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FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS
MONTHLY REVIEW
OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS
IN FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT NO. 8
Released for Publication On and After the Morning of June 30, 1924

W IL L IA M McC. M A R T IN
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AND FEDERAL RESERVE AGENT

e c e s s i o n a r y tendencies, in some lines quite
sharply defined, featured general business in
this district during the past thirty days. In
virtually all basic industries there was curtailment of
production, while in both the wholesale and retail
departments of distribution sales fell below these of
the corresponding period last year and the preceding
month this year. Generally through the list of com m o­
dities the trend of prices was lower, but except in
relatively few instances concessions granted failed to
stimulate buying. The latter fact was particularly
true in the case of raw materials, which are being
taken on an extremely conservative basis and only in
quantities sufficient for immediate needs. Price con­
siderations at the moment are apparently less a factor
in the situation than the spirit of uncertainty and
caution, and inability to interest consumers in goods
offered. The general policy of conservatism, however,
has resulted in small stocks in all positions and with
an almost entire absence of speculative accumulation
of merchandise, business is in excellent shape to res­
pond to any improvement in demand conditions.
Unseasonable wreather and uncertainty relative
to the outcom e of crops constitute the chief factors in
the present decline in business activity. From all
directions reports tell of the delayed movement of
spring and early summer merchandise. L ow tempera­
tures and incessant and heavy rains, the latter extend­
ing far into June, have interfered seriously with the
usual routine agricultural operations which should
be making headway at this time of year. Farmers have
been unable to get into their fields to cultivate crops,
and growth and development of the principal products
are from one to four weeks late. Extensive replanting
of cotton, corn and some other crops has been neces­
sary, and in some sections the seed has not been put
in, due to the soggy and unworkable condition of the
soil. Because of these circumstances, the usual stimu­
lation to business felt at the approach of the spring
farming season and early harvests is entirely lacking.
Farm supplies and merchandise generally for dis­
tribution in the rural districts are m oving slowly and
in light volume. Ordering by country merchants is
on a hand to mouth basis, and even in the smaller
towns and cities there is a disposition to postpone
commitments until something more definite is known
as to the probable outcom e of crops. This hesitation
is reflected in reduced sales by wholesalers in the
large distributing centers, and is in turn affecting
production by manufacturers. The period under re­
view has been marked by a slight increase in unem­
ployment in the large cities, due to reduced operations
at industrial plants, and additional idle workers were
reported in the coal, lead and zinc mining districts.
Answers to questionnaires addressed to leading
business interests throughout the district com m ent

R




upon the extreme caution among buyers of all classes
and their disinclination to purchase beyond immediate
requirements. A corollary of this condition has been
increasing competition among sellers, manifested prin­
cipally in more intensive salesmanship and granting
of price concessions. Special sales, held much earlier
in the season than is ordinarily the case, have been
conducted by both wholesalers and retailers, the res­
ponse to which has been moderately satisfactory.
Stocks of goods which should have moved earlier
in the year were materially reduced, but profit margins
were sharply reduced, and in some instances elimin­
ated entirely. Another phase stressed by reporting
wholesale interests is the small size of the average
orders received. The steady flow of such orders has
assisted the current turnover, but the cost of filling
them perceptibly affects profits.
The labor situation in the district was less favora­
ble than during the preceding thirty days. Surplus
common labor due to the slower pace of industrial
activity is being absorbed by farms and road building,
but not to the extent which would be the case if weath­
er conditions were more auspicious. Lateness of the
wheat harvest is a factor in the farm labor situation,
and the supply of farm hands is adequate for all
demands.
As contrasted with a year ago, the movement of
farm products to market during the period under
review developed rather spotted conditions. Receipts
of wheat, rye and hay were smaller, but there was a
good increase in arrivals of corn and oats. Due to
the lateness of the season, shipments of fruits and
garden truck were below normal for this time of year.
Prices of cereals, which declined sharply during the
last week of May and early June, took a turn upward
follow ing the publication of the Government’s June 1
condition report. The continued wet weather has had
a buoyant effect on corn prices, values of both the
options and spot corn having advanced 10c to 12c per
bushel since the middle of May.
Except for a slight improvement in sentiment,
based on gradually dwindling reserves of numerous
important industries, the coal situation underwent
no change from the recent dull conditions. There
was a further decline in production, accounted for in
the main by lack of orders received at the mines.
The revival in purchasing looked for about June 1
failed to materialize, and consumers, both large and
small, have not deviated to any appreciable extent
from the policy of hand to mouth buying which has
obtained since last fall. The decline in industrial
activity is reflected in reduced consumption of steam­
ing coal, and operators continue to comment upon the
inroads made in their business by fuel oil and electric
power competition. Dealers in the large cities have

reduced their accumulations slightly during the past
several weeks, but are slow to contract for their
requirements through the balance of the year. They
explain this attitude by the backwardness of house­
holders in placing their orders for the com ing fall and
winter. The trend of prices continued downward until
June 1 when circular quotations were advanced by
many of the companies and most of the leading inde­
pendent producers from 10c to 20c per ton. Similar
conditions of apathy were reported in the coke trade.
The demand from domestic users is quiet, and cur­
tailed operations at furnaces and foundries is reflected
in a slowing down in the demand for metallurgical
coke. Production of bituminous coal for the country
as a whole during the calendar year to June 14 was
211,490,000 net tons, which compares with 249,931,000
tons for the corresponding period a year ago.
A s compared with the corresponding period last
year, traffic of railroads operating in this district again
showed a rather sharp decline, but the May business
was well in excess of that for the same month in 1922,
with one large southwestern system showing the
heaviest M ay traffic in its history. For the country
as a whole loadings of revenue freight during the week
ending May 31 totaled 819,904 cars, a decrease under
the preceding week of 98,309 cars, and a decrease of
112,780 cars under the same week in 1923. A s com ­
pared with the corresponding period in 1922 the total
for the week of May 31 showed an increase of 80,345
cars. The Terminal Railway Association of St. Louis,
which handles the interchange of 28 connecting car­
riers, interchanged 199,542 loads in May, against
196,111 loads in April, 204,656 loads in March and
207,094 loads in May, 1923. Passenger traffic of the
reporting roads decreased 2 per cent in May as com ­
pared with the same month in 1923. Tonnage moved
by the Mississippi River section of the Federal barge
line between St. Louis and New Orleans amounted
to 68,600 tons during May, against 81,528 tons in April
and 77,552 tons in May, 1923.
Taking into account the very unfavorable weather
and general slow ing down in business activities during
the period under review, the record of collections
made an unusually favorable showing. This was
ascribed chiefly to abundant supplies of money and
the fact that merchants for the most part are carrying
small stocks and have less than the usual amount
of their funds tied up in inventories. In the large
wholesale and jobbing centers merchants report May
1 settlements well up to expectations, and in a num­
ber of instances better than a year ago. There are
still some backward spots in the farming regions,
and in the coal mining areas collection efficiency con­
tinues below normal. Replies to 408 questionnaires
addressed to representative interests in the various
lines throughout the district show the follow ing
resu lts:
Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

