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ITIONS BUSINESS Monthly Review of Agr y, Trade and Finance Released for Publicatioh i apers of May 1, 1944 FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. COU RTESY LOUIS O F IN T E R N A T IO N A L H A R V E S T E R C O M P A N Y W A R - T I M E CHANGES IN E I G H T H D IS T R IC T P O P U L A T IO N IN C E 1940 the Eighth District population has undergone considerable change as a result of military and industrial mobilization of man power for war. The principal changes that have occurred are: (1) a decline in Eighth District civ ilian population, (2) a significant out-migration from the district as a whole, (3) a substantial shift from outlying rural areas to the major industrial centers, and (4) a moderate population decline in certain minor district cities. S From 1920 to 1940, population in the Eighth District increased, but at a rate substantially below that of the nation as a whole. The lag in district population growth was especially marked between 1920 and 1930, when it is estimated that about one million persons moved out of the district. In the follow ing decade the population loss through out migration was probably not more than 125,000 persons. From April, 1940 to November, 1943, the Eighth District population declined 8 per cent due to with drawals of men and women for the armed forces and an exodus of population from the region to major war centers outside the district. It is esti mated that district withdrawals for the armed forces from April, 1940 to November, 1943, totaled about 700,000, and that net migration out of the district was about 250,000. The actual net loss in popula tion in the three and a half years after April, 1940, was, however, only 800,000 since normal population gain due to an excess of births over deaths was approximately 150,000. The rural areas showed the greatest declines in population despite the fact that the rate of military withdrawals in those areas was less than in the more industrialized sections, largely because of the preferred status of agricultural labor. The m ove ment from the rural sections to the urban centers of the district and to war production centers outside the district has accounted for a substantial part of the population loss in those sections. In April, 1940, about one-fourth of the Eighth Dis trict population was concentrated in the six major metropolitan areas. W ith the war accelerating the normal shift of population from rural to urban areas, about 30 per cent of the district population was located in the six metropolitan regions in N ovem ber, 1943. As compared with 1940, these areas com bined showed a gain of 6 per cent in civil popula tion. Evansville and Louisville registered the larg est relative gains of 14 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively. Little Rock and Memphis increased population by about 6 per cent each, while the gain in St. Louis was 4 per cent. Springfield lost about 7 per cent of its population between April, 1940, and May, 1943. In that city war-time industrial expan sion has not been great, while the other district cities are important centers of war production. Dr. Philip M. Hauser, of the Bureau of the Census, has classified 137 metropolitan areas throughout the country into seven groups, indicating post-war pop ulation prospects. Classification of cities is based on long term population growth and war-time pop ulation changes. W ithin this district, Evansville, Little Rock, and Memphis are classified as cities with excellent prospects of retaining their rapid war-time population growth. St. Louis is listed as having a good chance of retaining its war-time pop ulation growth. Louisville's prospects are more difficult to appraise and are regarded as depending largely on the city's ability to convert its war plants to peace-time manufacture. Springfield is classified as having excellent prospects of making a post-war comeback. Civilian Population in the Eighth District (I n thousands o f persons) Arkansas.................... Illinois... .................... Indiana....... ............... Kentucky................... Mississippi................. Missouri....... ....... ..... ..... Tennessee....... .......... ..... Total... ............... ... Novem ber, 1943 1,736 1,181 639 1,376 978 2,632 835 9,377 Change from April, 1940 Num ber Per Cent — 212 — 124 - 0 - 90 — 132 — 228 — 23 —809 — — 10.9 — 9.5 -0 — 6.1 — 11.9 — 8.0 — 2.7 — 8.0 G E N E R A L I N D U S T R IA L S I T U A T IO N Evidence continues to accumulate that the peak in industrial activity in this district during the war period has been passed. There are now no rated labor shortage areas in the district and manufac turing employment has declined slightly from the peak reached last fall. So far there has been no appreciable drop in over-all employment since net releases from district war plants have been absorbed Page 2 fairly readily by other manufacturing and non manufacturing lines. Preliminary reports indicate that, nationally, out put of munitions picked up somewhat in March with airplane production breaking all previous rec ords. W ar production in this district, however, did not parallel the national rise. Most war output in this region