View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

F rederick L, Demin*

Monthly Review
B

Volume X X X I

A

N

MAY, 1949

K

Number 5

The Recreation-Travel Industry in the Eighth District
Nearly everybody likes to travel. The pure en­
joyment of motion, the adventurous fun of discover­
ing new places away from a routine habitat have
always excited human beings. Except for this
spirit, few important geographical discoveries (in­
cluding that of America) could ever have been
made. Today not much of the globe remains to be
revealed. But the spirit of travel and adventure
somehow goes on. The average man— doctor,
salesman, banker— still needs an outlet for this
urge. So he takes a vacation.
Increased leisure time helps make this possible.
Advances in science, which give Americans auto­
mobiles and paved highways, enable them to travel
hundreds or even thousands of miles from home.
The traveler, given a wide choice, naturally seeks
out those areas which can offer him the most not
only in facilities for recreation but also in unfamiliar
sights. Drawn by just these attractions, a large
number of people have been coming to parts of
the Eighth Federal Reserve District. They have
discovered in its lakes, rivers, springs, and forests
what they want when their week or month of relax­
ation comes around. In response to this interest
hundreds of different sorts of businesses have
sprung up. W e have a large, expanding “tourist
industry.”
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INDUSTRY
It is almost a misnomer, in a sense, to refer to
the business of providing goods and services for
travelers and recreationists as an “industry.” Par­
ticularly is this true if the term “industry” brings



to mind the picture of a business organization
highly concentrated and well organized. Neither
term would describe the tourist industry— or the
travel and recreation industry, as the specialists
prefer to call it— in this district.
The geographical locations of tourist or recrea­
tion areas in the district tend to conform pretty
much to the location of mountains, rivers, lakes,
springs, and forests, and hence are widely distrib­
uted. The map on page 71 does not show the loca­
tion of all the tourist attractions in the district.
Neither does it show individual, privately-operated
establishments since these, too, are found almost
everywhere. It does suggest the general location of
recreation areas.
By no stretch of the imagination can the industry
in this region be regarded as highly concentrated,
either in terms of activities that constitute it or in
terms of its geographical location. It is part pri­
vate enterprise and part public. From the point
of view of private enterprise the tourist industry
essentially is a hodge-podge of many different kinds
of businesses. Some of these, such as resorts,
hotels, tourist courts, transportation companies, and
restaurants, obviously are part of the industry.
They cater to the basic requirements of tourists.
But the industry in this district has many more
facets. It includes postcards and pottery, filling
stations and fly fishing, baskets and boats. It
includes the operator who will guide you through
a cave for seventy-five cents and the one who takes
you “where they're biting” for five dollars a day.

It’s the private enterpriser who picks up rocks from
the Ozark hillsides and stream beds during the
off-season and sells them to tourists at prices rang­
ing from twenty-five cents to as many dollars. It
includes the owner of a roadside stand where cedar
novelties are sold and the promoter of float fishing
trips down the winding rivers.
The tourist industry, however, isn't limited to
private enterprise. Government— Federal, state and
local— also enters in. None of these public bodies
is organized for the express purpose of participat­
ing in the tourist business as such. Nevertheless
many of their policies directly affect the private
enterprise portion of the tourist industry. The rela­
tionship is obvious in the case of national and state
parks, forests, recreation areas, and historical sites
that are publicly owned and administered. In this
district there are two national parks: Hot Springs,
Arkansas, the first to be established in the United
States, and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. There are
64 state parks that cover some 140,000 acres. Addi­
tional thousands of acres of forests have been set
aside for public use. Numerous recreation areas
and roadside parks are scattered through the dis­
trict, and historical sites are found almost every­
where. In these cases the responsible governmental
unit directly tries to make certain areas available
for travel and recreation.
Recreation areas can also be created as a by­
product of government projects. When this hap­
pens the public agency involved discovers it has
come into the tourist business by the back door.
The U. S. Army Engineers, for example, build
power and flood control dams. These dams create
lakes and the day the impounded waters reach their
normal level, the Engineers find themselves in the
middle of the tourist business.
The dispersion of this business has given it a
problem in acquiring a characteristic common to
most other major industries— organization. Of
course, individual commercial operations may be
and usually are well organized. In some local areas
there are tightly-knit organizations of commercial
Operators. Some progress has been made toward
extending the areas in which groups organize for
the purpose of working toward a sounder industry.
As will be discussed later, however, a great deal
of advancement still needs to be made.
Another characteristic of the industry in this
district is one that is more easily understood if the
tourist industry can be seen to comprise two major
parts, travel and recreation. That characteristic
is the wide variation in the types of commercial
Page 70




operations that have developed in the various parts
of the region. In terms of travel these differences
are minimal. The “ tourist,” as distinguished from
the person who travels to a resort or recreation
area and remains there for a vacation period, will
find the same type, although perhaps not the same
quality, of facilities in all parts of the district. His
principal requirements are met by hotels, motels,
tourist courts, eating establishments, filling stations,
and probably some souvenir-vending operations.
But the person who is not just passing through
will find obvious differences in the types of facilities
emphasized in various parts of the district. Basic­
ally these differences reflect variations in topogra­
phy. In the Ozark and Ouachita mountains, for
example, one would expect recreational facilities
to be different from the type prominent in the por­
tion of the district east of the Mississippi River or
in the Bootheel section of Missouri. Tourist resort
areas have been developed more in the mountainous
parts of the district, particularly in Arkansas and
Missouri. In the district portions of Illinois, Ken­
tucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, emphasis in the
past has been directed largely toward developing
state parks and recreation areas, toward publicizing
local points of historical interest, and, from the
private enterprise side of the picture, toward the
non-resort type of development. There are some
exceptions in these areas, such as the Sardis Lake
area in Mississippi, where the world's largest dirt
dam forms a lake that attracts many vacationists.
In other words, the industry in these sections has
aimed more at the tourist who is passing through
than at the one who wants to stay a while.
Another characteristic of the tourist industry in
this district is that typically it is small business*
This is not true of the large city hotels, or of some
individual commercial operations in the resort areas.
But for every large enterprise there are scores of
small establishments along the highways, lakes,
rivers.
They are small-scale in terms o f capital invest­
ment. There are numerous examples of souvenir
shops and roadside stands in which the capital in­
vestment can be measured in terms of hundreds of
dollars. Higher on the ladder are tourist courts and
resort hotels. Most of the former, when located
outside the metropolitan areas, represent an invest­
ment, at present-day prices, ranging from $1,500 to
$5,000 per unit. Resort hotels require a larger, and
in some cases a sizable amount of capital. Even
then the initial capital requirements are relatively
small when compared with individual operations
in the many other major industries.

