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MONTHLY REVIEW
O f Agriculturalf Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of August 31, 1931
J O H N S. W O O D ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve A gent

FEDERAL

RESERVE

USINESS in the Eighth Federal Reserve Dis­
trict during the past thirty days, while con­
tinuing the recessional trend of the two pre­
ceding months, developed certain hopeful features
and made a more favorable showing than some ear­
lier months this year as contrasted with the volume
for the corresponding period in 1930. Industry as
a whole exhibited somewhat more than the usual
seasonal decline, but the decrease did not extend
to all branches of manufacturing activity. A rela­
tively good showing was made by boots and shoes,
textiles, food products and some other lines, for
ordinary consumption. The value of retail distribu­
tion in July decreased as compared with a year ago,
but a considerable part of the decline was attributa­
ble to the lower level of prices. There wT a slight
as
decrease in July sales of wholesalers and jobbers re­
porting to this bank as compared with the same
month in 1930, but an increase of larger than the
usual size over the June total this year.

B

Inventories of both wholesale and retail estabments are almost universally of small size, and since
the first of August there has been more of a disposi­
tion to replenish stocks and fill out assortments. The
number of visiting merchants at the chief distribut­
ing centers has been large, and the character of their
buying reflects actual needs for the merchandise.
Ordering for late fall and winter consumption, while
below the average volume at this particular time in
recent years, has somewhat exceeded expectations.
In the case of apparel, dry goods, furniture, boots
and shoes, and hardware, the proportion of cheap
goods being taken is larger than in past years. Pro­
duction and distribution of commodities of the
heavier and more permanent sort were again on the
decline. This was true particularly of iron and steel,
activities at foundries, mills and machine shops fall­
ing to the lowest point of the year.
Extreme high temperatures and lack of rainfall
during the last half of July were detrimental for
growing crops, but favorable for harvesting and the
movement of grain. Little permanent injury, rela­




C. M . STEW ART,
Assistant Federal Reserve Agent

BANK

OF

ST*

J. V I O N P A P IN ,
Sta tisticia n

LOUIS

tively, was suffered as a result of the hot spell, and
prospects throughout the district are for abundant
crops of all descriptions. The drastic decline in
prices of farm products has been discouraging to
the agricultural community and will sharply cut
purchasing power in the rural areas. The situation
with regard to food and feed, however, is markedly
better than at this time last year, and will substan­
tially lower the cost of producing next season’s
crops, albeit small net gains have resulted from this
year’s productions.
As reflected in sales of department stores in the
principal cities of the district, the volume of retail
trade in July was 13 per cent smaller than during
the same month in 1930 and for the first seven
months the volume was approximately 12 per cent
less than for the corresponding period a year ago.
Combined sales of all wholesaling and jobbing firms
reporting to this bank were SJ2 per cent smaller in
/
July than in the same month in 1930, but 2 3^ per
cent greater than the June total this year. The
value of permits let for new construction in the five
largest cities of the district in July was 28 per cent
larger than in June, but about one-fourth smaller
than in July, 1930. Construction contracts let in
the Eighth District in July were 46 per cent smaller
than in June, and 30 per cent less than in July, 1930.
Debits to Individual accounts in July were 14 and
22 per cent smaller, respectively, than a month and
a year earlier, and the total for the first seven
months this year was approximately one-third
smaller than for the corresponding period in 1930.
The amount of savings deposits as of August 5
showed little variation as compared with a month
and a year earlier.
Officials of railroads operating in this district
report a continued falling off in the volume of
freight traffic as contrasted with a year and two
years ago. Decreases have occurred in all classifica­
tions. Due partly to a disposition of farmers to hold
their wheat for higher prices, the volume of grain
transported has been considerably below what

might be expected with a crop the size of the pres­
ent one. Marked decreases were noted in the move­
ment of forest products, merchandise and miscel­
laneous freight. For the country as a whole, load­
ings of revenue freight for the first 31 weeks this
year, or to August 1, totaled 22,688,044 cars, against
27,675,967 cars for the corresponding period in 1930,
and 30,882,951 cars in 1929. The St. Louis Terminal
Railway Association, which handles interchanges
for 28 connecting lines, interchanged 171,935 loads
in July, against 188,872 loads in June, and 196,703
loads in July, 1930. For the first nine days of August
the interchange amounted to 42,412 loads, against
48,951 loads during the corresponding period in
July, and 59,843 loads during the first nine days of
August, 1930. Passenger traffic of the reporting
roads decreased 24 per cent in July as compared
with the same month last year. Estimated tonnage
of the Federal Barge Line, between St. Louis and
New Orleans, in July was 104,700 tons, against
86,016 tons in June and 84,266 tons in July, 1930.
The record of collections during July and the
first half of August reflects rather spotty and irreg­
ular conditions. Wholesalers in the large cities
report some backwardness on the part of creditors,
especially those located in the country and small
towns in the agricultural areas. Disappointing prices
realized by agriculturists for wheat and other prod­
ucts has served to hold down liquidation of their
debts. There have been increasing requests for ex­
tensions and longer datings. Preoccupation of farm­
ers with harvest was another influence tending to
restrict payments in the country. Retailers in the
large urban centers report somewhat more than the
usual seasonal backwardness in paying bills. An­
swers to questionnaires addressed to representative
interests in the several lines scattered through the
district showed the following results:
E xcellent

