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Of Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of March 29, 1935
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent



Secretary and Ass't Federal Reserve Agent


E N ERA L business conditions in the Eighth
District during the closing weeks of Febru­
ary and the first half of March continued
to reflect the spottiness and unevenness noted dur­
ing the similar period immediately preceding. Taken
as a whole, a relatively better exhibit was made by
production than distribution of commodities, which
fact was accounted for partly by seasonal considera­
tions, an important factor being the very late Eas­
ter date. In merchandising, retail trade was in
comparatively larger volume than was the case with
wholesaling and jobbing lines, despite unfavorable
weather conditions prevailing in virtually all parts
of the area. Quite generally there is a disposition
on the part of merchants and the public to purchase
with more conservatism and caution than was the
case during the preceding several months. Advance
business on books of wholesaling firms as of March
1 was for the most part less than at the correspond­
ing time last year. Since that date there has been
some improvement in ordering, but the betterment
was confined chiefly to goods for prompt shipment,
and merchandise for the Easter trade. The trend
of wholesale prices in February was upward, the
average on March 2, according to the weekly index
of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,
being 8 per cent and 33.6 per cent higher, respective­
ly, than a month and a year earlier. Since that date
there have been rather sharp declines in certain
farm products, notably cotton and grains.
Production at manufacturing plants as a whole
increased slightly during February over the January
level, and reports covering the first half of March
indicate a continuance of the improvement in a
number of important lines. Activities in the iron
and steel industry made a favorable showing, par­
ticularly in the case of specialty makers, such as
stoves, ranges, heating apparatus, machinery and
farm implements. Several implement manufacturers
report the volume of business done so far this year
the largest for any similar period since 1928. There
has been a slight slowing down in operations at tex­
tile mills, occasioned partly by uncertainties rela­
tive to prices of raw materials. There was little









change worthy of note in output of lumber, quarry
products, cement and the general run of building
materials. Production of bituminous coal in fields
of the district in February showed less than the
usual seasonal decline from January, and the total
tonnage lifted was above that of a year ago. In the
five principal cities industrial consumption of elec­
trical power recorded gains in February over a
month and a year earlier. Activities in the lead
and zinc mining districts were hampered by heavy
Agricultural operations generally through the
district were held up by excessive precipitation,
and soil preparations for seeding spring crops were
somewhat behind the seasonal schedule at midMarch. Flood conditions of a more or less severe
nature prevailed in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi
and southern Illinois. The most critical situation
occurred in the basin of the St. Francis River, where
breaking levees resulted in the inundation of farms
and damage to highways. The total area affected
by the overflows was estimated at from 200,000
to 250,000 acres. Owing to the fact that crops had
not yet been planted, the actual damage sustained
by agriculturists was much less than might have
been expected. Tobacco markets for the 1934 crop
were closed, and results obtained by producers,
particularly of burley tobacco, were satisfactory.
Though the crop was smaller than in 1933, total
cash returns were considerably more, due to the
higher prices prevailing. In all sections, the supply
of farm labor continues in excess of requirements.
As reflected in sales of department stores in
the principal cities, retail trade in February was
2.2 per cent greater than for the same month in
1934, and slightly greater than the January total
this year; cumulative total for the first two months
this year was 1.6 per cent greater than for the com­
parable period in 1934. Combined sales of all whole­
saling and jobbing firms reporting to this bank in
February were 18 per cent and 10 per cent smaller,
respectively, than a year and a month earlier; for
the first two months the aggregate was 11.5 per cent
below that of the like period a year ago. The dollar

