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FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS
MONTHLY REVIEW
OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN
EIGHTH DISTRICT
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of January 29, 1926
WILLIAM McC. MARTIN
Chairman of the Board and Federal Reserve Agent

E P O R T S to this bank covering business and
industrial conditions during the past thirtydays reflect some irregularity. Retail trade
and manufacturing as a whole made a relatively
better showing than did the wholesale and jobbing
lines. A t many of the chief industrial plants activi­
ties after the holidays and inventory period were
resumed more rapidly than is ordinarily the case,
and beginning the second week of this month opera­
tions in the iron and steel, furniture, packing, lum­
ber, and several lesser industries were at a rate
slightly above the average during December. Manu­
facturers have a good volum e of advance orders
on their books, sufficient in many instances to in­
sure the present rate of operations during the bal­
ance of the first quarter of the year. In addition
there is a disposition in certain lines, notably boots
and shoes, farm implements, and clothing, to make
up stocks in anticipation of increased demand dur­
ing the spring and early summer.

R

W ith but few exceptions, reports from all sec­
tions of the district indicated an exceptionally large
holiday trade. The turnover of merchants in the
large centers was considerably above expectations,
and resulted in a heavy volum e of reordering.
Results in the smaller cities and in the country,
while satisfactory, were relatively not as good as in
the chief centers. Special sales held in early Janu­
ary by the department stores and retailers gener­
ally have met with excellent response, and resulted
in a heavy m ovement o f goods into consumptive
channels. The arrival of cold weather had a stimu­
lating effect on distribution of winter merchandise,
especially apparel and fuels. Sales at the leading
department stores o f the district in Decem ber were
6.7 per cent larger than for the corresponding
month in 1924.
W holesalers report a general disposition to
hold off buying on the part of retail merchants or
to take only sufficient goods to fill requirements
from month to month. Advance orders for dry




goods, boots and shoes, drugs and chemicals, and
in some other lines are disappointing, and under
those of the same time last year. W hile building
permits issued in the five largest cities of the dis­
trict in December were under those of the preced­
ing month and a year earlier, construction opera­
tions continued active, and the total number and
value of permits issued in 1925 in these cities were
the largest on record. Developments in the agri­
cultural sections during the month were in the
main favorable. Marketing of crops made good
progress, and weather was auspicious for accom ­
plishing much belated farm work.
Generally through the district the employment
situation continued satisfactory. There is some
surplus of common labor, especially noticeable in
the South, and temporary idleness was occasioned
in the industrial centers by shutdowns for inventory
and repairs. Resumption of manufacturing activi­
ties, however, has been accompanied by additions
to working forces in some departments of the iron
and steel industry and several other important lines.
There was the usual increase in forces at the
department stores during the holidays, and gains
were reported in paper and printing establishments,
the tobacco industry, and the coal fields. Textile
plants are working full time for the most part, and
heavier than the usual seasonal complement of
workers is employed at quarries and cement plants.
Skilled artisans in the building trades are fully
employed, and follow ing the holidays full time
activities have been resumed at mines and smelters
in the lead and zinc belt.
The fuel situation underwent distinct improve­
ment during the past thirty days, the principal fac­
tor being the low temperatures which prevailed
throughout the district. Usual seasonal backward­
ness in buying of bituminous coal, incident to the
holidays and inventory period, was largely offset by
suspension of mining in the anthracite fields and
the cold weather. There was a particularly active

demand for dom estic coal, the sudden call from
householders resulting in a rapid depletion of deal­
ers’ stocks, which in turn was reflected in increased
orders at the mines. Accum ulations on track, which
had begun to be burdensome a month earlier, were
well cleared up, particularly in the Kentucky and
Illinois fields. W ith inventory work completed
industrial consumers are ordering more freely, and
in spite of the large volum e of domestic coal being
produced, prices of steam coals are holding firm.
W orking time at the mines has been increased,
with a number o f the active shaft mines getting
four to six days per week. Railroad tonnage was
reported generally satisfactory, with prices a shade
better. Shipments of coke by by-product manufac­
turers in December, while below the high record of
November, were larger than during any preceding
December. Production of bituminous coal for the
country as a w hole during 1925, according to the
estimate of the U. S. Bureau of Mines, was 523,072,000 tons, which compares with 483,687,000 tons in
1924 and 564,565,000 tons in 1923.
A ccording to officials of railroads operating in
the district, freight traffic continues well above the
seasonal average of recent years. T he total volume
was swelled by a heavier m ovement of coal and
coke, and continued gains were shown in merchan­
dise and miscellaneous freight. For the country as
a whole loadings of revenue freight in 1925 were
the largest in the history of American railroads.
T he total, 51,177,962 cars, represented an increase
of 2,643,529, or 5.4 per cent over 1924 and 1,365,849
cars or 2.7 per cent over 1923. T he year’s record
traffic was handled with a minimum of transporta­
tion difficulties and virtually no car shortage. The
St. Louis Terminal Railway Association, which
handles interchanges for 28 connecting lines, inter­
changed 217,627 loads in December, against 222,669 loads in Novem ber and 200,455 loads in D ecem ­
ber, 1924. D uring the first nine days o f January
the interchange amounted to 66,721 loads against
69,056 loads for the same time in N ovem ber and
61,411 loads in January, 1925. The total interchange
for 1925 was 2,571,178 loads, a gain of 5 per cent
over 1924. Passenger traffic of the reporting roads
during Decem ber gained 1.5 per cent over the same
month in 1924. Estimated tonnage of the Federal
Barge line between St. Louis and New Orleans for
Decem ber was 65,300 tons, com paring with 47,361
tons in N ovem ber and 54,229 tons in December,
1924.
Reports relative to collections developed less
uniform ly satisfactory conditions than obtained
during the tw o or three months immediately pre­
ceding. Decem ber returns of retailers in the large
cities were under expectation* but there has been




