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MONTHLY REVIEW
O f Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Morning of July 31, 1931
J O H N S. W O O D ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

FEDERAL

RESERVE

USINESS and industry in the Eighth District
during June and the first half of July showed
somewhat more than the usual seasonal de­
cline. Closing down of numerous plants for inven­
torying and repairs, suspension of operations at cer­
tain coal, lead, and zinc mines, and releases for vaca­
tions, with or without pay, resulted in a further de­
crease in employment. Production in a number of
important lines, notably in the iron and steel, and
building material categories, was at the lowest rate
this year. Due to the extremely hot weather pre­
vailing in the last half of June and early this month,
a number of plants which ordinarily reopen shortly
after the Independence Day holiday, have remained
idle, and will not resume operations before the mid­
dle of August. Not all branches of industry declined,
however, production of boots and shoes, textiles,
beverages, certain food products and some seasonal
lines showed moderate to fair increases as compared
with the preceding thirty days.
Taken as a whole a more favorable showing
was made in distribution than in production. The
hot spell had a stimulating effect on the demand for
summer goods, notably men’s and women’s clothes,
electric fans, and all descriptions of vacation and
outing supplies. A good volume of reordering in
these lines was reported by wholesalers and jobbers,
part of which they were unable to fill because of
depleted stocks. Distribution of automobiles in the
district, according to dealers reporting to this bank,
recorded a good increase in June over May, though
volume continued below the corresponding period a
year ago. In all lines investigated, mid-year inven­
tories were considerably below the average during
the past several years, and no noticeable deviation
has taken place in the policy of purchasing only for
immediate requirements. Advance business of
wholesalers, jobbers and manufacturers on July 1
was in smaller volume than on any similar date in
recent years. The trend of commodity-prices con­
tinued downward.
Sentiment in the country, which improved
markedly in May and June under impetus of splen­

B




C. M. STEW ART,
Assistant Federal Reserve Agent

BANK

OF

S T.

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

LOUIS

did crop prospects, has been dashed considerably
since July 1 by the sweeping decline in prices of
wheat and other farm products. Bumper yields of
wheat, corn, oats and certain fruits and vegetables
are forecast in the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s
July 1 report. For this district the winter wheat
yield is estimated at 58,360,000 bushels and a crop of
about 383,000,000 bushels is predicted for corn. Ini­
tial prices paid farmers for their wheat ranged from
30c to 50c per bushel, with the higher figure having
disappeared shortly after harvesting commenced.
At an average of 35c per bushel the producers would
realize approximately $20,426,000. On a basis of the
average winter wheat price in 1929 and 1930, which
according to the Government’s estimate was .854c,
this year’s crop would return $48,809,000 to its rais­
ers. Thus, from what might be expected from aver­
age experience of the two preceding years, farmers’
income is cut $29,373,000 on the item of winter
wheat alone.
The volume of retail trade in June, as reflected
in sales of department stores in the principal cities
of the district, was 5.3 per cent smaller than during
the same month last year and 6 per cent below the
May total this year. For the first half of this year
the volume was 11.6 per cent less than for the first
six months of 1930. Combined sales of all wholesal­
ing and jobbing lines investigated showed a decrease
in June of 12 per cent as compared with the same
month in 1930, and the total was 16 per cent smaller
than in May this year; for the first six months this
year a decrease of 14.7 per cent under the same
period in 1930 was shown. Charges to checking ac­
counts in June were 4 per cent larger than in May,
but 17.6 per cent smaller than in June, 1930. The
amount of savings accounts as of July 1 was a shade
lower than thirty days and a year earlier.
The volume of freight handled by railroads in
this district continued in considerably smaller vol­
ume than a year and two years earlier. There was a
further recession in the amount of merchandise and
miscellaneous freight hauled, and substantial de­
creases were noted in practically all other classifica­

tions, including grain and grain products. The small­
er volume of livestock handled, according to offi­
cials of certain roads, reflects in a measure competi­
tion of trucks. For the country as a whole loadings
of revenue freight for the first 27 weeks this year, or
to July 4, totaled 19,647,863 cars, against 23,992,629
cars for the corresponding period in 1930, and
26,528,096 cars in 1929. The St. Louis Terminal
Railway Association, which handles interchanges
for 28 connecting lines, interchanged 188,872 loads in
June, against 186,779 loads in May and 206,305 loads
in June, 1930. During the first nine days of July the
interchange amounted to 48,951 cars, against 55,529
cars during the corresponding time in June and
62,388 cars during the first nine days of July, 1930.
Passenger traffic of the reporting roads in June de­
creased 22 per cent as compared with the same
month last year. Estimated tonnage of the Federal
Barge Line between St. Louis and New Orleans in
June was 86,000 tons, against 99,901 tons in May,
and 140,176 tons in June, 1930.