consists of ammunition and explosives which probably will decline in volume for the dura tion. There has been some offset to decreases in scheduled output of these lines through contracts for electronic equipment and landing craft, but this has not been sufficient to maintain the high level of over-all munitions production reached last fall. In March, for the first time since the outbreak of war in Europe, consumption of electrical power by selected industrial users in the major cities of the district declined from the level of a year earlier. March consumption of electricity was up fraction ally from February due to a longer work month, but was off 3 per cent from March, 1943. This drop in power consumption reflects a decline in the rate of operations at major manufacturing plants in this region. During March, steel output at district mills and foundries was in somewhat less volume than in February and in March, 1943. Lumber production picked up seasonally, but continues to hold at a level below both 1943 and 1942. Output of coal at district mines was off slightly from February de spite a longer work month, and was 2 per cent be low production a year earlier. H igh test gasoline production in district refineries continued in ex ceptionally heavy volume. It is reported that 100octane gasoline output has about reached the level necessary for military requirements. D IS T R IC T S U R V E Y M A N U F A C T U R IN G of whiskey production by the distilleries now pro Iron and Steel — Production of steel in this area ducing industrial alcohol for war. A recent proposal during March was in somewhat less volume than in to the W ar Production Board suggests that whiskey February. Spasmodic work stoppages at various production be authorized for tw o or three days each steel plants in this region held actual production month. This plan is presented as more feasible than below scheduled output. The rate of ingot opera a previous one recommending uninterrupted pro tions at mills w orking in this district averaged 76 duction of whiskey for thirty days because it would per cent for the month as compared with 82 per allow coopers to supply cooperage necessary for cent in February. storing whiskey as needed, whereas it would be very difficult now for them to meet requirements Scrap collection in the St. Louis region continues for a full m onth’s production. in sufficient volume to keep mills supplied with Miscellaneous Manufacturing — A ctivity at meat reasonable working inventories. The supply of pig packing plants in the Eighth District remained at a iron, also, is adequate for all essential operations. very high level in March with record runs of hogs The major limiting factors in steel output in this continuing at stockyards of the district. Output of area currently seem to be lack of orders for the pro packers in 1944 will average somewhat higher than duction of high-cost furnaces and necessary repairs in 1943. Production of chemicals, other than muni to overworked furnaces. Demand for finished steel tions, continues to expand in this region. Munitions products continues strong, but with the exception output, however, has been dropping slowly from the of plates current orders are being filled more rapidly peak reached last fall, so that over-all production of than at this time last year. chemicals is probably slightly less than it was six Shoes— Preliminary reports indicate that shoe pro months ago. duction in this district in March was up seasonally O I L A N D M IN IN G 6 per cent from February, and was slightly above Oil — Final reports for February indicate that oil March, 1943. The final figures for February show well completions in established fields in Eighth Dis output of 6,926,000 pairs as compared with 6,704,000 trict states amounted to 235 compared with 232 in pairs in January. Shoe manufacturers in this dis January. Total oil wells completed this year in trict are currently finding it easier to secure labor established fields through April 8 amounted to 695 as layoffs at the large munitions plants, particularly compared with 704 in the same period of 1943. A in St. Louis, have resulted in a greater supply of large increase in activity in Kentucky was offset by manufacturing workers for non-munitions indus a drop in number of drillings in Illinois. tries. Material shortage, however, still continues Daily average oil production in Eighth District to be a serious limiting factor in shoe output. states during March was about 6 per cent under Whiskey — A t the end of March, 51 of 60 K en tucky distilleries were in operation producing indus trial alcohol. A month earlier, 52 distilleries wrere in production, while on March 31, 1943, all distilleries were operating. Discussion continues concerning the resumption P A W certified production rates, and approximately 8 per cent less than daily average production in March, 1943. M ajor reasons given for reduced out put this year are labor and equipment shortages, drilling restrictions, and some lack of incentive due to high production costs in relation to oil prices. Page 3 Mining — Production of zinc in the North Arkan sas field continued slow during February and the first half of March, but output is expected to show a good