The typical individual enterprise in this industry
also is small-scale in terms of employment require­
ments. One of the larger resort hotels at a Missouri
lake employs only seventeen workers. In Southern
Indiana, the lodges of the state parks employ only
forty to fifty workers during the season’s peak
months. Tourist courts and fishing lodges often
are operated by the owner, his wife and perhaps one
or two additional employees. In other types of
business in this industry, employment requirements
for an individual operation are likewise small. In
total, however, the industry provides employment
for a substantial number of people.
The industry is seasonal in character, but the
seasons are not identical in all parts of the district.
There are differences, too, among the various types
of operations. In the resort areas the season gen­
erally extends from May through Labor Day. One




outstanding exception, of course, is Hot Springs,
where year-round attractions are offered. In resort
areas elsewhere in the district, the season gradually
is being lengthened. Many individual operators
schedule openings in mid-March and closings are
extended to November; in some instances the
season has been stretched to nine or ten months.
However, the peak months continue to fall between
June and Labor Day in the case of most resorts,
fishing camps and the like. In some parts of the
district, where tourist volume is influenced by such
activities as duck shooting, seasonal variations differ
from those in other areas. This is apparent in the
Stuttgart, Arkansas, Crab Orchard Lake, Illinois,
and Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee, sections where tour­
ist business is large at a time when it is near the
seasonal low point in most other parts of the
district.
Page 71

Tourist courts and hotels tend to enjoy a season
much longer than average. This is particularly
true of establishments located on principal high­
ways leading farther south and toward the South­
west, which accommodate tourists from the North
who are on their way south for mid-winter vaca­
tions.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF THE INDUSTRY
The principal importance of tourist business in
the Eighth District lies in the fact that it results
in a sizable flow of income into sections of the dis­
trict where it is sorely needed. Many times in the
past this Review has commented on the relatively
low income character of the Eighth District as a
whole. In the March issue attention was drawn
to the wide variations in income levels among vari­
ous sections of the district. These differences were
described for Arkansas and Missouri.
In general, the areas in which tourist and par­
ticularly recreational attractions are located and
which are most suited to further development along
these lines historically have been relatively low in­
come areas. There are some exceptions to this
generalization: the Hot Springs, Fayetteville and
Fort Smith trade areas in Arkansas and the Kansas
City, Missouri trade area which includes the resort
town of Excelsior Springs. Further refinement of
the income estimates for these trade areas, however,
would reveal the extent to which they are influenced
by the relatively high income levels in the non­
tourist portions of the areas. Even so it is signifi­
cant that Hot Springs, probably the most highly
concentrated and specialized recreation center in
the district is among the higher-than-average in­
come areas.
There are obvious reasons why the areas in this
district that are most suited to development as
recreation centers rank relatively low in terms of
income. They are mountainous areas, generally un­
suited to large-scale agricultural development. In
some sections local industries have grown up, but
industrial development has been slow and in many
cases the outlook for the future along these lines
is not particularly bright. Usually they are sparsely
populated and while comparing favorably with other
rural areas, in general have failed to equal the
average rate of population growth for the state as
a whole. In brief, under present conditions their
principal resources are climate, scenery, lakes,
rivers, forests and the other recreation assets. W ith
few exceptions, they are not suited to a high level
of industrial or agricultural development and hence
do not enjoy an income status comparable with that
in other parts of the district.
Page 72




This situation is recognized by many people in
these areas and efforts are being made to build
their economies around the tourist industry. Con­
siderable progress has been made, and even at the
present time a sizable amount of income flows into
these areas as a result of the tourist business.
Nevertheless, there is a great deal of potential
growth yet to come.
H ow Much Does the Tourist Spend?— Unfor­
tunately, it is almost impossible to obtain statistical
measures of the value of this business, particularly
in terms of the district as a whole. Most of the
district states have made estimates that have vary­
ing degrees of reliability. In Arkansas, volume is
estimated at $125 million by the Resources and De­
velopment Commission. Tourist expenditures in
Kentucky are placed at $184 million, and in Mis­
sissippi travel and recreation expenditures are esti­
mated at $200 million. In Missouri, the Resources
and Development Commission claims $200 million
were spent in 1948, while in Tennessee state-wide
volume is estimated at $150 million by the Ten­
nessee Tourist and Development Association.
Estimates such as these provide material that is
useful in comparing the tourist volume in these
states with that in other states. They do not indi­
cate what this business means to specific com­
munities, the areas where tourist business is of vital
importance to the people. In Missouri, for example,
the estimated $200 million of tourist expenditures
represents only a fraction of total income received
by individuals in this state. But in Branson, Lake
Ozark and other communities whose people are
directly dependent to a large extent on tourists’
expenditures, their respective shares of this $200
million are of vital importance. The real sig­
nificance of this business can be evaluated only by
relating tourists’ expenditures to total income in
the smaller areas where income from other sources
is negligible. At the present time, data of this type
also are not available.
Estimates have been obtained from some com­
munities, however, which at least suggest the sig­
nificance of the tourist business at the local level.
In Branson, Missouri, for example, reasonably
reliable estimates indicate that tourists spend ap­
proximately $3.0 million to $4.0 million annually.
On the basis of these estimates, tourists’ expendi­
tures in Branson alone approximately equal 8 to
10 per cent of the aggregate income received in
Barry, Stone, Christian, and Taney counties as esti­
mated in the March Review. Put another way,
they are equivalent to 15 to 20 per cent of the com­
bined value of all retail trade in the four counties.
A similar picture can be obtained in the area of

Mountain Home, Arkansas. This small town is
the trading center of a four-county area in the
Norfork Lake region of Arkansas but derives a
substantial part of its income from fishermen, tour­
ists and vacationists. Local citizens there estimate
that in the lake area tourist expenditures amount to
$2.5 million a year. Such estimates very likely
overstate the actual volume. But even if reduced
20 per cent, the result still suggests how important
the tourist business is to the people in that region.
Even on this conservative basis, tourists’ expendi­
tures would equal about 8 per cent of the total in­
come received in all four counties of the Mountain
Home area and would equal roughly 20 per cent of
the area’s total retail trade volume.
In Eureka Springs, Arkansas, tourists’ annual ex­
penditures are said to approximate $5 to $6 million
annually. An analysis similar to that used above
suggests that expenditures in this resort center are
equivalent to roughly 15 per cent of total income
received in the five-county area in which Eureka
Springs is located and to about 25 per cent of the
value of all retail trade in that area.
Growth of the Industry.— The tourist industry in
this district did not reach its present volume over­
night although the growth trend has been sharply
upward in recent years. Precisely how fast the
business has expanded must be appraised again on
the basis of fragmentary evidence.
The Ozark Playgrounds Association, a coopera­
tive nonprofit organization whose primary center of
interest is the 28-county area in southwest Mis­
souri, northwest Arkansas and northeast Okla­
homa, has published estimates of the trend in that
area. These data indicate that tourists’ expendi­
tures there have increased from $5.5 million in 1928
to $30 million in 1938, and to more than $90 million
in 1948.
At the two national parks in this district— Hot
Springs, Arkansas, and Mammoth Cave, Ken­
tucky— the number of visitors in 1948 was 60 per
cent and 32 per cent larger, respectively, than the
average attendance in 1940-1941, according to re­
ports of the National Park Service. On a shorter
term basis, state park attendance figures provide a
rough measure of recent trends in the tourist busi­
ness. In Missouri, the attendance at state parks
in 1948 was about 30 per cent larger than in 1947,
based on reports covering the same parks each year.
Last year in Kentucky there was a 15 per cent in­
crease in attendance at state parks, excluding in
1948 the almost 900,000 persons who were checked
in at Kentucky Dam, a park which was not in­
cluded in the 1947 tabulations.