G ood

Fair

P oor

July, 1931................... 1.5% 16.2% 62.3% 20.0%
June, 1931....................... 0
16.5
69.0
14.5
July, 1930................... 0.1
12.7
58.6
28.6
Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Dis­
trict in July, according to Dun's numbered 80, in­
volving liabilities of $5,298,184, against 133 failures
in June, with liabilities of $2,615,417, and 107 defaults
for a total of $2,272,170 in July, 1930.
The average daily circulation of the United
States in July was $4,836,000,000 against $4,750,000,000 in June, and $4,497,000,000 in July, 1930.
MANUFACTURNG AND WHOLESALING
Boots and Shoes — July sales of the reporting
firms were 7 per cent greater than for the same
month in 1930, and 69 per cent larger than in June
this year. The increase in the month-to-month com­




parison was seasonal in character, and compares
with a gain of 42 per cent from June to July last
year. Improvement in both comparisons extended
pretty well through the entire line, but was most
pronounced in women’s and children’s specialties
and the better grades of men’s wear. There was no
change in prices as compared with the preceding
thirty days, and average prices now range from 10
to 12 per cent lower than a year ago. In preparation
for fall demand, manufacturing operations were
speeded up, and on August 1 stocks were 15 per
cent larger than a month earlier, though 18 per cent
smaller than on August 1, 1930.
Clothing — Following the usual seasonal trend,
sales of the reporting clothiers in July fell sharply
below the June total. As compared with a year ago,
the aggregate in July was smaller by about onefourth. Orders placed for late fall and winter deliv­
ery are considerably below the average at this time
during the past several years. The trend of prices
was lower, and retailers generally are purchasing a
larger proportion of cheap clothing than is ordinari­
ly the case. This is true particularly of merchants
in the country and small towns.
'
Drugs and Chemicals — With the exception of
typical hot weather goods, which moved in large
volume, business in this classification was quiet.
August sales of the reporting interests fell Sy2 per
cent below the same month in 1930, and 2 per cent
below the June total this year. Stocks on August 1
showed little change from thirty days earlier, and
were about 3 per cent smaller than a year ago. De­
mand for heavy drugs and chemicals from the manu­
facturing trade continues in small volume, and sales
of luxuries were considerably less than a year ago.
Dry Goods— Reversing the usual seasonal trend,
the volume of sales of the reporting firms in July
fell below that of June. Business since August 1
has showed a decided pick-up, being stimulated by
a large influx of merchants from the country and
small towns. Purchasing by these merchants has
been in good volume and quite diversified, but along
extremely conservative lines. Cheap priced goods
have been relatively more popular than the more
expensive lines. Inventories continue small, stocks
on August 1 being slightly larger than a month ear­
lier, but 40 per cent smaller than on the same date
last year. July sales of the reporting firms were
22 and 10 per cent smaller, respectively, than a
month and a year earlier.
Electrical Supplies—Due largely to heavy sales
of fans and other seasonal goods, July volume of the
reporting firms was 30 per cent greater than in June,
but slightly under that of July, 1930. Inventories
were further reduced, being smaller by 21 per cent

and 10 per cent, respectively, on August 1 than
thirty days and a year earlier. Moderate improve­
ment was reported in demand for radio material as
compared with earlier in the season. The outlet
through the building industry for electrical supplies
continues restricted.
Flour — Production at the twelve leading mills
of the district in July totaled 322,413 barrels, the
largest since last January, and compares with
210,563 barrels in June and 328,069 barrels in July,
1930. Moderate improvement developed in business
of the mills, buyers generally being more disposed
than heretofore to replenish depleted stocks. Pur­
chasing, however, continued on a hand-to-mouth
basis, the disturbed condition of the wheat market
having the effect of holding down commitments for
distant requirements. Prices were sharply lower in
sympathy with the decline in cash wheat. Mill oper­
ations were at 50 to 55 per cent of capacity.
Furniture — While unevenly distributed, im­
provement as a whole was noted in this classifica­
tion. Retailers have been forced into the market by
generally depleted stocks, and a fair volume of or­
ders for late fall and winter was booked. Office
equipment and furniture continues quiet, and the
same is true of commodities used by hospitals and
hotels. July sales of the reporting firms were 6J^
per cent larger than for the same month in 1930,
and about two-thirds larger than the June total this
year. Inventories on August 1 were slightly more
than half as large as on the same date last year, and
5 per cent larger than on July 1 this year.
Groceries — Some betterment in demand for
groceries in the rural areas was noted, and retailers
are more disposed than heretofore to replenish
stocks. Purchasing, however, continues on a handto-mouth basis, ordering for future delivery being
in smaller volume than at any similar period in
more than a decade. Abundant fruit and vegetable
crops throughout the district are holding down the
demand for canned goods. The trend of prices con­
tinued downward, particularly commodities based
on cereals. July sales of the reporting firms were 8
per cent smaller than for the same month in 1930,
and 2 per cent above the June total this year. Inven­
tories showed only minor changes as contrasted
with a month and a year earlier.
Hardware — While still showing a decrease
under the corresponding period a year earlier, the
volume of business in this classification during July
continued the month-to-month gains, which, with
the exception of a small decrease in June under
May, has been in steady progress since last January.
Sales of the reporting interests in July were 3 per
cent larger than in June, and 14 per cent smaller




