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MONTHLY REVIEW
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O f Agriculturalf Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication O n and After the Afternoon of February 2 8 ,1 9 3 3
JOHN S. W O O D ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

FEDERAL

f

RESERVE

\T IT H the exception of a limited number of
g lines, mainly those affected by seasonal in-

* fluences, commerce and industry in the
Eighth District during January continued the re­
cessionary trends which marked the closing months
of last year. The rate of the downward movement,
however, was less marked than in the last quarter
of 1932, and in a number of instances there appeared
fairly definite indications of stabilization, both with
reference to volume of business transacted and
prices. Distribution was handicapped by the unusu­
ally mild weather which prevailed throughout the
month. In many sections, including the St. Louis
area the mean temperature in January was the low­
est in more than half a century. This had a tendency
to hold down the movement into consumptive chan­
nels of all descriptions of seasonal merchandise,
but more particularly apparel, fuel, and drugs and
chemicals. Decreases in sales volume extended to
wholesaling and retailing lines, and in the case of
th latter were measurably larger than the average
e
in recent years. With the exception of boots and
shots, hardware and dry goods, all wholesaling clas­
sifications showed decreases from December to
January, and in all lines the totals were smaller than
in January, 1932.
Since the last week in January, earlier condi­
tions were reversed in a sharp drop in temperatures,
extending to the most southern tiers of the district
an bringing the first protracted cold weather of
d
th winter. Some damage to early truck crops and
e
fruit trees in the south and to the growing wheat
crop was occasioned by the cold snap, but on the
whole the seasonal weather was beneficial to busi­
ness. There has been a noticeable pick-up in order­
ing of merchandise and production and shipments of
bituminous coal in all the fields of the district.
Another benefit from the freezes has been heavy
mortality among hibernating boll weevils in the
cotton sections. On the other hand, the extreme cold
weather served to increase hardships of the needy
unemployed, and applications for assistance made to




C. M. STEWART,
Secretary and Ass't Federal Reserve Agent

BANK

OF

ST*

J. VION PAPIN,
Statistician

LOUIS

the relief agencies were more numerous than here­
tofore. The employment situation as a whole
showed no improvement as contrasted with the pre­
ceding thirty days. In the large cities the number
of idle workers was increased by releases of clerical
help following the holidays.
Manufacturing activities in all lines, especially
iron and steel and building materials generally,
were considerably below the same time a year ago.
A number of plants, including stove, heating appara­
tus and implement, which closed down for the holi­
day and inventorying period, are either still idle or
have resumed on sharply reduced schedules. While
inventories of finished goods are universally light,
there is a disposition on the part of merchants to
replenish with extreme caution, and in turn manu­
facturers are making up but little stock for which
they have not actual or prospective orders.
As reflected in sales of department stores in
leading cities of the district, volume of retail trade
in January was 33 per cent smaller than in Decem­
ber and 23.5 per cent less than in January, 1932.
Combined sales of all wholesaling and jobbing firms
reporting to this bank were 46.5 per cent larger in
January than in December, but 12 per cent smaller
than in January, last year. The value of permits
issued for new construction in the five largest cities,
in January was slightly smaller than in December
and about 68 per cent less than in January, 1932.
Construction contracts let in the Eighth District in
January were 3.6 per cent larger than in December
and 3.2 per cent more than in January last year.
Debits to checking accounts in January showed an
increase of approximately 3 per cent over December,
but a decrease of 18 per cent under January, 1932.
The volume of freight and passenger traffic
handled by railroads operating in this district con­
tinued substantially smaller than in the correspond­
ing periods a year and two years earlier. Since the
first week in February the sharp drop in tempera­
tures has been reflected in a heavier movement of
coal and coke, and moderate improvement has taken

place in some other classifications. For the country
as a whole loadings of revenue freight for the first
four weeks this year, or to January 28, totaled 1,910,496 cars, against 2,266,771 cars for the comparable
period in 1932 and 2,873,211 cars in 1931. The St.
Louis Terminal Railway Association, which handles
interchanges for 28 connecting lines interchanged
111,834 loads in January, against 112,123 loads in
December, and 140,912 loads in January, 1932. Dur­
ing the first nine days of February the interchange
amounted to 36,361 loads, which compares with
29,027 loads during the corresponding period in
January, and 42,158 loads during the first nine days
of February, 1932. Passenger traffic of the reporting
roads decreased 25 per cent in January as compared
with the same month a year ago. Estimated tonnage
of the Federal Barge Line between St. Louis and
New Orleans in January was 81,300 tons, against
93,766 tons in December and 130,807 tons in Janu­
ary, 1932.
Collections generally through the district in
January and the first half of February were spotty
and irregular, with the average measurably below
the preceding several months and a year ago.
Wholesalers and jobbers in the principal distribut­
ing centers report payments on current accounts are
being made promptly, but liquidation of older in­
debtedness is backward, and requests for extensions
are numerous. Similarly, strong accounts are pay­
ing their bills when due, with some taking advant­
age. of discounts, but no improvements has taken
place in collections from weaker debtors. Retail
collections have been noticeably affected by the con­
siderable volume of funds tied up in suspended
banks in different sections of the district. Liquida­
tion with both merchants and banks in the tobacco
sections have improved since the opening of the
markets for the 1932 crop in December. As has been
the case for a number of months, collections for
manufacturers and distributors of the heavier lines
of merchandise are relatively less satisfactory than
in the industries dealing in goods for ordinary con­
sumption. Questionnaires addressed to representa­
tive interests in the several lines scattered through
the district showed the following results:
Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