value of permits issued for new construction in the
five largest cities in February was 35 per cent less
than in January, but 103 per cent greater than in
February, 1934; cumulative total for the first two
months was greater by 127 per cent than for the
same period last year. Construction contracts let
in the Eighth District in February were 12.2 per
cent greater than in January and 15.9 per cent
larger than in February, 1934; for the first two
months this year the aggregate was 29.1 per cent
smaller than for the corresponding period a year
ago. Debits to checking accounts in February were
14.5 per cent smaller than in January, and 1 per
cent greater than a year earlier; for the first two
months the total was 4.5 per cent in excess of that
for the like period in 1934.
According to officials of railroads operating in
this district, the volume of freight traffic handled
during the past thirty days and for the year to date
closely approximates that for the same periods a
year ago. Totals in both comparisons, however,
showed increases over the like periods in 1933. Mis­
cellaneous freight, coal, coke and forest products
make relatively the best showings, while sharp de­
creases were noted in grain, grain products, and
livestock. The smaller movement of livestock is
attributable to results of the 1934 drouth and the
Government’s curtailment program. For the coun­
try as a whole, loadings of revenue freight for the
first nine weeks this year, or to March 2, totaled
5,100,714 cars, against 5,103,273 cars for the like
period in 1934, and 4,375,982 cars in 1933. The St.
Louis Terminal Railway Association, which handles
interchanges for 28 connecting lines, interchanged
66,318 loads in February, against 70,949 loads in
January and 68,837 loads in February, 1934. For
the first nine days of March the interchange
amounted to 22,143 loads, as against 21,828 loads
during the corresponding period in February and
23,012 loads during the first nine days of March,
1934. Passenger traffic of the reporting lines de­
creased 2.5 per cent in February as compared with
the same month last year. Estimated tonnage of
the Federal Barge Line between St. Louis and New
Orleans in February was 77,700 tons, against 87,690
tons in January and 65,978 tons in February, 1934.
While reflecting some spottiness, reports rela­
tive to collections during late February and the
first half of March indicate, as a whole, continuance
of the satisfactory Conditions which have existed
in this general area for the past eighteen months.
In some rural sections heavy rains and muddy roads
have prevented farmers from going to town, with
resultant slowing down in payments to retail mer­
chants. In the large urban centers retail collections

are in the main at a high rate, and compare favor­
ably with the corresponding period a year ago.
Liquidation at country banks continues in consider­
able volume, particularly in the tobacco districts,
where the major portion of the crop has been mar­
keted. Virtually all wholesaling and jobbing lines
in the chief distributing centers report customers
settling their bills promptly with results especially
good in the case of boots and shoes, dry goods,
hardware and groceries. Manufacturers of durable
goods, including building materials, note a slight
slowing down in collections as contrasted with
earlier in the year. Questionnaires addressed to
representative interests in the several lines scattered
through the district show the following results:


1935......... 4.2%
1935......... 6.5
1934......... 5.2







Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District in February, according to Dun and
Bradstreet, numbered 40, involving liabilities of
$634,767, against 26 defaults in January with liabili­
ties of $180,499 and 32 insolvencies for a total of
$289,371 in February, 1934.
Boots and Shoes — February sales of the re­
porting interests were 20 per cent smaller than for
the preceding month and 27.5 per cent below the
February, 1934, total. Inventories increased moder­
ately between February 1 and March 1, and on the
latest date were 37 per cent larger than a year ago.
The decrease in the month-to-month sales compari­
son is seasonal in character, but somewhat greater
than the average during the past fifteen years, due
in a measure to the later Easter date. There was
no change in prices of finished products, but the
trend of raw materials, notably hides and leather,
was upward.
Clothing — Business in this classification in
February showed rather sharp recessionary trends,
both as contrasted with the preceding month and
a year ago. Purchasing is on a more cautious and
conservative scale, particularly for advance require­
ments. Demand for work clothing was reported
less active than during the closing months of 1934.
On the other hand, ordering of sport clothes, for
both men and women, was maintained at the high
levels obtaining in recent months. Some betterment
in buying as a whole has developed during the first
half of March. February sales of the reporting
clothiers were 45 and 57 per cent smaller, respec­
tively, than a month and a year earlier.
Drugs and Chemicals — Reversing the usual
seasonal trend, sales of the reporting interests

Dry Goods — Reflecting the later Easter date,
greater caution on the part of retail merchants, and
price uncertainties, February sales of the reporting
firms decreased 7 per cent under the preceding
month and 24 per cent below the February total last
year. Inventories decreased slightly from February
1 to March 1, and on the latter date were 7 per cent
larger than last year. Advance business is reported
slightly below the corresponding period in 1934.
Since March 1 there has been some improvement
in both spot and future sales extending through
practically all lines, but particularly noticeable in
ready-to-wear garments and piece goods.
Electrical Supplies— Notable improvement took
place in this classification, both as compared with
the preceding month and a year ago. Demands from
the automotive, refrigeration, radio and household
appliance industries were accountable for a consid­
erable part of the betterment in both comparisons.
Moderate expansion was also noted in sales of line
and pole hardware and other supplies for public
utilities companies. Demand for motors of all
descriptions holds up well. February sales of the
reporting firms were 12 per cent greater than in
January and 18 per cent above the February, 1934,
total. Stocks on March 1 were 3 per cent smaller
than a month earlier, and 10 per cent in excess of
those carried on March 1, 1934.