considerable improvement since the first week of
January. W holesalers report generally prompt
settlements, with payments during Decem ber about
on a parity with the corresponding month in 1924.
There are some backward spots, however, princi­
pally in the coal areas and the typical grain pro­
ducing sections. Answers to 456 questionnaires
addressed to representative interests in the various
lines throughout the district showed the follow ing
results:
Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

4.3%
December, 1925........... 5.7% 37.1% 52.9%
November, 1925........... 4.4
49.6
40.5
5.5
December, 1924........... 7.7
33.6
50.0
10.7
Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District during December, according to
D un’s, numbered 80, involving liabilities of $1,323,752, against 74 defaults in November, with liabili­
ties of $5,173,004, and 100 failures for $2,133,944 in
December, 1924.
The per capita circulation of the United States
on January 1, 1926, was $43.62, against $43.35 on
Decem ber 1, 1925, and $44.03 on January 1, 1925.
M AN U FA CTU R IN G A N D W H O L E S A L E
Automobiles — Production of automobiles for
the country as a whole during Decem ber fell 15.1
per cent below the output of November, but was
52.6 per cent larger than in December, 1924. Manu­
facturers reporting direct or through the National
Autom obile Chamber of Commerce built 285,181
passenger cars in December, against 336,330 in
N ovember and 182,007 in December, 1924. Trucks
manufactured by the same companies in December
numbered 33,262, which compares with 38,910 in
N ovem ber and 26,603 in December, 1924.
A s compared with the preceding month,
Decem ber sales of automobiles exhibited the usual
seasonal decrease, but the total for the month
showed a heavy gain over that of December, 1924.
Generally business was reported satisfactory and
above expectations. The number of passenger
automobiles sold for Christmas was large, and
included a broad variety of makes. Since January
1 sales of new cars have been stimulated by the
introduction of new models and the announcement
by several important makers of substantial price
reductions. Dealers report a disposition on the
part of customers to postpone purchasing until after
the automobile shows, generally held in late Janu­
ary and February. Stocks of new cars in dealers’
hands are in a large m ajority of instances light.
Special efforts made to sell accessories through the
holiday trade outlet met with marked success. Sales
of new cars by 320 dealers scattered through the
district during December were 37.5 per cent small­
er than in November, but 18.3 per cent larger than

the Decem ber, 1924, total. Sales of accessories in
Decem ber were 3.6 per cent below those of N ovem ­
ber and 11.2 per cent larger than in December, 1924.
Stocks of used cars were about the same as a
month earlier. Buying of tires by both dealers and
the public continues on a hand-to-mouth basis.
Boots and Shoes — Decem ber sales of the 11
reporting interests were 34.5 per cent less than for
the corresponding period in 1924, and 52.5 per cent
below the total of November, 1925. Stocks on Janu­
ary 1 showed a gain of 43.3 per cent over those of
Decem ber 1, and were 25.5 per cent larger than on
January 1, 1925. T he sharp decline in sales from
N ovem ber to Decem ber was accounted for largely
by seasonal considerations, while the decrease
under Decem ber, 1924, was due mainly to smaller
future orders. A ccording to several of the most
important firms, purchasing by their customers for
spring merchandising is the smallest in recent
years. Orders for prompt delivery are holding up
well, and initial orders from salesmen w ho started
on their trips early this month are satisfactory. Fac­
tory operation continues at high levels, and con­
siderable stock for late spring and summer is being
made up. Except in the case of rubber footwear,
prices showed no change w orthy o f note as com ­
pared with the preceding thirty days.
Clothing— Ordering of spring goods is reported
fairly satisfactory, with the total of future business
in excess of a year ago. Manufacturers and jobbers
report reordering of heavyweight apparel below’
expectations, except in the case of men’s overcoats,
which m oved in large volum e during the last half
of Decem ber and the first weeks of this month.
Special sales of retailers since January 1 have met
with generally satisfactory response. Producers of
overalls and the general line of work clothes report
backwardness in ordering for forward shipment.
Decem ber sales of the 10 reporting interests were
87.2 per cent larger than for the same month in
1924, but 44.1 per cent under the November, 1925,
total.
Drugs and Chemicals — No change worthy of
note developed in this classification during the past
thirty days. Jobbers report future orders relatively
light, but the demand for seasonal goods for prompt
delivery is somewhat larger than at the same time
last year. Prices averaged about steady, advances
closely balancing declines. The general manufac­
turing demand for heavy chemicals continues
strong. Sales of the 11 reporting interests during
Decem ber were 0.7 per cent larger than for the
preceding month and 6.7 per cent in excess of the
total for Decem ber, 1924. Stocks on January 1 were
0.9 per cent larger than on the same date in 1925.