MANUFACTURING AND WHOLESALING
Boots and Shoes — June sales of the reporting
firms were 10 per cent smaller than for the same
month in 1930, and more than one-third less than
the May total this year. Stocks on July 1 showed
a gain of 45 per cent over a month earlier, but a
decrease of 19 per cent as compared with July 1,
1930. The decrease in the month-to-month sales
comparison was seasonal in character, having invari­
ably taken place during the past decade. However,
the extent of the decrease this year is somewhat
larger than the average. Orders booked since July
1, when salesmen went out into their territories,
have been in good volume, comparing favorably
with a year ago. Demand has centered chiefly in
misses’ and children's wear, and in men's shoes in
which style is a factor. W ork shoes and the more
staple lines of men’s and women’s wear were rela­
tively quiet. Factory operations were maintained at
a high rate, some plants working at full capacity,
with the average about 95 per cent.

Reports relative to collections throughout the
district during the past thirty days reflected little
change from conditions existing during the past sev­
eral months. Strong accounts are meeting their
obligations promptly, in many instances anticipat­
ing due dates in order to take advantage of cash dis­
counts. Creditors in less favorable cash position are
not meeting their obligations so promptly, and
wholesalers report an increasing number of actual
losses and requests for extensions. In sections
where early fruits and vegetables have been mar­
keted, country retailers and banks have experienced
improvement in collections. In the winter wheat
areas, farmers are preoccupied with harvest and in
numerous instances have postponed paying their
bills. Spottiness in collection results are noted by
retailers in the large centers. Absence of numerous
creditors on vacations have adversely affected retail
collections in the cities. Questionnaires addressed
to representative interests in the several lines scat­
tered through the district showed the following re­
sults:

Clothing — Ordering of apparel for distribution
next fall continued backward, but the demand for
seasonal clothing developed marked improvement
with the arrival of the prolonged hot spell in June
and early July. Considerable reordering of light­
weight suits was reported, many retailers having
disposed of practically their entire stocks of such
goods. Due to small inventories of jobbers and
manufacturers, it was not possible to fill orders for
certain lines. Sales of the reporting clothiers in
June were 20 per cent smaller than in May, and
about one-third less than in June last year.

Excellent

June, 1931........................0%
May, 1931........................0
June, 1930.................... 1.0

G ood

Fair

P oor

16.5%
10.4
13.2

69.0%
76.1
62.9

14.5%
13.5
22.9

Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District in June, according to Dun’s numbered
133 involving liabilities of $2,615,417, against 104
failures in May with liabilities of $3,148,548, and 104
defaults for a total of $1,778,914 in June, 1930.
The daily average circulation of the United
States in June was $4,750,000,000, against $4,679,000,000 in May, and $4,489,000,000 in June, 1930.




Drugs and Chemicals — Further moderate im­
provement as compared with a year ago was noted
in business in this classification, June sales of the
reporting firms being 5 per cent greater than for
the same period in 1930. As compared with May
this year, the June total showed a decrease of 5.6
per cent. In response to the unusually high temper­
atures, demand for hot weather goods, notably soda
fountain supplies and equipment developed marked
improvement. Demand for heavy drugs and chemi­
cals from the general manufacturing trade continues
to lag.
Dry Goods — June sales of the reporting firms
were 13 per cent below a year ago, and a like amount
under the May total this year. Inventories during
the past eighteen months have been held at unusu­
ally uniform levels, considerably less than the sea­
sonal variation of the past being shown. Stocks on
July 1 were slightly smaller than a month earlier,
and about 42 per cent less than on July 1, 1930. De­
mand for hot weather goods was active, particularly
for ready-to-wear clothing, both men’s and women’s.

Moderate betterment in demand for cotton fabrics
was noted, but buying in quantity is restricted by
uncertainty relative to prices. No improvement
whatever was reported in advance buying.

the rural areas. Inventories continue to decline,
stocks on July 1 being 1 per cent smaller than thirty
days earlier and about one-fourth less than on July
1, 1930.

Electrical Supplies — The spell of extreme hot
weather in June had a stimulating effect on demand
for seasonal merchandise, particularly fans and
refrigeration materials. Sales in June of the report­
ing interests exceeded those of May by 45 per cent,
but fell 5 per cent under the June total last year.
Stocks decreased slightly between June 1 and July 1,
and on the latter date were 4 per cent larger than a
year earlier. Sales of radio goods continue to show
sharp declines under last year.
Flour — Production at the 12 leading mills of
the district in June totaled 210,563 barrels, the
smallest for any month in more than eight years,
and comparing with 277,767 barrels in May, and
333,323 barrels in June, 1930. The trend of prices
was lower on all grades of flour, but due to the dis­
turbed condition of the wheat market, buyers were
not inclined to take large quantities. Purchasing
continued chiefly on a hand-to-mouth basis, with
business in old flours particularly light. In the im­
mediate past indications of increased activity have
appeared, with large baking establishments purchas­
ing fair amounts of new wheat flour. Shipping direc­
tions on flour previously acquired were in fair vol­
ume. Mill operations were at from 45 to 55 per cent
of capacity.
Furniture — June sales of the reporting inter­
ests were 21 per cent smaller than for the same
month in 1930, and about one-third smaller than
the May total this year. Inventories on July 1 were
6 per cent and 42 per cent smaller, respectively,
than thirty days and a year earlier. In both sales
comparisons decreases were general in all lines, but
most marked in office equipment and furniture, radio
cabinets and household furniture and furnishings.
Retailers are buying on a hand-to-mouth basis, with
large stock orders almost entirely absent.
Groceries — Business in this classification in
June, according to the reporting firms, was about
even with the May volume, but 8 per cent smaller
than in June last year. Inventories continue to de­
cline, stocks on July 1 being 5 per cent smaller than
on June 1, and 12 per cent less than on July 1, 1930.
The trend of prices continued downward.
Hardware— There was a slight decline in total
volume of business of the reporting firms in June
as contrasted with May, and a decrease of 12 per
cent as compared with June, 1930. A considerable
part of the decrease in the yearly comparison was
accounted for by smaller sales of builders’ tools and
hardware, and of commodities consumed chiefly in