smaller by 9 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively,
than a month and a year earlier. The increase in
the month-to-month sales comparison was of a sea­
sonal nature and about equal to the average during
the past several years. Through the south quite
general improvement is reported in demand for
household furniture and furnishings. Moderate
betterment is also reported in the movement of
office furniture and equipment.
Groceries — Purchasing in this classification is
confined largely to immediate requirements, there
being little disposition on the part of retailers to
augment their inventories. Demand for staples is
relatively more active than for luxuries and special­
ties, reversing conditions existing during the clos­
ing months of last year. Prices of packinghouse
products and some canned vegetables and fruits
advanced, the rise in the latter products being at­
tributable to injury to early truck and fruit crops
occasioned by the February freezes. February sales
of the reporting firms were 2 per cent smaller than
in January, and 2 per cent greater than a year ago.
Inventories showed practically no change from
February 1 to March 1, and on the latest date were
15 per cent larger than a year earlier.
Hardware — Heavier purchasing of a broad
diversity of goods for consumption in the farming
areas was the principal influence in an increase of
4.5 per cent in February sales of the reporting
firms over the same month in 1934. As compared
with January this year, however, the February total
showed a contraseasonal decline of 6 per cent.
Stocks on March 1 were 4.5 per cent greater than
a month earlier and 5.6 per cent smaller than a year
ago. Prices showed no appreciable change during
the past thirty days, but were slightly lower than
the average as contrasted with the corresponding
period in 1934.

Flour— Production at the twelve leading mills of
the district in February was 200,755 barrels, against
185,737 barrels in January and 252,789 barrels in
February, 1934. During the closing weeks of Febru­
ary and the first half of March the general status of
the trade showed no change from the quiet condi­
tions existing during the preceding several months.
Consumers, including the large baking interests,
were buying largely on a necessity basis. W hole­
salers and jobbers were not disposed to expand
their inventories, due mainly to the lower trend
in wheat values. Production was at from 40 to 45
per cent of capacity.
Furniture — February sales of the reporting
firms were 8 per cent larger than for the same
month in 1934, and 37 per cent in excess of the
January total this year. Stocks on March 1 were

Iron and Steel Products — All industries con­
sidered, activities in the iron and steel industry in
this district during the past thirty days increased
moderately over the similar period immediately pre­
ceding. An outstanding indication of the better­
ment was the heavy deliveries of pig iron to melters
in the area during February, the total for that month
exceeding that of its predecessor and a year ago by
a substantial margin. Incidentally February was
the seventh consecutive month of rising shipments.
During the first half of March the daily average rate
was approximately the same as for the like period
in February. As has been the case for the past sev­
eral months, demand for iron and steel finished and
semi-finished products is widely diversified, miscel­
laneous wants accounting for the major portion of
the tonnage moving. The higher prices for farm

showed a gain of 5 per cent in February over those
of January, but the total was slightly smaller than
in February, 1934. In the month-to-month compari­
son the increase was accounted for by larger sales
of remedial drugs, proprietary preparations and mis­
cellaneous items. Some recession was noted in de­
mand for heavy drugs and chemicals from the gen­
eral manufacturing trade. Inventories continued to
increase, stocks on March 1 being 1.3 per cent and
12 per cent larger than a month and a year earlier.

products and heavy accumulation of replacement
requirements have stimulated demand for agricul­
tural implements, manufacturers of which are ex­
periencing the best operations since 1930. Demand
for fencing, repair materials and other commodities
consumed largely in the rural areas also continues
brisk. With the approach of spring, inquiries for
structural steel are more numerous than heretofore,
but business actually placed is still in moderate
volume. Operations at plants of fabricators of iron
and steel building materials showed no appreciable
change from the preceding thirty days. Releases on
automotive castings increased somewhat, and there
was also a moderate gain in orders placed by build­
ers of automobiles and tractors. New orders for
and shipments of steel sheets underwent further
expansion, with interest centering chiefly in the
lighter descriptions. Requirements of can manu­
facturers are unusually large for this time of year,
and are reflected in an active movement of tin plate,
both from mills and warehouses. Plates remain
relatively quiet, purchasing by the oil industry and
other important consumers having failed to develop.
There was a moderate expansion in operations at
steel mills in early March, occasioned almost entire­
ly by augmented demands from miscellaneous
sources. Railroad requirements continue at a low
ebb, particularly for new equipment. Stove and heat­
ing apparatus interests report operations at a con­
siderably higher rate than at the corresponding
period a year and two years earlier. With but few ex­
ceptions, current prices of raw and finished materials
have been reaffirmed for second quarter. Iron and
steel warehouse and jobbing interests report Febru­
ary sales about one-fourth greater than a year ago
and approximately 8 per cent in excess of the Janu­
ary total this year. For the country as a whole, pig
iron production in February, according to the maga­
zine “ Steel” , totaled 1,614,905 gross tons, against
1,478,443 tons in January, and 1,270,792 tons (re­
vised figures) in February, 1934. Steel ingot produc­
tion in the United States in February amounted to
2,742,125 tons, against 2,834,170 tons in January,
and 2,183,160 tons in February, 1934.
Combined passenger car, truck and taxicab pro­
duction in the United States in February was
340,544 against 292,765 in January, and 231,707 in
February, 1934.
Following the unvarying trend of the past
decade, distribution of automobiles in this district
in February showed a substantial increase over the
preceding month, according to dealers reporting to
this bank, and the total was also largely in excess
of that of February, 1934. The number of new pas­