Dry Goods — Purchasing for prompt delivery
is reported in good volume, but advance orders are
disappointing and slightly below the corresponding
time a year ago. The decline in raw cotton prices
has caused hesitation in buying of cotton goods,
and some price declines were reported in the goods
market. The demand for silk and rayon fabrics was
active, with the trend of prices upward. Generally
specialties and fancy goods are m oving in better
volume than staples. Decem ber sales of the 11
reporting interests were 4.8 per cent smaller than
for the corresponding month in 1924, and 29.7 per
cent under the November, 1925, total. Stocks on
January 1 were 5.1 per cent larger than on the
same date in 1925, and 34.5 per cent in excess of
those of Decem ber 1, 1925.
Electrical Supplies — December sales of the
12 reporting interests were 24.8 per cent larger
than for the same month in 1924 and 13.4 per cent
in excess of the November, 1925, total. Stocks
on January 1 were 15.6 per cent smaller than a
year earlier, but 13.4 per cent larger than on D ecem ­
ber 1, 1925. Improvement was general through all
sections of the line, but as compared with last year
gains were especially marked in radio goods and
household appliances.
Manufacturers of small
motors report heavy advance orders. T he m ove­
ment of pole hardware and supplies generally for
public utility companies was in larger than the
usual seasonal volume.
Flour— Production at the 11 leading mills of
the district during December was 312,731 barrels,
against 324,214 barrels in November and 306,586
barrels in December, 1924. Stocks of flour in St.
Louis on January 1 were 1.7 per cent less than a
month earlier, but 14.0 per cent larger than on Janu­
ary 1, 1925. The usual holiday dullness in the
flour trade was emphasized by the unsettled condi­
tion of the wheat market. A ll classes of buyers
apparently lacked confidence in values, and were
disposed to hold off, or take only such quantities
as they were obliged to have. Higher prices were
asked by millers on account of the advance in cash
wheat, but little business was done at the higher
levels. Shipping directions on flour previously pur­
chased were good, particularly from the South. The
export demand continues quiet. Mill operation was
at from 55 to 62 per cent of capacity.
Furniture — Improvement in this classification
which began last fall was continued during the past
thirty days. Decem ber sales of the 25 reporting
interests were 41.2 per cent larger than for the cor­
responding month in 1924, and 21.9 per cent in ex­
cess of the November, 1925, total. Stocks on Janu­
ary 1 were 77.4 per cent larger than a month earlier

and 5.7 per cent below those on January 1, 1925.
The demand for household furniture, floor cover­
ings and office equipment was reported active.
H oliday business was generally satisfactory, with
a fair volum e of reordering by manufacturers and
jobbers. Retail buying is still on a necessity basis,
with stock orders scarce.
Groceries — Decem ber sales of the 22 report­
ing interests were 2.6 per cent less than for the
same month in 1924, and 6.0 per cent below the
November, 1925, total. Stocks on January 1 were
10.9 per cent smaller than a month earlier, and
19.5 per cent under those of January 1 last year.
The movement of holiday goods was fully up to
expectations, but purchasing of staple lines is re­
ported backward. Retail stocks are for the most
part of moderate proportions, but there was a gen­
eral disposition to postpone replenishing until after
the inventory period. Prices showed little change
w orthy of note during the past thirty days.
Hardware — A s compared with the correspond­
ing month a year earlier, sales of the 12 reporting
interests during Decem ber showed a gain of 4.6
per cent. T he improvement was reported as ex­
tending generally through the line, but with build­
ers’ hardware making an especially favorable show­
ing. Ordering for spring delivery o f hand imple­
ments, wire netting, field fence, garden hose and
other typical goods for distribution in the country
was in large volume. The movement of stable
goods was reported relatively slow. Save for high­
er quotations on rubber goods, and an upward trend
on certain iron and steel wares, prices were un­
changed from levels of the preceding month.
Iron and Steel — Follow ing the holidays and
inventory period activities at mills, foundries and
machine shops have been resumed at a rate slightly
above the average during December. T he place­
ment of new business, which receded during the
latter part of December, has improved since the
first week in January, and a m ajority of the report­
ing interests have unfilled orders sufficient to insure
the present rate of operation through the first
quarter of the year. Commitments o f steel buyers
on future requirements are being made more freely
than heretofore. Purchasing by the railroads of
materials for their general needs shows im prove­
ment as compared with the closing weeks of last
year.
Inquiries for track supplies and repair
materials are heavy.
Foundries specializing in
gray iron castings report unfilled orders well in
excess of the corresponding period in 1925. The
demand for plates and sheets is active and comes
from quite general sources, but with the manufac­
turing trade making relatively the best showing.