The trend also can be measured in some areas in
terms other than total expenditures or the number
of people admitted to a park. In Branson, Mis­
souri the increase in tourist trade has been reflected
almost directly in bank deposit trends. Between
1935 and 1939, deposits increased six times. From
1939 to the off-season level of the past two years,
deposits increased 5.6 times. From the off-season
level to the peak month of the tourist season, de­
posits in 1947 and in 1948 expanded 25 per cent.
It is interesting that the rate of growth from 1939
to the current off-season level is almost twice as
large as the increase in deposits generally during
those years.
At Camdenton, Missouri, one of the trade centers
in the Lake of the Ozarks resort area, local busi­
nessmen estimate that retail volume in that town
has increased about ten times since development
of the resort area began. In Eldon, Missouri, an­
other trade center for this resort area, retail volume
is said to have increased four times between the
completion of the dam in 1931 and 1940, and to have
expanded another four times since 1940.
The growth at Norfork Lake is pointed up by
U. S. Army Engineers’ estimates for that area.
Between 1940 and 1948 the number of vacation re­
sorts, cottage camps, lodges, and the like with over­
night accommodations increased from 13 to 81 in
the area in the immediate vicinity of the lake. The
number of overnight accommodations increased
more than six times to an estimated total of 688
last year, with a total value of about $650,000.
It is estimated that about 500 people in this area
are employed in services dependent on recreationists
as compared with less than 100 in 1940.
W ho Gets the Tourist Dollar?— The economic im­
portance of tourists’ expenditures is often under­
estimated in terms of the total impact of these ex­
penditures on a community’s economy. That owners
of hotels, tourist courts, resorts, fishing lodges,
transportation companies, and eating establish­
ments benefit from these expenditures is readily
recognized. These are the obvious beneficiaries.
Estimates are not available on the portion each
of them receives from the tourist in this area.
Studies have been made, however, in other states
as well as on a national basis. According to the
National Association of Travel Officials one-fourth
of each tourist dollar goes into retail trade channels
for the purchase of goods other than food and
beverages. These latter two items combined ac­
count for 22 per cent of the total. Transportation
expenditures take an additional 19 per cent and
hotels and resorts get 17 per cent. The remainder
is divided among theaters and other amusements
Page 73

(9 per cent), personal service (5 per cent) and inci­
dentals (3 per cent).
The New York State Travel Council estimates
slightly smaller expenditures (17 per cent of total
outlays) for transportation, substantially larger al­
locations (54 per cent) for food, lodging and bev­
erages, and somewhat smaller expenditures (15 per
cent) for retail trade.
In Minnesota, annual studies of the tourist busi­
ness in that state are made by the Department of
Business Research and Development. Separate
studies are made of expenditures by nonresidents
and by residents. These reports show that 43 per
cent of the total expenditures by the average non­
resident party of tourists was for the total bill at
the resort visited by the group. An additional 13
per cent was for food at the resort, unless it was
included in the total bill, and 7 per cent was for
food elsewhere. Thus expenditures for food and
lodging accounted for 63 per cent of total outlays.
Transportation accounted for 11 per cent, retail
buying 9 per cent, sports or recreation 8 per cent
and miscellaneous 9 per cent.
These estimates are similar to those made in
Washington by the Bureau of Economic and Busi­
ness Research at Washington State College. Food
and lodging account for 56 per cent, entertainment
9 per cent, clothing 6 per cent, and all other ex­
penses 29 per cent of tourists’ expenditures in that
state.
While these breakdowns of tourist expenditures
in other areas may not accurately describe condi­
tions in this district, they at least point the direction
of the flow of benefits derived from the recreation­
ist’s dollar.
A Source of Employment.— The complete effect
o f this income does not stop at this point. An im­
portant fact, too often overlooked, is that the in­
dustry provides a source of employment for many
people in portions of the district where compara­
ble employment and wage opportunities are scarce.
Employees of Hotel Rockaway at Rockaway Beach
on Lake Taneycomo, for example, live in the adja­
cent community. This is an area of low agricul­
tural income where a cash farm income of $200 a
year is considered large. Yet this hotel, and others
in the area, provide work opportunities for members
o f these farm families at wages, plus gratuities,
which make a family cash income three or four
times as large as that produced by a year’s farming.
What this means to these families in terms of an
increased standard of living can hardly be evalu­
ated. Whatever improvement results, however,
must be attributed largely to tourists’ expenditures.
Page 74




The industry offers opportunities fpr many people
to supplement the income received from other
sources. Farmers living on the main highways
often operate souvenir stands or serve as guides *
for float fishing trips. In many instances, income
they receive from such activities is equal to or in
excess of that received from their farm work during
the remainder of the year. In some cases these
small operations have an amazing record of earn­
ings. One example is the elderly Ozark farmer and
his wife who, in the short span of eight years, have
built up a net worth reliably estimated at $20,000,
from the operation of a souvenir stand in their front
yard which happens to be located on a national
highway.
POTENTIAL FUTURE DEVELOPMENT IN THE
DISTRICT
There is a firm conviction among the people who
are actively engaged in the recreation-travel in­
dustry in the district that the industry is under­
developed. That this opinion is expressed by the
promoters in the field is not surprising. But opera­
tors of tourist courts, hotels, fishing camps and
lodges agree. Even more important, the expressed
need for further development is not restricted to
any part of the district. The future may prove to
be somewhat less attractive than the more exuber­
ant forecasters paint it. But there is little doubt
that in many areas substantial opportunities exist
for further development.
Several basic factors justify an optimistic long­
term outlook with respect to the industry in this
district. One is that increasing numbers of people
have time to take vacations. The shorter work
week and widespread adoption of paid-vacation
plans in industry have given people additional leis­
ure time during their active years. Another is that
modern means of transportation enable people to
visit different places during their leisure time.
Closely related is the trend toward wider adoption
of retirement and pension programs which make
for earlier retirement from active employment, and
for more leisure time.
Studies generally indicate that the most popular
means of transportation used by tourists is the
family automobile. This has been true for many
years. Until fairly recently, however, many of the
most attractive recreation areas in this district were
almost inaccessible to the motorist because of the
poor condition of the roads. Tremendous strides
have been made by all the district states toward
making the natural scenic areas accessible, so that
today there are few recreation areas that the motor­
ist cannot reach. The road-building programs of the
district states probably have contributed more than

any other single factor to the present status of the
tourist business in this region. But development
beyond the present level calls for more roads, into
the remaining scenic areas not now developed, and
better roads where the present quality leaves some­
thing to be desired.
The future trend in tourists' expenditures will be
contingent upon the trend in consumers’ income.
Vacation expenditures can be curtailed sharply in a
period o f depression and expanded rapidly in pros­
perity. The tourist industry operators in this dis­
trict are not immune to these fluctuations. There
is reason to believe, however, that curtailment
would be relatively less drastic here than in many
vacation centers elsewhere in the nation. In part
this belief is based on the central location of this
district with respect to a large part of the country.
A considerable volume of tourist traffic almost in­
evitably will come into this district at some point,
whether the traveler intends to spend his vacation
in this area or is on his way to other sections of the
country.
It also reflects the fact that this is a relatively
low-cost vacation area with a considerably longer
season than can be enjoyed in many tourist centers.
If travel experts’ predictions hold— that with a
decline in consumers’ income, vacationists will con­
tinue to take trips, but will choose areas near home
and will look for the lower-cost vacation spots—
tourist business in this district should make a rela­
tively better showing than that in many other
parts of the country. At the present time few
operators in this district anticipate a decline in busi­
ness this year, basing their estimates on inquiries
and reservations received to date.
Possibilities in Specific Localities.— In the Missouri-Arkansas portion of the district, the future
possibilities are enhanced considerably because of
the dams and lakes proposed for construction in
that area. Norfork Lake, with a power pool shore­
line of 380 miles and a flood control shoreline of
510 miles, already is an important recreation center.
Bull Shoals Dam is under construction and the res­
ervoir to be formed by this dam will have a power
pool shoreline of 740 miles and a flood control shore­
line of 1,050 miles. Further to the west, construc­
tion o f Table Rock Dam has been approved by the
U. S. Army Engineers. This reservoir will have a
power pool shore line of 745 miles and a flood con­
trol shoreline of 857 miles. In each of the latter
two projects the resultant lakes will offer vast
opportunities for entirely new recreational develop­
ments.
Certain areas, to realize the fullest possible in­
come potential, may have to develop their tourist