than the July total last year. The trend of prices
was lower through practically all lines, and as com­
pared with a year ago, the average is estimated at
from 8 to 10 per cent. This decline would account
for a considerable part of the decrease in the year
sales comparison. Stocks on August 1 were 5 per
cent larger than thirty days earlier, and one-fifth
smaller than on August 1, 1930.
Iron and Steel Products — Activities at mills,
foundries, machine shops and other ferrous metal
working establishments during the past thirty days
receded to the lowest point of the year. The usual
seasonal influences were accentuated by the general
business depression and restricted buying by the
principal consumers of iron and steel commodities.
The placement of new business was on a limited
scale, and specifications on goods previously con­
tracted for continued in disappointing volume.
Plants specializing in automotive and railroad mate­
rials report considerable stocks of castings and other
finished products awaiting shipping directions. As
has been the case for the past several months, re­
quirements of the building industry were light, par­
ticularly so in the case of housing projects. Out­
door engineering work continued to account for
large tonnages of special materials, notably reinforc­
ing concrete bars, and certain descriptions of steel
sheets and plates. No improvement over the recent
dull conditions in business of fabricating concerns
occurred. New contracts let were mainly for small
jobs, and a reduced rate of operations as compared
with the preceding thirty days was general. Pro­
ducers and distributors of steel sheets report new
orders booked in July in considerably smaller vol­
ume than during the preceding month. This was
due partly to the fact that consumers purchased
heavily in June in order to stock up prior to effec­
tiveness of the advance in prices scheduled for July 1.
Shipments of manufacturers of stoves, radiators and
furnaces showed a decline considerably larger than
the usual seasonal proportions. Farm implement
makers report a slack demand for their products
in all sections of the district. Dealer stocks are
light, but there is little disposition to replenish,
ordering being on an absolute requirement basis.
Farmers are reconditioning and repairing their old
equipment in order to make it serviceable for anoth­
er season. There was a further decrease in the melt
of pig iron from July to August, the total being the
smallest for any single month in a number of years.
Shipments to consumers also receded to the lowest
point in recent months. Pig iron prices remained
steady, but scrap iron and steel continued to decline,
a number of the most important grades sinking to
the lowest levels since prior to the World War. For

the country as a whole, average daily production of
pig iron in July was at the lowest rate since October, 1921. The total output, 1,440,576 tons, compares with 1,637,998 tons produced in June and
2,638,441 tons in July, 1930. Production of steel
ingots in the United States in July aggregated
1,876,149 tons, the smallest for any month since the
present depression began, and compared with 2,075,910 tons in June and 2,922,220 tons in July last year.

mand holds up well, and stocks are of moderate
size, the total on August 1 being about 6 per cent
smaller than a month earlier, and one-third less than
on August 1, 1930. Further moderate improvement
was noted in the tire trade, both the retail and
wholesale sections. According to dealers reporting
on that detail, deferred payment sales in July constituted 48 per cent of their total sales, against 44
per cent in June, and 51.3 per cent in July last year.

AUTOMOBILES

RETAIL TRADE

Following the invariable trend in recent years,
distribution of automobiles in the Eighth District,
according to dealers reporting to this bank, declined
during July as compared with the preceding month.
The decrease was considerably larger than the aver­
age during the past eight years, and as contrasted
with a year ago, the July total was smaller by ap­
proximately 9 per cent. In both comparisons de­
creases were general with dealers in both the coun­
try and large cities, but more pronounced in the
rural areas. In the winter wheat sections the de­
cline in prices of grain to new low records has
materially reduced farmers' incomes, and purchas­
ing power in the south has been adversely affected
by the low levels at which cotton and other agricul­
tural products are selling. Due to the universal
practice of owners to recondition their cars in order
to prolong their period of usefulness, trade in repair
parts, garage supplies and accessories was reported
relatively much better than in the case of automo­
biles proper. Collections were less satisfactory than
earlier in the year on cars purchased on time pay­
ment, and the number of repossessions was slightly
larger than heretofore. According to a number of
the reporting dealers, purchasing of new passenger
cars has been held down by a general disposition on
the part of prospective buyers to await the appear­
ance of new models and possibly reduced prices.
This is true particularly of cheap-priced cars. De­
mand for trucks, especially light vehicles for city
delivery service, was fairly active, July sales com­
paring favorably with those of the preceding month
and a year ago. Sales of new passenger cars by the
reporting dealers in July were about one-third small­
er than in June, and 9 per cent below the July total
last year. Ordering by dealers from the factories
continues on a very conservative basis, stocks of
new cars on August 1 being 3.2 per cent smaller
than on July 1, and only slightly more than half as
large as on August 1, 1930.. The condition of the
used car market developed no notable change as
contrasted with the preceding thirty days. The de-