The leading producer of sheets in the district con ­
tinues to operate at capacity, and reports shipments
in excess of current output. Farm implement manu­
facturers are operating at, or close to full time and
are adding to their stocks of finished goods in anti­
cipation of a heavy demand during the next few
months. Leading stove manufacturers of the dis­
trict, w ho usually suspend operations through Janu­
ary for repairs and inventory, resumed production
during the second week of the month. W arehouse­
men report a better than seasonal demand for their
general line, with prices firm and tending upward
on a number of important items. Purchasing of
tubular goods, and general oil country supplies has
improved, and there is a better demand from the
coal fields for iron and steel products. Purchasing
of pig iron during the past thirty days was quiet,
due to the fact that most melters have covered their
requirements for the first quarter.
Lum ber — There was a good volum e of fill-in
orders in all the woods, and some increase in buy­
ing of yellow pine by yards in the large cities, par­
ticularly St. Louis. In the soft w oods, especially
southern pine, there has been relatively little buy­
ing for stock purposes by the yards. T h e sharp
advance in hardwood prices, notably in gum, dur­
ing November, is being well sustained, due chiefly
to a recurrence of unfavorable weather in the
South follow ing the holidays. The log supply is
very low, and that part of it in the w oods is inac­
cessible because of miry ground. T h e price advance
was so rapid and strong, however, that buyers have
not been disposed to meet it except for urgent
requirements. T h e cypress market is still dull,
both in the red and yellow varieties.
R E T A IL T R A D E
The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
follow ing comparative statement showing the activ­
ity of department stores in leading cities of the
district:
Net sales comparisons
Stocks on hand Stock turnover
bee. 1925
12 months ending Dec. 31, 1925' January 1,
comp, to
Dec. 31, 1925, to
comp, to
to Dec. 31,
Dec. 1924
same period, 1924 Dec. 31, 1924 1925
1924
Evansville ...
3.8%
5227T
- 2.1%
— 9.8%
206.5
Little Rock.
0.7
280.3
261.3
h 5.4
— 0.6
Louisville ....-f 4.9
+ 13.2
355.8
i- 2.6
319.6
.+ 8.5
+ 6.8
261.6
b 9.2
246.5
.+ 2.5
- 0.8
— 1.0
258.5
247.6
- 6.7
+ 6.8
341.2
328.8
.+ 8.1
2.0
- 0.9
Springfield .
— 10.8
170.5
140.8
- 6.1
+ 6.6
321.7
304.2
8th District.. + 6.7

C O N S U M P T IO N O F E L E C T R IC IT Y
W hile showing a decrease of 7.4 per cent as
compared with the month before, consumption of
electric power by industrial customers o f public
utilities companies in the five largest cities of the
district during December recorded a gain of 17.2
per cent over the total for Decem ber, 1924. The

loss in the irionth-to-month comparison was due to
the holidays, and reduced loads at the refrigerating
and ice plants. Virtually all classes of consumers
shared in the gain over Decem ber, 1924.
Detailed figures fo llo w :
No. of
Dec.
Nov.
Dec. 1925
Dec.
Dec. 1925
custom- 1925
1925
comp, to
1924
comp, to
ers *K.W.H. *K.W.H. Nov. 1925 *K.W.H. Dec. 1924
1,089
1,035 ' ' + t> %
.2 943
+ 1J>.4%
Evansville .....40
1,136
+ 7.9 885
+38.5
1,226
Little Rock....35
4,771
4,937
— 3.4 4,086
+16.8
Louisville ..... 67
1,543
+ 2.7 1,176
+34.8
1,585
Memphis .......31
14,595 — 11.1 11,379
+12.2
12,971
St. Louis.......89
Totals.....262
21,642
23,246
*In thousands (000 omitted).