business along lines different from those followed
in the past. In southern Illinois, for example, a
distinct need for resorts is felt by those who are
concerned with the development of recreation facili­
ties in that area. A concerted effort is being made
to develop more fully the advantages of the Crab
Orchard Lake section of the state, where there is
a 7,000-acre lake inside a 66,000-acre wildlife refuge.
This type of operation, essentially designed to hold
tourists in an area, has not received as much atten­
tion there as the enterprise that caters to one or twoday vacationers or to people who are passing
through the area. Generally a similar situation
prevails in most of the district portions of Ken­
tucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and, to a lesser de­
gree, of Indiana. In this last state, however,
excellent facilities for the vacationist are found in
many of the state parks. Long-range opportunities
for resort development also are found at the Ten­
nessee Valley Authority’s Kentucky Lake— a lake
184 miles long with a shoreline of 2,380 miles at
maximum normal operating level— located in west­
ern Kentucky.
PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN FURTHER
DEVELOPMENT
Part of the district’s potential future volume of
tourist business can be realized with little effort.
Being relatively new and undeveloped as a recrea­
tion center it has ahead of it a certain amount of
natural growth. It is a relatively low-cost vacation
area with a good location and a long season. These
qualities alone should bring many people into the
area and result in further growth.
The district will have more difficulty in attain­
ing, among the nation’s leading vacation centers,
the position of importance that seems reasonable
on the basis of the area’s natural advantages. An­
swers must be found to a number of problems.
Most of these are not insurmountable, but their
solution will require effort by many people.
A large part of this effort will need to be directed
toward developing a degree of organization even
higher than that existing at the present time. Or­
ganization makes for cooperation and coordination.
These qualities are necessary if the industry is to
achieve its potential professional status. They are
necessary also to the attainment of the industry’s
potential volume of future business. There is a
need for even more organization, cooperation and
coordination among commercial operators, among
public agencies, and also between the private por­
tion of the industry and public agencies. Substan­
tial progress of this sort has already been made in
some parts of the district, but on the long road to
Page 75

the final goal considerable distance is yet to be
covered.
Advertising and Promotion.—There are definite
channels into which the activities of a well-organ­
ized industry, working closely with the interested
public agencies, could be directed. One of these
is advertising and promotion. Effective promotion
is a basic requisite in building tourist volume.
Tourists can hardly be expected to spend time and
money in an area they know nothing about. Some
types of publicity are inexpensive, but sound pro­
motion costs money. The individual cost is less,
however, when the burden is shared than when it
is carried alone. Hence, advertising should be a
joint responsibility of the state and the industry.
Attracting tourists into an area is only part of the
job and this can be done with advertising. But
once they are here they must be induced to remain
for their vacation—not encouraged to drive on to
another area. Furthermore, the desire to return
next year must be stimulated. T o accomplish these
objectives is complex and difficult. Facilities must
be made available to the vacationist for a variety
of recreations. Not all tourists like to fish or swim
or play golf. They may like tennis or horsebackriding. Resort centers in the district need to ex­
pand the range of their facilities in order to make
the tourist want to stay longer and return next
year. Repeat business is important. The commer­
cial operator who makes his place so attractive that
his guests return year after year has accomplished
two advantages. His direct advertising costs are
reduced and in addition he gets free advertising
from satisfied guests.
Supervising the Industry.—A well-organized in­
dustry also could work toward another objective
closely related to the problem of building a per­
manent tourist business. This is the supervising
or perhaps policing of the industry. An organiza­
tion of commercial operators in a specific area, for
example, might well take on the responsibility of
preventing misleading advertising. It could estab­
lish and enforce standards of sanitation in its area.
There is a need for this kind of activity. Local
organizations, in cooperation with public bodies,
would do well to work not only toward establish­
ing standards for various types of operations but
also toward making these standards known in order
that tourists can evaluate the quality of the estab­
lishment. The reason is simple—one dissatisfied
guest can divert many potential vacationists from
any resort.
Training Personnel.—A third objective could be
an informal training program for the personnel in­
volved in the industry. Such a program would be
Page 76




directed toward the problem of making local peo­
ple, engaged in some phase of the tourist business,
aware of the extreme importance of courteous treat­
ment of tourists. It also could emphasize the im­
portance of being aware of the points of interest
the tourist might want to see while m the com­
munity. It is not realistic to expect touring parties
to come equipped with a detailed knowledge of an
area. Unless the desk clerk, the waitress, the
tourist court attendant or some other local resident
can tell him what he should visit in the area, there
is a strong likelihood that the party will drive on.
If one objective of a community is to hold the
tourist in that particular area, part of the technique
is to see that participants in the industry are aware
of the tourist attractions the community has. This
can be accomplished in large part through organ­
ized effort. In some of the district states a start
has been made. In Arkansas the State Depart­
ment of Education, working with the industry, in
1947 instituted a program of highly successful
tourist courtesy schools. In Missouri the Resources
and Development Commission and the State De­
partment of Education work with local area or­
ganizations in a program designed to make better
“ hosts” of all persons who come in contact with
the public.
Providing Facts to Aid Financing.—A fourth ob­
jective of an industry organization is one that is
not readily recognized as an essential need. Unlike
most other important industries, the tourist indus­
try has accomplished very little toward providing
basic facts about its operation. Some information
is available, but reliable statistical data measuring
even the value of the tourist business are not com­
piled. The industry needs to know more about
itself: where its business comes from, what tourists
buy and how much they spend. Operators should
have an over-all measure of trends in their area and
in other areas in order to make more effective and
efficient plans for their own operations. Cost fig­
ures should be compiled for various types of opera­
tions. All this information should be gathered
regularly on a strictly confidential basis, and tabu­
lated and published in a manner that would pre­
serve the confidential nature of the information.
The need for this type of data is directly related
to one of the principal problems confronting the
industry in this district. There is a need for addi­
tional tourist facilities—hotels, tourist courts, re­
sorts, and the like. But in many areas capital is
not readily available for the construction of such
projects. Part of the capital requirements, par­
ticularly for the financing of expansion, is being
supplied by local banks. In some cases insurance

companies are the source of funds. But financing
is a problem in most parts of the district where
sizable amounts would be required for the develop­
ment of needed facilities.
The lack of reliable information on the operations,
trends and potentials of the tourist business is un­
doubtedly a major reason new capital requirements
are difficult to obtain. Lending agencies are not
willing to direct funds into an industry about which
so little is known—especially when much of the
opinion held with respect to the industry is based
on a misconception of its importance and possibili­
ties. Lending agencies generally are familiar with
most other industries and individual operations be­
cause they have financed them for years. The
tourist business has grown large in a hurry, and
banks and other sources of funds have not been
able to establish a reliable set of criteria by which
loan applications in this field can be evaluated.
Part of this problem could be solved if the industry
could make available the facts that lending agen­
cies need. In other words, an organized effort to
improve the quantity and quality of the statistical
information could well be of vital importance to
the future development of the industry.
Coordinating Public and Private Efforts.—A bet­
ter organized tourist industry, finally, would greatly
facilitate the coordination of private and public
objectives in the recreation field. A large number
of public agencies are now involved, directly or
indirectly, in the recreation field. There also are
numerous private operators in the industry. It is
difficult for any one of the public agencies to con­
sult with all the tourist operators in their area under
present conditions. Yet such consultation is mu­
tually advantageous. With the industry better
organized, it might well serve in an advisory capac­
ity to development agencies, conservation com­
missions, park boards, the Army Engineers, high­
way departments, and other public bodies interested
in the recreation-travel industry.
The public has a direct interest in the industry
over and above that related to the operation of pub­
lic recreation areas. This business provides a
source of revenue for Federal, state and local gov­