increase early this summer with the com pletion of three new concentrating plants. Shortage of miners continued to retard coal production. O ut put of coal last month was 1 per cent under Febru ary production, and 2 per cent less than in March, 1943. An increase in coal tonnage from mines in Tennessee and Indiana was more than offset by declines in other district states. EM PLOYM ENT A ccording to the latest report of the W ar Man power Commission (April 1) not a single labor mar ket area within the Eighth Federal Reserve District is classified a s 'a labor shortage area. There are, however, three regions within the district, Louis ville, Quincy, and Pine Bluff, that are listed as potential shortage areas, and reports from these areas indicate that labor supply is fairly tight. Am ong the other important district cities, Memphis, Evansville, and O w ensboro are currently rated as areas with adequate labor supply, while St. Louis, Little Rock, Springfield, Paducah, and Fort Smith are classified as labor surplus areas. In general, it seems that labor supply is no longer a deterring factor in output of war goods in the district. Non-agricultural employment in the district is being maintained at a relatively stable level as re ductions in working forces at major district war plants are, for the most part, being absorbed by less essential manufacturing and by non-manufacturing lines. M anufacturing employment has fallen slight ly in the past six months, while the number of non manufacturing workers has increased to some ex tent. Agricultural employment in the district is showing a seasonal expansion. A G R IC U L T U R E General Conditions — Frequent rains and muddy fields in much of the district in March and early April, which considerably delayed spring plow ing and planting, may result in some shifting of plant ing intentions. For example, the delay in oat plant ings may result in some acreage intended for oats being sown to beans or other crops. An increase in the support price for soybeans announced after farmers' planting intentions were surveyed may re sult in greater soybean acreage than was indicated early in March. As a result of snow and rain in February and ad ditional moisture in March and early April, winter wheat has shown marked improvement compared with conditions last fall and winter, when extreme drouth in many parts of the district retarded growth. Page 4 Indicated production of winter wheat in Eighth District states on April 1 amounted to* 86.5 million bushels compared with 52.9 million bushels pro duced in 1943, or an increase of 63 per cent. A good part of the increase from last year results from an expansion of 28 per cent in acreage seeded, but in dicated yield per acre on April 1 is considerably above last year. Changes from a month ago in prices received by Eighth District farmers range from a decline of 1 per cent in Tennessee to increases of 1 per cent in Illinois and 2 per cent in Arkansas. Prices of milk, eggs, and tobacco were generally lower while in creases in prices of meat animals, grains, and chickens occurred in most district states. Cash farm income in Eighth District states in February amounted to $268 million compared with $383 million in January, and $219 million in Febru ary, 1943. Gains in cash farm income from a year ago were registered for all district states except Arkansas. Cotton — Planting of the 1944 cotton crop in principal Eighth District states is now more than three weeks later than normal due to continuing wet weather. This development, together with a possible farm labor shortage in the major plantation areas, might result in an abbreviated crop this year. H owever, with reasonable weather conditions for the balance of the season, production of cotton in 1944 should approach or exceed 1943 output which was greatly reduced because of very unfavorable weather. Dom estic mill consumption of cotton in the United States for the eight month period August, 1943 through March, 1944, was almost 10 per cent less than consumption in the same period a year earlier. Although demand for cotton cloth and yarn is ap preciably greater than supply, mill activity remains below a year ago. Cotton spindles in the United States during February operated at about 123 per cent of capacity compared with 124 per cent in Jan uary and 140 per cent in February, 1943. The de creased activity is attributed to narrowed profit margins. Labor shortage has also contributed to reduced textile output. In order to increase the effective supply of labor, the W M C in early April authorized a 48-hour work week for the cotton textile industry effective M ay 14. Due to the lack of mill demand for cotton, trad ing on the Memphis spot cotton market last month was slow, and although prices in March averaged somewhat higher than in the preceding month, they continued below those a year ago. The price of 15/16 middling cotton at the end of March was 20.85c per pound compared with 20.35c at the close of February and 21.30c on March 31, 1943. Fruits and Vegetables — Excessive rainfall over much of the district during March and early April delayed planting of many vegetable crops. Although farmers' planting intentions, which were expressed last month, indicated increases