— 7.4

18,469

+17.2

AG R IC U LTU R E
During the past thirty days more seasonable
weather has prevailed through the district, and far­
mers were able to accomplish a considerable amount
of belated work. The im proved condition of wagon
roads has permitted of hauling grain and other
products to railroad terminals. The higher prices
for wheat and corn were an added incentive to an
increased m ovement of those cereals. Marketing of
cotton and tobacco continued on a large scale, and
deliveries of rice to mills were heavy. In virtually
all sections o f the district sentiment among the
agriculturists is more optimistic than at any similar
season during the past three years.
Winter Wheat — W ith the exception of Ten
nessee, where a small increase is shown, the area
sown in winter wheat last fall is smaller than dur
ing the fall o f 1924 in all states o f the district. The
reduced acreage is accounted for by unfavorable
weather for plow ing and seeding, farmers having
been unable to sow as much wheat as they intended.
In some sections the drought which ended in Sep­
tember prevented planting in the earlier part of
the season. T he heaviest loss was recorded in M is­
souri, where the area seeded is 1,261,000 acres, com ­
pared to 1,752,000 planted in 1924. This is the
smallest acreage sown during the last twenty-seven
years, and the condition— 63 per cent— is the lowest
in fifty years. T he condition is considerably below
the 10-year average in all states of the district, with
Illinois, the chief wheat state, showing 67 per cent
on Decem ber 1, against 87 per cent on the same
date in 1924 and a 10-year average of 89 per cent.
Growth of the plant has been arrested by the recent
extreme cold weather, and there are complaints of
lack of snow protection over a large area.
Corn — Gathering of corn generally through
the district was late, due to unfavorable weather
in Novem ber and Decem ber. The dry, cold weather
of the past several weeks, however, has been bene­
ficial for husking and cribbing operations, and the
crop is all housed. There are complaints of mould­
e r g of early cribbed corn, and generally the quality
is low, and prospects for high germinating seed




cofn are poor. Marketing of corn has increased in
the surplus states, and unusually large shipments
are being made from Missouri and Illinois to the
South. Some improvement in quality of recent
arrivals at primary points is shown, due chiefly to
the more favorable weather for curing.
Live Stock — A ccording to the U. S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture there were about 3 per cent
less cattle on feed for market in the Corn Belt
States on Decem ber 1 than on the corresponding
date in 1924. The loss was due to smaller numbers
on feed in the states west of the Mississippi River,
where the indicated decrease was 6 per cent. In
states east of the river, there was an indicated
increase of over 7 per cent. Reports of feeders as
to the kinds of cattle on feed indicated a considera­
ble decrease in the percentage of heavy animals,
over 1,000 pounds, and an increase in the lighter
weights and calves. These reports support the
view that the large crop and low price of corn have
caused feeders to buy light cattle for longer feed
than in the preceding year.
The number of sheep and lambs on feed for
market in the Corn Belt States and western feeding
areas on December 1 was about 250,000 head less
than on the same date in 1924. The decrease in the
Corn Belt States was about 210,000 head, and was
chiefly in states west of the Mississippi River.
A m ong the causes for the decrease were the small
shipments of western lambs to central markets and
the fact that feeding lamb prices were the highest
since the war, being above fat lamb prices most
of the season.
A decrease in the supply of hogs available for
market nekt summer and little change in the supply
of hogs for\ h e late fall and winter of 1926-27 com ­
pared to thiss^fall and winter, is indicated in the
preliminary tabulation of the December pig survey
of the Department.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis, reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follow s:
_______ Receipts_______
Dec.
Nov.
Dec.'
1925
1925
1924
Cattle and Calves.....132,463 137,753 119,866
Hogs ........................344,057 309,415 448,520
Horses and Mules.... 5,891
5,410
6,365
Sheep ........................ 46,270 37,755 30,071

Shipments______
Dec.
Nov.
Dec.
1925
1925
1924
81,466 83,787 69,914
218,147 207,721 263,540
6,316
5,578
6,546
25,719 11,751 11,057

Tobacco — F ollow ing suspension for the holi­
days, activities were resumed at the several tobacco
markets on January 4, and with more favorable
weather for effecting deliveries, sales were large
in all districts. The markets for fired dark and air­
cured tobacco opened decidedly higher than at the
close before Christmas. T he better prices affected
all grades of lugs, and com m on and medium leaf,
with high quality leaf in good demand at as high
prices as have been paid this season. Offerings in