ernmental units. In Missouri, for example, it is
estimated that sales tax revenue on lodging, meals
and miscellaneous was equal to almost $7.00 for
every dollar the state spent for recreational adver­
tising.
But these are short-term returns. Of more funda­
mental importance is that considerable evidence
points toward the fact that satisfied tourists often
return to the district as permanent residents. In
the Ozark Playgrounds area, for example, requests
for information from would-be residents outside this
area reached such proportions that a permanent
organization of real estate firms has been organ­
ized to handle the requests. The importance of
this tendency for persons outside this area to come
in as residents is suggested by the fact that in
Taney County, Missouri there is an Iowa Associa­
tion with 245 members. An Oklahoma Association,
with headquarters at Bentonville, Arkansas, has 450
members. Even more surprising is that a Texas
Association, with headquarters in Bentonville, held
a meeting near Rogers, Arkansas, and a total of
650 members were present! At Bull Shoals, a new
town being created adjacent to the site of the lake
which will be formed by Bull Shoals Dam, property
has been sold to people representing twenty-one
different states. In each case, many of these in­
dividuals based their decision to become residents
of the district on the favorable impression they
received as tourists. These examples illustrate the
long-term advantages of the industry to the region.
They point up the desirability of organization and
coordination between the industry and public
agencies.
On the surface, some of the problems facing the
industry appear extremely difficult. At the present
stage of the industry’s development, they are. Yet
the future trend of the tourist business in the dis­
trict is likely to be determined to a large extent
by the effectiveness with which these problems are
handled. This district appears to have a large
potential in this field, but the realization of it will
be determined principally by the industry itself.
Weldon A. Stein

Page 77

Survey of Current Conditions
Business sentiment generally is not perceptibly
different now than it was a month ago. The cautious
attitude that prevailed throughout the first quarter
of the year continues to characterize the general
tone of business. Policy with respect to inventories,
production schedules and the whole cost-price rela­
tionship seems designed more and more to meet
the requirements of a buyers’ market. These poli­
cies, however, do not appear to be the steps that
ordinarily would be taken if a severe general de­
pression were anticipated.
Preliminary reports indicate a further decline in
the Federal Reserve Board’s adjusted index of
total industrial production in March. Two of the
five-point decline in the index, which in March was
184 per cent of 1935-1939, reflected sharp curtail­
ment in the production of coal and a further decline
in crude oil. Industrial production in the first three
months thus averaged between 3 and 4 per cent less
than in the final quarter last year or in the first three
months of 1948.
Total employment increased during March, prin­
cipally because of a large increase in agricultural
employment. This increase, together with a smaller
expansion in non-farm employment, was sufficient to
offset the influx of some 425,000 additional workers
to the labor force. As a result, unemployment de­
clined for the first time since late in the third quar­
ter of last year.
PRICES

W H OLESALE PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES
Bureau of Labor
Statistics
(1926=100)
Mar.,’49
All Commodities.... 158.4
Farm Products.. 171.3
Foods ................ 162.9
Other ................ 150.8

Feb./49 Mar.,’48
158.1 ' 161.4
168.3
186.0
161.5
173.8
151.8
147.7

Mar. ,’49, Comp, with
Feb.,'49
Mar.,*48
+ 0.2%
— 1.9%
+ 1.8
— 7.9
+ 0.9
— 6.3
— 0.7
4 - 2.1

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
Bureau of Labor
Statistics
Mar. 15, Dec. 15, Mar. 15,
Mar. 15, ’49 Comp, with
(1935-39 = 100) 1949
1948
1948
Dec. 15, *48 Mar. 15,'48
United States....... 169.5
171.4 * 166.9
‘ — 1.1% ' + 1.6%
St. Louis ......... 169.0
171.1
167.8
— 1.2
+ 0.7
Memphis............. 173.3
174.3
172.4
— 0.6
+ 0.5
R ETAIL FOOD

Bureau of Labor
Statistics
Mar. 15, Feb. 15, Mar. 15,
(1935-39=100) 1949
1949
1948
U. S. (51 cities).. 201.6
199.7 ’ 202.3
St. Louis ......... 207.6
207.1
210.9
Little Rock ..... 198.0
197.2
203.8
Louisville ....... 187.7
189.2
193.9
Memphis ......... 211.9
212.2
219.9

Page 78




Mar. 15, *49 Comp, with
Feb. 15, *49 Mar. 15, *48
- f 1.0%
— 0.3%
4 - 0.2
— 1.6
- f 0.4
— 2.8
— 0.8
— 3.2
— 0.1
— 3.6

The decline in income during the first two months
this year, relative to the final quarter of 1948, has
been considerably smaller percentagewise than that
indicated by employment. In February, total in­
come was at an adjusted annual rate of $217 billion.
In the previous month it was estimated at $219.8
billion. About two-thirds of the February decline
reflected a decrease in farm income which in turn
reflected lower prices as well as a smaller than
normal volume of marketings during the month.
The general price structure has remained rela­
tively unchanged during recent weeks. The slight
firming in agricultural and food prices has tended
to offset some downward drift in average wholesale
prices of other commodities. Of perhaps important
significance, in terms of consumers’ prices for some
products, is the decline in average prices for indus­
trial raw materials. Sharp breaks have occurred
in the scrap metals markets and there have also
been some substantial reductions in prices of new
nonferrous metals. Price declines in these fields
may, in many of the major industries, foreshadow
cost reductions; these in turn might reduce the price
of finished goods for consumers. Should price re­
ductions occur at the consumers’ level they might
well provide a stimulus to retail trade.
Expenditures for new construction in March and
in the first quarter were larger than last year. The
increase in each case was due to larger outlays for
publicly financed construction. Privately financed
work in March totaled less than a year ago after
equalling last year’s volume in February and ex­
ceeding it in January. Private residential construc­
tion declined in March for the seventh consecutive
month and was valued at 16 per cent less than a
year ago. The trend in the construction industry
is being watched with a great deal of interest.
Throughout the postwar period these outlays have
been of great significance to the economy. So far
public outlays have compensated for the declines in
private expenditures.
EMPLOYMENT

March saw the first decline in the number of un­
employed persons in the United States since last
fall, although the decline between February and
March was relatively small. By comparison with
a year ago, however, March unemployment was
almost a third higher: all the increase occurred
among men; the number of unemployed women

was about the same as last year. The national un­
employment rate (the proportion of the labor force
seeking work) was 5.2 per cent in March, 1949, as
compared with 4.1 per cent in March, 1948, 1.1 per
cent in March, 1945, and 15.3 per cent in March,
1940.
Total employment in the nation increased be­
tween February and March principally because of
an increase in agricultural employment. Nonagricultural employment, as reported by the Bureau of
the Census, showed a very slight increase, but this
did not arrest the sharp downward movement evi­
dent since the first of the year. Relative to last year
total employment in March was higher, although
nonagricultural employment was somewhat lower.
Proportionately more employed persons were ac­
tually at work this March than a year earlier. The
number who were away from their jobs because of
bad weather or illness was considerably lower than
last year. On the other hand, there were compara­
tively fewer persons working full time in March,
1949 than in March, 1948. Just 82 per cent of the
total persons employed were working full time (35
hours a week or more) this March as compared
with 86 per cent a year ago. The average work
week was 41.9 hours in March, 1949 as compared
with 42.5 hours in March, 1948.
Nonagricultural employment in the St. Louis area
increased approximately 2,000 between February
and March after declining during the previous two
months. The March employment of 714,000 was
slightly higher than a year ago, although it was
lower than in any month since May, 1948 (with the
exception of February, 1949). Manufacturing em­
ployment in March was approximately the same as
in February and as in March, 1948.
More persons were employed in the service, gov­
ernment, and finance-insurance-real estate lines in
March than a year earlier. Fewer persons were
employed in the mining, public utilities and trade
lines. Approximately the same number of persons
were employed in the construction and manufactur­
ing industries in the St. Louis area.
Employment in the Louisville area declined by
over 5,000 between January and March, 1949, ac­
cording to the Kentucky Department of Econojnic
Security. In the transportation, trade and manu­
facturing industries employment declined during
this period, while it increased in construction and
government. Total employment in March was con­
siderably lower than a year ago, although the num­
ber of employed women was slightly higher. The
total number of unemployed in March, 1949 was
reported to be 28 per cent higher than in March,
1948 and 11 per cent higher than in January.