in acreage of cab bage, onions, and some other vegetables, subsequent rains made soil preparation difficult and plantings in some sections of the district may be less than originally intended. Cabbage acreage in Tennessee will be greater than last year, but stands in Missis sippi are poor to fair, and prospects now point to below-average yields. Indications are that potato acreage in Arkansas and Tennessee may fall below March 1 intentions. In Mississippi, potato plant ings are as much as tw o weeks late with some rot ting of seed in the ground due to wet soil. The green pea crop in Mississippi this year will be small as a result of reduced acreage and below-normal growth. Cold, freezing weather in the latter part of March and early April practically destroyed the peach crop in northwestern Arkansas, and heavily damaged cherry orchards. Apples and strawberries, however, escaped serious injury, and damage to peaches in other parts of the state appears to be less than first reports indicated. Freezing rains in southern Illinois and Indiana and western Kentucky caused considerable damage to peaches and, in lesser de gree, to apples and strawberries. Due to extreme drouth last summer and fall and a shortage of plants in some areas, the district strawberry crop this year will be much smaller than last year. Livestock and Livestock Products— Although the feed situation has eased somewhat as a result of the ideal condition of grain and native pastures, sup plies of feed grains and feedstuffs are far below demand. Bad roads, lack of sufficient box cars, to gether with the fact that farmers in March were beginning their spring plow ing and planting, re tarded the movement of feed grains to market. Corn movement during the month was slow and supplies for feed were further reduced by a W F A order re quiring 35 per cent of all corn on hand or received by country elevators in surplus producing areas to be set aside for processors. Demand for feed stuffs by poultry feeders and dairy farmers is in creasing seasonally, and substantial increases in dairy feed subsidy payments for March and April have further intensified feed consumption and de mand. Stocks of grain on farms in Eighth District states on April 1 were considerably less than stocks a year ago. Declines from April 1, 1943 stocks amounted to 17 per cent for corn, 4 per cent for wheat, 17 per cent for oats, and 29 per cent for soybeans. Continued shortage of corn for feeding, elimina tion of support prices on hogs weighing 270 to 330 pounds, and the threat of floods in some areas re sulted in heavy hog marketings at National Stock yards last month. H og receipts during March were 10 per cent greater than February, and 48 per cent above a year ago. Tobacco — Income from tobacco in the 1943-44 marketing season just ended reached an all-time high. On the basis of gross sales of 278,923,920 pounds at an average price of $44.92 per hundred pounds, income from K entucky burley this season amounted to $125 million, or 17 per cent greater than the $107 million received in 1942-43. Although sales of Eastern District and W estern District firecured tobaccos were less than last year, higher aver age prices resulted in a substantial increase in in come. Eastern District tobacco income from the 1943 crop amounted to $8.0 million as against $6.5 million for the 1942 crop, while income from W estern District tobacco this season amounted to $2.4 mil lion, or 26 per cent greater than last year. Despite relatively small one-sucker and Green River tobacco crops in 1943, record high prices resulted in increases of 48 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively, in in come compared with the preceding year. According to farmers' intentions as of March 1, tobacco acreage in 1944 will be about 19 per cent greater than in 1943, due mostly to an expansion of 21 per cent in burley tobacco acreage. Prospec tive acreage of Eastern District and W estern D is trict fire-cured tobacco is only slightly greater than last year, but an increase of 33 per cent in acreage of both one-sucker and Green River tobaccos is in dicated for 1944. R E T A IL T R A D E A sharp seasonal increase in sales from February to March was reported by all lines of retail stores whose figures are available to this bank. Percent age-wise the increase was most marked at men's and women's apparel stores. W om en's apparel and department stores which have large sales of women's clothing registered impressive gains over March, 1943, but the increases for other reporting lines were moderate. The sizable increases in sales over a year ago reflect primarily the earlier date of Easter this year, which had the effect of concen trating most sales of apparel in March. In 1943, with a very late Easter, heavy seasonal buying went on throughout most of April. Sales increases at men’s furnishings stores are surprising since 11 Page 5 million men in uniform have gone out of the market. For the first quarter of this year, department store sales in the district were 7 per cent greater than in the comparable period in 1943. Quincy, Springfield, Memphis, and Louisville show the largest cumula tive gain over a year ago among the more important district cities. Sales at Little Rock and