senger cars sold was the largest for any single
month since 1930. Aggregate sales for the first two
months this year were also the highest for any like
period since 1930. In the monthto-month compari­
son the increase was due partly to freer deliveries
of cars to dealers by the manufacturers. At the
middle of February dealers generally reported suffi­
cient supplies to meet all customer requirements.
Replacement demands still predominate in classes
of makes, but the proportion of sales to persons
not previously owners was somewhat larger than
heretofore. As has been the case in recent months,
interest centered chiefly in low priced vehicles,
February sales in that category representing about
78 per cent of the business done, with the two lead­
ing manufacturers accounting for about 56 per cent
of the total. Universally dealers report unusually
good response to the new models. Sales of dealers
in the country and small towns were in relatively
larger volume than during the past several years.
Demand for trucks continues active, particularly
for vehicles for light service purposes. Sales of
trucks of all descriptions in February fell slightly
below the month before, but were more than twothirds greater than a year ago.
Sales of new passenger cars by the reporting
dealers in February were 24 per cent larger than in
January and 120 per cent in excess of the February,
1934, total. While a number of dealers report accre­
tions to floor stocks, a large majority of cars re­
ceived from producers are for delivery on sales
made. Inventories of new cars on March 1 were
19 per cent larger than on February 1 and 36 per
cent greater than a year ago. Larger numbers and
better assortments of used cars in dealers’ hands,
as a result of trade-ins for new machines, had a
stimulating effect on the market, sales of second­
hand cars in February being 18 per cent and 9.5
per cent greater, respectively, than a month and a
year earlier. Stocks of salable secondhand cars in­
creased 12 per cent between February 1 and March
1, and on the latest date were about one-third larger
than a year ago. According to dealers reporting on
that item, deferred payment sales in February con­
stituted 51 per cent of their total sales, against 46
percent in January and 49 per cent in February, 1934.
The dollar value of permits issued for new con­
struction in the five largest cities of the district in
February was 34.9 per cent less than in January,
and 103.2 per cent more than in February, 1934.
According to statistics compiled by the F. W .
Dodge Corporation, construction contracts let in
the Eighth District in February amounted to
$6,794,335 which compares with $6,054,924 in

January, and $5,864,233 in February, 1934. Produc­
tion of Portland cement for the country as a whole
in February totaled 3,053,000 barrels, against
3,202,000 barrels in January, and 4,168,000 barrels
in February, 1934. Building figures for February,
fo llo w :
New construction_____
Evansville .. 21
$ 16
Little Rock
3 $
Louisville .. 30
Memphis ... 161
St. Louis.... 149

______ Repairs, etc._________
1935 1934
$ 15 $ 80

Feb. Totals 369
$ 510
*In thousands (000 omitted).


$ 251


$ 301 $ 302

The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statements showing activi­
ties in the leading cities of the district:
Department Stores
Net sales comparison
on hand
Feb. 1935 2 months ended Feb. 28, 1935
comp, to
comp, to
Feb. 28,1935 to
Feb. 1934 same period 1934 Feb. 28, 1934
El Dorado, A r k ...-f 14.0%
+ 13.3%
+ 1.79
— 21.2
— 27.0
Evansville, Ind.....— 25.1
— 0.3
Fort Smith, Ark....+16.3
— 9.5
— 2.3
Little Rock, Ark..— 0.4
— 15.3
Louisville, K y...... + 5.1
+ 6.5
+ 3.7
— 0.3
Memphis, Tenn..... 4- 1.6
— 5.1
St. Louis, M o...... 4* 1*9
— 21.0
+ 4.2
Springfield, M o..... — 3.2
— 2.9
+ 10.0
All Other Cities.... + 8.7
— 5.1
+ 1.6
8th F. R. District..-f- 2.2