the green river district were large, but poor in
quality, resulting in a low average of prices and
heavy rejections. Burley tobacco is moving in fair
volum e, with the market active and firm on every­
thing offered. T he Burley T obacco Growers Co­
operative Association is selling and delivering a
considerable proportion of its receipts. Weather
was auspicious for stripping and preparing tobacco
for market.
Rice — Latest reports indicate that the rice
crop has been all threshed, and about 75 per cent
delivered to the mills, the balance being in storage
on farms and local elevators. W hile much of the
rice raised in Arkansas was damaged in harvesting
and threshing, m ost of the damaged grain has been
disposed of, and that in the hands of the marketing
associations is largely of sound quality. The de­
mand for rice continues very good and prices are
sufficiently high to offset the extraordinarily high
cost of raising the crop and still leave a good mar­
gin of profit to producers.
Cotton — During the past thirty days cotton
continued to com e in from a number of sections,
and in eastern and northeastern Arkansas and Mis­
souri there was still considerable cotton in the
fields. W eather was unfavorable for field work, and
picking progressed slowly. Recent receipts con­
tinue to show a large quantity of low grade staple.
The m ovement to market has been unusually heavy,
receipts at Arkansas compresses from August 1 to
January 15 being 1,499,068 bales, against 1,194,039
for the corresponding period last season. The de­
mand for cotton receded slightly as compared with
the preceding thirty days and prices were lower,
the middling grade at St. Louis ranging from 19
to 1 9 ^ c per pound as compared with 1 9 to 20j4c
the month before.
Commodity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between Decem ber 15, 1925, and
January 15, 1926, with closing quotations on the
latter date and on January 15, 1925:
Close
Wheat
High
Low Jan. 15,, 1926 Jan. 15., 1925
May .................. per bu. $1.83^4 $1.66*4
$1.77
$1.82 *£
1.555^
1.39
1.55
July .................. ‘
l.S s
IV
September ....... ‘
1.44
1.46
1.4554
1.4554
No. 2 red winter ‘
1.98
1.78 $1.95 @ 1.96 $2.07 @ 2.08
No. 2 hard......... ‘
1.88
1.69
1.84 @ 1.86
1.85*4
Corn
May .................. ‘
- .88 J4 .79
1.32*3
.84*2
.90
.81
July .................. ‘
1.33
.8654
.81
No. 2.................. ‘
.66*4 .7
6 @ .78
1.25*4
.81
.71
No. 2 white....... ‘
.80
1.27
Oats
No. 2 white....... ‘
.45*2 .42 .44*£ @
.63
•4454
Flour
8.75
Soft patent.......per bbl. 10.00
9.50 @ 10.00
9.25 @ 10.25
10.00
8.40
Spring patent....
8.80 @ 9.10
9.50
.19*^ .19
Middling cotton....per lb.
.19*4
.54*4
Hogs on hoof.....percwt.13.00
9.15 10.50 @ 13.00
6.50 @ 10.90
Note: December wheat closed at $1.83*4 and December corn at 78c.

BU ILD IN G
In spite of the cold weather building operations
during the past thirty days were active, and main­




tained at close to the level of the similar period
immediately preceding. W ork on large structures
in the chief cities proceeded with practically no
interruption. There was, however, the usual sea­
sonal decrease in building permits issued during
December. The value of permits issued for new
construction in the five largest cities of the district
in December was 2.06 per cent under November,
and 23.8 per cent below the total of December,
1924. In both point of number of permits and value
represented, 1925, was the largest year on record
for these cities. T he value in 1925, $100,911,000,
represented a gain of 17.4 per cent over the $85,948,000 total of 1924, and 30.7 per cent over the $77,182,000 of 1923. In 1925 a total of 23,404 permits was
issued, which compares with 21,774, in 1924 and
20,302 in 1923. The average cost of building materi­
als advanced slightly during the month, due to
higher prices on certain hardwoods and iron and
steel materials. Production of portland cement for
the country as a whole during Decem ber was
10,809,000 barrels, against 13,656,000 barrels in
November and 10,435,000 barrels in December, 1924.
Building figures for Decem ber fo llo w :
New Construction
*Cost
Permits
1925
1924
1925 1924
251
$ 186 $ 92
Evansville
118
458
183
65
Little Rock: 68
1.058
1,378
226
Louisville . 187
311
2,644
4,411
Memphis . 193
1,753
2,114
386
St. Louis..... 522

Repairs, etc.
*Cost
Permits
1925 1924
1925 1924
$ 33 $ 11
39
28
38
59
60
24
71
103
37
49
55
47
112
109
962
316
256
308

$6,161 $8,092
1,088 1,239
6,290
5,335
1,491 1,598
7,327 13,032
2,103 2,125
*In thousands of dollars (000 omitted).

503
701
954

554
848
1,163

$1,145
468
616

$515
518
755

PO STAL RECEIPTS
Returns from the five largest cities of the dis­
trict show an increase in postal receipts for the
fourth quarter of 1925 of 23.6 per cent over the
third quarter and of 6.3 per cent over the last quar­
ter of 1924. Detailed figures fo llo w :
* For quarter ending
Dec. 31 , Sept. 30, June 30,
1925
1925
1925
$ 145
$ 151
...$ 171
201
211
... 237
664
651
... 779
493
474
3,021
2,850
... 3,574

...$5,353
*In thousands (000 omitted).