January,
1933......... 1.9%
9.4% 54.2% 34.5%
December, 1932......... 2.0
14.6
54.6
28.8
18.2
61.0
20.8
January,
1932......... 0.0
Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District in January, according to Dun’s, num­
bered 121 involving liabilities of $1,865,582 against
114 insolvencies in December with liabilities of
$1,833,530 and 158 defaults for a total of $3,918,464
in January, 1932.




The average daily circulation of the United
States in January was $5,631,000,000, against $5,699,000,000 in December, and $5,645,000,000 in January,
1932.
M AN UFACTURING AN D W H O LESALIN G
Boots and Shoes — January sales of the report­
ing firms were 10 per cent smaller than for the same
month last year, but approximately one and onehalf times larger than the December, 1932, total.
Stocks on February 1 were about one-fourth larger
than a month earlier, but 12 per cent smaller than
a year ago. The increase in the month-to-month
sales comparison is seasonal in character, December
being normally a month of small sales volume. The
increase this year was somewhat larger than the
average during the past decade. Since February 1
there has been a general improvement in orders
received, with the movement of heavy footwear
more active than earlier in the season. Retailers are
universally carrying small stocks, and a large part
of orders arriving bear immediate shipment specifi­
cations. Factory operations were slightly heavier
than during the preceding thirty days.
Clothing — Unusually mild weather in Novem­
ber and December militated against the movement
of heavyweight apparel, both at wholesale and retail,
and the clearance of such merchandise at the ejid of
January was below expectations. The drop in tem­
peratures early this month served to stimulate de­
mand for seasonal merchandise, and brought in a
fair volume of reordering. Purchasing of clothing
for spring and early summer distribution is back­
ward, particularly in the south. Sales of the report­
ing clothiers in January were 5 per cent larger than
for the same month last year, but 26 per cent below
the December, 1932, total.
Drugs and Chemicals — January sales of the
reporting interests were 13 per cent smaller than
in December, and 3 per cent below the January,
1932, total. There was a slight increase in inven­
tories between January 1 and February 1, but on
the latest date the aggregate was 10 per cent smaller
than a year earlier. Since the last week in January
there has been a noticeable pick-up in demand for
seasonal goods, notably anti-freeze mixtures, de­
natured alcohol and remedial drugs. Requirements
for heavy drugs and chemicals of the general manu­
facturing trade continue light. Advance ordering of
fertilizers is in slightly larger volume than at the
same period a year ago.
Dry Goods — Business in this classification
showed the usual seasonal betterment from Decem­
ber to January, and the extent of the increase was
somewhat greater than the average. This fact, how­

ever, was due to the extremely small sales total
recorded in December, as the January volume was
the smallest for that month in more than ten years.
Since February 1 there has been a noticeable im­
provement in orders, due partly to filling of require­
ments postponed from January and to stimulation
felt in certain lines from the cold weather. Stocks
of retailers continues small, but replenishment is
hesitant because of uncertainty relative to prices
and the future of general business. January sales
of the reporting interests were 34 per cent larger
than in December, but 18 per cent smaller than in
January, 1932. Stocks on February 1 were about 3
per cent greater than a month earlier, but 13 per cent
less than a year ago.
Electrical Supplies — Continued quietness in
demand for electrical supplies of all descriptions is
reflected in a decrease in January sales of the report­
ing firms of 43 per cent as compared with December
and of 39 per cent as compared with January, 1932.
There was a slight increase in inventories between
January 1, and February 1, but the aggregate on the
latest date was approximately 42 per cent smaller
than a year ago. While decreases in both the monthto-month and yearly sales comparisons were gener­
al in all lines, they were most pronounced in electri­
cal installations for new buildings, household appli­
ances and radio material.
Flour — Production at the 12 leading mills of
the district in January totaled 253,973 barrels, the
smallest since last October, and comparing with
261,298 barrels in December and 240,596 barrels in
January, 1932. Demand from all sources continued
quiet, with purchasing on a hand-to-mouth basis.
The large baking interests have not increased their
commitments and stocks of distributors are unusu­
ally small. Foreign demand has failed to broaden,
and exports were confined to routine transactions
with Latin-American countries. Prices in early
February were a shade higher than thirty days earl­
ier, due to the advance in cash wheat. Mill opera­
tions were at from 40 to 45 per cent of capacity.
Furniture — January sales of the reporting
firms were 5 per cent smaller than in December and
27 per cent less than in January, 1932. Stocks on
February 1 were 6 per cent larger than a month
earlier, but only one-half as large as on February 1
last year. The decline in sales of household furni­
ture and furnishings continued the almost unbroken
downward tendency which has been in effect for the
past eighteen months. There was no change in
prices as contrasted with the preceding month, but
in practically all lines values are substantially lower
than a year ago.