Jan. 1, to
Feb. 28,
1935 1934

Percentage of collections in February to ac­
counts and notes receivable first day of February,
El Dorado, Ark...................... 58.4%
Memphis, Tenn....................... 40.0%
Fort Smith, Ark.................... 36.4
Springfield, M o.......................22.6
Little Rock, Ark................... 35.2
St. Louis, M o......................... 49.7
Louisville, K y.........................46.4
All Other Cities..................... 32.6
8th F. R. District................... 45.3%

Retail Stores
on hand
Net sales comparison
Feb. 1935 2 months ended Feb. 28, 1935
Feb. 28,1935 to
comp, to
comp, to
Feb. 1934 same period 1934 Feb. 28, 1934
Furnishings ..... + 6.0 %
Boots and
Shoes ................ + 2.4

Jan. 1, to
Feb. 28.
1935 1934



— 15.9%








Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district report consumption of electric
current by selected industrial customers in Febru­
ary as being 1.4 per cent larger than in January,
and 13.8 per cent more than in February, 1934.
Detailed figures follow :
No. of
Feb. 1935
comp, to
*K .W .H . *K .W .H . J a n .1935
Evansville .... 40
+ 3.3%
Little Rock.. 35
— 7.2
Louisville .... 83
— 1.1
Memphis .... 31
— 7.2
St. Louis
192** 15,004
14,368** + 4.4
Total.....381** 27,922
*Tn thousands (000 omitted).
**Revised figures.




Feb. 1935
comp, to
*K .W .H . Feb. 1934
+ 2 7 .1 %
+ 11.1
+ 14.6
+ 18.0
+ 11.2

+ 13.8%

Weather conditions during the past six weeks
have been less favorable for agricultural operations

than was the case earlier in the season. Excessive
rains generally, and severe floods have retarded
plowing and preparation for planting of spring
crops. This is true particularly of the cotton pro­
ducing areas, where the amount of work done since
February 1 is considerably in arrears of that accom­
plished during the same period last year. Seeding
of oats, plowing and disking for corn at the middle
of March was behind the seasonal schedule, due to
water-soaked fields and muddy roads. Except in
areas directly affected by overflows, the abundant
precipitation will be beneficial rather than other­
wise. Cumulative moisture deficiency of the preced­
ing three years will be largely made up. Wells,
creeks and water holes have been replenished, and
soil and subsoil conditions greatly improved. Injury
to early fruits and vegetables, also to fruit trees
from the February freezes is now found to be less
extensive than earlier reports would indicate. Dam­
age to the growing wheat crop, according to scat­
tered reports, was immaterial, and since the return
of moderate temperatures the plant has achieved
good growth, with color and stands exceptionally
good in many important producing sections. With
ample labor available, delays in preparation for and
planting of crops can be easily overcome with a re­
turn of reasonably favorable weather conditions.
Quite generally through the district farmers are
devoting more attention than heretofore to farm
improvement, farm equipment, repairing homes and
barns, and the building up of soil by use of fertiliz­
ers and measures taken against erosion.
Live Stock—Taken as a whole, live stock in this
district came through the winter in good shape,
despite the shortage of feed and fodder crops as a
result of last year’s severe drouth. Greatly reduced
numbers of herds permitted farmers to take unusu­
ally good care of the animals they were carrying,
and losses from disease and other causes were rela­
tively light. Prices continued to advance, farmers
receiving the highest prices for hogs since 1930.
In the St. Louis market in early March a top of
$9.85 per cwt. was paid for hogs on the hoof, the
highest figure since October, 1930. But as there
was a processing tax of $2.25 per cwt. to be paid
by the packer, his top purchase price was actually
$12.10 or higher than at any time since August,
1929, when the peak was about $12.25.
According to the U. S. Department of Agricul­
ture, the early lamb crop of 1935 in the principal
early lamb areas is a little smaller, probably 1 to 2
per cent, than the early crop of 1934. Condition of
early lambs as of March 1 this year averaged some­
what better than in 1934 on the corresponding date.
The winter has been on the whole favorable in this

district, but supplies of feed were very short. In
Missouri conditions are less favorable than some
other states, due to lack of feed crops and poor
Demand for mules for use in producing cotton
is reported unusually active, with prices the highest
in recent years.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards were as follows:
Cattle and Calves..... 78,874 128,042 81,028
Hogs .......................... 188,627 247,970 201,857
Horses and Mules..... 8,838
Sheep ......................... 28,264 34,411 27,112