$4,331

$4,530

Dec. 31,
1924
$ 160
224
714
509
3,427

Dec. 1925
comp, to
Dec. 1924
+ 6.9%
+ 5.8
+ 9.1
+ 16.3
+ 4.0

$5,034

+ 6.3

F IN A N C IA L
The demand for credit from general mercantile
and industrial sources during the past thirty days
showed a slight slow ing down as compared with
the similar period immediately preceding. Loan­
able funds in hands of the commercial banks con­
tinue abundant in all sections of the district, but
particularly in the large cities. Deposits of the re­
porting member banks increased further and in
early January were larger than at any time last
year. Total loans of the reporting banks also ad­
vanced in early January to a higher level than was

recorded at any time in 1925. Loans secured by
stock exchange collateral were maintained at ,or
around the peak levels attained during the closing
weeks of last year. A s has been the case during
the past several months, borrow ings at the banks
do not fully reflect the volum e of current business
inasmuch as mercantile and manufacturing con­
cerns are well supplied with cash of their own, and
are financing their operations with their own re­
sources to a greater extent than usual in former
years. General liquidations throughout the district
continued on an extensive scale and country banks
heavily cut down their indebtness to correspond­
ents in the larger cities. Settlements in the South,
where cotton, tobacco, and rice are being marketed,
were heavy, and in some sections deposits of coun­
try banks are the highest in more than five years.
W holesalers in large centers report early January
settlements above expectations, and generally larg­
er than a year ago. There is a good demand for
funds for financing live stock feeding operations,
and the advance in premiums on cash wheat has re­
sulted in somewhat heavier commitments by mil­
lers and elevator interests. Commercial banks in
the district are still lending heavily to eastern finan­
cial institutions. Rates charged by the commercial
banks were quotably about steady with the preced­
ing month, but since the second week in January
the trend has been slightly lower.
Commercial Paper— Brokerage interests report
continued quiet and unsatisfactory conditions in
the commercial paper market. Competition from
the local banks and the eastern call money market
is unusually keen and offerings are limited, espe­
cially of prime paper. Decem ber sales of the report­
ing brokerage firms were smaller than for the same
month in 1924, also under the November, 1925,
total. Rates were unchanged at 4% to 4 y2 per cent.
Federal Reserve Operations — During D ecem ­
ber the Federal Reserve Bank o f St. Louis dis­
counted for 195 member banks, against 201 accom ­
modated in Novem ber and 236 in December, 1924.
The discount rate remained unchanged at 4 per
cent. Changes in the principal assets and liabilities
of this institution as compared with the preceding
month and a year earlier are shown in the follow ing
ta b le:
Bills (
Bills 1
U. S.

.Ratio of reserves to deposit
and F. R. Note liabilities..,
•In thousands (000 omitted).




•Jan. 16,
1926
.$19,704
. 23,026
. 25,022
290

•Dec. 16, •Jan. 16,
1925
1925
$22,584*
$ 7,887
32,408
20,758
17,791
12,608
405
519

.$68,042
. 38,454
. 87,723

$73,188
39,140
83,479

$41,772
55,699
85,151

. 48.2%

46.0%

75.6%

Debits to Individual Accounts — T he follow ing
comparative 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. Gov­
ernment in the leading cities of this district.
Charges to accounts of banks are not included:
*Four weeks ending
Jan. 1926 J,an. 1926
Jan. 20, Dec. 16, Jan. 21, comp, to comp, to
1926
1925
1925 Dec. 1925 Jan. 1925
E. St. Louis and
Nat. Stock Yards, 111..$ 42.518
El Dorado, Ark.... ...... 12,225
Evansville, Ind.... ...... 37,678
Fort Smith, Ark... ...... 14,114
Greenville, Miss.... ......
4,404
Helena, Ark..........
Little Rock, Ark......... 79,662
Louisville, Ky......
Memphis, Tenn..... ...... 164,754
Owensboro, Ky.... ......
6,651
Quincy, 111............
St. Louis, Mo........ ...... 767,800
Sedalia, Mo..........
Springfield, Mo.......... 15,136

- 3.7%
+ 11.3
+ 8.7
-22.6
-17.0
-29.1
- 7.3
- 1.3
- 7.0
+21.0
- 2.2
b 2.0
-61.0
- 6.4

+ 8.4%
+87.6
+ 9.7
+ 7.1
— 9.4
—20.3
+ 10.6
+ 4.4
+ 1.5
— 11.0
+ 13.2
+ 6.6
+ 17.0
+32.8

+ 0.1

$ 44,159 $ 39,225
10,982
6,517
34,610
34,359
18,243
13,182
5,303
4,862
6,750
6,012
85,926
72,019
184,728
174,678
177,072
162,327
5,497
7,471
11,290
9,748
745,700
720,243
3,576
4,922
14,232
11,336

+ 6.5

*In thousands (000 omitted).

Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
the reporting member banks continued to increase
during the period under review, the total on Janu­
ary 13 being $527,712,000, against $522,004,000 on
December 16, 1925, and $501,090,000 on January 14,
1925. Deposits also continued their recent gains,
the total of $651,734,000 on January 13 being
$8,893,000 larger than a month earlier and $12,114,
000 in excess of the total on January 14, 1925.
Total investments on January 13 were $171,293,000,
comparing with $169,857,000 on December 16 and
$165,450,000 on January 14, 1925:
The follow ing statement shows principal re­
sources and liabilities of reporting member banks
in Evansville, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis,
and St. L o u is :
•Jan. 13, *Dec. 16, •Jan. 14*
1926
1925
1925

Other

Deposits
Net demand deposits.......................
Time deposits....................................
Government deposits.........................