The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statement showing activity
at department stores in leading cities of the district:




N et sales com parison
Stocks on hand
July, 1931 7 months ending July 31, 1931
com p, to
July 31, 1931 to
com p, to
July, 1930 same period 1930 July 31, 1930
Evansville ...... ..— 24.6%
— 10.8%
— 17.9%
Little R o ck .... ..— 11.3
— 10.8
— 17.6
Louisville ..... ..— 17.4
— 14.9
— 19.0
..— 11.3
— 20.0
— 34.3
..— 16.3
— 17.5
— 17.9
St. L ou is........ ..— 12.5
— 9.2
— 10.7
Springfield, M o >
.— 8.2
— 8.5
— 11.2
8th District , ..— 12.9
— 11.8
— 16.2

Stock turnover
Jan. 1, to
July 31,
1931 1930
1.07
1.19
1.54
1.37
1.53
1.61
1.78
1.72
1.46
1.46
2.17
2.14
.94
.87
1.92
1.90

N et sales comparison
Stocks on hand
July, 1931 7 months ending July 31, 1931
com p, to
July 31, 1931 to
com p, to
July 1930 same period 1930 July 31, 1930

Stock turnover
Jan. 1, to
July 31,
1931
1930

M en ’ s
furnishings... .— 24.8%
B oots
and shoes....,,.— 16.7

— 5.9%

— 13.2%

1.92

1.75

— 18.4

— 16.9

1.75

1.88

BUILDING
The dollar value of permits issued for new con­
struction in the five largest cities of the district dur­
ing July was 27.4 per cent less than in July, 1930,
and 27.3 per cent more than the aggregate for June
this year. According to statistics compiled by the
F. W . Dodge Corporation, construction contracts
let in the Eighth Federal Reserve District in July
amounted to $17,542,682 which compares with
$32,553,934 in June and $25,076,000 in July, 1930.
Production of portland cement for the country as
a whole in July totaled 17,078,000 barrels, against
14,118,000 barrels in June, and 13,899,000 barrels in
July, 1930. Building figures for July follow :

Evansville ..
Little R ock
Louisville ..
M em phis ....
St. Louis....

N ew Construction
Permits
*Cost
1931
1930
1931
1930
188
332
$ 213 $ 136
20
27
166
107
40
95
221
349
82
330
89
410
285
363
901
1,189

July totals.. 615 1,147
$1,590 $2,191
June totals.. 763 1,144
1,249
3,700
M ay totals.. 863 1,288
1,717
5,439
* In thousands of dollars (000 om itted ).

________ Repairs, etc.
Perm its
"
* £ o st
1931
1930
1931
1930
44
63
$
18 $ 19
74
59
15
32
30
62
49
65
141
38
103
42
271
367
345
220
560
656
726

589
848
896

$

530
335
413

$378
666
478

CONSUMPTION OF ELECTRICITY
Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district reported consumption of electric
current during July by selected industrial customers
as being 2.1 per cent larger than in June, and 9.4

per cent smaller than in July, 1930. Detailed figures
follow :
June,
N o. of
July,
1931
Custom ­
1931
ers
* K .W .H . * K .W .H .
2,071
Evansville .... 40
2,472
1,934
L ittle R ock.. 35
2,253
6,244
Louisville .... 85
7,226
1,666
1,047
Memphis .... 30
20,158
19,747
St. Louis..,..... 162
32,745
Totals .... ..... 352
*In thousands (.000 om itted).

