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MONTHLY REVIEW
Of Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Morning of February 28, 1930
R O L L A W E LLS ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

FEDERAL

RESERVE

4 S compared with the similar period immediately preceding, the past thirty days have been
X -^ n ark ed by moderate improvement in com­
merce and industry in this district. In a large major­
ity of lines investigated, however, the volume of
business transacted was measurably below that at
the corresponding period last year or in 1928. The
loss in volume extended to both the wholesale and
retail sections of distribution, and was also noticea­
ble in most manufacturing lines. In retail trade and
some wholesale classifications, the recession was ac­
counted for partly by the long spell of unfavorable
weather. The temperature in January was consid­
erably below average, and for the district as a whole
that month was the coldest since 1918. Precipitaiun was heavy, and during practically the entire
month, ice and snow covered the ground through­
out the northern tiers of the district. Communica­
tions in the country were seriously interfered with
by impassable roads in many sections, while in the
urban centers prevailing weather conditions tended
to discourage shopping.
While inventories of merchandise are for the
most part of moderate proportions, there is a gener­
al disposition among merchants to postpone replen­
ishing stocks until a more definite opinion can be
formed of likely developments during the next few
months. This is true particularly of retailers in the
country, where uncertainty relative to spring farm­
ing programs has been emphasized by the recent
decline in prices of cereals, cotton and some other
farm products to the lowest levels of the season.
Purchasing of commodities is confined very largely
to an immediate requirement basis, and in turn
manufacturers are making up only limited quanti­
ties of goods for which they have not actual orders
on their books. This attitude of hesitancy is re­
flected in extremely conservative commitments for
raw and semi-finished materials.
Combined January sales of all wholesale lines
investigated were 47.2 per cent larger than in De­
Icember, and 18.6 per cent below the January, 1929,
total. The volume of retail trade, as reflected by




C. M . STEW A RT,
Assistant Federal Reserve Agent

BANK

OF

ST.

J. V I O N P A P IN ,
Statistician

LOUIS

sales of department stores located in the principal
cities of the district, was 11.8 per cent smaller in
January than a year ago. Withdrawals from check­
ing accounts in the chief cities in January were
smaller by 2.7 per cent than in December, and 9.9
per cent less than in January, 1929. Most recent re­
ports indicate that special sales conducted by mer­
chants through the district for purpose of moving
winter merchandise have met with less satisfactory
response than during the past several seasons.
Investigations by the Employment Service of
the U. S. Department of Labor indicate that the em­
ployment situation as a whole in this district devel­
oped moderate improvement as contrasted with the
closing weeks of last year and the first half of Jan­
uary. The number of idle workers, however, was
larger than at the corresponding period a year ear­
lier. Resumption of activities at indusrtial plants,
which were closed for inventory and repairs, has
given employment to large numbers of skilled and
common laborers. At numerous plants, however,
operations were being conducted on part-time sched­
ules, and in a majority of industries there was a
surplus of workers. There were unusually heavy
releases of clerical help in retail stores and officers
in the large cities. Decreases in building activity
has reacted adversely on the volume of employment
in the building trades and in manufacturies of build­
ing materials. Southern textile and lumber mill
operations have not been at a sufficiently high rate
to utilize the full supply of workers available. The
long spell of extremely cold weather halted highway
construction, river and levee improvements and city
street and sewer work, resulting in heavy unemploy­
ment among workers engaged in these activities.
Stimulated by weather conditions, the markets
for bituminous coal maintained a high level of ac­
tivity. Demand from both industrial and domestic
consumers was strong, and the trend of prices was
higher, with the average well above that of the
same time last year. The only weakness evident
was in screenings, particularly the lower grades,
and this was due to increased stocks resulting from

the larger production of prepared sizes. While pur­
chasing was still on a hand-to-mouth basis as a rule,
there was a disposition in some quarters to build
up stock piles. The heavy movement during the last
half of the month rapidly cleaned up the accumu­
lation of loaded cars at Illinois, Indiana, and west­
ern Kentucky mines. The augmented requirements
for domestic sizes resulted in producers being be­
hind on orders in a number of instances. Buying
by the railroads, public utilities and municipalities
was in considerable volume, with reordering for
needs presumably covered, representing a large part
of the tonnage. For the country as a whole produc­
tion of bituminous coal for the present coal year to
February 8, approximately 265 working days,
totaled 449,510,000 tons, against 436,158,000 tons
the year before and 407,456,000 tons in the coal
year of 1927-1928.
Freight traffic of railroads operating in this
district showed considerable loss in volume as com­
pared with the corresponding periods a year ago
and in 1928. Decreases in both comparisons was
general through all classes of freight, and particu­
larly marked in the miscellaneous, merchandise and
farm products categories. A relatively better show­
ing was made by coal and coke than the other clas­
sifications, the movement having been stimulated
by cold weather. For the country as a whole, load­
ings of revenue freight for the first five weeks of
the year, or to February 1, totaled 4,248,318 cars,
against 4,518,609 cars for the corresponding period
in 1929 and 4,375,157 cars in 1928. The St. Louis
Terminal Railway Association, which handles inter­
changes for 28 connecting lines, interchanged
208,059 loads in January, against 187,464 loads in
December and 240,596 loads in January, 1929. Dur­
ing the first nine days of February the interchange
amounted to 62,703 loads, against 53,814 loads dur­
ing the corresponding period in January, and 81,306
loads during the first nine days of February, 1929.
Passenger traffic of the reporting roads in January
was about even with that of the same month a year
ago. Estimated tonnage of the Federal Barge Line,
between St. Louis and New Orleans, in January was
74,500 tons against 72,480 tons in December, and
131,916 tons in January, 1929. The decrease in the
yearly comparison was due largely to the presence
of heavy ice in the Mississippi River.
Reports relative to collections during the past
thirty days reflected considerable irregularity, with
the average below that at the corresponding period
last year. February first settlements with whole­
salers in the chief urban centers were generally be­
low expectations, and the number of requests for