Groceries — Depressed prices for farm products
tend to hold down purchasing in the country, while
unemployment adversely affects business in large
industrial centers. Retailers are buying from handto-mouth and demand generally centers in the
cheaper grades of goods. Sales of the reporting in­
terests in January were 6 per cent smaller than dur­
ing the preceding month, and 8 per cent below the
January, 1932, total. Stocks on February 1 were
slightly smaller than a month earlier, and 21 per
cent less than on February 1, 1932.
Hardware — Unusually mild weather through
January had a tendency to retard the movement of
seasonal goods, but noticeable betterment has taken
place in demand for such merchandise with the low­
er temperatures since February 1. Generally the
outlet for hardware through the building industry
has failed to broaden, sales of builders’ tools and
hardware being the smallest for this particular
period in a number of years. January sales of the
reporting firms -were 5.5 per cent larger than in
December, but 11 per cent smaller than in January,
1932. Stocks decreased slightly between January
1 and February 1, and on the latest date were 6 per
cent larger than a year ago.
Iron and Steel Products — Only moderate im­
provement from the holiday low was noted in the
iron and steel industry during January, and as com­
pared with a year ago, both production and distribu­
tion registered a substantial decrease. Since the first
of February, however, miscellaneous and scattered
demands have resulted in the placement of a fair
volume of new business and a decided pickup in
specifications on materials previously contracted
for. The betterment has been most pronounced in
orders reecived by jobbing foundries, a number of
plants having increased their working schedules.
Shipments of pig iron to melters in the district dur­
ing the first half of February were at a slightly
heavier daily average rate than during January.
Important users of iron and steel, notably the -auto­
motive, implement, railroad and building industries,
have not increased their purchasing, but in the im­
mediate past inquiries from these sources have been
numerous. Demand for sheets, plates and other
rolled steel items is confined chiefly to immediate
requirements. Wire and wire products continue to
lag, with advance ordering of wire mesh for spring
delivery being almost entirely absent. Canners and
other users of tin plate are backward in placing con­
tracts for their first half requirements, due to uncer­
tainty relative to general business and unsettled
prices. The trend of sheet prices, particularly gal­
vanized, is lower, and this weakness has affected

strip, bars and shafting. For the most part heavy
finished steel quotations are firm, but due to the
easier tone elsewhere, purchasers of these materials
are disposed to caution. A great majority of the
stove and heating apparatus plants were still down
at the middle o£ February, and this was true also of
farm implement manufactories. Distribution through
warehouse and jobbing interests has been restricted
by slack demand from the general manufacturing
trade and unusually close buying by the more im­
portant consuming industries.

Quotably pig iron

prices were unchanged and scrap iron and steel
prices were steady at the low levels reached at the
end of last year. For the country as a whole, pro­
duction of pig iron in January, according to the
magazine “Steel”, totaled 568,785 tons, against
547,179 tons in December and 971,437 tons in Janu­
ary, 1932. Steel ingot production in the United
States in January was 1,006,297 tons, which com­

Inventories of new passenger cars increased slightly
between January 1 and February 1,.reflecting large­
ly heavier factory shipments of new models. How­
ever, dealer-purchasing is still along conservative
lines, and stocks on February 1 were approximately
30 per cent smaller than a year ago. Demand for
used cars continued active, with supplies of desira­
ble vehicles relatively light. Sales of secondhand
cars in January were 7 per cent larger than in De­
cember, and 6 per cent less than in January, 1932.
Stocks of salable secondhand cars increased slightly
between January 1 and February 1, and on the latest
date were 22 per cent smaller than a year earlier.
Sales of trucks of all descriptions in January
showed a slight decrease under the preceding month,
and the total was 22 per cent smaller than a year
ago. The ratio of deferred payment sales to total
new car sales in January was 51 per cent, against
55 per cent in December, and 56 per cent in January,
1932.
R E T A IL TR AD E

pares with 844,618 in December and 1,459,450 tons
in January, 1932.
A U TO M O B ILES

The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statments showing activities
in the leading cities of the district:
Department Stores