33

$ 10,620
207,431
303,953

$ 10,802
181,210
309,078

$522,004

$501,090

.. 12,957
.. 25,504
.. 10,798
..
6,945
..
5,780
.. 109,309

12,957
23,238
10,651
6,894
6,136
109,981

14,341
27,455
6,284
12,098
1,872
103,400

..$171,293
.. 51,168
..
8,494

Investments
U. S. Pre
Liberty be

33

..$ 10,912
.. 210,782
.. 306,018
..$527,712

Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)

..

33

$169,857
49,621
8,965

$165,450
49,730
8,663

.. 434,813
.. 211,057
..
5,864

431,663
203,877
7,301

410,464
211,870
7,286

..$651,734 $642,841 $629,620
Total deposits............... ...............•
....... Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal reserve bank
Secured by U. S. Gov’t, obligations....
2,384
4,168
575
All other....................... ......................... ... 6,024
7,593
*In thousands (000 omitted).
Total resources of these 33 banks comprise approximately 54 per cent
of the resources of all member banks in the district.

(Compiled January 21, 1926)

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN TH E UNITED STATES
P R O D U C T IO N — The Federal Reserve Board’s in­
dex of production in basic industries advanced 6 per cent
in December to the highest level in ten months. The rise
in this index has been nearly continuous since last August,
when the volume of production was at the low point for
1925. In December the production of iron and steel and
bituminous coal, and factory consumption of cotton in­

variation.

Latest figure, December=122.

creased considerably, and the production of lumber, cement,
and copper was maintained at relatively high levels. The
volume of factory employment and payrolls, after increas­
ing during the late summer and autumn months, continued
practically unchanged in November and December with
increases in some industrials offsetting seasonal declines in
others. Building contracts awarded during December were
the largest recorded for that month and exceeded in value
those awarded in November, although a seasonal decrease
in building activity usually occurs at that time of the year.
TRADE*— Sales at department stores, chain stores,
and mail order houses in December indicated the largest
volume of Christmas trade on record. Trade at wholesale
declined seasonally, but continued larger than last year.
Stocks at department stores showed less than the usual de­
cline in December and were 4 per cent larger at the end
of 1925 than a year earlier. Freight car loadings continued
larger during December, with shipments of merchandise
and miscellaneous commodities, coke, and coal particularly
heavy.

declined in December, while grain prices advanced. Among
non-agricultural commodities the principal declines were
in the prices of cotton goods, paper, and rubber, while
somewhat higher prices were shown for silk, coal, and
lumber. In the first three weeks of January, quotations on
hogs, coke and hardwood lumber advanced, while prices
of corn, cattle, and rubber declined.

Latest figure, December=156.
B A N K C R E D IT — Changes in the demand for cur­
rency have been the principal factor influencing the volume
of reserve bank credit in use since the middle of Novem­
ber. During the five weeks between November 16 and
December 23 the reserve banks paid out into domestic cir­
culation a net amount of about $320,000,000 of currency in
the form of gold and gold certificates, Federal reserve
notes, and other kinds of money, and during the following
four weeks, the return flow of currency from circulation
amounted to about $430,000,000. These currency move­
ments were reflected in corresponding changes in the vol­
ume of reserve bank discounts for member banks.
At member banks in leading cities total loans and in -'
vestments, which had increased almost continuously during^
1925, reached the highest level on record at the end of
December, but declined by about $200,000,000 during the
first two weeks of the new year. Both the increase in bank
loans in the latter part of December and the decline after
the turn of the year were largely in loans on securities,
particularly at member banks at New York City. These
CURVE 1

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

CURVE 2

5500

10 1
0C

ReserveBank
Credit u

V

J

W VJ
/

/

900

f

$000

MoneyIn Oroulation

ru M

w
a IRRENCYAMID
RESEFtVE BANK CREDIT

I

o
1922

Index sales of 333 stores in 117 cities
Latest figures, December, 1925.
P RICES — The general level of prices, as measured by
the wholesale price index of the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics, declined* by about 1 per cent in December and was at
the end of the year somewhat lower than a year earlier.
The average of wholesale prices for the year 1925 as a
whole, however, was the highest in five years, and the
changes in the price level during the year were smaller
than in any year in more than a decade. Among agricul­
tural commodities, the prices of live stock and dairy products




-I
1 92 3

4ono
192*

1 92 5

1926

Above data are averages. Latest figures,
January, partly estimated.
changes in the demand for loans at member banks were
related both to the changes in customers* currency requiremebts and to end of year disbursements by many industrial
and financial institutions.
#
Conditions in the money market, which had become ,
firmer in the last half of December, were easier in January^
Rates on bankers’ acceptances increased following fEe
vance in the buying rate of the New York Federal Reserve
Bank, effective January 8, while rates on commercial paper
showed little change during the period.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102