extensions was somewhat more numerous than has
been the case in recent months. Boot and shoe
interests, and hardware firms reported relatively
better returns than some of the other principal lines.
Retail collections in the country were reported slow,
due partly to the inclement weather. City whole­
salers reported payments in smaller volume than
at the same time in 1929. Slow collections are still
complained of by building material interests, and
some branches of the iron and steel industry. An­
swers to questionnaires addressed to representa­
tive interests in the several lines scattered through
the district showed the following results:
E xcellent

January, 1930............. J .4 %
December, 1929........... 1.4
January, 1929...............3.6

G ood

20.3%
24.3 ‘
57.8

Fair

55.4%
61.4
33.8

P oor

22.9%
12.9
5.6

Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District during January, according to Dun’s,
numbered 170, involving liabilities of $3,054,140,
against 113 failures in December with liabilities of
$4,935,058, and 1*71 defaults for a total of $3,052,720
in January, 1929.
The average daily circulation in the United
States in January, 1930, was $4,652,000,000 against
$4,943,000,000 in December, 1929, and $4,748,000,000
in January, 1929.
MANUFACTURING AND WHOLESALING
3

a a ',

.

d A

/ —

"7 Q f o

Y

Automobiles — For the fifth successive month,
distribution of automobiles in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District decreased in January, according to
reporting dealers, l'otal §ales, which were sharply
below the January, 1929, aggregate represented the
smallest volume for any single month in five years,
with the exception of January and December, 1927.
January is normally a month of light sales, and dur­
ing the past six years has invariably shown decreases
under December. In the present instance, however
the decline is somewhat larger than the average
during the past half decade. Dealers attribute the
larger than usual decrease partly to the extremely
unfavorable weather conditions which obtained
throughout the district during January. Another
influence adversely affecting sales was the disposi­
tion on the part of prospective purchasers to await
the automobile shows before making their selec­
tions. Decreases in both the month-to-month and
yearly comparisons were spread generally through
all classes of makes. Relatively the largest declines
were noted among country dealers. Business in
parts and accessories was also in smaller volume
than a month and a year earlier. Demand for trucks

was considerably less active than heretofore, partic­
ularly in the case of the heavier varieties. Require­
ments for heavy hauling were affected by the between-season period of construction operations.
January sales of new passenger cars by 320 dealers
scattered through the district were 21.9 per cent
smaller than in December, and 27.7 per cent less
than in January, 1929. Stocks of new cars in deal­
ers’ hands on February 1, were 9.2 per cent larger
than on January 1, and 22.3 per cent larger than on
February 1, 1929. No change took place in the used
car market, dealers reporting considerable difficulty
in affecting sales, even where material price con­
cessions are offered. Stocks of saleable second hand
cars increased, the number in dealers' hands on
February 1 being 12.3 per cent larger than on Janu­
ary 1, and 28.4 per cent greater than on February 1,
1929. The total value of used cars on February 1,
was slightly smaller in both comparisons. January
sales of parts and accessories by the dealers report­
ing were 11.3 per cent and 17.0 per cent smaller
respectively, than thirty days and a year earlier.
Deferred payment sales of dealers reporting on that
detail in January constituted 55.0 per cent of their
total sales, against 53.9 per cent in December and
56.2 per cent in January, 1929.
Boots and Shoes — January sales of the five re­
porting interests were 140.8 per cent greater than
for December, but 20.5 per cent smaller than in
January, 1929. Stocks on February 1 were 12.8 per
cent larger than on January 1, and 0.5 per cent larger
than on February 1,1929. The increase in the monthto-month sales comparison is seasonal in character,
but due to the unusually small volume of sales in
December, the gain was considerably larger than
the average during the past several years. Demand
for overshoes during January was the best experi­
enced in a number of seasons, and clearance of this
class of goods, both at wholesale and retail, above
expectations. Purchasing for spring and early sum­
mer distribution is conservative, and retailers gen­
erally are backward about filling out stocks and
assortments. No change in prices was noted as com­
pared with the preceding thirty days. Factory oper­
ations were at a lower rate than a year ago.
Clothing — Sales of the reporting clotheirs in
January were 101.4 per cent larger than in Decem­
ber, and 8.2 per cent smaller than in January, 1929.
The gain in the month-to-month comparison was
seasonal in character, and about the average amount
during the past several years. Advance buying for
late spring and summer is reported generally back­
ward, and below the volume at this time last year.
The trend of prices was slightly lower.
Drugs and Chemicals — Due to the extreme
cold weather, sales of seasonal goods, notably reme­