Iron and Steel Products — Contraction of some­
what greater than the usual seasonal proportions
was noted in activities in the iron and steel industry
in this district during the past thirty days. Slack
demand on the part of all classes of consumers,
coupled with extremely high temperatures resulted
in reduced operations at mills, foundries, machine
shops and other ferrous metal working establish­
ments. A number of plants, which closed for the
Independence Day holiday will remain idle during
the balance of this month. Activities were further
affected by vacations and mid-year inventorying.
Purchasing by the railroads fell to the lowest point
in recent months, and interests specializing in rail­
road casting report a further decrease in unfilled
orders. Reduced demands from the automotive in­
dustry was another factor in the lull. Specifications
on finished castings have not reached expectations
and new business is in small volume, prices reflect­
ing sharp competition. The outlet for iron and steel
goods through the building industry has not broad­
ened, except in the case of a limited number of com­
modities going into highway construction, river
improvement work and other outdoor engineering
projects. Structural steel awards continued in mod­
erate volume, and fabricators further curtailed their
operations, several maintaining only skeleton forces
to get out urgent orders. Manufacturers of stoves,
farm implements and other goods consumed chiefly
in the country, report slack demand from vir­
tually all sections, with advance orders in smaller
volume than at any similar period in late years.
Iron and steel warehouse interests and jobbers ex­
perienced a slight quickening in trade during June,
due chiefly to expansion in requirements of the gen­
eral manufacturing trade. Sheets, plates and some
descriptions of wire products moved in larger vol­
ume. Tubular goods and the general run of build­
ing materials continued quiet. Beginning of the
third quarter witnessed practically no change in
finished steel prices, except sheets and strip, which
under the new classifications now in effect, are $2
to $5 per ton higher for comparable grades. June
shipments of pig iron to melters in this district
were about on a parity with May, though consider­
ably smaller than in June, 1930. Purchasing of pig
iron for the third quarter was little in evidence.
Users generally are apparently adhering to their
recent policy of purchasing tonnage in the open
market as requirements develop. The downward
price trend of recent months in the scrap iron and




steel market was halted in late June, and several
grades advanced slightly from the low levels of the
year. For the country as a whole the average daily
rate of pig iron production was the lowest since Jan­
uary, 1922. The total output for the month was
1,637,998 tons, which compares with 1,995,001 tons
in May, and 2,934,508 tons in June, 1930. Steel ingot
production in the United States in June totaled
2,075,910 tons, against 2,505,485 tons in May and
3,418,535 tons in June, 1930.
AUTOMOBILES
Combined passenger car, truck and taxicab pro­
duction in the United States in June was 249,462
against 315,115 in May, and 335,475 in June 1930.
Reversing the trend which has been usual dur­
ing recent years, distribution of automobiles in this
district, according to the reporting dealers, increased
in June as compared with May. As has been the
case for many months, however, the June total fell
below that of the corresponding period a year earlier.
The expansion in demand reflected in the monthto-month comparison extended to all varieties
of vehicles, but was somewhat more pronounced in
cheap priced cars than other descriptions. For the
first time in a considerable while country dealers
reported betterment in their business, both actual
and prospective. In the large cities, dealers note con­
siderable stimulation to their business, both in new
passenger cars, and parts and accessories, from the
touring season. Sales of tires at retail have also
been favorably affected by this influence. The gen­
eral tone of the market was more favorable than
earlier in the season, though dealers report that
there is a general disposition on the part of prospec­
tive buyers to wait for new models and possibly
lower prices which may appear in the fall. June
sales of the reporting dealers were 7.2 per cent larg­
er than in May, but 7.1 per cent smaller than the
June, 1930, total. Inventories continue at a low ebb,
particularly in the small towns and country, dealers
ordering on a strictly requirement basis. Stocks of
new cars on July 1 were 4.5 per cent smaller than on
June 1, and almost one-half less than on July 1 last
year. Activity and decreasing stocks were reported
in the used car market. The number of salable cars
turned in on trades is relatively small, due in large
part to the fact that many owners are driving their
cars until no longer serviceable before buying new
ones. On July 1 stocks of salable secondhand cars
were slightly smaller than a month earlier, and ap­
proximately one-third less than on July 1, 1930.
Sales of trucks in June were slightly larger than a
year ago, and 10 per cent greater than in May this
year. Sales of parts and accessories showed a mod­
erate gain over May, and little change as compared