23.2%
58.9%
15.2%
May, 1924....... 2.7%
April, 1924....... 1.7
29.4
56.3
12.6
May, 1923....... 2.8
36.8
53.8
6.8
Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District during May, according to Dun’s,
numbered 62, involving liabilities of $174,163, against
79 defaults with indebtedness of $1,033,327 in April,
and 63 failures for $760,293 in May, 1923.
T he per capita circulation o f the United States
on June 1 was $42.78, against $42.33 on M ay 1 and
$42.34 on June 1, 1923.



M A N U F A C T U R IN G A N D W H O L E S A L E
Autom obiles
There was a further decrease in the production
of automobiles and trucks in the country as a whole
during May, the loss as compared with the preceding
month being 16.2 per cent, while a loss of 20.6 per
cent was recorded under the total of May, 1923. Com ­
panies reporting direct or through the Autom obile
Chamber of Commerce built 279,385 passenger cars
in May, against 336,968 in April, and 350,073 in May,
1923. The output of trucks in May was 32,326 against
34,977 in April and 42,373 in May, 1923. The total
number of passenger cars and trucks manufactured
during the first five months of 1924, however, was
1,747,145 against 1,658,320 for the corresponding period
last year. A general slowing do^yn in distribution,
both at wholesale and retail, was noted during the
past thirty days. Sales of 230 dealers scattered through
the district showed a decrease of 5.8 per cent under
the same month last year, and of 8.5 per cent under
the April total this year. Unfavorable weather is given
as the principal reason for the recession in buying,
particularly in the country, where dealers say that
the continuous rains and muddy roads have made it
extremely difficult to dispose of automobiles. Busi­
ness in accessories decreased in about the same ratio
noted in new cars, and there continue complaints rela­
tive to the slowness with which tires are moving. The
used car business was reported quieter than at any
time in more than eight months, price concessions and
inducements in the shape of equipment and terms
failing to stimulate buying.
B oots and Shoes
Sales of the 11 reporting interests in May were
1.7 per cent under the corresponding month in 1923,
and 9.2 per cent under the April total this year. As
was the case during the tw o preceding months, the
loss as compared with last year was chiefly in orders
for future shipment. Buying is almost exclusively on
an immediate basis, each week developing an increase
in the proportion of small orders to be filled by express
or parcels post. T he volume of this piecemeal current
buying is quite large, but the cost of filling the orders
is such as to reduce profits. The demand for wom en's
and children’s shoes continues relatively better than
for men’s wear, and generally sales in the cities are
better than in the country. There was no change
w orthy of note in prices of either finished goods or
raw materials during the past thirty days. Factory
operation was at approximately 72 per cent of capacity.
The total number of pairs of shoes manufactured in
this district during M ay was 6 per cent less than
during the preceding month, and for the country as
a whole, May production was 9.6 per cent under the
April total.
Clothing
An increasing tendency is noted to sacrifice pro­
fits in order to maintain present production schedules
or to m ove stocks on hand. There are few buyers in
the market, however, especially from the rural dis­
tricts, where demand has contracted to a notable de­
gree. Fall booking of reporting firms are from 40 to
60 per cent lower than last year and jobbers are unable
to arouse interest in new commitments on anything
like a normal scale. The entire w oolen line is in only
moderate request with prices weak and declining. In
many instances, however, production has declined to
lower levels than present consumption and stocks are
everywhere low. The rainy, cool weather has retarded
sales of all summer fabrics, and at the same time

prompted vigorous selling campaigns at rather large
price concessions. M en’s hats are m oving tardily, par­
ticularly straws, sales of which are the most disap­
pointing in years for the season to date. May sales
of the 11 reporting firms were 38 per cent under those
of the same month a year ago, but 0.4 per cent in
excess of the April, 1924, total.
Drugs and Chemicals
May sales of the 11 reporting interests were 6.2
per cent less than during the same period in 1923, and
5.8 per cent under the April total this year. A consid­
erable part of the decrease as compared with a year
ago was accounted for by reduced sales of spraying
materials, insecticides and heavy chemicals used
by manufacturers. Smaller sales were also the rule
in the soda fountain supply departments of reporting
interests, the unusually cool weather having had a
detrimental effect on this business. The demand for
remedial drugs and sundries continues good, there
being a disposition to place orders at the recent slight
price reductions in a number of staple drugs and pro­
prietary medicines. The retail drug business was re­
ported somewhat less active than heretofore, particu­
larly in the South.
D ry G oods
Buying in all sections of the line continues on an
extremely conservative basis, and mainly in small lots
for prompt shipment. Cotton goods held relatively
firm, the decline in the raw staple being in a large
measure offset by curtailment of production and gen­
erally small stocks. The movement of seasonal goods
continues backward, and special efforts to move such
merchandise have been made by a number of im por­
tant wholesale establishments. The downward trend
in silks continued, and with the 25 per cent decline in
raw silk since May 1, many grades can now be pur­
chased at prices lower than at any time since 1916.
W ith the exception of styled piece goods and garments,
the movement of print cloth and w om en's ready to
wear clothing is disappointing. Staple hosiery contin­
ues quiet, but there is a fair demand for certain fancy
descriptions. Some reordering of underwear is re­
ported, but advance business is the lightest at this
season in several years. May sales of the 11 reporting
interests were 12.5 per cent under those of the same
month in 1923, but 1.5 per cent in excess of the April
total this year.
Electrical Supplies
Unseasonable weather and ultra conservatism on
the part of buyers of all classes are given as the chief
reasons for a decrease in sales of the 12 reporting
interests during M ay of 15.1 per cent as contrasted
with the same month in 1923, and a loss of 4.7 per cent
under the April total this year. Sales of electric fans
and fan motors are considerably under normal for this
time o f year, but the demand for electrical household
appliances continues brisk. Some falling off in the
volum e of electric installations was reported, and there
was a slow ing down in the movement of copper wire,
pole hardware and the general line of goods taken by
public utility companies. A ll sorts of mining supplies
are quiet, and there was less vigor to demand from the
oil fields. The trend of prices was slightly downward,
with specific reductions in bare and insulated copper
wire. Sales and shipping directions from the autom o­
tive industry continued to decline.
Fire-Clay Products
Decreased activities in certain basic lines have
perceptibly affected the demand for refractories pro­
ducts, with thfe result that operations at manufacturing