dial drugs, alcohol and anti-freeze preparations,
were in considerable volume. The increase in this
general category, however, was more than offset by
decreases in staple goods, and heavy chemicals used
by manufacturers, with the result that January sales
of the six reporting interests were 0.4 per cent
smaller than in December, and 18.3 per cent smaller
than in January, 1929. Stocks on February 1 were
0.7 per cent smaller than thirty days earlier, and
13.9 per cent larger than on February 1, 1929.
Dry Goods — Business in this classification
showed the usual seasonal betterment from January
to February, but the January volume was sharply
below that of the corresponding period a year ago.
The decrease in sales under last year was ascribed
to a number of causes, among them the unfavorable
weather, price uncertainty and the decline in values
of farm products, especially cotton. Prices of fin­
ished merchandise was lower, and while retail
stocks are mainly small, there is hesitation about
replenishing. January sales of the eight reporting
interests were 34.7 per cent larger than in Decem­
ber, but 23.2 per cent smaller than for January, 1929.
Stocks on February 1 were 2.3 per cent larger than
thirty days earlier, and 9.2 per cent smaller than on
February 1, 1929.
Electrical Supplies — January sales of the five
reporting interests were 27.4 per cent smaller than
in December, and 6.9 per cent below the January,
1929, total. Stocks on February 1 were 13.7 per cent
and 19.7 per cent larger, respectively, than thirty
days and a year earlier. Losses in both sales com­
parisons were distributed generally through the
entire line, but most pronounced in the building and
radio material classifications.
Flour — Production at the 12 leading mills of
the district in January totaled 377,590 barrels,
against 394,030 barrels in December and 399,051
barrels in January, 1929. Stocks of flour in St. Louis
on February 1 were 2.8 per cent larger than on Jan­
uary 1, and 1.2 per cent smaller than on February 1,
1929. Flour buyers were disturbed by the sharp
decline in wheat values, and business throughout
the period was dull. Purchasing by the domestic
trade was confined almost exclusively to immediate
requirements, and export interest was at a low ebb.
Due to the low prices of feeds, millers were unwill­
ing to materially reduce their prices on flour, with
the result that dealers and the bakery interests re­
fused to cover on future requirements. Mill opera­
tion was at from 55 to 58 per cent of capacity.
Furniture — January sales of the twelve report­
ing interests were 13.0 per cent smaller than in De­
cember and 2.4 per cent larger than in January,
1929. Stocks on hand on February 1 were 15.9 per
cent larger than a month earlier, and 6.0 per cent

smaller than on February 1, 1929. The trend in
sales of household furniture and furnishings con­
tinued the decline of recent months. In the yearly
comparisons the gain was due largely to the heavier
sales of specialties, hotel and hospital equipment and
metal furniture.
Groceries — Inclement weather, which pre­
vented salesmen from completing their rounds, and
a disposition to postpone commitments on the part
of retailers, were influences in a decline of 2.8 per
cent in sales of the 15 reporting firms in January as
compared with the same month in 1929. The Janu­
ary total, however, was 2.5 per cent larger than that
of December. Stocks on February 1 were 15.6 per
cent and 47.0 per cent smaller, respectively, than
thirty days and a year earlier.
Hardware — January sales of the 11 reporting
interests were 4.0 per cent larger than in December,
and 7.7 per cent smaller than in January, 1929.
Stocks on February 1 were 23.6 per cent larger than
on January 1, and 14.3 per cent greater than on
February 1, 1929. The increase reported in the
month-to-month comparison was ascribed in large
part to the heavy call for seasonal merchandise inci­
dent to the spell of cold weather accompanied by
snow and ice. Advance business is reported in small­
er volume than at this time last year by a majority
of the firms.
Iron and Steel Products — Moderate improve­
ment from the low point of activity in December
and early January was noted in this classification.
The betterment centers chiefly in specifications on
goods previously ordered, as new orders booked by
mills, foundries and machine shops are still back­
ward, and measurably below the volume at the cor­
responding period a year ago. Important users of
steel are disposed to postpone commitments, and the
failure of the automobile industry to substantially
increase operations has had an adverse effect on
cold-rolled specialties and other commodities used
largely in the manufacture of motor vehicles. Pur­
chasing of building materials continues to lag, which
fact is partly due to the unusually cold weather
which seriously interfered with outdoor work.
Fabricators of structural iron and steel report a
dearth of lettings, particularly of contracts calling
for heavy tonnage. Reinforcing concrete bars were
quiet, though in the immediate past betterment in
demand for this material has developed. The move­
ment of sheets of all descriptions has been below the
seasonal average of the past several years. Require­
ments of the general manufacturing trade are small­
er than heretofore, and large users of sheets are pur­
chasing only sufficient for immediate needs. The
general run of wire and wire products, including
nails, continued quiet. Ordering of fencing and