Contrary to the usual seasonal trend, distribu­
tion of automobiles in the Eighth District, according'
to dealers reporting to this bank, showed a substan­
tial gain over December, while in comparison with
a year earlier, the January volume showed the small­
est decrease for any month since last February. In
this general area, January is usually a month of
light sales, mainly for the reason that prospective
purchasers postpone buying until February in order
to get in on the new license year, which begins
February 1. Another influence which tends to hold
down January sales volume, the disposition to await
new models and possible price concessions incident
to the annual automobile shows. Business of deal­
ers handling the lower priced cars was relatively
better than that of interests selling the medium
priced and' more expensive makes. Similarly sales
of distributors in the large urban centers were rela­
tively larger than those in the country and small
towns. Demand for replacement parts and acces­
sories was less active than heretofore, but moderate
improvement was noted in retail sales of tires in
January compared with a month and a year earlier.
January sales of new passenger cars by the re­
porting dealers were 20 per cent larger than in De­
cember, and 4 per cent less than in January, 1932.




Little Roc
Louisville
Memphis .
Quincy ....
St. Louis..
Springfield,
8 th Distric

Net sales comparison
J.an. 1933
comp, to
Jan. 1932
...— 31.2%
...— 16.1
...— 25.2
...— 20.0
...— 31.1
...— 24.4
...— 12.6
,..— 23.5

Stocks on hand
Jan. 31,1933
comp, to
Jan. 31,1932
— 32.2%
— 29.9
— 32.7
— 11.4
— 15.4
— 15.2
— 17.9
— 18.5

Stock turnover
January,
1933
1932
.12
.12
.16
.15
.19
.18
.21
.24
.18
.15
. .26
.28
.07
.07
.24
.23

Retail Stores
Net sales comparison
J/m. 1933
comp, to
Jan. 1932
Men’s furnishings— 28.1 %
Boots and shoes....— 15.2

Stocks on hand
Jan. 31,1933
comp, to
Jan, 31, 1932
— 27.6%
— 25.0

Stock turnover
January,
1933
1932

.21

.22

.21

.21

CONSUM PTION OF ELECTR ICITY
Public utilities in the five largest cities of the
district report consumption of electric current by
selected industrial customers in January as being
1.7 per cent smaller than in December and 15.1 per
cent less than in January, 1932. Detailed figures
follow:
Jan.
No. of
Dec.
Jan. 1933
Custom­
1933
1932
comp, to
ers
* K .W .H . * K .W .H . Dec. 1932
1,321
Evansville ... 40
1,441
— 8.3%
Little Rock... 35
1,125
1,158
— 2.8
Louisville .... 85
4,739
5,047
— 6.1
Memphis ...... 31
1,450
1,290
4*12.4
St. Louis......196
11,295
11,343** — .4
Totals .......... 387
*In thousands (0C
**Revised figures.

19,930

20,279

— 1.7

Jan. 1933
Jan.
comp* to
1932
* K .W .H . Jan. m
— 20.6ft
1,663
— 11.0
1,264
4,986** — 5.0
— 25.0
. 1,933
13,619** — 17.1
23,465

BU ILD IN G
In point of dollar value, permits issued for new
construction in the five largest cities of the district
in January were 0.9 per cent less than in December,
and approximately 68 per cent smaller than in Janu­
ary a year ago. According to statistics compiled
by the F. W . Dodge Corporation, contracts let in
the Eighth Federal Reserve District in January
amounted to $5,060,638, which compares with
$4,886,658, in December and $4,905,453, in January,
1932. Production of portland cement for the country
as a whole in January totaled 2,958,000 barrels,
against 4,248,000 barrels in December and revised
figure of 5,026,000 barrels in January, 1932. Build­
ing figures for January follow:
New Construction
Repairs, etc.
Permits
*Cost
Permits
1933
1932
1933
1932
1933 1932
Evansville ..
75
74
$
10 $
27
30
24
Little Rock
10
12
2
7
45
39
Louisville ..
21
36
7
4718
18
Memphis ...
67
94
34
59
72
123
St. Louis....
73
132
62
220
112
213
Tan. totals.. 246
348
$ 115 $ 360
Dec.
“ .. 212
408
116
2,855
Nov.
4 .. 281
4
564
213
509
♦In thousands of dollars (000 omitted).

277
269
273

417
338
385

*Cost
1933
$
8
11
18
52
63
$

152
128
133

1932
$ 3
11
39
62
174
$289
187
348

AG RICU LTU RE
Unusually high temperatures which prevailed
through the Eighth District in the late fall and win­
ter to the end of January have been in the main
favorable for agriculture. Certain areas including
St. Louis and vicinity, had the mildest January this
year in.more than half a century, the mean tempera­
ture being 43.6 degrees, the highest since 1880. Rain­
fall over most of the district was about normal for
the time of year, though in some sections precipita­
tion was excessive, resulting in more or less serious
local flood damage. While snow protection for fall
sown cereals was lacking in December and January,
relatively little damage resulted because of the high
temperatures. Universally soil conditions are good,
particularly with reference to subsoil, which over
considerable areas has finally made up deficiency
of moisture occasioned by successive years of
drouth. Since the last week in January, earlier
weather conditions were reversed by the sharp drop
in temperatures, extending well into the southmost
tiers of the district. Scattered reports reflect dam­
age to growing crops and livestock from freezing,
but it is still too early to estimate what the ultimate
effects on cereal crops will be.
Reports relative to prospective acreages of
spring crops vary broadly in different localities. Due
to extremely low prices of farm products during the
past several years and large carryover stocks, pro­