plants in the district have been considerably curtailed.
Demand from public utilities was less than heretofore
and purchasing by iron and steel manufacturers has
contracted with the banking and blow ing out of addi­
tional stacks and ovens. Ordering by cement pro­
ducers is still on a large scale, reflecting the con­
tinued activity in building. Demand from the oil
centers is barely holding its own, but municipal buy­
ing continues in volume sufficient to sustain interest
in vitrified projects. Jobbers' purchases have been
on a hand to mouth basis, and stocks in their hands
are reported at the lowest level in three years. Prices
were unchanged. May sales of the 5 reporting interests
were 26.6 per cent under those of the same month in
1923, and 17.9 per cent under the April total this year.
Flour
Production of the 11 leading mills of the district
during May was 322,106 barrels, which compares
with 311,312 barrels in April, 358,055 barrels in March
and 302,791 barrels in May, 1923. Business during
late M ay and the first week of June continued quiet
and entirely on an immediate shipment basis. New
orders were small in size, and came mainly from the
regular customers of the mills. Shipping directions
were generally fair, and there was a particularly good
run of requests to forward soft flours from Southern
buyers. Throughout the period under review, export
business was stagnant, with bids scarce and too far
out of line to result in workings. W ith the upturn
in wheat about June 12, flour prices advanced slightly
and the market displayed a somewhat better under­
tone, though actual sales showed only moderate im ­
provement. Mill operation was at 65 per cent of
capacity.
Furniture
Sales of the 28 reporting interests during May
were 30.7 per cent under those of the same period in
1923, and 12.7 per cent below the April, 1924, total.
Reports from all sections of the district reflect ex­
treme apathy in this line. Dealers are buying chiefly
on a replacement basis, and are carrying the smallest
stocks in years. The better and more expensive grades
of household furniture are particularly quiet, the small
current demand centering chiefly in low priced goods.
The trend of finished furniture was easier, and there
were specific reductions in the prices of raw materials,
notably glass, lumber and iron and steel goods. Part of
the backwardness on the part of dealers was ascribed
to their desire to postpone purchasing until after the
summer markets at Chicago and Grand Rapids, open­
ing June 23, at which new styles are displayed and
prices announced. Factory operation dropped again,
averaging less than 55 per cent of capacity.
Groceries
During the first week of June Cuban raw sugar
touched new low price levels for the year, but bu y­
ing by retailers together with augmented demand from
consumers, because of abundant berry and cherry
crops, served to produce a turn which stimulated fur­
ther retail buying. There has been no abnormal accu­
mulation of sugar, however, either at wholesale or
retail. A favorable factor has been the heavy m ove­
ment of canned goods caused by the backwardness of
spring garden truck. Coffee, from cheap to choice,
continues in good demand at firm prices, due to small
retail stocks and a continuance of the Brazilian export
limitation. A slight improvement in rural buying is
noted, and city sales were about steady with the pre­
ceding month. Demand in mining sections is lagging.
Candy is m oving in normal volume, though season­

ally dull. May sales of 21 reporting interests were
6.4 per cent in excess of those of the same month a
year ago, but 0.3 per cent under the April, 1924, figure.
Hardware
Uncertainty relative to crops and heavy and con­
tinuous rains have served to hold down buying in the
country to a minimum, with the result that M ay sales
of the 12 reporting interests fell 16.7 per cent below
the total of the same month in 1923, and 2.5 per cent
under the April aggregate this year. The demand for
building hardware, which has been the chief activity
in the hardware line during recent months, showed a
rather sharp falling off. Hand implements, spraying
apparatus, and the general run of goods for use on
farms are reported dull, and price concessions have
been made in order to stimulate the belated m ove­
ment. Sales o f binder twine and other harvest mater­
ials are considerably below those of the corresponding
period last season. W ith the exception of camping
supplies and fishing tackle, the general movement
of sporting goods was disappointing. Curtailed opera­
tions were reported in several important manufactur­
ing lines.
Iron and Steel Products
There was a further recession in activities at
mills, foundries and machine shops in this district
during the period under review, and for the country
as a whole production of pig iron and steel ingots
declined sharply in May as compared with the preced­
ing month. In spite of the almost universal curtail­
ment, demand has dropped below output, many of the
leading reporting interests showing current shipments
in excess of new orders booked. Purchasing by all
classes of consumers has fallen off, and there is a very
decided tendency to postpone commitments into the
future. This is true both of finished and semi-finished
goods and raw materials. Sales of pig iron were
unusually light for this time of the year, and con­
tracting for last half requirements is the smallest in
more than a decade. During the past three weeks a
fair volume of inquiries has appeared, but mainly for
the purpose of feeling out the market, as the tonnage
actually closed has been insignificant. Prices of pig
iron declined further, No. 2 Southern, 1.75 to 2.25
per cent silicon, falling to $18 per ton, furnace, while
Northern iron of the same grade was freely offered at
$20. Further weakness was noted in the scrap iron
and steel market, with all items on the list touching
new lows on the present downward movement. Scat­
tering price reductions were recorded on standard steel
products, among the articles affected being bars, bolts,
and nuts, plates and some wire products and tubing.
Manufacturers of farm implements, stoves and other
goods largely consumed in the country report that
their business has been adversely affected by the low ­
ering of crop conditions. There has been a rather
sharp curtailment in takings by the automobile manu­
facturers, and buying by the railroads is considerably
less active than was the case earlier in the year. W are­
housemen are ordering on a hand to mouth basis, and
report the demand for their goods the quietest in
months. Job foundry operations have been further
reduced, with several of the larger plants pouring only
tw o or three melts per week. Additional open-hearth
furnaces have been blow n out by steel manufacturers,
and rolling mills are operating at less than 50 per cent
of capacity. M ay sales of stove manufacturers, 7 re­
porting, were 22 per cent under the same month in
1923, and 23.7 per cent less than the April total this
year; railway supplies, 5 reporting, decreased 44 per