32,073

July, 1931
com p, to
June, 1931
+ 19.4%
+ 16.4
+ 15.7
— 37.2
— 2.0
+

2.1

July,
1930
* K .W .H .
1,901
2,593
7,075
1,736
22,850

July, 1931
com p, to
July, 1930
+ 30.0%
— 13.1
+ 2.1
— 39.7
— 13.6

36,155

— 9.4

AGRICULTURE
Taken as a whole, the outlook for crops in the
Eighth District continues favorable and above the
average in recent years. Weather conditions during
the past thirty days were mixed, being beneficial for
certain classes of operations and crops, and less
beneficial to unfavorable for others. Temperatures
during the last half of July and the first few days
of August were extremely high, and rainfall gener­
ally lacking. These conditions resulted in some
damage to growing crops, notably corn, commer­
cial vegetables, gardens and certain fruits. On the
other hand, weather was auspicious for harvesting
and the movement of winter wheat, oats and hay.
Since the second week in August rainfall has been
more bountiful than in many months, and in some
sections moisture deficiency, which had been accum­
ulating since the drouth last year, was relieved to
a considerable extent. Additional precipitation,
however, is needed to completely make up the
deficiency, restock streams, ponds and wells and
afford adequate subsoil moisture. A feature of the
present season’s meteorological history has been
the unusually scattered and uneven distribution of
rainfall.
The wheat harvest made rapid progress, and
threshing is practically completed, save where farm­
ers have stacked their grain with the intention of
holding for more favorable markets. The supply of
farm labor throughout the district was more than
sufficient for all requirements, with surpluses exist­
ing in many sections, particularly where the wheat
harvest is over. Wages paid farm help was univer­
sally below those of a year and two years earlier.
Since the middle of July there have been increasing
complaints of damage to field crops from insect
pests, notably chinch bugs and grasshoppers. The
infestation of the latter has been the severest in a
number of years, due to conditions favorable to
their propagation.
Winter Wheat — Wheat prospects in the
Eighth District improved between July 1 and
August 1, the report of the U. S. Department of
Agriculture based on conditions on the latter date,
estimating the total output at 65,264,000 bushels,
an increase of 6,940,000 bushels over the July 1




estimate, and comparing with 43,819,000 bushels
harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average (1923-1930)
of 49,921,000 bushels. Latest threshing returns not
only tend to confirm full quantity of the official
estimate, but disclose exceptionally high quality,
a large percentage of the grain testing No. 1 and
No. 2. In Illinois, Indiana, and sections of other
states of the district, the yield per acre was the
highest on record. Benefits to the producers of
heavy yields, however, were largely offset by the
drastic decline in prices, which brought them to the
lowest levels on record, and in many instances,
considerably below cost of production. Reports
from all the chief wheat raising sections indicate
that an unusually large amount of wheat will be
fed to livestock during the coming season, and
storage on farms is in greater volume than has
been the case in many years. In many localities
farmers have not plowed under wheat stubble, and
initial preparations indicate a reduced acreage this
fall.
Corn — Despite the extreme high temperatures
and scant precipitation during the last half of July,
corn did a little better than hold its own in this
district. Intensive cultivation was the general rule,
and this enabled the crop to stand drouth conditions
much better than last year. Some upland fields were
badly burned, but irreparable damage was relatively
light. In the bottoms and lowlands, stands are al­
most universally good, and ears large and well
filled. Rains since August 1 have substantially bet­
tered prospects. There were scattered reports of
damage from insect pests, mainly ear worms, grass­
hoppers and chinch bugs. The Department of Agri­
culture’s August 1 report forecasts a yield of
384,445,000 bushels for the Eighth District, an in­
crease of about 1,600,000 bushels over the July 1
estimate, as against the short crop of 183,254,000
bushels harvested in 1930, and an eight year average
of 342,534,000 bushels.
Fruits and Vegetables — Generally through the
district prospects for fruits and vegetables are for
yields well above the average, and for the most part
quality is high. As in the case of cereals and cot­
ton, however, heavy production in other areas and
reduced demand have resulted in prices so low as
to greatly reduce profit margins, and in many in­
stances, occasion actual losses. The hot weather in
late July lowered prospects for some vegetables
notably potatoes and commercial tomatoes, but
rains since August 1 have repaired a considerable
part of the damage. Based on the August 1 condi­
tion, the Department of Agriculture estimates the
peach crop in states entirely or partly within the
Eighth District at 15,333,000 bushels, against 1,315,-

000 bushels in 1930, and a 5-year average of 8,495,000 bushels. The output of apples in these states is
forecast at 37,257,000 bushels, of which 4,400,000
barrels represent commerical crop, against 12,935,000 bushels with 1,660,000 barrels commercial crop
in 1930, and a 5-year average of 21,349,000 bushels,
of which 3,263,000 barrels were commercial crop.
Sweet potato prospects improved slightly, the
August 1 estimate for states of the district being
20.752.000 bushels, a gain of about 2,000,000 bushels
over the July 1 estimate, and comparing with
14.018.000 bushels harvested in 1930, and a 5-year
average of 18,188,000 bushels. There was also slight
betterment in grape prospects, the August 1 esti­
mate being for 43,449 tons, against 33,831 tons in
1930, and a 5-year average of 32,387 tons. Pears,
which were a virtual failure last year, will produce
in states of the district this season 2,448,000 bushels,
which compares with a 5-year average of 1,729,000
bushels. The hot weather in July reduced white
potato prospects to some extent, the yield for the
district proper as of August 1 being 13,199,000 bush­
els, a decrease of 536,000 bushels under the July 1
forecast, and comparing with 12,724,000 bushels
harvested in 1930, and a 8-year average of 15,050,000
bushels. Gardens suffered considerably from the
hot, dry July weather, but have generally improved
under the rains this month.
Live Stock — The average condition of live
stock in this district during the past thirty days
showed little change worthy of note as contrasted
with the similar period immediately preceding. The
hot, dry weather of July injured pastures and in
some sections critically reducted water supplies.
Since August 1 these conditions have been generally
corrected by rainfall. The condition of pastures on
August 1 was considerably higher than a year ago,
but below the 10-year average on that date. The
Department of Agriculture estimates the output of
hay in the Eighth District at 6,828,000 tons, against
5.033.000 tons in 1930, and an 8-year average of
7.616.000 tons. There was a further decrease in egg
and milk production between July 1 and August 1.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follows:
R eceipts
July,
June,
July,
1931
1931
1930
Cattle and Calves......103,040 94,782 111,569
H ogs ............................170,496 219,549 239,837
H orses and Mules.... 1,675
1,627
1,262
Sheep ............................ 67,479 124,170 73,520