woven wire products for spring consumption has
been relatively light. Manufacturers of tin plate re­
port a pickup in ordering by the can industry, with
advance sales about equal in volume to a year ago.
Railroad equipment interests have increased their
specifications on a variety of materials to apply on
car orders recently released by the railroads. Some
improvement is also noted in demand for track ac­
cessories and bridge materials. A number of stove
foundries, which were idle during the first half of
January, have resumed operations on part-time
schedules, but report orders booked in January
smaller than during the same month in 1929 or 1928.
Farm implement manufacturers were for the most
part working on higher schedules than during the
preceding thirty days but report that dealers gen­
erally through the district are slow in covering on
their spring and summer requirements. Jobbers of
iron and steel goods reported a quickening in busi­
ness during the last half of January, but a slowing
down in the general demand for their wares since
the the first of this month. Tank plates and the
entire line of oil country goods continued quiet, and
purchasing by the cement, quarry, fire clay products,
glass and furniture industries was below the usual
seasonal average. Buying of pig iron in January was
in considerable volume, but competition was re­
ported keen, resulting in price shading to secure
business. Production of pig iron for the country as
a whole in January was 2,838,543 tons, against
2,836,917 tons in December, and 3,433,028 tons in
January, 1929. Steel ingot production in the United
States in January totaled 3,786,319 tons, against
2,896,268 tons in December, and 4,490,354 tons in
January, 1929.

RETAIL TRADE

The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statement showing activity
at department stores in leading cities of the district:
N e t sales
com parison
Stocks on hand Stock turnover
Jan. 1930
Jan. 31, 1930
com p, to
com p, to
January
Jan. 1929
' Jan. 31, 1929
1930
1929
Evansville ..........................— 23.1%
+ 9 .8 %
.16
.21
L ittle R o ck ..........................— 11.0
+ 1.1
.16
.18
— 3.3
.20
.24
Louisville ............................— 17.5
Memphis ............................— 14.4
— 12.5
.23
.26
Q uincy ................................ + 1.9
+ 1 0 .0
.18
.19
St. L ouis..............................— 10.3
— 3.3
.27
.29
Springfield, M o ................ — 10.2
+5.6
.08
.09
8th D istrict......................... — 11.8
— 4.0
.24
.26
N et sales com parison
Stocks on hand
Jan. 1930 com p, to Jan. 1930 com p, to
Jan. 1929
D ec. 1929
Jan. 1929
D ec. 1929
M en’ s furnishings......... .— 13.7%*
— 44.2%
— 0.5$"*
+ ll.i%
B oots and shoes.................— 17.8
— 29.0
— 9.0
— 11.4

Department Store Sales by Departments — As
reported by the principal department stores in Little
Rock, Louisville, Memphis, and St. Louis.
Percentage increase or decrease
Jan. 1930 compared to Jan. 1929
N et sales
Stocks*4M|*J|ianclJ
for month
at end of mo.rth*
Piece good s...................... .................... .— 1 2 .7 % '
+ 6.8 %
R eady-to-w ear accessories.................— 15.2
— 4.4
W om en and misses’ ready-to-w ear— 23.6
— 3.4
M en ’s and b oys’ wear..........................— 20.2
— 3.8
H om e furnishings................................. .— 23.1 .
— 3.9

BUILDING
The dollar value of building permits issued for
new construction in the five largest cities of the dis­
trict in January was the smallest for any single
month in more than seven years, and 62.4 per cent
smaller than in December, and 75.3 per cent below
the January, 1929, total. According to statistics
compiled by the F. W . Dodge Corporation, construc­
tion contracts let in the Eighth Federal Reserve
District in January totaled $13,062,764, against
$17,387,230 in December, and $25,479,285 in Janu­
ary, 1929. For the country as a whole, production
of portland cement in January totaled 8,498,000 bar­
rels, against 11,215,000 barrels in December, and
9,881,000 barrels in January, 1929. Building figures
for January fo llow :
N ew Construction
Perm its
*C ost
1930
1929
1929
1930
Evansville .. 193
260
$ 125 $ 210
172
L ittle R ock
26
36
97
Louisville ..
65
89
793
195
293
295
607
M em phis «... 134
St. Louis.... 130
202
141
1,675
Jan. totals
548
1*80
$ 853 $3,457
705
889
4,132
D ec. totals
2,273
N ov. totals
955 1,429
2,244
6,742
*In thousands o f dollars (000 om itted).