cent under the same month in 1923, and 6 per cent
under April this year; farm implements, 6 reporting,
decreased 32.5 per cent under May last year and 16 per
cent under the April, 1924, total; jo b foundries, 5
reporting, decreased 16.5 per cent under May, 1923,
and 8.2 per cent under April this year; manufactur­
ers of boilers, stacks, elevators, radiators, wire rope
and miscellaneous products, 14 reporting, decreased
22.8 per cent under May, 1923, and 14.2 per cent under
April, 1924.
Lum ber
Sustained building activity in St. Louis and other
large cities of the district accounted for a good retail
demand and a brisk delivery of lumber from yards at
those centers. Country yards, on the other hand, are
doing a light business while the farmers are preoccu­
pied with their crops. W holesale buying has run in
smaller volume since the first of June, but since mill
costs are being closely pressed by prices, the market
has remained practically stationary. There is the
usual slack-businses run of price concessions and
minor changes in the market standing of items in the
various woods. On the bulk of lumber production,
however, prices have held steady with the levels cur­
rent during the preceding thirty days. W eather has
been extremely unfavorable for logging operations
in the South, and many of the small sawmills have
shut down. Generally, there is a tendency to hold
down production until market conditions warrant in­
creased outputs. Furniture manufacturers and the
automotive industry are purchasing more sparingly
than heretofore.
Consumption of Electricity
In spite of the current business recession, elec­
tricity consumed for industrial purposes continues to
surpass former seasonal records in tw o of the report­
ing centers and for the district as a whole. Increases
over last year represent heavier loads taken by cement,
brick and auto truck manufacturers, while decreases
for the same period represent curtailment by steel
companies, liquid air manufacturers and ice plants.
The seasonal upturn, however, is represented largely
by increased operations at ice plants.
Detailed figures follow :
April,
May,
No. of
1924
1924
custom­
*K.W.H. *K.W.H.
ers
950
1,058
Evansville ....40
752
692
Little Rock....11
4,070
4,244
Louisville ....67
1,340
1.450
Memphis .... 31
11,915
12,888
St. Louis. ... 75
20,332
19,027
Totals....224
*In thousands (000 omitted).

May, 1924
comp, to
Apr. 1924
+ 11.4%
— 8.0
+ 4.3
+ 8.2
+ 8.2
+ 6.9

May,
May, 1924
comp, to
1923
*K.W.H. May, 1923
1,060
— 0.2%
758
— 8.7
3,868
+ 9.7
+29.5
1,120
13,322
— 3.3
20,128

+ 1.0

The follow ing figures, compiled by the Depart­
ment of Interior, give kilowatt production for both
lighting and industrial purposes for the entire country :
1924
By water power
By fuels
February ................................1,562,947,000 ~ 3,270,796,000
March ..................................... 1,711,935,000
3,269,257,000
April ....................................... 1,846,368,000
2,904,507,000

Totals
4,833,743,000
4,981,192,000
4,750,875,000

R E T A IL
Business in this section of distribution during the
past thirty days was largely a reproduction of the
picture of the period immediately preceding, except
that greater selling pressure was in evidence. Cool,
wet weather, which prevailed through the third week
of June served to retard activities in every line investi­
gated except chain grocery stores. The movement of
men's summer clothing has been disappointing, and
sales of straw hats the smallest at this season in more
than a decade. Cheap work suits, harvest hats and
supplies used in the fields are not being bought in the
usual seasonal volume. Certain classes of styled goods

for wom en's wear are meeting with good demand, and
other varieties offered at lower prices are m oving well,
but the general line of w om en’s apparel is dull. Liber­
al price concessions have stimulated some buying of
camping supplies, but otherwise sporting goods,
including g o lf and baseball supplies, are m oving in
less volume than at this time last year. Jewelers report
the usual buying of wedding and graduation gifts,
but total sales were about 10 per cent below those of
the same month in 1923. Continued dullness is re­
ported by furniture dealers. Building activity has
served to sustain interest in hardware, but supplies for
the farm are being sparingly bought.
May sales o f 3 interests operating 1,578 chain
grocery stores in this district exceeded those of the
same month a year ago by 8.1 per cent. Department
stores, by aggressive selling campaigns, have main­
tained volume, if not profits, M ay sales of the 21
largest department stores in the district being only
3.9 per cent under those of the same month last year.
These price concessions, together with smaller stocks
have made possible the best rate of turnover shown
for any month this year.
Detailed department store figures fo llow :
Annual rate of
Net sales comparisons
Stocks on hand stock turnover
May, 1924 Five months ending May 31, 1924 For 5 months
ending
comp, to
comp, to . May 31, 1924, to
same period, 1923 May 31, 1923 May 31, 1924
May, 1923
1.80
— 7.6%
Evansville .......— 8.4%
— 1.2%
2.34
4- 0.2
H 0.9
Little Rock......+ 7.4
2.70
Louisville ........+ 1.2
- f 0.8
-f 3.9
2.29
— 4.3
+ 0.3
Memphis .....
2.21
— 3.6
— 1.3
Quincy ....... ....+ 0.4
3.30
+ 7.2
— 0.4
St. Louis......... — 6.6
2.80
-f 4.4
— 0.8
3.9
8th District3.01
+ 3.0
+ 3.9
Entire u. s. ... — 1.5