ducers of certain crops are disposed to cut down
their planting programs. On the other hand, numer­
ous agriculturists plan to produce as heavily as pos­
sible in order to offset depressed prices with larger
quantities to market. Farmers generally possess
plenty of food and feed, and will be able to produce
this year's crops with a relatively small cash outlay.
Farm wages declined steadily during 1932, and cur­
rent scales are the lowest since 1899. As during the
past two years, it is expected that employment of
outside help will be unusually light, with most of
the work being performed by farmers and their
families.
Live Stock — According to the annual survey
of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the aggre­
gate number of livestock on farms in states includ­
ing the Eighth District on January 1 was approxi­
mately 6.5 per cent larger than at the beginning of
1932. However, owing to lower prices the estimated
value of these animals on January 1 was 9 per cent
less than a year earlier. The aggregate number of
cattle, sheep, swine, horses and mules on the opening
day this year was 36,772,000 head, having an esti­
mated value of $548,628,000, which compares with
35,542,000 head, with value of $603,072,000, on Janu­
ary 1, 1932. There was a slight decline in the num­
ber of horses and mules, and sheep, but a substantial
increase in cattle, and swine. Price declines extended
to all species.
For the country as a whole there was also an
increase in cattle and hogs and a decrease in the
number of horses, mules and sheep. The number
of milk cows increased, but there was a decrease in
the number of yearling heifers being kept for milk
cows. Total livestock units on January 1, 1933,
were 1.8 per cent larger than on the same date in
1932, and about 7 per cent larger than on January 1,
1927, the low point of recent years. Total value of
all livestock and of each species declined. In most
cases the decreases were due to a sharp drop in
value per head. Total value of livestock on United
States farms as of January 1 was $2,661,985,000 com­
pared with $3,195,532,000 on January 1, 1932 and
$5,994,970,000 on January 1, 1930.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported •
by the National Stock Yards, were as follows:
Receipts
Jan.
Dec.
Jan.
1933
1932
1932
Cattle and Calves....... 70,243 65,695 75,298
Hogs ............................218,124 201,455 267,476
Horses and Mules...... 5,763
1,853
3,873
Sheep ........--------......... 35,880 43,869 37,050

Shipments
Jan.
Dec.
Jan.
1933
1932
1932
38,545 38,559 45,227
141,759 159,342 182,231
4,815
1,692
3,296
11,365 12,209 14,806

Fruits and Vegetables — There are scattered re­
ports of injury to fruit trees caused by the sub-zero
temperatures during the first half of February. No

comprehensive survey of orchards has been made;
however, and the extent of this damage can not be
determined at this time. January intention reports
reveal a continuation of the shift in potato acreage
that has been developing the past two years in in­
creased plantings within trucking distance of the
consuming markets and for home use. Growers in
a number of commercial producing areas indicate
more uncertainty regarding the acreage they will
plant in the coming season, but in general there are
distinct tendencies toward curtailment in the ship­
ping areas farthest from the markets, and mainte­
nance of expansion in acreage nearer the markets.
Duetto the heavy production and consequent low
prices of sweet potatoes in 1931 and 1932, farmers
in many localities are planning to reduce their acre­
age this season. Intentions to increase strawberry,
production this season are quite general through
the district, but more particularly in the Ozark
region. Acreage of tomatoes planted for commercial
purposes this year are expected to be smaller than
last season.
Cotton — Preparation for the new crop made
some progress under favorable weather conditions
prior to the cold snap early this month. Since that
time little has been done, field work having been
brought to a standstill. Reports so far received re­
flect no intention to plant smaller acreage than a
year ago. Applications for production loans from
the Government have been numerous, and in the
chief cotton raising states of this district, except
Arkansas, January fertilizer tag sales were larger
than a year ago. While interfering with field opera­
tions, the recent sub-zero weather is looked upon
as favorable in that it will result in heavy boll weevil
mortality. Demand for raw cotton continued quiet,
with buyers continuing to confine their purchases
to small lots for immediate use. Prices fluctuated
within a narrow range, and showed no definite trend.
In the St. Louis market the middling grade ranged
from 5.65c to 5.95c between January 16 and Febru­
ary 15, closing at 5.80c on the latter date, which
compares with 5.75c on January 16, and 6.50c on
February 15, 1932.
Receipts at Arkansas compresses from August
1, 1932 to February 10, 1933 totaled 1,141,213 bales,
against 1,346,072 bales during the corresponding
period a year earlier. Stocks on February 10 were
563,257 bales, which compares with 651,354 bales on
January 13, and 637,305 bales on the corresponding
date in 1932.