45,167 74,661 36,749
131,741 160,147 142,897
9,201 10,016

Cotton — Prior to the recent heavy rainfall,
accompanied by disastrous floods in lowlands bor­
dering the Mississippi River and certain of its tribu­
taries in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and south­
ern Illinois, soil preparations for the 1935 cotton
crop had made unusually good progress under fav­
orable fall and winter weather. Since the spell of
wet weather commenced, field work over a wide
area has been almost at a standstill. High winds
and warmer days have dried out the soil in the
uplands and permitted of a fair amount of plowing.
This delay, however, does not necessarily mean late
planting of the crop. Weather conditions during
the next few weeks will be the determining factor,
as planting does not become generally active until
the first two or three weeks in April, and labor in
all sections is abundant. Demand for mules has
been active, but most of the purchasing by farmers
has been for replacements. There is well defined
evidence in interest in traction farming. Fertilizer
sales have picked up. According to the American
Fertilizer Association, sales of tags in February
were 4 per cent larger than for the same month
last year, and 132 per cent greater than in 1933 ;
cumulative total for January and February was
larger by 13 per cent and 112 per cent, respectively,
than for the like periods a year and two years earli­
er. Prices of raw cotton declined sharply during
the first half of March, being affected by lower dol­
lar quotations in foreign markets and declines in
securities and other commodities. In the St. Louis
market the middling grade ranged from 11c to 12.60c
per pound between February 15 and March 15, clos­
ing at 11.10c on the latest date, which compares
with 12.60c on February 15, and 12c on March 15,
1934. Receipts at Arkansas compresses from August
1, 1934 to March 22, 1935 totaled 802,528 bales
against 976,027 bales for the corresponding period
a year earlier. Stocks on March 22 were 530,276
bales against 571,214 bales on February 15, and
463,697 bales on the corresponding date in 1934.

Tobacco — The burley tobacco markets for sale
of the 1934 crop have closed, and estimated sales
as of March 2, were 257,565,633 pounds, at an aver­
age of $16.96 per cwt., yielding a total of $43,687,947.
On the corresponding date last year sales of the
1933 crop were 372,898,055 pounds at an average
of $10.57 per cwt., yielding $39,386,606.
Practically all of the one sucker, or air-cured
crop has moved to market. This crop exceeded esti­
mates as to volume, but prices averaged somewhat
lower than the 1933 crop. Recent sales of Green
River tobacco at Owensboro, Ky., have been light.
Dark-fired tobacco, both in the eastern and western
districts, is being rapidly marketed. Good types
offered on the Clarksville, Springfield and Hopkins­
ville markets continue to sell at high prices, $36.00
per cwt. not being unusual for the choicest grades.
Prices of select leaf in the western district also
remain firm.
There has been fair progress made in prepara­
tion of plant beds for the 1935 crop in both burley
and dark tobacco districts. Recent weather condi­
tions have retarded these operations to some extent,
and relatively little plowing has been accomplished.
Range of prices in the St. Louis market be­
tween February 15, 1935, and March 15, 1935, with
closing quotations on the latter date and on March
15, 1934, follow :


...per bu..$ .9 7 # $ .8 9 ^
July ................ .... “
*Sept................... .... “
.905/6 .8554
No. 2 red winter “
No. 2 hard “
... “
.90 H
July ................. .... "
*Sept................... ... «
No. 2 white ... ... “
Soft patent...... ...per bbl. 6.60
Spring “ ..... .. "
Middling Cotton. ..per lb.
.1260 .11
Hogs on hoof..... per cwt. 9.85
*Nominal quotations.

Mar. 15, 1935
Mar. 15, 1934

.9 0 ^ $
.8954® .90
.92@ .9234

.50 34@ .5 0 ^
.5254@ .525-6




The same general trends which have obtained
in Eighth District banking and financial conditions
during the past several months continued in effect
through February and early March. Credit require­
ments of virtually all borrowing groups, as indicated
by commitments at commercial banks, failed to
develop expansion. Liquidation of earlier loans by
commercial and industrial interests about balanced
new borrowings. T o a considerable extent this was
accounted for by the continued high rate of collec­
tions and the rapid turnover in a majority of mer­
cantile lines. Flour milling and grain handling

interests further reduced their commitments, and
there was a substantial volume of liquidation by
field seed interests, seasonal at this time of year.
In certain sections of the south there has been some
call for funds to finance early crop preparations,
purchases of mules, etc. Marketing of the 1934
tobacco crop had been about completed at midMarch, and producers have used their proceeds to
a considerable extent in meeting their obligations
at banks and to merchants. Balances of country
banks with city correspondents are at the highest
peak and loans to country banks at the lowest levels
recorded in a number of years.