A G R IC U L T U R E
The outstanding feature in reports covering agri­
cultural conditions during the past thirty days was
the lateness of the season. In the main weather was
unfavorable for growth and development of crops and
for general farm operations. T he month of May was
wet and cold, and the early weeks of June, while bring­
ing higher temperatures also brought a continuance
of the unusual precipitation. M uddy fields and roads
prevented farmers from accom plishing much needed
cultivation of grow ing crops and delayed seeding of
corn and planting of vegetables. In many sections
the soggy condition of the soil and lack of sunshine
caused the rotting of seeds in the ground and necessi­
tated replanting, in some instances as many as two
to four times. Scattered hail and wind storms of great
severity did material local damage, and injury to crops
in some rich river and creek bottom s was wrought
by floods.
Despite weather handicaps, early crops were gen­
erally successful, both in point of yields and prices
obtained. The output of strawberries in commercial
sections of the district was large, and adequate mar­
keting arrangements and transportation permitted of
prompt and satisfactory movement.
Shipments of
spring truck were behind the usual seasonal schedule,
but have increased steadily in volum e during the past
several weeks. Cherries were an abundant crop gener­
ally through the district, but prices were under those
of last season.
T he condition of winter wheat in States of the
district, according to the report of the U. S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture, declined rather sharply during
May, and in all instances was below the 10-year aver­
age on June 1. In Illinois the June 1 condition was
64 per cent of normal, against 70 per cent on May 1,
with an indicated yield of 33,368,000 bushels against




60,534,000 bushels harvested last year. The indicated
outturn in Missouri is 21,808,000 bushels compared
with 37,882,000 bushels in 1923. The deterioration is
ascribed chiefly to unfavorable weather, but there
are numerous reports of damage from insects pests,
though as a rule Hessian fly and cinch bug damage
is less severe than last year. The harvest will be later
than usual due to the cool weather in April and May.
W heat — Oats
The U. S. D ep’t of Agriculture, in its report as of
June 1, 1924, gives condition of winter wheat and oats
in the Eighth Federal Reserve District as follow s:
Winter
Wheat

Condition
*Production
Farm price
June 1
Forecast 1924
per bu.
Harvested
10-yr. from condition
5*yr. av.
May 15
1924 av.
June 1
May 1
1923
1918-22 1924 1923
Bu.
Bu.
Bu.
Bu.
%
%
cents cents
...64 80
33,368
33,950
60,534
51,377
100
116
...77
81
26,567
25,904
34,188
98
122
33,707
Kentucky .,...63
84
3,773
3,743
7,688
8,320
112
130
...68
78
21,808
24,027
37,882
45,106
99
113
U. S. Total..74.0 81.6 509,319
553,013
572,340
624,653
* Production
Oats
Condition Forecast 1924
Farm price
Acreage
June 1
from
Harvested
per bu.
% o(
10-yr.
condition
5-yr. av. May 15
1924
Acres 1924 av.
June 1
1923
1918-22 1924 1923
%
%
Bu.
Bu.
Bu. cents cents
Illinois .........106
4,092 86
88
142,524 135,100 146,005 44 44
1,774 89
87
59,207
48,692
59,088 44 46
Indiana .......102
Missouri .....110
1,518 70
83
32,941
34,500
42,189 56 54
U. S. Total... 101.9 41,625 83.0 88.8 1,231,728 1,299,823 1,302,516 46.3 45.3
*In thousands (000 omitted).

Advices relative to the corn crop are almost uni­
versally pessimistic. Generally where planted the crop
has a poor stand, and in the lowlands where moisture
has hindered cultivation, weeds have made consider­
able headway. In many sections where cultivation
should have been well under w ay at the middle of
June, there was still much corn to be planted, and in
some cases corn land was unplowed. On both sides
of the Mississippi River considerable replanting has
been necessary. Every day of sunshine is being taken
advantage of to make up the delayed planting and
cultivation, and there still remains sufficient time to
accomplish much in this direction. H owever, it is
generally conceded that ideal grow ing conditions to
harvest and a late frost experience are needed to pro­
duce a normal crop.
The June 1 condition of oats in this district was
below the 10-year average, except in Indiana where it
exceeds the average by 2 points. Generally, cutting of
oats has been delayed by rains, which has resulted
in a good immediate shipment demand and fair upturn
in prices.
The condition of hay is close to normal, the abund­
ant moisture having aided the growth of this crop.
Many counties in the Northern tier of the district
report the best clover prospects in a number of years.
Cutting of all hay, however, is backward and dry
weather is much needed for haying operations.
Reports relative to fruit prospects in the district
are varied and irregular. In the North the peach crop
is largely a failure due to the severe winter. In the
South the outlook is better, particularly in the com ­
mercial areas. Apples promise well, though the aver­
age condition on June 1 was below that at the cor­
responding date last year. The drop has been heavy
during the past three weeks, due to cool weather and
storms, and blight has seriously injured the Jonathan
crop in Arkansas. The condition of blackberries, rasp­
berries and melons indicates a yield slightly above
normal. Commercial vegetable crops and gardens are
from two to three weeks late and are in need of warm
weather and less abundant moisture. The recent ex­
cessive rainfall has interfered with spraying and culti­