maining unsold, has resulted in a sharp reduction
in the volume of tobacco sales. As of February 10
it was estimated that total burley sales amounted
to approximately 315,000,000 pounds, at an average
of about $12.60 per cwt. for the season, as compared
with about $9 per cwt. last year and $15.62 per cwt.
in 1931. Decided types of bright tobacco showed
but little decline, whereas common grades were
cheaper than any time this season. Many of the
burley markets had closed at the middle of Febru­
ary. In the dark tobacco districts, the green river
and stemming types were reduced in quantity and
while prices continue low, there was some improve­
ment during the latter part of January. Due to cold
weather, sales were also reduced in the dark-fired
areas, and several markets suspended operations.
A large part of the crop is bulked down and ready
to strip and deliver, and it is expected that the move­
ment to market will be rapid with the return of
favorable weather. Just before the cold snap there
was more medium to good tobacco sold than usual,
with prices ranging higher than earlier in the
season.
CO M M O D ITY PRICES
Range of prices in the St. Louis market be­
tween January 16, 1933 and February 15, 1933 with
closing quotations on the latter date, and on Febru­
ary 15, 1932, follow:
Close
Wheat
.
High
Low
Feb. 15, 1933
Feb. 15,1932
May ..................... per bu„$ .4 8 # $ .4 6 #
$ .47*6
$ .57#
July ...................“
48#
.4 6 #
.48 *
.58#
No. 2 red winter **
50#
.4 8 # $ .4 9 # @ .50
$ .5 6 # @ .57
No. 2 hard "
“
.51
.48
.4 8 # @ .49
.56 @ .57
Corn
Maj ------------------ "
.2 6 #
.25
.25
.37#
No. 2 mixed ...... “
.25
.2 1 #
. 2 4 # @ .25
.3 4 # @ .35#
No. 2 white ----- “
.26
.2 3 #
.2 4 # @ .2 5 #
. 3 5 # @ .36#
Oats
N o. 2 white ...... "
.18
.1 6 #
.17 @ .1 7 #
.2 4 # @ .25#
Flour
Soft patent......... perbbl. 3.35
3.10
3.10 @ 3.35
3.36 @4.20
Spring patent...... "
4.00
3.75
3.75 @ 4.00
4.20 @4.50
Middling cotton....per lb.
.0595
.0565
.0580
.0650
Hogs on hoof........per cwt. 4.05
2.00
2.65 @ 3 .7 0
3.10 @4.20

FIN AN C IA L
Reflecting the low stage of activity in general
business, demand for credit from all classes of com
­
mercial and industrial borrowers in the Eighth Dis­
trict continued the steady decline of recent months.
Mercantile interests are carrying unusually small
inventories and for. the most part manufacturers a
re
making up only goods for which they have actual
orders or definite prospects of selling.

February

settlements with closing and jobbing interests w
ere

Tobacco — The recent intensely cold weather,

in large volume and permitted of substantial reduc-

together with the small quantity of burley leaf re­

tions of commitments with their banks. New loan
?




and e x t e n s io n s a t th e c o m m e r c ia l b a n k s w e r e c o n -

b e tw e e n J a n u a ry 1 8 ,1 9 3 3 a n d F e b r u a r y 1 5 ,1 9 3 3 a n d

siderably s m a lle r th a n lo a n s p a id , w it h th e r e su lt

o n th e la tte r d a te w e r e 7 .9 p e r c e n t s m a lle r th a n o n

that t o t a l lo a n s o f th e s e in s titu tio n s d e c lin e d t o th e

F ebruary

low est p o in t in r e c e n t y e a r s .
reduction

co u n try

17 ,

T h e r e w a s a fu r th e r

in

b o r r o w in g s

of

banks

1932.

their c it y c o r r e s p o n d e n ts , p a r tic u la r ly in th e s o u th ,

•

Tot a i w

sloven,mcnt

securities...... 126,010

*jan.

*Dec.

East St. Louis & Nat!!--------

s’,094
43i’,462
8,957

554

per cent and cattle loans,

5

to 6

Ark.-Tex—

—

5,364

102,478
+10.4
5,525
+22.1
6:576

“E
;008
11,208

s'026

*Trth^u^S7oooom!tted). $715,36°

7,593

5896,155

,
,
,
- ^ ^
.
.
. j
...
showed a d e c r e a s e o f 2 .6 p e r c e n t a s c o n tr a s te d w it h
»
. /v . A')') r\
•.
j
a
a £.
a.