with June, 1930. According to dealers reporting on
that item, deferred payment sales in June consti­
tuted 44 per cent of their total sales, which compares
with 46 per cent in May and 50 per cent in June,
1930.
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 et sales com parison
Stocks on hand Stock turnove:
June, 1931 6 months ending June 30, 1931
Jan. 1, to
com p, to
June 30, 1931 to
com p, to
June 30,
June, 1930 same period 1930. June,30 1930
1931
1930
...— 10.7%
— 23.6%
— 18.2%
.94
1.05
L ittle Rock, ...— 4.4
— 10.7
1.20
1.36
— 18.3
Louisville ... ...— 10.0
— 14.6
— 19.7
1.35
1.43
M emphis ....
— 21.0
— 26.1
1.51
1.51
Q uincy ........ ...— 12.5
— 17.6
— 17.8
1.31
1.31
St. L ou is....
1.7
— 8.8
— 11.2
1.91
1.93
Springfield, Mo..* 14.3
)..—
— 8.5
— 13.9
.80
.74
8th District, ...— 5.3
— 11.6
— 15.6
1.69
1.69
N et sales com parison
Stocks on hand
June, 1931 com p, to
June, 1931 com p, to
June, 1930
M ay, 1931
June, 1930 M ay, 1931
+ 3 3 .6 %
M en’s furnishings.^.........+ 1 6 .9 %
— 17.9%
— 13.9%
B oots and shoes.................— 9.6
— 4.8
— 13.4
— 10.2

BUILDING
The dollar value of permits issued for new con­
struction in the five largest cities of the district
during June was 66.2 per cent less than in June,
1930, and 27.3 per cent less than the aggregate for
May this year. According to statistics compiled by
the F. W . Dodge Corporation, construction con­
tracts let in the Eighth Federal Reserve District in
June amounted to $32,553,934 which compares with
$18,326,851 in May and $73,076,754 in June, 1930.
Production of portland cement for the country as a
whole in June totaled 14,125,000 barrels, against
14,010,000 barrels in May, and 17,239,000 barrels in
June, 1930. Building figures for June follow :

Evansville ..
Littl^ R ock
Louisville ..
M em phis ....
St. Louis....

N ew Construction
Perm its
*C ost
1931
1930
1931
1930
190
415
$
95 $ 135
23
31
20
116
51
81
145
691
132
237
136
1,002
367
380
853
1,756

June totals.. 763 1,144
$1,249 $3,700
M ay totals.. 863 1,288
5,439
1,717
A pr. totals.. 904 1,635
5,454
5,910
* In thousands o f dollars (000 om itted).

Repairs, etc.
Permits
*Cost
1931
1930
1931
1930
51
109
$
25 $ 35
57
99
16
71
54
58
71
107
179
216
101
107
315
366
116
352
656
726
817

848
896
860

$ 335
413
433

$666
478
695

POSTAL RECEIPTS
Returns from the five largest cities of the dis­
trict show a decrease in combined postal receipts
for the second quarter of the year, of 6.3 per cent
as compared with the corresponding period in 1930,
and of .9 per cent as compared with the first three
months this year. Detailed figures follow :
June 30,
1931
Evansville ....$ 163,000
L ittle R ock....
179,000
615,000
Louisville ......
Mem phis ......
491,000
St. L ou is........ 2,926,000
Totals ............ $4,374,000

F o r Quarter E nding
j unCj 1931
Mar. 31,
D ec. 31,
June 30, com p, to
1931
1930
1930 June, 1930
$ 165,000 $ 162,000 $ 168,000" — 3.0%
212,000
224,000
212,000 — 15.6
627,000
708,000
683,000 — 10.0
521,000
618.000
581,000 — 15.5
2,890,000
3,294,000
3,049,000 — 3.2
$4,415,000

$5,006,000

$4,667,000

— 6.3

CONSUM PTION OF E L E C T R IC IT Y
Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district reported consumption of electric
current during June by selected industrial customers
as being 3.3 per cent larger than in May, and 10.1
per cent smaller than in June, 1930. Detailed figures
fo llo w :
N o. of
June,
M ay,
Custom1931
1931
ers
>K .W .H . * K .W .H .
Evansville .... 40
2,071
2,125
L ittle R ock.. 35
1,934
1,616
Louisville .... 85
6,244
6,039
M em phis ..... 31
1,666
1,915
St. L ou is......163
20,158
19,347
T otals .......... 354
32.073
* In thousands (000 om itted).

31,042

June, 1931
June, June, 1931
com p, to
1930
comp, to
M ay, 1931 * K .W .H . June, 1930
— 2 .6 %
1,653
+ 2 5 .3 %
2,021
+ 19.7
4.3
+ 3.3
6,692
6.7
— 13.0
— 10.3
1,858
— 14.1
23,455
+ 4.2
+