vation, and there are numerous complaints of the
presence of insects and parasites in gardens and or­
chards.
In spite of continued rains over the entire tobacco
producing section, fair progress is reported in trans­
planting the 1924 crop. Unofficial estimates as of the
middle of June indicate that 60 per cent of the burley,
70 per cent of the aircured and green river, and from
80 to 85 per cent of the fired dark tobacco crop in
Kentucky and Tennessee had been planted, with ini­
tial growth mainly satisfactory. There were scattered
reports of disease appearing in plant beds, but on the
whole healthful conditions exist, and indications are
for normal acreage in the chief producing areas. D eliv­
eries during the period under review were large,
w^eather considered. Prices are generally satisfactory.
An exception to the general belated conditions is
rice, seeding of which has been completed with the
crop generally up to an excellnt stand and from 15 to
30 days ahead of the corresponding period last year.
Virtually the entire crop is being flooded, and the
abundant rainfall has reduced the costs and labor
involved in this operation. Unofficial estimates place
the acreage in Arkansas at from 10 to 18 per cent in
excess of last year. Farmers in the rice area generally
more adequately financed than at any time since 1920.
The movement of old crop rice continues satisfactory,
with indications that stocks will be cleaned up by the
end of June. Prices held steady.
The condition of cotton in all States of the district
on May 25 was below that of the corresponding date
last year, also the 10-year average. Weather condi­
tions through M ay and the first half of June were
unfavorable for growth and development of the plant,
and the crop is reported from three to four weeks
late. Soil conditions, however, are for the most part
excellent, and conditions considered, fields are fairly
clean. Much replanting has been necessary, particu­
larly in the most northern producing counties. There
are some reports of boll weevil and other insect pests.
Cotton
The condition of cotton in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District and the United States is given by
the Department of Agriculture as follow s:
Area planted

(in cultiva­ Area picked, Yield per
tion end of
1923,
acre, 1923
June) 1923,
revised
revised
revised
Acres
Lbs., lint
1924
1923 1922 1921 10-yr. av. Acres
Arkansas ....58
66
76
70
74
3,120,000
3.026.000
98
Mississippi ..69
70
75
60
75
3,392,000
91
3.170.000
Missouri ....52
54
90
75
77
394,000
355,000
171
Tennessee ....54
70
79
69
75
1,221,000
1.172.000
92
U. S. Total..65.6 71.0 69.6 66.0 72.8 38,709,000
130.6
37,130,000
Condition, May 25.

Com m odity Prices
Range of prices in the St. Louis market between
May 15, 1924, and June 14, 1924, with closing quota­
tions on the latter date, and on Tune 15, 1923:
Close
Wheat
High
Low
June 14, 1924
June 15, 1923
$ 1 .0 1 ^
July ..................
$1.11**
$1,095*
September ...... ....
“
1 3/ 1.04
.15 s
1.13%
1.07?*
December ........ .....
“
1.165/6
1.07
1.16&
1.10**
No. 2 red winter..
“
1.18
1.08
1.18
1.30
No. 2 hard........ .....
1.02% $1.12 @ 1.13% $1.13 @ 1.14
“
1.13*4
Corn
.76
July ................. ....
•81%
“
.81*4
.83%
September ......
.75%
.8 0 ^
.8 0 ^
.775^
December ........ ....
“
.74
.74
.7 m
. 665*
“
.85
.76%
No. 2.................... ....
.85
.86
No. 2 white.... ....
“
.86
.85 @ .86
.8014
.88
Oats
.49
.45
July .................
.48
.435*
.49%
No. 2 white.... ....
“
.53%
.53%
.45%
Flour
Soft patent...... ...per bbl. 6.50
5.25
5.50 @ 6.50
5.50 @ 6.50
6 7y, 6.75 @ 6.95
.0
Spring patent... .....
“
6.95
6.05 @ 6.30
.31%
.29 %
Middling cotton.... ...per lb.
.30
.29
4.75
5.50 @ 7.25
4.50 @ 7.25
Hogs on hoof........ ...per cwt. 7.75
NOTE—May wheat closed at $1.04% ; May corn at 7 8 % c and May
oats at 47$i.




Live Stock M ovement
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis, as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follow s:

Cattle and Calves.........
Hogs ..............................
Horses and Mules.........
Sheep ..............................
*In thousands (000 omitted).

May
1924
...102
...392
... 2
... 33

^Receipts
Apr.
May
1924
1923
87
98
420
388
3
4
26
54

*Shipments
Apr. May
May
1924
1924 1923
61
47
48
280
234
268
2
3
4
9
17
15

Com m odity Movement
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis, as reported
by the Merchants' Exchange, were as fo llo w s :
May
1924

..................

............. 3,077
Flour, bbls.... .............. 399
Hides, lbs..... ............. 6,512
............. 5,718
Lead, pigs...... .............
255
Lumber, cars. .............
21
............. 3,420
............. 22,322
Wheat, bu..... ............. 1,731
Zinc, slabs..................
260
*In thousands (000 omitted)

^Receipts_______
April
May
1924
1923
379
504
3,587
1,617
381
394
5,234
4,583
6,567.
6,434
257
210
22
23
2,870
2,534
20,323
20,914
1,481
2,212
239
326

_____ * Shipments______
April
May
May
1924
1924
1923
20,405
21,643
24,046
2,054
1,858
1,086
421
426
485
8,853
6,738
8,579
11,216
12,743
14,956
202
195
106
14
14
16
2,545
2,317
2,147
27,681
28,861
33,543
1,471
1,393
2,303
293
217
251

B U IL D IN G
The value of building permits issued in the five
largest cities of the district during May fell sharply
below the record total of April, but was only 3.8 per
cent under the aggregate of May, 1923. Building oper­
ations in the large centers continued at an active pace
during the period under review, with residential con­
struction still occupying an important place in the
general activity. Reports from the smaller towns
and rural districts in the South reflect extensive home
building, particularly of small residences. Road build­
ing has been badly hampered by excessive rainfall,
but it is planned to push forward the highway con­
struction programs as soon as weather conditions
will permit. The trend of prices of building materials
was slightly downward, and many manufacturers have
caught up with their orders, with some reporting
moderate accumulations.
Production of portland
cement for the country as a whole during May totaled
13,777,000 barrels, against 11,726,000 barrels in April
and 12,910,000 in May, 1923.
Building figures for M ay follow :
New Construction
Permits
*Cost
1924
1923
1924
1923
.
m m TFT $ 189 $ 278
W
Evansville
Little Rock..... 79
92
215
225
552
Louisville
. 415
1,593
1,784
. 428
477
Memphis
1,691
2,007
St. Louis.
.1,021
974
3,379
3,701
.2,013
2,234
$7,383
$7,679
.2,429
2,139
9,502
7,512
.2,057
1,797
8,047
7,725
*In thousands of dollars (000 omitted).