_______ Repairs, etc.
*C ost
Permits
1929
1930
1929
1930
$
30 f 2 0
28
16
54
34
118
45
35
39
47
25
124
43
83
23
147
243
228
218
523
343
632

$

361
363
555

349
781
1,392

$367
881
771

CONSUMPTION OF ELECTRICITY
Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district report consumption of electri­
city by selected industrial customers in January as
being 3.2 per cent larger than in December, but
10.4 per cent smaller than in January, 1929. An in­
crease in January was shown by railroad shops and
coal mines, but this was more than offset in the
yearly comparison by rather general decreases else­
where, notably among cement and other building
material plants. Detailed figures follow :
Jan.
N o. o f
D ec.
Custom1930
1929
* K .W .H . * K .W .H .
ers
Evansville .... 40
1,540
1,536
L ittle R ock.. 35
1,390
1,521
Louisville .... 87
6,948
6,024
Mem phis ..... 31
1,791
1,656
St. L ou is......143
13,961
14,110
Totals......336
25,630
* In thousands (000 om itted).

24,847

Jan. 1930
com p, to
D ec. 1929
+ 0 .2 %
— 8.6
+ 15.3
+ 8.2
— 1.1
- f 3.2

Jan.
Jan. 1930
com p, to
1929
* K .W .H . Jan. 1929
1,605
— 4.0%
1,449
— 4.1
6,985
— 0.5
1,867
— 4.1
16,693
— 16.4
28,599

— 10.4

The following figures compiled by the Depart­
ment of the Interior show kilowatt production for
lighting and industrial purposes for the country as
a w hole:
D ec.
N ov.
O ct.

B y water pow er
B y fuels
1929..............................2,757,827,000
5,758,637,000
1929..............................2,641,729,000 * 5,607,671,000
1929..............................2,730,226,000
5,978,090,000

T otals
8,516,464,000
8,249,400,000
8,708,316,000

AGRICULTURE
Generally through the district early farm work
is backward, due to the protracted spell of cold
weather and to snow and ice, which prevented farm­
ers from entering their fields. In the south relative­
ly little plowing for cotton and other early crops
had been accomplished at the middle of February,




while in the northern tiers of the district virtually
no field work was done. In many sections the condi­
tion of dirt roads hampered hauling of farm products
to markets, and the sharp decline in values of cer­
tain important products was a further deterrent to
heavy marketing. Gathering of the considerable
portion of the corn crop still remaining in the fields
made poor progress, and there were increasing re­
ports of damage to quality of corn left outside and
in cribs. Serious flood damage occurred in sections
of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas, the
overflows in these areas being at an earlier date and
of greater extent than in a number of seasons. The
greatest injury was wrought in the valleys of the
Wabash and St. Francis rivers.
Reports from scattered sections indicate rather
widespread damage to fruit trees from ice and sleet,
and some apprehension is felt relative to the peach
crop, due to the unusually low temperatures prevail­
ing through January. No comprehensive survey of
the orchard situation has been made, however, and
it is too early to estimate the extent of damage.
Wheat prices declined in early February to the low­
est level since last June. Corn was also lower, and
cotton recorded a new low level for the crop year
in the first week of February. The live stock mar­
kets on the other hand, were strong and on the up­
turn, hogs selling at the highest point since last
August.
Winter Wheat — Generally through January
and the first week of February, fields were covered
with snow, which afforded protection against the
extreme low temperatures prevailing durirfg that
period. Milder weather since has caused melting,
and at the middle of February most of the crop was
uncovered, and there were minor complaints of dam­
age from Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Almost
universally there has been abundant moisture, and
soil conditions were rarely better at this particular
time of the year. For the most part, reports indi­
cate that the crop is in good condition.
Com — Progress of the season is disclosing in­
creased quantities of corn of poor quality. Grain ar­
riving at the principal centers averages high in
moisture content, and there are numerous reports
of damage from mould to corn in cribs and in the
field. Weather has been against gathering corn in
the fields, and in many sections a larger proportion
of the crop remains unhoused than has been the case
in a number of years. Recent reports indicate that
seed corn is testing poorly throughout parts of Illi­
nois, Indiana and Missouri, particularly where frost
caught the crop before it was properly matured.
Generally through the district, prime seed corn is
scarce. On account of the long spell of extremely
cold weather, feeding of corn to livestock on farms

in many localities has been the heaviest in twenty
years.
Live Stock — According to the annual survey
of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the number
and value of livestock on farms in states lying whol­
ly or partly within the Eighth Federal Reserve Dis­
trict showed only minor variations from Janaury 1,
1929 to the same date this year. The aggregate
number of cattle, sheep, swine and horses and mules
on the first day of this year was 32,557,000 head,
which compares with 32,334,000 head on January 1,
1929. The total value of these animals was placed
at $1,027,293,000 as against $1,020,916,000 on Janu­
ary 1 a year earlier. The number and value of swine
was lower this year than last, and the same was
true of horses and mules. In both point of num­
bers and aggregate value, cattle showed a substan­
tial increase over the preceding year. There was a
slight increase in the number of sheep, but a decline
in total value as compared with a year ago. For the
country as a whole the total value of live stock on
farms on January 1 was $5,864,969,000, compared
with $6,003,598,000 on January 1, 1929. The 1930
valuation, while below that of a year ago, was above
any other year since 1921. The total value of each
species was below a year ago.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis, as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follows:
R eceipts
Jan.
D ec.
Jan.
1930
1929
1929
Cattle and calves........ 81,977 85,708 90,783
H ogs ............................342,603 317,662 409,468
H erses and m ules...... 12,011
4,591 10,976
Sheep ............................ 35,088 31,319 27,955