Employment in the Little Rock area increased
slightly between January and February, in con­
trast to the decline which occurred both in the
nation and elsewhere in the district during this
period. The increase was due entirely to a gain
in manufacturing industries, as nonmanufacturing
employment declined. For the first time since last
August, employment in February was higher than
for the corresponding month a year earlier.
INDUSTRY

Total output in the Eighth District in March was
somewhat larger than in February; but after allow­
ance for the longer work month the rate of indus­
trial activity averaged slightly lower than a month
earlier. Seasonal influences brought increases in
construction activity and in basic lumber operations.
But production of coal and oil, and basic steel op­
erations were considerably lower than in the pre­
vious month, and on a daily average basis
manufacturing output declined in nearly all lines.
Compared with a year ago, industrial activity was
'relatively unchanged.
Electric power consumption in the district's major
industrial centers increased 8 per cent over Feb­
ruary, but average daily consumption declined
about 11 per cent. Except in Pine Bluff, average
consumption decreased in all reporting cities, the
range being from 22 per cent in Little Rock to 6
per cent in Memphis. Compared with a year ago,
consumption was up slightly, although divergent
trends were apparent as between cities. Industries
in Evansville used somewhat less power, and con­
sumption was about the same in Louisville and
Pine Bluff. Increases were registered in the other
reporting cities.
INDUSTRY
CONSUMPTION OP ELECTRICITY
Mar.,
Mar., 1949
Feb.,
No. of Mar.,
1948
Compared with
1949
(K.W.H. Custom- 1949
Mar.,'48
K.W.H.
Feb.,*49
inthous.) ers*
K.W .H. !K.W.H.
— U .2%
+ 3.7%
8,128
9,490 R
Evansville .... 40
8,431
■ 10.8
44,044
— 6.1
4,768
Little Rock.. 35
4,479
— 0.5
70,793 R
69,432
Louisville .... 80
70,408
b 1.4
+20.7
bl3.9
5,407
5,729
Memphis ...... 31
6,527
-30.9
+ 0.7
6,071
4,669
Pine Bluff .... 26
6,111
+ 7.3
75,683
79,428 R
-12.7
St. IfOuis.....139
85,261
+ 7.6%
+ 3.4%
175,233 R
168,409
Totals ..... 351
181,317
"Selected industrial customers.
R—Revised.
LOADS INTERCHANGED FOR 25 RAILROADS AT ST. LOUIS
First Nine Days
Mar., *49 Feb.. *49 Mar., *43 Apr., *49 Apr., ’48 3 m os.’49 3 mos. *48
362,820
319,295
30,956
34,892
108.966
102.274
125.361
Source: Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.
CRUDE O IL PRODUCTION— D A ILY AVERAGE
March, 1949
compared with
Mar.,
Feb.,
Mar.,
Feb.,
(In thousands
Mar.,
1948
1948
1949
1949
ofbbls.)
1949
— 6%
82.8
86.8
- 1%
Arkansas ............... 81.6
- 2
-f- 2
176.8
170.0
Illinois ................ 173.9
- 0 + 29
22.8
17.7
Indiana .............. . 22.9
- 3
— 9
25.1
23.6
299.6
- 2%
306.0
4- 1%
Total ................ 301.3

Page 79

Manufacturing.—Although the rate of operations
in March was slightly lower than in February, ag­
gregate output was larger because of the longer
work month. Compared with February, a decrease
in the average rate of operation was indicated in
the manufacture of automobiles, electrical products,
food, iron and steel, machinery, metals and metal
products, rubber, stone, clay and glass products,
textiles and transportation equipment. Only the
basic lumber and chemical lines showed increases.
Brewing activity held about even.
Steel.—Operations of the basic steel industry in
the St. Louis area in March declined slightly from
February but were considerably higher than a
year ago. Scheduled at 73 per cent of capacity,
March operations decreased from the 80 per cent
rate of February because several furnaces were
shut down for maintenance purposes. Operations
in the first quarter of 1949, however, have averaged
75 per cent of capacity, 9 per cent higher than in
the first quarter of 1948.
Several major steel producers outside the district
have recently announced price cuts similar to those
put into effect by Granite City Steel Company last
month. These reductions, largely in the galvanized
steel lines, reflected lower zinc prices.
Lumber.— Production of basic lumber in the dis­
trict averaged somewhat higher in March but con­
tinued below year-ago levels. Weather conditions
were much improved over February. Operations
of reporting southern pine producers were 8 per
cent higher in March than in the postwar low month
of February. Compared with a year ago operations
were down nearly 12 per cent, however. Weekly
production of southern hardwood mills averaged
72 per cent of capacity, as against 69 per cent in
February and 78 per cent a year ago.
The slackening of demand and the lower prices
during the past four months have caused many
small marginal operators to shut down. A number
of operators apparently expect spring and summer
construction will cause prices to firm or perhaps
go up a bit, but trade reports indicate that buying
is still on a consumption, and not an inventory,
basis.
CONSTRUCTION
BU ILDIN G PERMITS
Month of March
New Construction
Repairs, etc.
Cost
Number
Number
Cost
(Cost in
1949 1948 1949
1948
1949
1948
1949 1948
thousands)
100
94 $ 73 $ 80
80 $ 522 $ 867
Evansville «.... 40
615
581
186 182
76
104
100
little Rock.... . 73
109
264
1,072
72 107
424
204
Louisville ...... . 52
3,001
4,998
217 186
105
147
Memphis ........1,083 1,177
598
. 379
1,863
2,049
266 267
232
S t Itfouis........ 227
819
841 836
Mar. Totals.. 1.475 1,793 $6,265 $9,567
563 440
9S1 £4.473 *4.372
. 893

lull 1

Page 80




Whiskey.—The number of distilleries operating
in Kentucky at the end of March remained un­
changed from February. Thirty-nine of the state’s
63 distilleries were operating at the end of the
month, compared with S3 a year ago. Distillers
continue to produce at a steady rate which reflects
lower grain prices and the anticipation of future
demands when the whiskey becomes of age. Whis­
key produced in 1945 becomes of age this year,
increasing the supply rather substantially.
Whiskey production in Kentucky for February
totaled 7.7 million gallons compared with the 8.3
million gallon output for the previous month and
7.2 million gallons for February, 1948.
Meat Packing.— Meat packing operations in the
St. Louis area in March were about 17 per cent
above the February level but continued below the
level of the same month last year. Nationally, fed­
erally inspected slaughter in March increased 6 per
cent over February and 11 per cent over a year ago.
Federally inspected slaughter at St. Louis totaled
417,000 animals, compared with 357,000 in February
and 486,000 in March, 1948. The gains over Febru­
ary can be traced to the longer work month in
March. Daily average production in March was
slightly lower than in February. Total slaughter
increased over February in all lines except sheep
killings, which declined nearly 26 per cent. Sheep
flocks are at the lowest level on record, and the
short supply has resulted in rising lamb prices. On
a year-to-year basis the decline in killings of all
animals ranged from 7 per cent in cattle and hogs
to 47 per cent in sheep.
Shoes.—According to preliminary estimates 7.6
million pairs of shoes were manufactured in the
district during February. This was 7 per cent less
than in January and 10 per cent below the output
in February a year ago. On a daily average basis
the February rate of operations was slightly higher
than in January and output was higher than any
previous February with the exception of the past
two years. Nationally output totaled 8 per cent
less than a year ago and on a daily average basis
was somewhat higher than in the previous month.
The recent price reduction by International Shoe
Company on men’s shoes was based on the current
market for leather and other raw materials.
Oil and Coal.—Daily output of crude oil for the
district in March averaged 301,000 barrels, which
was 2 per cent below the February level. The de­
cline reflected a decreased output in Arkansas,
Illinois and Kentucky. Indiana production remained
constant. Compared with a year ago output was
up 1 per cent. Declines of 6 per cent and 9 per