January 18, 1933. Deposits decreased 4.6 per cent

2,408

T'Su

—i°!o%
—fill
— ei?
-loi!
— 13.6
— 37.1

—22:4

+12.7 - l l s
+ 6 ~ 6-8
1 '7
+ 6-7

+ 2-7

~ 29'4

—18-0

“ Includes one bank in Texarkana, Texas not in Eighth District.

Federal Reserve Operations — During January,
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted
for 196 member banks against 197 in December,'and
257 in January, 1932. The discount rate remained
unchanged at 3yi per cent. Changes in the principal
assets and liabilities of this institution appear in
the following table:
*Feb. 17, *jan. 17, *Feb.i7,
19331933
1932
BjIU d o n d _______________________ . T W
isc u te
IT ssT
I 22J 10
65"832
miss
27,116
Federal Inter. Cr. Bk. Debentures.....*..*.
Participation in Inv. Foreign Banks............

Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
.
.
«
i
*r» t
i e in*-*
the reporting: member banks on rebruary 1 5 , lV Jo




2,754

* 1 , o 6 * 23,?66 — o %
3j
.s
‘ e'ju
28!302 — o
.t
i’ hs
.
l’ iS
J
1,227
- 1x 7
107:373
106,940
12M 40
+ 0.4

A
rk"'" |;fof
I^TiT Ma™":" "if"?
.... 10,450

The total volume of reserve bank credit outstanding at this bank on February 17 was approximately 4 per cent smaller than a month earlier, but

receipts, 3j4 to

62
,72

16,010
209:197

H
ilo

80,209
2,844

notper c e n t.

119,249

*jan.
Jan. 1933 comp, to
1933
19321932
Dec. 1932 Jan. 1932
---------— —
----------------------------

Memphis, Tenn_
_ 88,579
Owensboro, Ky..™ 3,473

A
/•»«+
y * p e r c e n t.

loans, 4 t o S }£ p e r c e n t ; lo a n s se c u r e d b y w a r e h o u s e

92.058

119,347

$496,935
$SU’768
mM L S T wo E f a ..... 1,539.
.3,490
5,585
Rc Th n EvansvUieTanrtir’'u i
ok a d
526 p r cen of a1 m b r b n s in ,h d
e
t
1 em e a k
is istrictDebits 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.

0

and on February 1 was $5,110,000 less than a month
earlier, but $43,212,000 greater than on February
17, 1932.
Quotably interest rates showed no change from
the low levels obtaining during the preceding thirty
days. A t St. Louis banks current rates were as follows': Customers commercial paper, 3
to S per
]/2
cent: collateral loans, 4 to 6 per cent; interbank

129.111

118'1 Q
7
$ 43$ !
2
D osit*v a
ep
a tt----------------------- 8,521
ll^oo
187,549
Government deposits---------- • 1,800
•

E i^ra^^k .!!^
F ^S U . ArkZ
on m h
H afIA r£.s:":
e1en e
Louisvrne^'K "
y.™

F o llo w -

*§T "

* aH
}a $
and discounts............ mso I
’msjii

ceding four-week period, the amount due from other
banks increased approximately 4 per cent, and the
total as of February 15 was still 97.7 per cent larger
than a year ago. Total reserve balances decreased

ing a sharp advance in mid-January, the circulation
O this bank subsequently decreased to $136,592,000
f

“

°t e 5ecuritie*--------------- br

„
,
,
,
.
,
F o llo w i n g a sh a r p d e c r e a se d u r in g th e p r e -

about 3 7 p e r c e n t g r e a te r th a n a y e a r a g o .

#Feb. i 7,

L s£ £ 2 d b y 'u !s !

mg of the marketing season had been practically
completed at the middle of February.
Between January 18 and February 15 total
loans and investments of reporting member banks
in the principal cities decreased 2.2 per cent, and on
the latest date were 12.6 per cent smaller than on
the corresponding date in 1932. Demand deposits
decreased 5.6 per cent and time deposits 2.6 per cent,
resulting in a decrease 4.6 per cent in total deposits.
Total investments, which have been moving sharply
downward since the second week of January,
reached the lowest point since last June, on Febru, r
ary 15.

*jan. is,

Number of banks reporting..........~ T r ~

fr o m

where further progress was reported in liquidation
of loans based on tobacco, cotton and rice. Requirements of grain elevator and milling interests are
smaller than usual at this season, and aside, from 2
fair demand for funds to finance livestock operations, recourse on the banks for agricultural purposes has been negligible. Liquidation of loans
made by loose leaf tobacco warehouses at the open-

C o m p o s it e s t a t e m e n t f o l l o w s :

*Feb. is,

947 946

..........