Shipments
July,
June,
July,
1931
193.1
1930
69,748 55,911 69,166
136,804 172,895 192,093
1,550
1,577
1,629
17,075 53,261 15,448

Cotton — Based on the August 1 condition, the
U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates the pro­
duction of cotton in the Eighth Federal Reserve
District at 3,338,000 bales, which compares with
2.289.000 bales harvested in 1930, and an 8-year
average (1923-1930) of 2,644,000 bales. In all states




of the district the condition on August 1 was con­
siderably higher than a year ago, when, it will be
recalled, the crop was suffering from effects of the
record drouth. For the country as a whole the yield
is forecast at 15,584,000 bales, against 13,932,000
bales produced last year. Generally through this
district conditions since August 1 have been favora­
ble for growth and development of the crop, and
further improvement has been the rule. Excessive
moisture in some sections has resulted in growth
of weeds and grass, but for the most part fields are
clean and cultivation high. There are increasing
reports of boll weevil infestation, but except in sec­
tions of Mississippi this menace has not become
serious. In Arkansas the outlook is the most promis­
ing in a number of years. Prices of raw cotton re­
ceded to new low levels for the season and since
1915, the market being affected by the heavy pros­
pective yields and general depression in business at
home and abroad. In the St. Louis market the mid­
dling grade ranged from 6.65c to 9.25c per pound be­
tween July 16 and August 15, closing at 7c per
pound on the latter date, which compares with 8.90c
on July 16, and 12.25c on August 15, 1930. Stocks of
cotton in Arkansas warehouses on August 14 totaled
86,195 bales, which contrasts with 99,971 bales on
July 17, and 102,499 bales on the corresponding
date in 1930.
Tobacco — With the exception of the one suck­
er, production of tobacco of all types in the Eighth
District is expected to be larger than a year ago
Weather during the past thirty days was more
favorable than earlier in the season, there being
good rains generally through the territory, with
temperatures seasonable. Cultivation has been
pushed, and fields are clean and stands good. Pros­
pects improved between July 1 and August 1, the
Government’s estimate for the Eighth District,
based on August 1 conditions, being 376,377,000
pounds, against 306,070,000 pounds produced in
1930, and an 8-year average (1923-1930) of 295,534,000 pounds.
Commodity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between July 15, 1931 and August 15,
1931, with closing quotations on the latter date and
on August 15, 1930 follow :
’
W heat
H igh
July ...................per bu..$ .52
“
.5 6H
D e c .........................
N o. 2 red winter “
50^
N o. 2 hard.......... “
. 5 0 .
Corn
Sept........................
“
.54^2
D e c.........................
“
A8*4
N o. 2 m ixed........ “
.59^4
N o. 2 white.........
“
.63
Oats
N o. 2 white.........
“
.28
Flour
Soft patent........per bbl. 4.75
Spring patent...... “
4.40
Middling cotton....per lb.
.0925
H ogs on h o o f........per cwt. 8.40

Close_______________
L o w A ugust 15, 1931 A ugust 15, 1930
$ .45
$ A7% @
$ .89
A 9$i
.51H
.9 5 ^
.4 5 V2 .49 @ .49 5^
$.93 @
.94
4 5
.49 @ .49^4
.88 @
.89
.46^2
.3 8 ^
.49
.5 1 ^