Repairs, etc.
Permits
*Cost
1924 1923 1924
1923
TT 104" ?"l7 $ 20
74
114
142
76
163
199
115
139
91
62
30
146
727
747
761
465
1,231 1,283 $1,031
669
1,463 1,210
661
949
1,053

$728
855
918

F IN A N C IA L
Generally abundant funds and a lower trend in
interest rates, coupled with a slackening in the de­
mand for credit from commercial and industrial
sources, featured the banking and financial situation
in this district during the past thirty days. Commer­
cial banks, particularly in the large cities, report liqui­
dation of loans in good volume, with renewals and
new borrow ing in many instances below the aggregate
of payments by their customers. W holesalers in a
number of important lines say that May settlements
were somewhat above expectations, and find them­
selves with surplus funds on hand. Due to the late­
ness of the season, demands from the country to

finance agricultural operations are below normal for
this time of the year in typical grain areas. Banks in
the cotton producing sections, however, are receiving
heavy calls, especially in territory where replanting
has been necessary during the past several weeks and
additional seed and feed for farm animals has had to
be purchased. Milling loans have been well cleaned
up during the past month, and there has also been
extensive liquidation of loans based on grain and live
stock. The demand from stock raisers is less active
than heretofore. Additional heavy advances to produc­
ers by the cooperative tobacco marketing associations
have resulted in excellent liquidation on areas where
tobacco is the chief crop.
This bank’s quota of the issue of 2% Pe* cent
“
U. S. Treasury Certificates of Indebtedness dated
June 16 and due Decem ber 15, 1924, was largely over­
subscribed. The discount rate of this bank, which
had held unchanged at 4 y2 per cent since April 6, 1922,
was reduced to 4 per cent, effective June 19. Between
M ay 15 and June 14 accom m odations granted to mem­
ber banks by this institution increased $135,965 and
there was a decrease of $2,120,000 in Federal reserve
note circulation.
Commercial Paper
Sales of reporting brokers in M ay were 3.5 per
cent larger than for the same month in 1923, but 11.8
per cent under the April total this year. Generally
offerings from all sources are light, with prime names
especially scarce. The reduction in rates has had a
tendency to curtail purchasing by country banks, buy­
ing being* confined almost exclusively to financial
institutions in the larger centers. Rates ranged from
4 to AT2 per cent, with an occasional sale of strictly
/
prime paper at
per cent. This compares with
4 % to 4 y2 per cent, the range prevailing during the
preceding thirty days.
Savings Deposits
Number of
♦Amount of savings deposits June, 1924 June, 1924
banks
June 11,
May 7,
June 6,
comp, to
comp, to
reporting
1924
1924
1923
May, 1924 June, 1923
$ 9,090
Evansville .... 4
$ 9,053
$ 8,994
+ 0.4%
+ 1.1%
Little Rock.. 5
7,670
7,625
7,178
+ 6.9
-f 0.6
Louisville .... 7
26,372
26,806
23,719
+13.0
+ 1.6
Memphis ..... 4
19,322
18,826
+ 19.9
16,112
+ 2.6
St. Louis.......12
76,374
75,669
72,602
4- 5.2
+ 0.9
Totals.....32
$139,262
*In thousaands (000 omitted).

$137,545

$128,605

+ 1-2

4- 8.3

Condition of Banks
The follow ing statement shows principal resources
and liabilities of reporting member banks in Evans­
ville, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis, and St. L o u is :

Investments

Other

Cash iri vault..

Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal reserve bank

*May 14, *June 13,
1924
1923
t34
36

.$ 8,168
. 145,625
. 304,145

Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)

♦June 11,
1924
. t34

$ 9,199
147,231
312,642

$ 11,727
140,983
299,806

.$457,938

$469,072

$452,516

. 14,309
. 22,805
5,049
. 13,763
.
1,865
, 92,023

14,810
22,361
4,378
14,111
3,313
92,049

15,336
23,450
9,024
23,994
10,490
87,635

.$149,814
. 39,937
7,504
, 355,464
. 197,049
.
1,849

$151,022
41,089
7,676
358,761
201,493
4,222

$169,929
40,535
8,225
359,942
181,536
8,819

8,860
1,114
1,600
12,853
All other..................................................
4,656
3,847
♦In thousands (000 omitted).
fDecrease due to consolidation. Total resources of these 34 banks comprise
approximately 54 per cent of the resources of all member banks in this district.




Debits to Individual Accounts
♦For four weeks
June 18,
May 14,
1924
1924
E. St. Louis and
Nat’l Stock Yards, 111..$ 37,038
El Dorado, Ark...... ......
7,263
Evansville, Ind........ ...... 25,084
9,601
Fort Smith, Ark...... ......
Greenville, Miss...... ......
3,114
3,525
Helena, Ark...,......... ......
Little Rock, Ark.... ...... 49,014
Louisville, Ky......... ...... 140,057
Memphis, Tenn........ ...... 103,277
Owensboro, Ky........ ......
4,975
Quincy, 1
11............... ......
9,868
St. Louis, Mo......... ...... 647,761
3,989
Sedalia, Mo.............
Springfield, Mo........ ......
6,946

$ 38,787
7,473
26,721
10,362
3,012
3,963
54,635
155,373
119,527
5,234
10,367
592,947
4,083
7,699

June 20, comp, to comp, to
1923 May, 1924 June, 1923
$ 40,380
12,099
29,691
10,929
2,962
3,611
47,632
150,821
114,520
5,098
10,574
652,817

—
—
——

4.5%
2.8
6.1
7.3
4- 3.4
— 11.1
— 10.3
— 9.9
— 13.6
— 4.9
— 4.8
4- 9.2
— 2.3
” 147776 — 9.8

...$1,051,512 $1,040,183
*In thousands (000 omitted).