Shipments
Jan.
Dec.
Jan.
1930
1929
1929
46,360 55,073
^4,725
274,802 234,619 294,568
12,329
4,675
11,954
20,172 12,680
14,451

Cotton — Preparations for the new crop have
not progressed far. Weather throughout January
and early this month was decidedly inauspicious for
outdoor operations. Some plowing was done in the
southern tiers of the district, but virtually none
north of the Arkansas River. Milder temperatures
developed toward the middle of February, but melt­
ing snow and ice left the soil so muddy that a week
or ten days of ideal conditions would be required
to place it in condition to till. Some progress was
made in completing the old crop harvest, but condi­
tion of cotton in the fields was such that much of it
was abandoned. There is nothing as yet to indicate
acreage prospects. Campaigns to curtail acreage
have been started in Mississippi and elsewhere.
Prices of cotton declined in early February to the
lowest point on the crop. In the St. Louis market
the middling grade fluctuated between 14}4c and
16j4c per pound between January 15 and February
15, closing at 15c on the latter date, against 16j4c
on January 16, and 18*4c on February 15, 1929.
Very little cotton remains in producers’ hands in
this district, although cotton merchants hold fairly
large stocks. Stocks of cotton in Arkansas ware­




houses on February 14 totaled 291,980 bales, against
339,084 bales on January 17, and 196,400 bales on
February 14, 1929.
Rice — Since the first of this month quite de­
cided improvement has developed in the market for
both rough and polished rice, greater strength being
shown than at any time since last fall. In Arkansas
an unusually large amount of rice is still in farmers’
hands, the total being estimated at 25 to 30 per cent
of the 1929 crop. There has been very little progress
made in preparations for the 1930 crop, due princi­
pally to unfavorable weather conditions.
Tobacco — Most recent reports indicate that
the 1929 crop of burley tobacco will considerably
exceed in pounds the estimates earlier in the season.
Weight of the leaf marketed has exceeded expecta­
tions. Sales from the date of the opening of the
markets to February 8 averaged $22.21 per hundred
pounds, which compares with an average of $32.50
on the entire 1928 crop. The better grades and col­
ory tobacco have been relatively the cheapest. Com­
mon and medium grades brought relatively higher
prices. In the dark fired districts heavy deliveries
and rapid marketing have generally continued, and
similar conditions to those in the burley sections
prevail, in that yield in pounds is exceeding estimates
previously made. Lugs are in strong demand and
sell at high prices, and there has been spirited com­
petition for good to fine leaf. Low grades have been
relatively quiet and cheap, which in conjunction
with an increase in yield, have served to lower the
average price level. T o February 8, average prices
in the several markets averaged from 50c to $3.50
lower than for the 1928 crop.
Commodity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between January 15, 1930, and Febru­
ary 15, 1930, with closing quotations on the latter
date and on February 15, 1929:
W heat

u

Close
Low
F eb. 15, 1930
$1.16
$1.19
1.29& 1.17
1.1954
1.23 $1.24 @ 1.25
1.35
1.43
1.25
1.1654 1.18 @ 1.18J4 1.28

H igh

July ................. .... “
N o. 2 red winter “
N o. 2 hard...... .... “
C om
.... “
.95%
.... “
.97%
N o. 2 mixed.... .... "
.8 7 ^
N o. 2 white....
Oats
N o. 2 white.... .... “
.4954
Flour
S oft patent....
Spring patent.. .... “
6.60
Middling cotton.. ..per lb.V* .1654
H ogs on h o o f...... ..per cwt.11.50

.90H
•92 H
.82
.85

.83
.87

.45

.4654 @

6.25
6.25
5.95
6.25
.1454
9.25
8.00

@
@

.90*4
.93**
.84
.88

$1.30 H
1.33
@ 1.46
@ 1.2854

.9 6 5 4®
.9 5 5 4®

.48

.51

@ 6.50
@ 6.30
.15
@ 11.50

7.00
6.10
6.75

@

1*0256
1.04H
.9754
.98
.5154

@ 7.25
@ 6.25
.1854
@ 10 .4 0

FINANCIAL
Liquidation of loans at commercial banks and
the Federal reserve bank continued in considerable
volume during the past thirty days. Settlements
were well diversified, both with reference to geo­
graphic location and the various borrowing interests.
Demand for credit from commercial and industrial
sources, while somewhat less active than thirty days

earlier, was still in large volume, and only minor
variations were noted in the rates charged customers
by the commercial banks. Quite generally through
the district, but more particularly in sections where
tobacco is the principal crop, country banks further
reduced their indebtedness to city correspondents,
and in a number of instances these banks were seek­
ing investments for surplus funds. Due to the liber­
al movement of live stock to market, occasioned by
the high prices prevailing, there was a substantial
reduction in loans based on that class of property.
Demand for funds to condition live stock for market,
however, continues active.

and on the latter date were 7.0 per cent smaller
than on February 20, 1929. Composite statement
follow s:

There was also further curtailment in commit­
ments of flour milling and grain interests, with the
total about 50 per cent smaller than at the peak
last fall. Packers slightly increased their borrow­
ings to take care of increased inventories of finished
products. Demand from manufacturers of building
materials were measurably smaller than at the cor­
responding period last year or in 1928. Routine
liquidation by mercantile interests in the large cities
was fully up to the usual seasonal average, but new
requirements about balanced payments, with the
result that no material change was noted in this
class of loans as contrasted with the preceding
aonth. Owing to the lateness of the season, require­
ments for agricultural operations were at a mini­
mum.