Evansville showed little change from the abnormally high level of the first quarter of 1943. A t St. Louis, dollar sales at wom en’s apparel stores in March were up 50 per cent from February, and were 22 per cent above March, 1943. M en’s furnishings sales in the district increased 60 per cent over a month earlier, and were 7 per cent above a year ago. Retail shoe sales rose 41 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively, from a month and a year earlier. District furniture store sales showed vir tually no change from last year’s level, but were up about one-fifth over February. The general trend of sales in the smaller district furniture stores seems to be downward at present, but performance at several of the very large stores in the major cities tends to hold the general level of sales this year about equal to last. B A N K IN G A N D F IN A N C E Despite a seasonal increase in loans at rural banks, general demand for bank credit in the Eighth Fed eral Reserve District declined somewhat during the past month. A t 24 reporting member banks located in the major cities of the district, total loans dropped $24 million writh most of the decline in commercial, industrial, and agricultural loans, and the balance in loans to purchase and carry securities. As compared with a year ago, total loan volume at these banks was up $18 million. Investment holdings of the reporting member banks declined slightly in the past month, but were about $160 million greater than a year earlier. A decline in holdings of certificates of indebtedness was almost com pletely offset by increases in bill, note, and bond holdings. The Treasury drew heavily upon its W ar Loan Accounts at district banks in the past month. As a result United States Government deposits at the 24 reporting member banks declined $50 million. The return flow of funds to the city banks was about half as large as withdrawals of Government de posits, with demand deposits adjusted at the reporting banks gaining $26 million. Since the last issue of this review the Osage Val ley Bank, W arsaw, M issouri; the Hermann Bank, Hermann, M issou ri; and the Smackover State Bank, Smackover, Arkansas have become members of the Federal Reserve System. Page 6 (I n thousands of dollars) CASH FA R M IN C O M E February Cum ulative for 2 months 1943 1944 1943 1942 1944 ..$ . .■ In d ia n a . . . . ___ K e n tu ck y . . ... , M ississippi, . . M issou ri. . . . ... T enn essee. . . . . . . 13,854 95,374 52,103 21,393 12,522 49,260 23,0)06 $ 15,079 78,926 41,735 17,950 10,559 38,283 16,831 267,512 219,363 A rkansas......... $ 36,464 196,949 105,384 112,820 32,580 105,323 61,426 $ 37,927 162,586 85,053 84,340 28,361 83,957 47,081 $ 28,021 145,516 73,812 54,306 30,647 70,423 39,465 650,946 529,305 442,190 R E C E I P T S A N D S H IP M E N T S A T N A T I O N A L S T O C K Y A R D S Receipts Shipments Mar., 1944 Feb., 1944 M ar., 1943 M ar., 1944 38,818 99,723 2,902 1,535 Cattle and C alves......... 92,796 89,556 97,112 H o g s ................................. 379,603 345,919 257,111 H orses and M u le s......... 2,913 4,444 4,599 S heep................................. 21,064 18,717 40,327 T o t a ls ........................... 496,376 458,636 399,149 W H O L E S A L E P R I C E S IN Bureau o f L abor Mar., Feb., Statistics 1944 (1 9 2 6 = 1 0 0 ) 1944 A ll C om m odities. . 103.8 Farm Products 123.6 104.6 O th e r.................. 98.1 THE U N IT E D U . S. (51 c it ie s ) .. St. L o u is ........... L ittle R o c k . . . . . L ou isville........... M em p his........... . 134.1 135.9 133.2 129.7 141.0 STATES M a r.,’ 44 com p. with F e b .,’44 M a r.,’43 103.4 122.8 107.4 96.5 + + + + 123.7 122.3 117.8 116.6 134.5 136.0 135.3 131.2 142.6 0.2% 0.9 0.1 0.1 + + + 0.4% 0.7 2.6 1.7 Mar. 15,’44 com p, with Feb. 15/44 Sept,. 15/42 4- 0.1% + 0..2 COST OF FO O D Mar. 15,, Feb. 15, Sept. 15, 1944 1942 1944 Bureau o f Labor Statistics (1935-39 = 100) 35,704 51,057 92,515 103,707 4,438 4,534 805 5,722 M ar., 1943 103.6 122.5 104.5 98.0, 123.8 122.5 United States. . . . St. L o u is ........... M ar., 1943 142,978 133,462 165,020 C OST OF L IV IN G Mar. 15., Feb. 15, Sept. 15, 1944 1944 1942 Bureau o f L abor Statistics (1 93 5 -3 9= 1 0 0) F eb., 1944 5.1% 5.1 + + Mar. 15,’ 44 com p, with Feb. 15,’ 44 Sept..1 5 /4 2 126.6 126.7 129.2 124.2 129.7 — — — — — 0.3% 0.1 1.6 1.1 1.1 + + + + + 5.9% 7.3 3.1 4.4 8.7 I N D E X E S O F E M P L O Y M E N T IN M A N U F A C T U R I N G IN D U S T R IE S B Y M E T R O P O L IT A N A R E A S Bureau o f Labor Feb., Jan., Feb., F e b .,’44 com p, with Statistics 1944 1944 1943 Jan.,’44 F eb .,’ 43 (1 9 3 7 = 1 0 0 ) ., St L o u is ............. ,, . 257.0 139.5 181.8 151.3 273.9 130.7 180.1 152.7 — + -f — 265.7 122.6 149.9 147.2 B U I L D I N G P E R M IT S New Construction N um ber 1944 1943 (C ost in thousands) Cost 1943 1944 19 23 54 302 , 96 25 27 162 64 53 3 96 324 150 M arch T o ta ls . . . 