3.3

35,679

—

10.1

AG RICU LTU RE
Following auspicious conditions through May,
weather up to the middle of June was very favora­
ble for growth and development of virtually all
crops in the Eighth District. During the last half
of June, however, there was an unbroken spell of
extremely high temperatures, which continued until
July 3 and had the effect of lowering prospects for
certain crops. In many sections gardens were in­
jured to a considerable extent, and commercial vege­
tables, pastures, oats and hay sustained more or less
deterioration. The hot weather was needed for corn
and cotton, which generally achieved good growth,
and the outcome of these crops will be dependent
upon weather conditions between this and harvest.
The oat harvest was practically completed at the
middle of July, and due to premature ripening, an
unusually large amount was cut for hay. Harvest­
ing of hay had made good progress, and much corn
was laid by. As a result of the excessive heat slow­
ing up farm work, as well as hastening ripening of
grain and growth of corn, farmers in many localities
were hard pushed to finish haying and corn culti­
vation before advent of the grain harvest. Night
field work was resorted to in many instances.
Since the severe drouth of last year, rainfall
has been below normal in all states of the district.
Since the beginning of the recent hot spell, the
water question has again become a serious handicap
to farm operations in many localities. Universally
creeks, ponds and rivers are low, and in some cases
completely dry. For example, the Mississippi River
has been lower on an average in 1931 than in any
other recorded year, and some of the records extend
back to 1800. In Missouri seasonal rainfall was only
77 per cent of normal, and an approximate deficiency
exists elsewhere. Good, general rains are badly
needed throughout the district for pastures and all
late crops. Farm labor is much in excess of demand,
with wage rates sharply reduced as compared with
a year and two years ago.




Complaints are general relative to the prevail­
ing market prices for farm products. New low levels
on the present retrograde movement, and for many
years, were recorded in late June and during the
first half of July. Wheat futures receded to the
lowest point on record in the third week of July,
and farmers in many sections were receiving as low
as 30c per bushel for their grain at the thresher.
Prices of cattle and hogs also declined to new lows
on the movement, and lower levels were recorded
by most fruits and vegetables.
Winter Wheat — Production of winter wheat
in the Eighth District, based on the July 1 condi­
tion, is estimated by the U. S. Department of Agri­
culture at 58,360,000 bushels, against 43,819,000
bushels harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average
(1923-1930) of 49,921,000 bushels. The entire sea­
son, from planting to harvest, was unusually favor­
able for growth and development of the crop
and throughout the district yields are large and
quality high. Threshing has made rapid progress
under auspicious weather conditions, and initial
returns are confirming earlier estimates of both
quantity and quality. Due to low prevailing prices,
farmers, where financially able to do so, are holding
their grain for a more favorable market. In Indiana
and in important growing counties of other states
of the district, the yield per acre is the highest on
record.
Com — Corn planting was completed earlier
than usual this year, and conditions since have been
favorable for the crop. Warm weather has pro­
moted rapid growth, and in few previous years has
the stand been more uniform. During the last half of
June and in early July a spell of intense heat low­
ered the conditions in some localities, and generally
rains are much needed to assure best results. Defi­
cient subsoil moisture has been in a measure com­
pensated by intensive cultivation, fields being uni­
versally clean and free from weeds. Based on the
July 1 condition the yield of corn in the Eighth
District is estimated by the U. S. Department of
Agriculture at 382,709,000 bushels, which compares
with 183,254,000 bushels harvested in 1930, and an
8-year average of 342,534,000 bushels.
Fruits and Vegetables — Prospects for fruits
and vegetables generally through the district were
more favorable on July 1, than on any similar date
in a number of years. Since that time, however, gar­
dens, certain commercial vegetable crops, and
ground fruits have sustained deterioration from the
long spell of excessively high temperatures which
commenced in late June. The outlook for tree fruits
continues good, with indications pointing to bumper
apple and peach crops. The peach crop, which was

a virtual failure in states of this district last year,
is estimated at 14,922,000 bushels in these states this
year, which compares with 1,315,000 bushels in 1930,
and a 5-year average of 8,495,000 bushels. In states
of the district the apple crop is estimated at 37,626,000 bushels, of which 4,481,000 barrels represent
commercial crop, against 12,935,000 bushels, with
1.660.000 barrels commercial crop, harvested in 1930,
and a 5-year average of 21,349,000 bushels with
3.263.000 barrels commercial crop. The condition
of grapes on July 1 was somewhat less favorable
than a year ago, but due to the large number of
new vineyards coming into bearing, the yield this
year will considerably exceed that of 1930 and the
5-year average. The Government report estimates
the output of grapes in states of the district at
42,130 tons, against 33,831 tons harvested in 1930,
and a 5-year average of 32,387 tons. The sweet
potato crop in these states is estimated at 18,170,000
bushels, against 14,018,000 bushels harvested in
1930, and a 5-year average of 18,188,000 bushels.
In the district proper, the yield of white potatoes is
estimated at 13,735,000 bushels, against 12,724,000
bushels harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average of
15.050.000 bushels. The outlook for commercial
tomatoes was less favorable at the middle of July
than three weeks earlier, due to lack of moisture
and extremely hot weather.
Live Stock — Except in sections where water
shortage is felt, the condition of livestock continues
generally high. The movement of cattle and hogs
to market has been in seasonal volume, despite the
extreme low prices prevailing. The loss of horses
and mules, due to the late June heat wave was the
heaviest on record in Illinois, and unusually large in
other sections of the district.
Pastures have been deteriorating since the mid­
dle of June, and are in need of soaking rains. Based
on the July 1 condition, the Department of Agri­
culture estimates the output of tame hay in the
Eighth District at 6,633,000 tons, against 5,033,000
tons harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average of
7.616.000 tons. Milk and egg production decreased
between June 1 and July 1, and averaged slightly
below a year ago.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follows:
R eceipts
June,
M a y,
June,
1931
1931
1930
99,863
Cattle and Calves...... 94,782 r 88,702
H ogs ...................... ..... 219,549 281,737 272,100
H orses and M ules...... 1,627
2,063
2,052
Sheep ...........................124,170 84,690 103,601