cent in Arkansas and Kentucky, respectively, -were
offset by increases of 2 per cent in Illinois and 29
per cent in Indiana.
Production in the first three months of 1949 aver­
aged 306,000 barrels per day compared with 303,000
barrels in the same period of last year. First quar­
ter, 1949, output was higher than the comparable
period of last year in Indiana and Illinois but
lower in Arkansas and Kentucky.
The district’s production of bituminous coal in
March fell below the February level because of the
two-week mine workers' holiday. March output
totaled 7.3 million tons compared with 9.6 million
tons in February and 7.4 million tans in March
1948, when production was curtailed because of a
strike. Total United States production was off 31
per cent from the previous month and 9 per cent
from a year ago.
In the district, decreases from February ranged
from 1 per cent in western Kentucky to 40 per cent
in Indiana. Compared with March a year ago de­
creases in Illinois and western Kentucky, the dis­
trict’s largest producing areas, offset gains in the
other areas.
Construction.— Contracts awarded for construc­
tion in the district in March totaled $44.6 million.
This was nearly 50 per cent higher than the Feb­
ruary total but 6 per cent lower than the March,
1948 level. Increases over February were fairly
evenly divided among residential and nonresidential
building. On a year-to-year basis, however, resi­
dential construction increased nearly 16 per cent
while nonresidential contracts decreased by the
same rate. Dollar value of contracts for the first
three months of the year fell below that of the
same period last year and that of the fourth quar­
ter, 1948 in both residential and nonresidential con­
struction.
Permits authorized for new building and repairs
in the major district cities totaled $7.5 million, a 31
per cent gain over the February total but a 28 per
cent decline from a year ago. For the first three
months of 1949 the value of permits was 21 per cent
lower than for the same period of last year.
Permits issued for new construction totaled $6.3
million of which $4 million was for residential
building. On a month-to-month basis residential
permits gained more than nonresidential, and com­
pared with a year ago the decrease in the latter line
| was somewhat less. The total of residential permits
was higher than in February in all the major dis­
trict, cities except Louisville.




TRADE

Dollar volume of retail sales during March was in
general seasonally higher than during February but
lower than in March, 1948. Non-durable goods re­
tailers attributed much of the drop to the later Eas­
ter date in 1949. Other causes of the decline were
the unseasonably cold weather during March and
some tendency of consumers to wait for additional
price reductions. This tendency was reportedly
abetted by the introduction of new models with
accompanying price cuts on older models.
As measured by sales at reporting furniture
stores, appliance stores and in comparable house­
furnishings divisions of department stores, the sales
volume of durable goods (including automobiles)
dropped sharply under last year both in units and
in dollar volume. The one exception to the decline
in sales of the "big ticket” items has been the con­
tinued growth in sales of television sets.
Eighth District department store sales in March
gained seasonally from February but were 10 per
cent less than in March, 1948. To the previously
noted factors contributing to the general sales de­
cline from last year department store executives
add a return to more '‘normal” shopping habits.
Seasonally adjusted daily average sales in March
were 309 per cent of the 1935-39 average as com­
pared to 310 per cent in February and 318 per cent
in March 1948. Preliminary reports through the
week ending April 16 indicate that sales volume in
the year to date was 2 per cent under the same
period in 1948. Some department store observers
who earlier had anticipated a 3 per cent to 5 per
cent gain in the first four months of 1949 over the
like period last year now expect sales volume to be
slightly under that in the 1948 period.
By comparison with the national average, Eighth
District department store sales in the period through
April 16 turned out slightly better than in the
country as a whole. Eighth District year-to-date
volume, 2 per cent under that in 1948, was bettered
in only the Boston, Richmond, and Cleveland dis­
tricts.
WHOLESALING
Stocks
Net Sales
I/ine of Commodities
Mar. 31,1949
March, 1949
Data furnished by
compared with
compared with
Bureau of Census,
Feb., 1949
Mar., 1948 Mar. 31,1948
U. S. Dept, of Commerce*
+1 3 %
— 10%
Dry Goods
+19
— 7
Groceries
“ 8*
Hardware ..........................
± 5
Tobacco and Its Products.*
+ 6
— 8
+ 3
Miscellaneous ....................
— 6%
+16%
+ 1%
•♦Total All Lines______
•Preliminary.
••Includes certain items not listed above.

Ft

11

Page 81

TRADE
DEPARTMENT STORES
'

Stocks
Stock
Net Sales
on Hand
Turnover
Mar.,’49
3 mos. 1949 Mar. 31,*49 Jan. 1 to
compared with to same comp, with
Mar. 31,
Feb./49 Mar./48 period *48 Mar, 31/48 1949
1948
— 8%
— 2%
— 10%
.90
.94
Ft. Smith, Ark........ 4-20%
Little Rock, Ark..... ,— 1
— 14
- 0— 2
.92
.97
— 15
— 12
— 7
.69
.86
Quincy* 111................+ 3 2
Evansville, Ind........ + 4 4
—21
— IS
— 15
.74
.86
Louisville, Ky.......... +38
— 7
— 4
— 2
.95
1.01
St. Louis Area1.......+25
— 9
— 7
— 5
.89
.91
St. Louis, Mo...... + 2 4
— 10
— 7
— 4
.90
.91
St* Louis, 111.,,+42
— 7
“ -10
........
....
— 19
—20
— 11
.65
.75
Springfield, Mo........ + 40
Memphis, Tenn........ + 19
— 8
+1
— 6
.96
.86
*A11 other cities.......+ 28
— 9
— 3
— 5
.65
.67
8th F.R. District.....+2 4
— 10
— 5
— 5
.89
.90
*1)1 Dorado, Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, Ark.; Harrisburg, Mt. Vernon,
111.; New Albany, Vincennes, Ind.; Danville, Hopkinsville, Mayfield,
Paducah, K y .; Chillicothe, M o.; Greenville, Miss.; and Jackson, Tenn.
1 Includes St. Louis, Mo., Alton, Belleville, and East St. Louis, 1 1
1.
Outstanding orders of reporting stores at the end of March, 1949,
were 28 per cent less than on the corresponding date a year ago.
Percentage of accounts and notes receivable outstanding March 1, 1949,
collected during March, by cities:
Instalment Excl. Instal.
Instalment Excl. Instal.
Accounts
Accounts
Accounts
Accounts
Fort Smith.........%
45%
Quincy .......... 26%
66%
Little Rock.... 22
50
St. Louis ..... . 23
58
Louisville..... 27
51
Other Cities.. 20
57
Memphis ;.... 28
47
8th F.R. Dist. 24
54
INDEXES OF DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND
8th Federal Reserve District
Mar., Feb.,
1949
1949
261
Sales (daily average), Unadjusted2.................. 287
Sales (daily average), Seasonally adjusted*.... 309
310
314
282
Stocks, Unadjusted3 .....................................
Stocks, Seasonally adjusted3 .................... .
323
313
* Daily Average 1935-39=100.
3 End of Month Average 1935-39=100.