494 February T o t a ls .244 278 257 626 321 Little R o c k ......... $ Cost 1944 1943 14 50 332 163 64 191 35 306 155 167 73 18 229 128 $ 32 155 85 222 277 $ 75 833 10 83 99 559 699 751 602 615 684 771 318 1,100 1,041 CONTRACTS LET M ar.,’44 com p, with M ar.,’ 43 F e b .,’44 M a r.,’ 43 Total 8th D is t.. . $ 7,690 $ 5,771f $ 21,604f S o u rce : F. W . D od g e Corporation. t Revised. (K .W .H . in th o u s .) • —■ 3.3 % + 13.8 + 21.3 + 2.8 Repairs, etc. N um ber 1944 1943 $ V A L U E C O N S T R U C T IO N (I n thousands of dollars) M a r.,’44 F e b .,’44 6.2% 6.7 0.9 0.9 +33% — 64% C O N S U M P T IO N O F E L E C T R I C I T Y N o. of Mar., F eb., M ar., M arch, 1944 Custom- 1944 1944 1943 com pared with ers* K .W .H . K .W .H . K .W .H , F eb., 1944 M ar., 1943 E vansville____ 40 L ittle R o ck . . . 35 L ou isville......... 82 M em phis......... 31 Pine B lu ff......... 19 St. L o u is ......... 138 8,041 2,605 16,811 6,732 6,542 89,245 T o ta ls ........... 345 129,976 *Selected industrial customers. 7,832 3,327 16,760 6,285 7,462 87,675 9,367| 2,518 15,394 6,200 5,944 94,134f + 3% — 22 -0 -f- 7 — 12 + 2 129,341 133,557f f Revised. -0 - — 14% + 3 + 9 -f- 9 + 10, — 5 — 3 D E P A R T M E N T ST O R E S Net Sales March, 1944 compared with Feb.,*44 Mar.,*43 3 m os/44 to same period ’43 Stock Turnover Stocks on Hand Mar. 3 1 /4 4 comp, with Mar. 3 1 /43 Jan. 1, to Mar. 31, 1944 1943 Ft. Smith, Ark.. + 1 9 % 1.03 1.06 Little Rock, Ark. + 1 8 — 2 1.22 1.17 Quincy, 111..........+ 3 3 Evansville, Ind. + 4 2 Louisville, K y .. . + 3 7 18 1.33 1.30 St. Louis, M o .. * + 3 3 1.11 1.03 + 6 Springfield, Mo. + 3 1 Memphis, Tenn, + 2 5 1*26 l*.i5 *A11 other cities. + 3 2 f 0.99t 1.06f 12t 8th F . R. D ist.. + 3 1 f 1.16t l.lO f + 7f *El Dorado, Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, A rk .; Alton, East St. Louis, Harrisburg, M t. Vernon, 111.; Vincennes, In d .; Danville, Hopkinsville, Mayfield, Paducah, K y .; Chillicothe, M o .; Jackson, Tenn. tPreliminary. Trading days: March, 1944— 2 7 ; February, 1944— 2 5 ; March, 1943— 27. Outstanding orders of reporting stores at the end of March, 1944, were 6 f per cent greater than on the corresponding date a year ago. Percentage of accounts and notes receivable outstanding March 1, 1944, collected during March, by cities: Instalment Excl. Instal. Instalment Excl. Instal. Accounts Accounts Accounts Accounts + t Fort Smith........... % Little Rock . . 34 L o u isv ille .... 40 Memphis . . . . 43 fPreliminary. 64% 63 65 61 83% 74 73t 69f Q u in cy......... 4 5% St. L o u i s .... 46 Other cities.. 32 8th F .R . Dist. 41 S P E C IA L T Y ST O R E S Net Sales March, 1944 3 m os/44 compared with to same F eb./44 M ar./43 period *43 126 146 98 103 123 154 91 104 Stocks on Hand Mar. 3 1 /4 4 comp, with Mar. 31/43 124 138 94 92 Men’s Furnishings + 6 0 % + 7 % — 17% 0.68 0.75 + 7% Boots and Shoes +41 + 6 — 3 + 20. 1.73 2.11 Percentage of accounts and notes receivable outstanding March 1, 1944, collected during March: Men’s Furnishings.................... 66% Boots and Shoes........................... 57% Trading days: March, 1944— 2 7 ; February, 1944— 2 5 ; March, 1943— 27. R E T A IL F U R N IT U R E ST O R E S Net Sales Inventories Ratio of March 31, 1944 March, 1944 Collections compared with compared with F eb./44 M ar.,’43 Feb.29/44 M ar.31/43 M ar./44 M ar./43 — 22% 48 % 41 % +23% + 5% + 6% — 22 +22 50 42 + 7 + 6 — 12 33 26 +33 — 5 + 2 — 25 34 26 +40 — 4 + 2 26 — 8 +28 29 + 14 + 2 27 +26 +13 — 46 — 6 21 — 11 28 -0 .— 43 30 + 7 Evansville..........., + 2 0 — 23 49 40 + 6 + 5 # * + 12 Pine Bluff........... + 3 5 32 38 8th Dist.Totals3 . + 2 4 — 24 38 32 + 1 + 1 *N ot shown separately due to insufficient coverage, but included in Eighth District totals. ^Includes St.. Louis, Missouri; -E ast St. Louis, and Alton, Illinois. ^Includes Louisville, Kentucky; New Albany, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. ^In addition to above cities, includes stores in Blytheville, Fort Smith, Arkansas; Henderson, Hopkinsville, Owensboro, Kentucky; Columbus, Greenville, Greenwood, Starkville, Mississippi; Hannibal, Springfield, Missouri; and Dyersburg, Tennessee. St. Louis Areal. St. Louis........., Louisville Area2 Louisville.. . . New A lb a n y .. Memphis............. , P E R C E N T A G E D IS T R IB U T IO N M ar./44 Cash Sales................................................. 19% Credit Sales................................................. 81 Total Sales...............................................100 OF SALES F eb./4 4 M ar./43 20% 80 100 18% 82 100 L O A D S IN T E R C H A N G E D F O R 25 R A IL R O A D S ST. L O U IS First nine days M ar./44 F eb./44 M ar./43 A p r./4 4 A p r./43 3 m os/44 3 m os/43 166,097 154,775 143,022 48,559 43,019 477,435 Source: Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis. Data furnished by Bureau of Census, * U . S. Dept, of Commerce. Automotive Supplies......... ................... Boots and Shoes..................................... . — Drugs and Chemicals........................... .. + Electrical Supplies................................. 418,697 6 6 Plumbing Supplies................................. , + 26 Miscellaneous.......................................... . . + Total all lines*........................................ . . + ^Includes certain lines not listed above. 13 8 Mar. 31,1944 compared with Mar. 31, 1943 + 43% + 5 — 1 + 7 + 28 — 21 + 5 + 7 + 2 + 2 + 7 + 4 ....% .... — 9 ♦* ♦♦ ♦♦•♦ — 16 — 8 .... + 14 — 11 — 4 C O M M E R C IA L F A IL U R E S IN E IG H T H F. R. D IS T R IC T Mar. /4 4 comp, with M ar./44 Feb., '44 Mar.,'43 Feb./4 4 M ar./43 Number............... 