Discount rates charged by this bank remain un­
changed as follows:

Between February 13, and March 13, loans and
investments of reporting member banks in the prin­
cipal cities recorded a slight increase, ascribable
entirely to larger holdings of investments, the total
loan item showing a small decrease. There was a
moderate increase in both time and demand depos­
its, resulting in a gain of 2.1 per cent in total depos­
its. Reflecting the larger deposits, reserve balances
increased 5.2 per cent, and on March 13, were ap­
proximately one-half larger than a year ago.

Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
the reporting member banks on March 13, 1935,
showed a decrease of 0.6 per cent as contrasted with
February 13, 1935. Deposits increased 2.1 per cent
between February 13, 1935 and March 13, 1935 and
on the latter date were 9.1 per cent greater than on
March 14, 1934. Composite statement follows:

Borrowings of all member banks from the Fed­
eral Reserve bank continued at the low levels of
recent months. The volume of reserve credit out­
standing at this bank on March 18, showed no ap­
preciable change from a month earlier.
The amount of savings deposits held by selected
banks on March 6 was 1 per cent larger than on
February 6, and 12.8 per cent greater than on
March 7, 1934.
A t St. Louis banks, as of the week ended
March 15, interest rates were as follow s: Custom­
ers’ prime commercial paper, 2 to 5 per cent; collat­
eral loans, 3 to 6 per cent; loans secured by ware­
house receipts, 2 to 6 per cent, and cattle loans,
4y2 to 6 per cent.
Federal Reserve Operations — During Febru­
ary, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis dis­
counted for 3 member banks, against 4 in January,
and 29 in February, 1934.
Changes in the principal assets and liabilities
of this institution appear in the following table :
*Mar. 19,
Bills discounted .........................................$
Bills bought ...............................................................
U. S. Securities......................................... 108,200
Participation in Inv. Foreign Banks....
Total Bills and Securities................... $108,818
Total Reserves ......................................... $202,036
Total Deposits ........................................... 164,865
F. R. Notes in circulation....................... 139,874
F. R. Bank Notes in circulation..........................
Ratio of reserve to deposits
and F. R. Note Liabilities................. 66.3%
#In thousands (000 omitted).

*Feb. 19,

*Mar. 19,


$ 94,566
10 274

2 per cent on advances to member banks on eligible paper
and/or collateral, whether rediscounts or member bank promis­
sory notes, under Sections 13 and 13a.
4J4 per cent on advances to member banks on their promis­
sory notes secured by ineligible paper and/or collateral, under
Section 10b.
4lt per cent on advances to banks and other financing insti­
tutions on obligations of established industrial or commercial
businesses, for working capital, under Section 13b.
y2 per cent flat for commitments not exceeding six months
on obligations of established industrial or commercial businesses,
for working capital, under Section 13b.
Sy2 per cent on direct advances to established industrial or
commercial businesses, for working capital, under Section 13b.
4 per cent on direct advances to individuals, firms or cor­
porations (including nonmember banks), secured by direct obli­
gations of the United States, under Section 13.
5Y* per cent on direct advances to individuals, partnerships
and corporations (excluding nonmember banks) on eligible paper,
under Section 13.

*Mar. 13,
Number of banks reporting....... .
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured by U. S. Govt, obligations
and other stocks and bonds....$ 66,664
All other loans and discounts.... 153,745
Total loans and discounts............... $220,409
TJ. S. Govt, securities................. $199,250
Other securities........................... 118,982

investments............................ $318,232

Reserve balance with F. R. Bank..$ 105,294
Cash in vault...................................
Net demand deposits................... $404,055
Time deposits............................... 165,739
Government deposits................... 21,786

*Feb. 13,

*Mar. 14,

$ 66,373

$ 96,906








$ 71,620



Total deposits........... *......................$591,580
Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal Reserve Bank................................
*In thousands (000 omitted).
The total resources ot these banks comprise approximately 60.0%
of all member banks in this district.

Debits to Individual Accounts — The following
table gives the total debits charged by banks to
checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of
deposit accounts and trust accounts of individuals,
firms, corporations and U. S. Government in leading
cities of the district. Charges to accounts of banks
are not included.
East St. Louis and Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..:£ 20,452
El Dorado, Ark....
Evansville, Ind.... 16,834
Fort Smith, Ark....
Greenville. Miss....
Helena, Ark..........
Little Rock, Ark... 22,488
Louisville, K y....... 117,229
Memphis, Tenn.... 90,223
Owensboro, K y....
Pine Bluff, Ark....
Quincy, 111............
St. Louis, M o....... 397,804
Sedalia, M o...........
Springfield, M o....