.2 0 ^ .21
3.75
4.25
.0665
4.00

.4 6 ^
.40
@ .4 9 ^
@ .51134

.49
.51

@ . 2

3.75
4.25

1

@ 4 .2 5
@ 4 .4 0
.07
4.25 @ 7 .6 0

.98
.94H
1.00 @ 1.01
1.02^4 @ 1.03
...............................
4.65
5.45

@ 4.90
@ 5.60
.1085
8.00 @10.85

FINANCIAL
The same general trends in the banking and
financial situation in this district noted in the pre­
ceding issue of this review continued more or less
consistently during the past thirty days. Credit
requirements from all classes of borrowers were in
relatively small volume, and interest and discount
rates hovered about the low levels which have ob­
tained for the past several months. Commercial
banks in all the large cities, and in many of the
smaller communities, are well stocked with loanable
resources, and in spite of unusually large grain and
other crops, demands for agricultural financing
failed to substantially change the general status.
Liquidation by commercial borrowers with their
banks has been on a considerable scale, and renew­
als and new commitments are well below the sea­
sonal average. The return flow to city banks of
money from country correspondents in the winter
wheat territory has been smaller than usual, due to
low prices and a disposition on the part of farmers
to hold their stocks for a more favorable market.
Financing of the cotton movement to date has been
taken care of largely by local banks and other agen­
cies, little recourse upon banks in the large cities
for this purpose having been noted.
Loans of the reporting member banks decreased
further, the total on August 12 being 1.2 per cent
smaller than on July 15, and more than one-fourth
less than on the corresponding date in 1930. Invest­
ments also decreased slightly between July 15 and
August 12, but on the latter date the total of 221
million dollars represented an increase of 43 per cent
over the same date last year. Deposits fluctuated nar­
rowly during the period, and at the middle of August
were about 4 per cent smaller than a year earlier.
Borrowing of all member banks from the Federal
reserve bank averaged higher than during the pre­
ceding thirty days, but continued uniformly below
the corresponding period in 1930.
Current interest rates at the St. Louis banks
were as follows: Prime commercial paper, 2 to 5
per cent; collateral loans, Zy2 to Sl 2 per cent; loans
/
secured by warehouse receipts, 3y2 to 5y2 per cent;
interbank loans, 3y2 to 5y2 per cent and cattle loans,
5 to 6 per cent.

latter date were 4 per cent smaller than on August
13, 1930. Composite statement follow s:
*July 15,
1931
t25

*A ugust 13,
1930
t24

$164,820
241,579

$234,365
284,166

Total loans and discounts............. ...$402,713
Investments
U. S. Government securities.... ... 76,192
Other securities.......................... ... 145,094

$406,399

$518,531

77,920
145,876

29,770
124,664

T otal investments.................................$221,286
Reserve balance with F. R . bank.. 41,176
Cash in vault..................................... ....
6,237
Deposits
N et demand deposits................. ... 353,612
Tim e deposits.............................. .... 237,509
Government deposits................. ....
1,499

$223,796
42,346
6,292

$154,434
43,883
5,771

372,830
236,697
4,635

378,323
238,116
658

* A ugust 12,
1931
Num ber of banks reporting......... ...
t25
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured by U. S. G ovt, obligations
and other stocks and bonds. ...$164,046
All other loans and discounts. ... 238,667

Total deposits........................................$592,620
$614,162
$617,097
Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal Reserve Bank...................
2,135
1,500
2,305
* In thousands (000 om itted).
t Increase due to substitutions for closed banks. These banks are located
in St. Louis, Louisville, M em phis, Little R ock , and Evansville, and their
resources represent 52.6 per cent of the resources of all member banks
in this district.

Debits to Individual Accounts — The following
table gives the total debits charged by banks to
checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of
deposit accounts and trust accounts of individuals,
firms, corporations and U. S. Government in leading
cities of the district. Charges to accounts of banks
are not included :
*July,
1931
East St. Louis & Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..$ 28,881
El Dorado, A rk.....
Evansville, In d .....
Fort Smith, Ark....
Greenville, Miss....
Helena, A rk ...........
Little R ock, Ark..
Louisville, K y ........
Memphis, T enn.....
Owensboro, K y .....
5,162
Pine Bluff, A rk .....
6,608
Quincy, 111.............
8,221
St. Louis, M o........ 565,493
Sedalia, M o ............
3,441
Springfield, M o..... 12,120
**Texarkana,
A rk -T ex..........
8,957

*June,
1931

*July,
1930

$ 30,570
4,641
22,608
8,917
2,592
2,419
28,405
135,178
96,261
4,739
7,076
8,985
714,075
3,395
15,807

fc 40,577
7,572
29,659
11,041
3,824
3,749
44,326
180,960
122,951
6,657
8,709
10,598
704,151
4,081
14,912

9,330

13,050

—
—
+
+

5.5%
2.4
16.4
4.9
10.0
+ 4.9
— 6.7
— 2.4
— 4.4
+ 8.9
—
6.6
— 8.5
— 20.8
+ 1.4
— 23.3

+

— 4.0

6.9
................ $1,019,108 $1,094,998 $1,206,817
Totals
*In thousands (000 om itted).
**Includes one bank in Texarkana, T exas not in Eighth District.

-2 8 .8 %
-40.2
-11.3
-15.3
-2 5.4
-32.3
-4 0.2
-27.1
-2 5.2
-2 2.5
-24.1
-2 2 .4
-1 9 .7
-1 5 .7
-18.7
— 31.4
— 15.6

Federal Reserve Operations— During July, 1931
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted
for 187 member banks against 159 in June and 215
in July, 1930. The discount rate remained un­
changed at 2y2 per cent on all classes and maturi­
ties of paper. Changes in the principal assets and
liabilities of this institution appear in the follow­
ing table:
♦Aug. 20,
1931
Bills discounted..............................................