1 Liabilities........... $ 1,000 $ Source: Dun and Bradstreet. 2 9,000 11 $ 99,000 — 50% — 89 — 91% — 99 C H A N G E S IN P R IN C IP A L A S S E T S A N D L I A B I L I T I E S F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K O F ST. L O U IS Change from Apr. 19, Mar. 22, Apr. 21, (In thousands of dollars) 1944 1944 1943 $ ......... , 13,00,0 652,227 Total earning assets...................................... 665,227 Total reserves.......................................... * 5,490 9,872 + 4,382 + 2 8 8,2 7 7 + 12,398 7,720 14,273 — 71,759 — 3,397 +212,442 + 46 P R IN C IP A L R E S O U R C E A N D L I A B I L I T Y O F R E P O R T IN G M E M B E R B A N K S Apr. 19, 1944 (In thousands of dollars) + 1*3,666 +2 7 5,2 7 7 — 589,861 502,186 , 760,137 Industrial commitments under Sec. 1 3 b .. 48 + Stock Turnover Jan. 1, to Mar. 31, 1944 1943 Stocks Net Sales March, 1944 compared with F eb./44 M ar./43 Industrial advances under Sec. 13b. IN D E X E S O F D E P A R T M E N T S T O R E S A L E S A N D ST O C K S 8th Federal Reserve District (1923-1925 average — 100) Mar., Feb., Jan., Mar., 1944 1944 1944 1943 Sales (daily average), Unadjusted..................152 Sales (daily average), Seasonally adjusted. .162 Stocks, Unadjusted.................................................101 Stocks^ Seasonally adjusted............................... 99 Lines of Commodities — 1,735 IT E M S Change from Mar. 22, Apr. 21, 1944 1943 Total loans and investments...................... $1,547,353 — 24,794 + 176,699 Commercial, industrial, agricultural loans* 216,0,11 — 18,556 + 4,240 ‘ 114 Loans to brokers and dealers in securities. 99 4,448 — — 5,229 + 12,767 Other loans to purchase and carry securities 21,658 2,896 Real estate loans............................................ 63,418 — 689 235 Loans to banks............................................... 900 1,300 + 64,655 — 219 + 4,680 Other loans....................................................... Total loans..................................................... 371,490 — 23,892 + 18,442 3,018 — 99,923 Treasury bills................................................... 59,929 + Certificates of indebtedness........................ 261,903 — 14,430 + 83,600, Treasury notes................................................. 219,218 + 5,589 + 105,296 U . S. bonds..................................................... 505,524 + 2,767 + 1 0 2,9 9 4 1,909 — 21,011 Obligations guaranteed by U . S. Govt.. 21,693 + Other securities................................................. 107,596 + 245 — 12,699 Total investments........................................ 1,175,863 902 + 158,257 Balances with domestic banks.................. 112,931 1,441 — 17,882 933,023 + 26,447 + 102,547 Demand deposits — adjusted**.................. Time deposits................................................... 232,256 + 4,619 + 34,577 U . S. Government deposits......................... 203,398 — 51,379 + 75,485 Interbank deposits.......................................... 471,559 — 10,567 — 72,482 Borrowings....................................................... 13,000 + 5,500 + 13,000 *Includes open market paper. **Other than interbank and Government deposits, less cash items on hand or in process of collection. Above figures are for 24 member banks in St. Louis, Louisville, Mem phis, Little Rock and Evansville. Their resources comprise approximately 75% of the resources of all member banks in this district. (In thousands of dollars) D E B IT S T O I N D I V I D U A L A C C O U N T S Mar., M a r./4 4 comp, with Mar., Feb., 1944 1943 F e b ./4 4 M ar./43 1944 $ 10,304 22,205 Fort Smith, Ark......... 4,049 Helena, Ark............... 75,519 Little Rock, Ark......... 17,032 Pine Bluff, Ark........... 9,937 Texarkana, Ark.-Tex. 13,640. Alton, 111...................... 86,749 E.St.L.-N at.S.Y.,IU . . 18,374 Quincy, 111................... 110,937 Evansville, Ind........... Louisville, K y ............. 324,376 13,588 Owensboro, K y ........... 8,269 Paducah, K y ............... 8,395 Greenville, Miss......... 5,151 Cape Girardeau, M o .. 4,509 Hannibal, M o............. Jefferson City, M o .. . 18,571 996,801 St. Louis, Mo............. 6,291 30,850, Springfield, Mo........... 9,034 Jackson, Tenn............. Memphis, Tenn........... 251,803 .2,046,384 (Completed April 24, 1944) $ 9,700 19,497 4,204 68,329 15,923 9,838 12,958 79,507 17,197 102,472 321,851 15,153 8,147 11,289 5,065 4,5.32 22,697 935,750 5,969 27,550 8,701 236,708 1,943,037 $ 12,069 21,264 4,251 68,917 17,895 11,237 13,016 77,374 14,288 82,931 301,613 12,791 7,954 9,354 4,863 4,257 17,754 941,835 5,436 25,152 8,149 258,354 1,920,754 + + + + + 6% 14 4 11 7 1 5 9 7 8 1 10 1 26 2 1 18 7 5 12 4 6 + 5 + + + + + + + + + + + + — 15% 4 5 + 10 5 — 12 5 + + 12 + 29 + 34 8 + 6 + 4 + 10 6 + 6 + 5 + 6 + + 16 23 + + 11 3 + + 7 Page 7 NATIONAL SUMMARY OF CONDITIONS B Y BOARD O F GOVERNO RS O F F ED ER AL R ESERVE SYSTEM 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 14 1 4 1 4 14 9 7 9 8 9 9 9 0 91 9 2 9 3 94 Federal Reserve index. for March, 1944. Monthly figures, latest shown Is COST OF LIVING Bureau of Labor Statistics* indexes. Last