$643,617
$605,828
Total deposits............................... ...... .$598,415
Bills payable and rediscounts with
27,244
5,235
6,431
Feaeral Reserve B ank.................. .
*In thousands (000 om itted).
tD ecrease due to consolidation. These 25 banks are located in St. L ouis,
Louisville, Mem phis, L ittle R ock , and Evansville, and their resources
represent 53.1 per cent o f the resources o f all m ember banks in this
district.

Between January 15 and February 12, loans of
the reporting member banks decreased 2.7 per cent,
and on the latter date were 3.1 per cent below the
total a.year earlier. Deposits of these banks, which
declined steadily from the opening of the year until
February 5, turned slightly upward in the second
week of this month. Borrowings of all member
banks from the Federal reserve bank continued the
steady decline which has been in progress since last
September, and on February 11 reached the lowest
aggregate since January, 1928.
St. Louis bank’s current interest rates were as
follow s; Prime commercial paper, 5% to 6 per cent;
collateral loans, Sy2 to 7 per cent; loans secured by
warehouse receipts, 5% to 6^2 per cent; interbank
loans, 5j4 to 6 per cent and cattle loans, 6 to 6li
/
per cent.

*Jan. 22,
1930
t25

*F eb. 20,
1929
29

$238,548
281,873

$245,615
286,048

Total loans and discounts................ .$516,607
Investments
U . S. Government securities..... . 36,301
. 112,624

$520,421

$531,663

37,440
111,735

80,041
118,588

Total investments.............................. ,.$148,925
R eserve balance with F. R , bank. . 44,397
.
5,760
Deposits
s.
N et demand deposits.................... . 369,811
Tim e deposits................................. . 228,574
Government deposits....................
30

$149,175
44,786
5,804

$198,629
47,569
6,591

378,227
227,358
243

402,334
240,181
1,102

*F eb. 19,
1930
N um ber of banks reporting............
t25
Loans and discounts (m cl. rediscounts)
Secured b y XJ. S. G ovt, obligations and
other stocks and bonds..,........ .$232,247
A ll other loans and discounts... . 284,360

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 lead­
ing cities of the district. Charges to accounts of
banks are not included.
*Jan.
1930
East St. Louis & Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..$ 49,027
8,187
E l Dorado, Ark.... .
Evansville, In d ....., 27,445
F ort Smith, A rk.. . 15,075
Greenville, Miss...„
5,898
6,321
Helena, A rk......... .
Little R ock, Ark..„ 81,154
Louisville, Ky.......,. 199,021
M emphis, Tenn...... 177,420
Ow ensboro, K y.... .
9,834
Pine Bluff, ^Vrk.... . 12,097
Quincy, 111............. . 12,597
St. Louis, M o ...... . 796,378
5,104
Sedalia, M o ...........
16,755
Springfield, Mo....
**Texarkana,
A rk.*T ex........... . 16,196

*Jan.
1929

$ 41,613
8,979
30,698
14,866
5,382
6,675
90,075
184,018
200,507
7,987
13,494
13,555
825,542
4,586
15,333

$ 67,964
9,835
51,477
14,488
5,434
5,137
84,662
235,280
197,065
9,573
13,390
13,170
848,284
4,798
18,204

14,618

18,403

Jan. 1930 com p, to
D ec. 1929 Jan. 1929
+ 17.8%
— 8.8
— 10.6
+ 1.4
+ 9.6
— 5.3
— 9.9
+ 8.2
— 11.5
4*23.1
— 10.4
— 7.1
— 3.5
+ 11.3
+ 9.3

— 27.9%
— 16.8
— 46.7
+ 4.1
+ 8.5
+ 2 3 .0
— 4.1
— 15.4
— 10.0
+ 2.7
— 9.7
— 4.4
— 6.1
+ 6.4
— 8.0

+ 10.8

— 12.0

Totals....... .1,438,509 $1,477,928 $1,597,164
— 2.7
— 9.9
*In thousands (000 om itted ).
**Includes one bank in Texarkana, T exas not in Eighth District.

Federal Reserve Operations — During January
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted
for 196 member banks, against 205 in December,
and 173 in January, 1929. The discount rate, which
had been uniformly at 5 per cent since July 19, 1928,
was lowered to Ay2 per cent, effective February 11.
Changes in the principal assets and liabilities of this
institution as compared with the preceding month
and a year ago appear in the following table:
Bills discounted......
Bills bought.............
U . S. securities......
Municipal warrants..

Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
the reporting member banks on February 19, 1930
showed a decrease of 0.7 per cent as contrasted with
Total deposits.............................
January 22, 1930. Deposits decreased 1.2 per cent
Ratio o f reserve to deposits
and F . R. N o te Liabilitie;
between January 22, 1930 and February 19, 1930
*In thousands (000 om itted).
(Compiled February 21, 1930)




*D ec.
1929

*Feb. 21,
1930
..$20,093
18,584
.. 19,266
30

*Jan. 21,
1930
$14,932
12,576
19,266
30

..$57,973
.. 85,099
.. 81,973

$46,804
89,316
83,119

$70,969
60.207
85,450

69.8%

75.3%

57.0%

*F eb. 21,
1929
$41,088
10,397
19,484

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
PRODUCTION — Industrial production showed an in­
crease of about 4 per cent in January, according to the
Board’s index, which makes allowance for the usual seasonal
variations. This increase reflected principally a larger out­
put of automobiles, steel, cotton textiles, and shoes. Output
of copper, cement, lumber, anthracite coal and flour declined
and the increase in bituminous coal output was smaller than
is usual for the season. In the first two weeks of February
steel plants increased their rate of operation further, but
continued to be less active than in the corresponding period
of last year. Building contracts awarded showed little

received by the Federal Reserve System, were about 2 per
cent lower than in the corresponding month of last year,
this difference being about the same as shown the month
before.
WHOLESALE PRICES — Wholesale prices of com­
modities in January continued to move downward. In
general, fluctuations were small until the latter part of the
month, when decreases occurred in the prices of grains,
•cotton, wool, iron and steel and petroleum. The prices of

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

change in January, a substantial increase in public works
and utilities being in large part offset by a decrease in resi­
dential construction. In the first half of February the daily
average of contracts was lower than in January.
EMPLOYMENT AND PAYROLLS — The number
of wage earners employed at factories declined further be­
tween the middle of December and the middle of January,
and wage payments showed a larger reduction. In automo­
bile and steel plants there was an increase in employment
in the month ending January 15, 1930, and in recent weeks
further increases have been reported for these industries.
There were decreases in January in the number of wage
earners employed in the machinery, car building and repair­
ing, lumber, and cement industries. During the three week
PEftcorr

MO

IFACTORY EMPLOY!MENTANC I PAYROLL5

no

Payrolls*

A

of February the prices of hogs, pork, and cattle increased,
while the prices of wheat, cotton, pig iron, petroleum and
textiles continued to decline.
BANK CREDITS — Liquidation of member bank
credit in January and the early part of February was in
substantially larger volume than in the corresponding period
of 1929. Declines were reported in loans on securities and
in all other loans, which continued to decrease in February
contrary to the usual seasonal trend. There was little
change in the banks’ holding of investments. The volume of
reserve bank credit outstanding declined by about
$140,000,000 between the middle of January and the middle
of February. This decline was due in part to the reduction
in member bank reserve balances which accompanied the

ptncsMT
12U
IATES IN MEW YORK
MONEY 1

/v

110

rA

too

100

Am

- v

tmpbyment

80

70

70
1925

1926

1927

1928

1929

1930

'Y -

-

y

\

rciaJPaperfit
BankDiscount/A rt*
'once Bote

I I !

60

A

in

90

90

A
AT i

1926

t___________ 1

1927

,

1928

1929

1930

In d e* num bers of fa ctory em ploym ent and payrolls, without adjustment
for seasonal variations. (1923-25 average = 1 0 0 ). Latest figures,
January: Em ploym ent, 9 3.1 ; payrolls, 94.2.

M onthly rates in the open market in N ew Y o r k : com m ercial paper rate
on 4 to 6 m onth paper. A cceptance rate on 90-day bankers’ accept­
ances. Latest figures are averages o f first tw enty days in February.

period ending February 3, the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
on the basis of preliminary returns, reported a slight in­
crease in factory employment.
DISTRIBUTION - - Shipments of freight were in
about the same volume in January as in December. Aver­
age daily loadings of miscellaneous freight and merchandise
in less than carload lots decreased slightly during the
month, but by a smaller amount than is usual at this season.
During the first two weeks in February there was some in­
crease in shipments, largely seasonal in nature. Depart­
ment store sales in January, according to preliminary figures

decline in the banks’ loans and investments; in part to the
continued return flow of currency from circulation; and in
part to gold imports, largely from Brazil and Japan. Money
rates in the open market eased further. Rates on commer­
cial paper declined to a range of 4 ^ -4 ^ per cent, and rates
on 60-90 day bankers’ acceptances declined from 4 to 3%
and later to 3M per cent. Discount rates at the Federal
Reserve Banks of New York, Chicago, Boston, and Kansas
City were reduced from 4 Y to 4 per cent, and rates at
z
Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, St. Louis, Minneapolis
and Dallas from 5 to 4j^ per cent.