Shipments
June,
M ay,
June,
1931
1931
1930
55,911 46,944 60,070
172,895 227,772 200,619
1,577
2,021
1,682
53,261 26,159 30,991

Cotton — A moderate decrease in the acreage
of cotton under cultivation in states entirely or part­
ly within the Eighth District on July 1 this year as



compared with a year ago is indicated in the July
report of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Com­
bined acreage in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi
and Arkansas is placed at 9,173,000 acres, a decrease
of 740,000 acres or 7.5 per cent as compared with the
corresponding date in 1930. For the country as a
whole the area under cultivation on July 1 was esti­
mated at 41,491,000 acres, which is 10 per cent less
than the area under cultivation on the same date in
1930. The estimate relates to acreage standing on
July 1, allowance having been made for abandoned
acreage prior to that date and for acreage replanted
and in cultivation on that date. Generally through
the district weather has been favorable for growth
and development of the plant, and prospects are
bright for heavy yields in all the chief producing
counties. Fields have been intensively cultivated
and are free from weeds and grass. A sharp reduc­
tion in the use of fertilizers as compared with a year
ago is general through the district. Prices of spot
cotton moved upward during the last half of June
and the first week of July, but since that time have
lost a considerable part of the advance. In the St.
Louis market the middling grade ranged from 8c
to 9.80c per pound between June 16 and July 15,
closing at 8.60c per pound on the latter date, which
compares with 8.30c on June 16, and 11.9c on July
15, 1930. Stocks of cotton in Arkansas warehouses
on July 17 totaled 99,971 bales, against 121,645 bales
on June 12, and 108,281 bales on the corresponding
date a year ago.
Tobacco — In its July 1 report, the U. S. De­
partment of Agriculture estimates production of all
types of tobacco in the Eighth District at 360,420,000 pounds, which contrasts with 282,253,000 pounds
harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average (1923-1930)
of 295,534,000 pounds. At the middle of July marked
differences existed between growing conditions in
the several sections. In a large area of the central,
southern and western sections the plant is suffering
from effects of lack of rain. Where there has been
precipitation, improvement has taken place and the
crop is doing well. In certain localities light, local
showers afforded temporary relief, but moisture was
not sufficient to reach the roots of the plants. Early
planted tobacco, while irregular in stand, due to
insect damage and necessity for many settings, has
made good progress, with a fair percentage reaching
the topping stage. Later settings made a poor start,
despite intensive cultivation. Taken as a whole, the
crop was less healthy and thrifty looking at the mid­
dle of July than at the same time last year.
Commodity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between June 15, 1931, and July 15,

1931, with closing quotations on the latter date and
on July 15, 1930:
________ ____________
W heat
H igh
L ow
July ..................... p erb u ..$ .5 6 # $ .48
S ept........................
“
.58>J .49
D ec. ..................... “
.61H
.*54
N o. 2 red winter “
.80
.47
N o. 2 hard...........
“
.80
.46
C om
July ......................
“
.6 1 #
.5 4 ^
Sept........................
“
.60J4
.49
D e c .......................... “
.50^4
.4 4 ^
N o. 2 m ixed........ “
.62
.56
.65
.58
N o . 2 w hite......... “
Oats
N o. 2 w h ite...... ................. .3 2 ^
.27
Flour
Soft patent........per bbl.. 5.55
4.25
Spring patent...... “
4.50
4.25
M iddling cotton....per lb. .980
.800
H ogs on h oof........per cw t. 7.90
4.00

July 15, 1931
July l j , 1930
$ .48
........... ................. .......
.50
$ .89
.5 4 ^
-94M
$ .4 8 H @ .49
$ .86 @ .87
.48 @ .4 8 ^
.8 5 }4 @ M 'A
...
@ .5 0 ^
A t'A
.61 @ .6 1 ^
.6 2 ^ @ .63