............... ....$711,739

$ 22,388

$ 15,846





Feb., 1935 comp, to
Jan. 1935 Feb. 1934
— 8.6%
— 11.0
— 15.2
— 6.9
— 1.1
— 11.7
— 13.9
— 17.1
— 13.9
— 11.4
— 9.3
— 8.2
— 14.6
— 18.8
— 15.4
— 14.0


— 14.5%

+ 0.7%

•In thousands (000 omitted).
••Includes one bank in Texarkana, Texas not in Eighth District.

(Compiled March 22, 1935)

+ 29.1 %
+ 13.0
+ 0.3
+ 18.9
— 6.9
+ 21.8
— 13.2
— 2.3
— 15.3
+ 3.6
+ 2.6
+ 14.7

In February industrial production increased by less than the
usual seasonal amount, following sharp advances in December
and January. Wholesale prices of many leading commodities
showed little change in February and declined in the early part
of March; prices of live stock and meats, however, advanced fur­
ther in February and continued at relatively high levels during
the first three weeks of March.
output of basic industrial commodities increased in February by
an amount smaller than is usual at this season and the Federal
Reserve Board’s index, which makes allowance for seasonal
variations, declined from 91 per cent of the 1923-25 average in

year, reflecting a reduction in the volume of public projects. The
value of contracts awarded for residential building during this
period showed a slight increase over the low level of a year ago.
DISTRIBU TION —Daily average volume of revenue freightcar loadings showed a seasonal increase in February and little
change in the first half of March. Department store sales increased
in February, a month when there is usually little change, and
the combined total for the first two months of the year was larger
than a year ago by 5 per cent.
period from the beginning of February to the middle of March
there were wide movements in prices of many individual com-

Index number of industrial production, adjusted for seasonal variation.
(1923-1925 averages 100.)
Latest figures January, 91; February, adjusted preliminary, 89.

total 114.2, residential 24.2, all other 90.

January to 89 per cent in February. At steel mills activity in­
creased further during the early part of February; later in the
month and in the first three weeks of March, however, activity
declined, contrary to seasonal tendency. In the automobile indus­
try production continued to increase and the output indicated
for the first quarter is larger than in the corresponding period
of any other year since 1929. Lumber production remained at
a low level. At textile mills activity in February declined some­
what from the relatively high rate of the preceding month. In
the meat packing industry output continued to decline.
Factory employment increased between the middle of Janu­
ary and the middle of February by more than the usual seasonal
amount, reflecting substantial increases in working forces in the
automobile, machinery, iron and steel, and wearing apparel
industries. There were smaller increases in many other lines. At

modities, while the general level of wholesale prices, as measured
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Index, showed little change.
In the third week of March prices of cotton and other textiles,
grains other than wheat, coffee, rubber and tires, scrap steel and
tin were considerably lower than at the beginning of February,
while prices of live stock, meats and sugar were higher.
BANK CREDIT — During the four weeks ended March 20
member bank reserve balances declined by $280,000,000, princi­
pally in consequence of an increase in Treasury deposits with
Federal Reserve banks, built up in connection with March 15
fiscal operations. Excess reserves of member banks declined to
about $1,950,000,000. Demand deposits (net) of weekly reporting
member banks in leading cities increased further by $380,000,000
during the four weeks ended March 13. The balances of other
banks with reporting banks increased by $100,000,000 while Gov-

Index of factory employment, adjusted for seasonal variation.
(1923-1925 averages 100.)
Latest figures January, revised, 80.5; February, adjusted preliminary 81.9.

meat packing establishments employment continued to decline
and at tobacco factories it showed less than the usual seasonal
growth. Payrolls at manufacturing establishments also increased
considerably in February. In non-manufacturing industries em­
ployment and payrolls showed little change.
Total value of construction contracts awarded in the period
from January 1 to March 15, as reported by the F. W. Dodge
Corporation, was smaller than in the corresponding period last




Wednesday figures for reporting member banks in 91 leading cities.
Latest figures are for March 13.

ernment deposits declined, reflecting the withdrawal of funds from
depository banks. Loans and investments of reporting banks in­
creased by $275,000,000. There was a further growth of $85,000,000
in holdings of direct obligations of the United States Government,
and a smaller increase in obligations guaranteed^ by the Govern­
ment. Loans to brokers and dealers in securities increased by
$130,000,000, while other loans showed little change. Yields on
United States Government obligations declined slightly further,
and open-market money rates continued at a low level.