U . S. Securities............................................ ....... 30,476
Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
40
Federal Inter. Cr. Bk. Debentures....... .........
Participation in Inv. F oreign Banks..... ....... 1,141
the reporting member banks on August 12, 1931
T otal bills and securities...................... .......$44,986
showed a decrease of .9 per cent as contrasted with
F. R. N otes in circulation........... ............. ...... 73,185
T otal deposits................................................. ...... 74,336
July 15, 1931. Deposits decreased 3.5 per cent be­
Ratio of reserve to deposits
and F. R. N ote Liabilities.................. ....... 74.9%
tween July 15, 1931 and August 12, 1931 and on the
*In thousands (000 om itted).
(Compiled August 24, 1931)




July, 1931 com p, to
June, 1931 July, 1930

*A ug. 20,
1930
$16,870
8,317
23,899
........38

*July 20,
1931
$ 9,812
1,477
30,475
200
1,033

$49,124
66,678
80,617

$42,977
73,251
69,214

73.1%

74.7%

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN T H E U N ITED STATES
Industrial production and factory employment declined
by somewhat more than the usual seasonal amount in July,
while the general level of commodity prices remained un­
changed. Conditions in the money market continued easy.
PRODUCTION AND EMPLOYMENT — Industrial
production, as measured by the Board’s index, which is ad­
justed to allow for the usual seasonal variations, declined
1 per cent further in July to 83 per cent of the 1923-1925
average, compared with the low point of 82 for last Decem­
ber and the year's high point of 90 in April. Output of iron

of Agriculture to be about 15,584,000 bales, an increase of
1,600,000 bales over last year.
DISTRIBUTION — Freight car loadings increased by
slightly less than the usual seasonal amount in July and
department store sales, which ordinarily decline sharply at
this season. Apparently decreased somewhat more than
usual.
WHOLESALE PRICES — The general level of whole­
sale prices in July continued at 70 per cent of the 1926

Index number of industrial production, adjusted for seasonal variation.
(1923-1925 a v e r a g e s 100). Latest figures June revised 84, July, 83.

Index of U nited States Bureau of Labor Statistics (1 9 2 6 = 1 0 0 ).
L atest figure July, 70.

and steel, automobiles, lumber, and copper decreased further,
while activity at textile mills and shoe factories was main­
tained at a high level.
Factory employment and payrolls declined by some­
what more than the seasonal amount from the middle of
June to the middle of July. Large decreases in employment
were reported at car building shops and machinery and
automobile factories, and at lumber mills. In the textile
industries as a whole, employment decreased somewhat
less than is usual in July, and there were increases in em­
ployment in the woolen goods and men’s clothing indus­
tries.
Figures on the value of building contracts awarded
during July and the first half of August, as reported by the

tistics. Increases were reported in the prices of livestock
and meats, while prices of building materials and of grains,
particularly wheat, declined. During July and the first half
of August, prices of cotton and cotton textiles declined
sharply, while prices of dairy products increased.
BANK CREDIT — Loans and investments of report­
ing member banks in leading cities declined by about
$340,000,000 between July 15 and August 15, reflecting chief­
ly further liquidation of loans on securities, and a decrease
in all other loans which was partly a consequence of sales
of acceptances to the Reserve Banks. The volume of the
member banks’ investments also showed a slight decline
for the period.
At the Reserve Banks there was an increase in the total
volume of credit of $190,000,000 between July 15 and
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

5500

5500

*500

GoWStecJt-------s

4000
2500

V ■ -%
Mtemb^TBank
Rrstrve Balances

2000

l<IVFV

1500
^

IReserve Bank
Credit

1000

V

______

t

V

j

1000
500

500

0

I i ii I I

5000

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

RESERYE BANK CM: DIT AND FACTORS IN CHiINGES
»
Money ir» Circulation

0
1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

M onthly averages of w eekly figures for reporting member banks in leading
cities. Latest figures are averages of first tw o weeks in August.

M onthly averages of daily figures. Latest figures are averages of first
20 days in A ugust.

F. W. Dodge Corporation, show a continuation of the down­
ward movement of recent months. Department of Agri­
culture estimates based on August 1 conditions indicated an
unusually large crop of winter wheat, and an exceptionally
small yield of spring wheat; a total wheat crop of 894,000,000
bushels, 72,000,000 bushels larger than the five year average.
The corn crop was estimated at 2,775,000,000 bushels, about
the usual size, and 700,000,000 bushels larger than last
year's small crop. In spite of a 10 per cent reduction in
acreage, the cotton crop was estimated by the Department

August 19. Demand for Reserve Bank credit during this
period increased as a result of an outflow of $144,000,000 of
currency, which was larger than is usual at this season,
and further transfers of foreign funds from the open mar­
ket into balances at the reserve banks. This demand for
reserve bank credit was met by the reserve banks for the
most part through the purchase of bills and United States
Government securities in the open market, but also through
increased discounts for member banks.
Money rates remained at low levels.