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This monthly report on conditions is not to be released to the public until on and
*after the morning of April
William McC. Martin,
Chairman of t h e Boapd.and Federal R e s e r v e Agent,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


In general, business haa been active in tnis district during the past month,
some lines reporting greater volume than last year.

However, more conservatism is

noted, and the production of non-ossentials is mora and more giving way to those things
necessary for the prosecution of the war.
The Continued mild weather has further improved the fuel and transportation
situation, and this has greatly benefitted business. It has brought about a rather free
movement of all kinds of commodities, wt)ich has helped both the producer and the dis­
The approach of spring is causing farmers to buy implements and other sup­
plies, and this has stimulated the country trade.

Manufacturers of farm implements

generally report a better business th^n at this period last year. The demand for tract­
ors is said to be unusually heavy.
Wholesale millinery houses report a good trade for the coming spring.


tributors cf shoes and searing apparal state that the volume of orders for spring de­
livery surpasses that of last year.
stocks to meet the requirenents.

Many ara having difficulty in replenishing their

Retail merchants alno report a good business.


seems to be a general demand for the better class of merchandise.
Collections, as a rule, are reported to be satisfactory.
A disturbing factor to business in this district has been the labor situa­
tion. There have been a number of strikes and threats to strike recently. The Government
has intervened in several cases which affected the production of war articles,resulting


in settlements.


While the situation is improving, it is not as yet settled.

The winter wheat is reported to be in good condition throughout the district,
though rain is needed in sage quarters.

Spring ploughing for oats, corn, etc.,is under

way, and preparations for gardening have also begun.

A great many in the cities are

arranging for gardens, as well as those in the country, in order to help the food sup­

A movement has been started in some of the"States in this district to get each*

farmer to test his seed corn before pla.nti.3g, so as to injure a bumper corn crop, which
is so much needed.
The report of the St. Louis National Steck Yards fur February indicates an
increase in the receipts of cattle, hcgs, horses and mules over the corresponding month
last year, and a decrease in the receipts of sheep.

It shows decreases in the sales of

cattle and hogs, and increases in the sales of sheep, horses and mules, in comparison
with February of last year. However,comparing the first two months of this year with the
same period last year, the report showH decreases in both the receipts and sales of all
live stock, excepting horses and mules, in which there have been substantial increases.
The postal receipts for February in St. Louis, Louisville, Memphis and Little
Rock all show slight decreases from the previous Month, but substantial increases over
February of last year, due no 3oubt in large measure to the increased postal rates.
Reports for February from the leading

in this district phew slight in­

creases in the auabsr of building permit r issued and the estimated cost of construction,
as compared with the previous month, but anterial dec-eases in comparison with February
a year ago.

There is little building going o: - , this district except that which is
r r

absolutely necessary.
The demand for moasy has cos tiuued st&ady during the past month, especially
in the large centers.

T&e bank rate to custscie'-s onntifjas at 6% in the centers, and

slightly higher in the outlying districts.
Very few of the backs in the large centers are ie the market for coMxercial

paper, though there is a fair demand f^cm country bankn.
6% for all maturities.

The rate is now practically

Many cf the commercial paper brokers are now encouraging the

issuance of paper maturing within three or four months.

This is said to attract the

banks more at this time, because it enables them to be more liquid and paper maturing
within ninety days is immediately available for rediscount at the Federal Reserve Bank.
The attention of bankers, brokers and others is now being directed to the
Third Liberty Loan, which will be launched on April 6th,and preparations are well under
way in this district to help make it a success.