, was 67,000 compared with 47,000 in February
and 58,400 in March 1947.
DISTRIBUTION
Departme nt store sales in March and the early part of April
showed little change from the average level of 284 per cent of

COMMODITY PRICES
The general leyel of wholesale commodity prices increased
somewhat from the beginning of March to the third week of
Apri!. Cotton prices advanced sharply reflecting prospects of increased exports. Meat prices were also higher, owing to reduced
supplies as a result of the strike in the packing industry. Hog
prices, on the other hand, declined considerably further. Prices
of other farm products and foods and industrial commodities
generally showed little change.
A further small reduction in retail food prices from mid-February to mid-March lowered the consumers' price index from
167.5 per cent of the 1935-39 average to 166.9. Recail prices
of apparel and home furnishings and rental rates rose somewhat
further.
BANK CREDIT
During the first three weeks of April, in contrast to the
situation in March, the Government's cash payments exceeded
receipts and the Treasury's balan ce at Federal Reserve Banks
declined sharply. As a consequence, commercial bank reserves
and deposits, which had been under severe drain in March, increased somewhat in April.
Total Government security holdings of the Reserve Banks
declined further by about one-half billion dollars during the
first three weeks of April, following a small decline in March .
Treasury retirement in March and early April of 1.3 billion
dollars of securities held by Reserye Banks was offset in part by
System purchases in the market.
I

Real estate and consumer loans at banks in leading cities continued to expand during March and the first half of April,
while commercial and industrial loans declined somewhat. Holdings of Government securities were reduced over the period.
SECURITY MARKETS
Prices of common stocks rose sharply in the last half of March
and the third week of April. T radin.g in the N ew York Stock
I
Exchange was more ac tive. Prices of corporate bonds were firmer
in the first three weeks of A pril , and prices of municipal bonds
continued to advance.