month in each calendar quarter through September, 1940, monthly thereafter. Mid-month figures, latest shown are for March. MEMBER BANK RESERVES AND RELATED ITEMS Wednesday figures, latest shown are for April 19, 1944. MEMBER BANK RESERVES ~ 7& * 4 — V trr nr -- TOT L \L J . A IE U K M tH I Q IK O a 'S K A V Breakdown between required and excess reserves partly estimated. Wednesday figures, latest shown are for April 19, 1944. Page 8 Industrial production—Output of manufactures and minerals was slight ly smaller in March than in the previous two m onths and the Board’s index of total industrial production declined 2 points to 242 per cent of the 1935-39 average. Steel production advanced som ewhat further in March and the first three weeks of April. Output of lum ber was m aintained at the level of the first two m onths of the year and production in the first quarter is indicated to be 3 per cent larger than in the first quarter of 1943. The num ber of aircraft delivered increased about 4 per cent above the level of the preceding 4 m onths to a new high of 9,118 planes. Deliveries of m erchant ships continued to rise from the low January rate and in March were at approximately the level of a year ago. Output of other products in the m achinery and transportation equipm ent industries declined som ewhat in March. Output of nondurable manufactures, as m easured by the Board’s index, declined about 1 per cent in March. This decline was due largely to the continued drop in small arms am unition production. Manufactured food m production was 11 per cent greater than in March of last year. Coal production declined 6 per cent in March from the exceptionally high rate in February due partly to the return to a six-day work week in anthra cite m ines and partly to a continuation of m anpower shortages in both hard and soft coal m ines. Output of crude petroleum and metals was m aintained in large volum e. The value of construction contracts awarded in March, according to re ports of the F. W. Dodge Corporation, was slightly greater than in January and February, but was still lower than in any corresponding m onth since 1935. Distribution—Department store sales increased m ore than seasonally in March and continued at a high level in the first half of April. Sales in March were about 18 per cent larger than in the corresponding m onth last year, reflecting in part the earlier date of Easter this year and the heavy buying of jewelry, cosmetics, furs, and other item before higher tax rates s becam effective on April 1. e Freight carloadings declined slightly in March from the high level of earlier m onths, owing chiefly to a drop in the m ovem ent of coal and grain products. Total loadings were m aintained in the first half of April. Commodity prices—The general level of wholesale commodity prices ad vanced slightly from the middle of March to the m iddle of April. Federal maximum prices for cem ent, lum ber, and various other industrial com modities w ere increased. Retail food prices showed little change from February to March, while retail prices of most other commodities continued to advance slightly. Bank credit — Continued growth in currency and the transfers from Treasury war-loan deposits to deposits subject to reserve requirem ents resulted in a decline in excess reserves of m ber banks and in substantial em purchases of Governm ent securities by the Reserve Banks during March and the first three weeks of April. Owing to special factors, excess reserves declined to a low point of 600 million dollars at the end of March but in creased in April and on April 19 were about 900 million dollars, som ewhat less than had generally been held in recent m onths. Federal Reserve Bank holdings of U. S. Governm ent securities were at a new high level of 12.7 billlion dollars on April 19, after increasing by half a billion in the preceding four weeks. Most of the growth was in holdings of Treasury bills. Reporting m ber banks in 101 leading cities reduced their holdings em of Treasury bills by 325 million dollars in the four weeks ending April 12, while holdings of other Government securities showed little change. The greater part of the decline in bill holdings in the four-week period occurred at banks outside New York and Chicago, but there were wide fluctuations within the period reflecting transactions at Chicago banks associated with the April 1 personal property tax assessment date in Illinois. Loans for purchasing or carrying Governm ent securities continued to decline, as repaym ents were made on funds advanced during the Fourth War Loan Drive; these loans to brokers and dealers have fallen by 450 million dollars since the end of the drive and are now less than at any time in recent months; loans to others, which, rose by 600 million during the drive have subsequently declined by 400 million. Commercial loans declined by 210 million over the m onth. Adjusted dem and deposits, which declined som ewhat in the latter half of March, increased during the first half of April, bringing the total out standing to about a billion less than the level prior to the opening of the drive. Governm ent deposits at these sam banks fell by 1.5 billion dollars e during the four weeks ended April 12.