4- Ll

— 8.3%
— 40.0
— 15.5
— 12.2
4- 5.1
— 2.4
4- 2.8
— 7.1
— 9.8
— 2.4
— 6.7
— 0.8
— 53.0
— 4.4

Federal Reserve Operations
During May the Federal Reserve Bank of St.
Louis discounted for 268 of its 633 member banks,
which compares with 275 accommodated in April.
Comparative statement of this bank follow s:
R ESOU RCES

Total reserves....
Non-reserve cash..
Bills discounted:

U. S. Government securities:
Bonds ......................................

♦May 14,
1924
$ 63,685
2,426

..$ 65,847
.. 24,700
..
7,580

$ 66,111
22,127
7,636

$ 59,537
18,878
3,526

..$ 98,127
.. 12,849

Gold settlement fund with F. R.

♦June 11,
1924
..$ 61,736
Y 4,111

$ 95,874
14,078

$ 81,941
15,953

..$110,976
..
4,112

$109,952
3,972

$ 97,894
5,147

5,533
17,520

6,963
17,086

15,265
20,846

..$ 23,053
1,743

$ 24,049
3,418

$ 36,111
9,077

5,136
1,830

6,150
5,002
360

s
..

..
..

Total U. S. Government securities....$
..$

5,701
1,265
6,966

TOTAL

RESOL

L IA B IL IT IE S

F. R. Notes in actual
Deposits:
Member banks-reser
U. S. GovernmentOther deposits........
Deferred availability
All other liabilities..
MEMO—Contingent liability on bills
purchased for foreign correspondents.
Ratio of total reserves to deposit and

6,966

$ 11,512

..$ 31,762
.. 30,878
..
1,920
200

$ 34,433
37,200
1,898
141

$ 56,700
37,320
991
189

..$179,848

$187,596

$198,241

..$ 62,627

$ 65,331

$ 73,910

68,333
2,115
378

69,283
1,681
749

70,337
1,157
766

.$ 70,826
„ 30,533
. 5,072
10,072
718

$ 71,713
34,685
5,075
10,072
720

$ 72,260
36,413
4,951
9,665
1,042

,.$179,848

All other resources.....

$187,596

$198,241

1,958

1,260

„

. 83.2%

$

♦June 13,
1923
$ 55,447
4,090

80.2%

1,288
67.0%

*In thousands (000 omitted).

COST OF L IV IN G
Cost of living in the United States on May 15
had decreased three-tenths of one per cent from the
level of April 15, according to the National Industrial
Conference Board. The m ost important change within
the month was a decrease of approximately 2 per cent
in fuel prices. This decline was occasioned largely by
decreases for bituminous coal in regions where it is
an important domestic fuel. In the East, where anthra­
cite is used almost exclusively for domestic purposes,
there were no decreases reported for anthracite, and
decreases for anthracite in other parts of the country
were not important.
The purchasing value of the dollar, based on the
cost of living in May, 1924, was 62 cents as contrasted
with one dollar in July, 1914.

(Compiled June 23, 1924)

B U SIN E SS C O N D IT IO N S IN T H E U N IT E D S T A T E S
Production
The Federal Reserve Board’s index of production in basic
industries, adjusted to allow for seasonal variations, declined
about 11 per cent in May to a point 19 per cent below the
peak reached a year ago. Particularly marked decreases were
shown for production of iron and steel and mill consumption
of cotton. Output of anthracite, cement and tobacco products,
on the other hand, was slightly larger than in April.

Prices
Wholesale prices, as measured by the index of the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, declined 1 per cent during May to a level
about 8 per cent below the high point reached in the Spring
of 1923. Prices of all commodity groups, with the exception of
food, declined in May. During the first half of June quotations
on wheat, corn, rye and milk, increased, while prices of hogs,
beef, cotton and lumber declined.

Index of 22 basic commodities corrected for seasonal variation.
Latest figure, May=103.
Factory employment declined 4 per cent in May, the
number of employees being reduced in almost all reporting
industries. The largest reduction of working forces occurred
in the textile, metal, automobile, and leather industries.
The value of building contracts awarded in May was 13
per cent less than the month before and for the first time
since the beginning of the year fell below the corresponding
month in 1923.
The Department of Agriculture forecasts as of June 1
indicated smaller yields of wheat, oats and barley as compared
with the harvests of 1923. The condition of the cotton crop
on May 25 was 5 per cent lower than a year ago and 7 per
cent below the average condition for the past ten years.
Trade
Railroad shipments showed a slight increase in May, but
were 8 per cent smaller than a year ago. Carloadings of all
classes of freight, with the exception of grain and livestock,
were smaller than in May, 1923.
Wholesale trade decreased slightly in May and was 6 per
cent less than in May, 1923. Sales of dry goods, shoes, and
hardware were much smaller than a year ago, while drug
sales were slightly larger.
Retail trade at department stores and mail order houses
declined during May more than is usual at that season and
was smaller than last year. Department store stocks were 4
per cent smaller in May than in April and 3 per cent larger
than a year earlier.

Latest figure, M ay=147.
Bank Credit
Decreased demand for credit for current business require­
ments between the middle of May and the middle of June
was reflected in a smaller volume of borrowing for commercial
purposes at member banks in leading cities. Further purchases
of corporate securities by these banks and larger loans on
stocks and bonds, however, resulted in an increase for the
month in their total loans and investments. There was an
unusually large increase in net demand deposits of these banks,
which carried the total of these deposits to the highest figure
on record.
At the Federal Reserve Banks between May 21 and June
18 there was a further decline in discounts for member banks
and in acceptances purchased in the open market. Government
security holdings, on the other hand, increased and total earn­
ings assets were somewhat larger than a month ago.
The prevailing ease in the money market was reflected
in a further decline from 4*4 to 3^>-3^4 per cent in rates on
prime commercial paper in New York. The June 15 issue
of six month Treasury Certificates bore a rate of 234 Per
cent compared with 4 per cent on a similar offering last
December.
Discount rates at the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland,
Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco
were reduced from 4^2 to 4 per cent during June, and the
rates in Boston, New York and Philadelphia were reduced to
Zy2 per cent.

Latest figure, M ay=93,

Weekly figures for member banks in 101 leading cities.
Latest figure, June 11.