.50

.27
4.25
4.25

@

.................
.8 7 ^
.7 1 H
.85 V2@ .86
. 8 6 ^ @ .87

.27*4

@ 4 .7 5
@ 4 .4 0
.860
4.50 @ 7 .9 0

.36
5.40
5V
20

@ 5.80
@ 5.30
.119
7.50 @ 9.55

secured by warehouse receipts, 3 to 5 per cent;
interbank loans, Zy2 to 5y2 per cent, and cattle loans
5 to 6 per cent.
Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
the reporting member banks on July 15,1931 showed
a decrease of 3.4 per cent as contrasted with June
17, 1931. Deposits decreased 0.8 per cent between
June 17, 1931 and July 15, 1931 and on the latter date
were 0.1 per cent larger than on July 16, 1930. Com­
posite statement follows :
*July 15,
*June 17,
*July 16,
1931
1931
1930
t25
Num ber of banks reporting............
t25
24
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured b y U . S. G ovt, obligations
and other stocks and bonds....$164,820
$171,507
$239,866
AH other loans and discounts...... 241,579
249,214
275,351
T otal loans and discounts.................$406,399
$420,721
$515,217
Investments
U . S. Governm ent securities...... 77,920
74,764
33,499
152,470
120,667
Other securities............................... 145,876
T otal investments...............................$223,796
$227,234
$154,166
Reserve balance with F . R . bank.. 42,346
45,163
44,902
Cash in vault.........................................
6,292
6,382
5,594
D eposits
N et demand deposits..................... 372,830
375,905
376,354
T im e deposits.................................. 236,697
237,220
235,153
Government deposits....................
4.635
6,084
1,925
Tc>tal deposits.......................................$614,162
$619,209
$613,432
Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal Reserve B ank...................
1,500
490
2,795
* In thousands (000 om itted).
t Increase due to substitutions for closed banks. These 25 banks are
located in St. Louis, Louisville, M em phis, L ittle R ock , and Evansville,
and their resources represent 52.6 per cent o f the resources of all m em ­
ber banks in this district.

FIN AN CIAL
The banking situation in this district during the
past thirty days was marked by a further decrease
in demand for credit, a plethora of loanable funds
in commercial banks and an easing in interest rates
to the lowest levels on the present downward move­
ment. Requirements of commercial and industrial
interests were considerably below the usual seasonal
volume, and many important mercantile concerns
which are ordinarily large borrowers at this time of
year, have surplus funds in the banks. Banks in
the principal centers of population report good liqui­
Debits to Individual Accounts — The following
dation, with settlements exceeding new loans and
table gives the total debits charged by banks to
renewals.
checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of
Demands upon the banks for financing agricul­
deposit accounts and trust accounts of individuals,
tural operations are in smaller volume than has been
firms, corporations and U. S. Government in lead­
the case at this season for a number of years. This
ing cities of the district. Charges to accounts of
is due partly to the low levels of prices of agricul­
banks are not included:
*June,
♦May,
*June,
June, 1931 com p, to
tural products, notably winter wheat; also, in a
1931
1931
1930
M ay 1931 June 1930
measure, to the fact that methods other than direct
East St. Louis & Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..$ 30,570
$ 31,882
$ 44.666
— 4.1 %
— 31.6%
borrowing from banks are being practiced to a
El Dorado, A rk .__
4,641
4,987
6,724
— 6.9
— 31.0
Evansville, In d ..... 22,608
24,588
30,592
— 8.1
— 26.1
greater extent than heretofore. As compared with
F ort Smith, Ark.-..
8,917
9,464
11,916
— 5.8
— 25.2
Greenville, Miss....
2,592
2,932
3,521
— 11.6
— 26.4
the thirty days immediately preceding, there was
H elena, A rk............
2,419
2,737
3,464
— 11.6
— 30.2
Little R ock, Ark.. 28,405
32,927
38,835
— 13.7
— 26.9
no notable change in the average position of country
Louisville, K y ........ 135,178
134,664
202,177
— 33.1
4 - 0.4
Memphis, T enn..... 96,261
92,935
131,512
- f 3.6
— 26.8
banks. Liquidation with these institutions has been
O w ensboro, K y.....
4,739
4,681
6,292
— 24.7
+ 1.2
Pine Bluff, A rk .....
7,076
8,349
8,823
— 15.2
— 19.8
spotty in character, varying considerably with local­
Quincy, 111.............
8,985
9,117
11,408
— 1.4
— 21.2
St. Louis, M o ........ 714,075
665,903
795,481
- f 7.2
— 10.2
ity and classes of loans.
3,395
Sedalia, M o ............
3,565
4,169
— 4.8
— 18.6
Springfield, M o ..... 15,807
14,267
16,503
— 4.2
+ 1 0 .8
Loans of the reporting member banks continued
**Texarkana,
9,523
12,966
— 2.0
— 28.0
the downward movement which had its inception
T otals ................ $1,094,998 $1,052,521 $1,329,049
+ 4.0
— 17.6
last spring, and on July 15 showed a decrease of ap­
* In thousands (000 om itted ).
** Includes one bank in Texarkana, Texas not in E ighth District.
proximately 14 million dollars as compared with
Federal Reserve Operations — During June the
June 17 and of about 105 millions from July 16, 1930.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted for
Investments decreased slightly, but on July 15 were
159 member banks against 175 in May and 215 in
70 million dollars, or 45 per cent larger than on July
June, 1930. The discount rate remained unchanged
16, 1930. Deposits declined slightly during the
at 2y2 per cent on all classes and maturities of paper.
period, and on July 17 were about on a parity with
Changes in the principal assets and liabilities of this
the corresponding date last year. Borrowings of all
institution appear in the following table:
member banks from the Federal Reserve Bank aver­
♦July 17,
*June 17, *July 17,
1931
1931
1930
aged slightly higher than during the preceding
Bills discounted................................................... ..$ 9,650
$ 7,216
$16,924
thirty days, but were uniformly below the same
Bills bought............................................................' 2,585
5,904
6,858
U . S. Securities.................................................... 30,475
25,442
22,643
period in 1930.
Federal Inter. Cr. Bk. D ebentures................
200
425
T otal bills and securities...................... .......$42,910
$38,987
$46,42S
Current interest rates at the St. Louis banks
F. R . N otes in circulation........ ........................ 73,237
72,666
70,679
T otal deposits....................... ................................. 74,174
71,600
78,642
were as follow s: Prime commercial paper, 2 to 5
Ratio of reserve to deposits
and F. R. N ote Liabilities....................
76.1%
78.8%
75.3%
per cent; Collateral loans, 4 to Sy2 per cent; loans
*In thousands (000 om itted ).
(Compiled July 20, 1931)



BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
Industrial production showed more than the usual sea­
sonal decline in June, and factory employment and pay
rolls decreased. Wholesale prices, which had continued to
decline until the end of May, advanced in June, but for
most commodities declined again in the first half of July.
PRODUCTION — A decrease in industrial output from
May to June was reflected in a decline in the Board’s index
of industrial production, which is adjusted for seasonal
variations, to 86 per cent of the 1923-1925 output, as com­
pared with 89 per cent in May. Taking the second quarter
of the year as a whole, production has averaged about 4

DISTRIBUTION — At Department stores, daily aver­
age sales were seasonally smaller in June than in May.
Freight car loadings were also reduced, reflecting princi­
pally a further reduction in loadings of miscellaneous com­
modities.
PRICES — During June wholesale prices of many
commodities advanced considerably, after having reached
low levels late in May and early in June. Prices of livestock
and meats increased and after June 21 there were rapid
advances in prices of raw materials important in world
markets, especially cotton, hides, sugar, silk, copper, silver,
CENT

120

1 A CTO RY
F

120

E M IP L O Y M E N T AM D P A Y R O L L !

1

. V S

110

’a y r o l l s

100

P\V

LACA

................ -

i

ip lo y m e n t

V
t
V
'

90

90

' A\
\
V
r \
V

60

7

70

-

--------------------------

Index number of industrial production, adjusted for seasonal variation.
(1923-1925 a v e ra g e = 1 0 0 .) Latest figure June, 86.

per cent above its low level in the last three months of
1930. The reduction of activity in June was most marked
in the iron and steel industry, with steel plants operating at
38 per cent of capacity. Automobile output declined further,
and there was some recession in production of lumber, meat
products and flour. Petroleum output, however, was not
reduced. Activity of textile mills and shoe factories con­
tinued in relatively large volume. In the woolen industry
activity was sustained at the unusually high level of May,
and the decline in the consumption of cotton was not in
excess of the usual seasonal amount. During the first half
of July there were further reductions, partly seasonal in
nature, in output of steel, automobiles, and lumber. Factory
employment was further reduced by nearly 3 per cent, and
payrolls declined by 6 per cent between the middle of May

1927

1928

1929

1930

1927

70

60

1928

1929

1930

1931

Indexes of factory em ploym ent and payrolls, without adjustment fo r sea­
sonal variation. (1923-1925 average= 1 0 0 .)
Latest figures June, em ploym ent 75, payrolls 67.6.

and rubber. Subsequently, however, most of these prices
receded somewhat, although in mid-July they were, in gen­
eral, above their lowest levels. The price of wheat declined
during June and the first half of July, as the domestic price
became adjusted to world levels.
BANK CREDIT — At reporting member banks in
leading cities, loans on securities continued to decline be­
tween the middle of June and the middle of July, while all
other loans increased by $140,000,000. This increase was
concentrated at New York City banks, and was largely in
the form of acceptances purchased in the open market.
Member banks’ investments continued at about the same
level as in May and early June. Notwithstanding a further

1931

M onthly averages o f w eekly figures for reporting m em ber banks in lead­
ing cities. Latest figures are averages o f first three weeks in July.

M onthly averages of daily figures. Latest figures are averages o f first
19 days in July.

and the middle of June. The largest decreases were in
the steel machinery, and women’s clothing industries, while
reductions at automobile plants and cotton mills were partly
seasonal in character, and employment at woolen and
hosiery mills increased. Building contracts awarded in
June were somewhat larger than in May, but declined again
in the first half of July. Since the early spring, awards have
not increased as much as is usual for the season. In resi­
dential building there has been relatively little change for
about a year and a half, except for seasonal fluctuations,
and the decline in construction has been chiefly in other
types of building, principally public works and utilities.

addition of $77,000,000 to the country’s stock of monetary
gold between the weeks ending June 20 and July 18, there
was no decrease in Federal reserve bank credit outstanding.
During the period the reserve banks’ portfolio of United
States securities was increased by $75,000,000, while their
combined holdings of acceptances and of discounts for mem­
ber banks decreased by approximately the same amount.
The gold inflow provided member banks with funds to
meet an added demand for currency, as well as to increase
their balances with the Reserve Banks. There was also a
considerable growth in foreign bank deposits with the re­
serve banks. Money rates continued at low levels.