1,100

880

Total bills and securities
$72,143
$75,122
$57,299
Total reserves.........w................«.....................137,485
145,043
104,693
f . r . Notes in circulation......— .— ........... 136,592
141,702
9
Total deposits
64,814
70,951
60,935
Ratio of reserve to deposits
and F. R. Not® Liabilities........................ 68.3%
68.2%
67.8 %
*i» thousands < o omitted).
oo

(Compiled February 23,1933)

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN T H E U N ITED STATES
Volume of industrial production increased in January by less
W H O L E S A L E PRICES — The general level of w
holesale
than the usual seasonal amount and factory employment and pay­
commodity prices, as measured by the index of the Bureau o
i
rolls continued to decline. Prices of commodities at wholesale,
Labor Statistics, declined further from 62.6 per cent of the 1 2
96
which declined further in January, showed relatively little change average in December to 61.0 per cent in January, reflecting s b
u*
in the first three weeks of February.
stantial reductions in the prices of crude petroleum, gasoline,
textiles and dairy and poultry products. Prevailing prices fo
r
PRODUCTION AN D EM PLO YM ENT — Industrial activi­
f
ty, as measured by the Board’s index, which makes allowance for wheat, cotton, and hogs in January and the first three weeks o
February were somewhat above the low levels reached in
usual seasonal changes, declined from 66 per cent of the 1923-1925
December.
average in December to 64 per cent in January, which compares
with a low level of 58 per cent last July. Output of coal declined
BANK CREDIT — Between January 4, and February 2 .
1
considerably, contrary to the usual seasonal tendency. Increases • there was an increase of $319,000,000 in the demand for curren
cy,
PERCENT

PCR CENT

PCRCCNT

120 I

m

WHOLESALE PRICES

10
1

H
O

100

too
Foods

90

90

Other
Commodifies

60

60

70

70

60

60

'r

so

50

U
Q

U
0

50

$
0
1928

1929

13
91

1930

1932

1935

Index number of Industrial production, adjusted for seasonal variation.
<1923-1925 average=100). Latest figure January, preliminary 64.

Indexes of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' (1926=100). L
atest
figures January, farm products 42.6, food products, 55.S, other commodities 67.1

in activity in the cotton and silk industries were somewhat less
than seasonal in amount, and there was a slight decline in produc­
tion at woolen mills. Output of shoes increased seasonally. Activi­
ty in the steel industry showed a seasonal increase during January,
and little change during the first three weeks of February. Auto­
mobile production, which had increased substantially in December,
showed a further slight increase in January.
Factory employment declined between the middle of Decem­
ber and the middle of January by considerably more than the sea­
sonal amount. Decreases were reported in most lines except in
the cotton, wool, and silk industries, where employment showed
little change, and in the automobile and shoe industries, where

accompanying banking disturbances in different parts of the c n *
on
try, and a decrease of $64,000,000 in the country's stock of m n *
oe
tary gold. These demands were met by member banks in part b
y
the use of their balances at the reserve banks, which declined b
)
$243,000,000 during the period, but continued to be considerably
above legal requirements. Reserve bank holdings of United Sta
securities declined by $88,000,000 between January 4 and F ary
ebru
1, but increased by $70,000,000 during the following three w *;
eek
their holdings of acceptances increased by $141,000,000, and d *
i*
counts for member banks increased by $76,000,000.
Loans and investments of reporting member banks in le d g
a in
cities declined by about $100,000,000 during the five weeks en isg
d

PgftCPtT

»>C C£NT
R

......

BILLIONS Of DOLLARS

120

KCTORY E!MPLOYME:n t

BILLIONS O f D LLA S
O R

10

110

)

9

>
MEMBER BAk

CREDIT

All Other
L. 1 ft/irre i
m

100

90

>

_ Loans on Securities

<

V

--------- '

\
A

90

80

1

y

70

60

„ invp*tmP T S
OS

80

70

t

60

50;

1

1926

1929

1930

1931

1932

1933

/

50
1926

1929

1930

1931

1932

1933

Federal Reserve Board’s index of factory employment with adjustment for
seasonal variation. (1923-1925 averages: 100). Latest figure January 59.4.

Monthly averages of weekly figures for reporting member banks in leading ck**
Latest figures are. averages of first three weeks in February.

employment increased. Construction contracts awarded were in
about the same volume in January as in December, according to
the F. W . Dodge Corporation; in the first half of February the
value of awards showed a decline.

February 15. The banks* net demand deposits declined
$390,000,000 reflecting largely reductions in bankers* balances,
time deposits showed a decrease of $93,000,000 for the period., ^
Money rates in the open market were slightly firmer du r?
n
the first half of February. Open market rates on 90-day banke^
acceptances, which had been % of 1 per cent, had increased to
of 1 per cent by February 20. Rates on prime commercial
and on stock exchange loans remained unchanged. The mining
buying rate on bills at the Federal reserve banks of Boston,
York, and Chicago was reduced from 1 to l 2 of 1 per cent.
/

DISTRIBU TIO N — Volume o f freight traffic was somewhat
smaller in January than in December reflecting a reduction in
shipments of coal. Sales by department stores decreased after
Christmas by more than the usual seasonal amount. .