STOCKS
Jan.,
1949
238
290
260
303

Mar.,
1948
318
318
319
329

SPECIALTY STORES
Stocks
Stock
Net Sales
on Hand
Turnover
March, 1949
3 mos. ’49 Mar. 31/49 Jan. 1, to
compared with
to same comp, with March 31,
Feb.,’49 Mar.,*48 period *48 Mar. 31/48 1949 1948
Men's Furnishings.— 7%
— 28%
— 2%
+10%
.63
.72
Boots and Shoes___ M l
— 25
— 12
+ 5
.89
1.03
Percentage of accounts and notes receivable outstanding March 1,
1949, collected during March:
Men's Furnishings
54%
Boots and Shoes.................... 49%
Trading days: March, 1949—27; February, 1949—24; March, 1948—27.
R E T A IL FURNITURE STORES**
Net Sales
Inventories
Mar., 1949
Mar., 1949
Ratio of
compared with
compared with
Collections
Feb.,*49 Mar./48 Feb./49 Man/48 Mar./49 Mar./48
St. Louis Area1 + 1 8 %
— 15%
+2%
— 1%
32%
40%
St. Louis.......+ 1 6
— 16
+ 2
— 1
31
40
Louisville Area * + 1 2
— 24
+ 5
+15
18
18
Louisville ..... + 14
—24
+ 6
+16
17
16
Memphis .......... + 1
— 10
+ 4
— 18
18
20
Little R o ck .......— 2
— 2
+ 5
— 5
21
24
Fort Smith .......+ 2 2
— 4
*
*
*
*
8th Dist. Total®+ 1 4
— 15
+ 3
-0 25
30
* Not shown separately due to insufficient coverage,but included in
Eighth District totals.
1 Includes St. Louis, Missouri; and Alton, Illinois,
* Includes Louisville, Kentucky; and New Albany, Indiana.
3 In addition to above cities, includes stores in Blytheville and Pine
Bluff, Arkansas; Hopkinsville, Owensboro, Kentucky; Greenville, Greenwood, Mississippi; Hannibal and Springfield, Missouri; and Evansville,
Indiana.
** 44 stores reporting.
PERCENTAGE D ISTRIBUTION OF FURNITURE SALES
Mar., *49
Feb., *49
Mar., *48
Cash Sales ................................ .
14%
15%
14%
Credit Sales .................................. 86
85
86
Total Sales ................................ 100%
100%
100%

Page 82




At those St. Louis department stores reporting
data on sales by major divisions and by departments,
total store sales in March were 10 per cent under
March, 1948. Basement store sales experience was
better than that in main store divisions. In the
basement divisions, sales gained 4 per cent over
March, 1948 while the upstairs divisions declined
IS per cent in volume. Downstairs women’s and
misses’ ready-to-wear accessories and apparel divi­
sions averaged 7 per cent more than in the same
month last year, while declines of 20 per cent and 5
per cent were registered in the like divisions of the
main store. Men’s and boys’ wear in the basement
division gained 7 per cent in volume over a year
earlier but declined 24 per cent in the upstairs store.
Inventories in terms of value on March 31 at re­
porting department stores were 7 per cent greater
than on February 28 and 5 per cent lower than on
March 31, 1948. Outstanding orders at the end of
March were 25 per cent under those on February 28
and 28 per cent under those at the end of March.
BANKING

In the period from mid-March to mid-April of this
year, banks in the Eighth District continued to
exercise caution and restraint in their lending opera­
tions. Loans declined, investments were reduced
slightly, and deposits dropped some. New loans
are being made with more careful scrutiny of the
credit of the borrower and the use to which the
proceeds will be put. The demand for loans is ap­
parently still large although cautious inventory
policies and price declines have enabled businesses
to do nearly the same physical volume of business
with a somewhat smaller dollar volume of bank
credit.
Total loan volume at the weekly reporting mem­
ber banks in the district declined $40 million in the
four weeks ending April 13, 1949. The behavior
seems to have been mainly seasonal. In the corres­
ponding period in 1948, volume declined $30 million.
There also has been a decline in the first four
months of each year in nine out of the past ten
years. The decline this year was primarily in busi­
ness and agricultural loans, $37 million, although
some reduction was reported in each loan classifica­
tion except security loans to others than brokers
and dealers. Real estate loans have fluctuated
narrowly about their $161 million level since the
second week in January, repeating their 1948 per­
formance. All other loans (largely consumer credit
lbans) declined $1 million in the four-week period
by contrast with a $1 million gain in the corre­
sponding period of 1948. The mid-April 1949 volume
was $5 million below the peak of February 28, 1949.

Of the four major loan classifications otily that of
loans on securities was below a year ago at midApril 1949. Business and agricultural loans were
approximately at the same level as a year ago. Real
estate and “ other" loans were about 10 per cent
above the previous year.
In addition to the largely seasonal decline in loan
volume, there has been a slight drop in the weekly
reporting banks’ investment portfolios. The $20
million decline in Government security holdings
from mid-March to mid-April 1949 was only partly
offset by the $6 million growth in other investments
that took place in the third week of March. Despite
the general decline in Government security holdings
the weekly reporting banks added $21 million to
their Government bond holdings in the four weeks
since mid-March. The other three types of Govern­
ments in the aggregate were reduced, through sales
or allowed run-offs.
In the nine weeks ending March 30, 1949, the
34 weekly reporting member banks apparently have
lengthened their Government portfolios, raising the
proportion in bonds from two-thirds to three-fourths
and allowing the amount invested in bills and cer­
tificates to decline from 27 to 19, per cent of all
Governments.
The level of individual and business demand de­
posits dropped slightly in the four-week period,
reflecting both the receding business loan volume
and the tax payments to Federal and State Gov­
ernments. The $19 million decline contrasted with
a $6 million gain in the corresponding four weeks
of 1948. The mid-April, 1949 level, however, was
still nearly 2 per cent over 1948 for the 34 banks as
a group; five of the six reporting centers also were
above a year ago. Only the Louisville banks re­
ported slightly lower deposits than at mid-April,
1948. Time deposits continued the growth which
began about the first of the year.
AGRICULTURE

Farmers in the Eighth District can look forward
to a probable record, or near-record, wheat crop for
1949. By April 1 winter wheat production in the
nation was estimated at 1,020 million bushels, only
48 million bushels less than the record crop of 1947.
If spring wheat production, with spring wheat acre­
age up 4 per cent, equals last year's 298 million
bushel output, total production will amount to more
than 1,300 million bushels. The expected carryover
of 300 million bushels would push the total supply
for the 1949-50 crop year to 1,600 million bushels.
Since the April 1 forecast for the 1947 crop was




BANKING
PRINCIPAL ASSETS AND LIA B ILITIE S
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF 8T. LOUIS
Change from
Apr. 20, Ivlar, 23,
Apr. 21,
(In thousands ol dollars)
1949
1949
1948
Industrial advances under Sec. 13b.......$ ........... I.
...... . $ ...,...........
Other advances and rediscounts...............
11,275 — 4,356 —
383
U. S. Securities.......................................... 1,150,449 — 20,917 4- 24,418
Total earning assets..............................$1,161,724* $— 25,273 $4- 24,035
Total reserves ........................................... $ 736,611 $4- 27,969 $ + 81,736
Total deposits .......................................#.... 793,196 + 9,911 + 89,477
P. R. notes in circulation.......................... 1,090,785, — 7,343 + 6,509
Industrial commitments under Sec. 13b.!$

$ ............... $—

580

PRINCIPAL ASSETS AND LIAB ILITIES
W EEKLY REPORTING MEMBER BANKS
EIGHTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT
(In thousands of dollars)
34 banks reporting.
Change from
April 20,
March 23,
April 21,
Assets
1949
1949
1948
Gross commercial, industrial, and agricultural loans and open market
paper................................................. $ 547,290 $— 31,208
*
Gross loans to brokers and dealers
in securities..................... .............. .
5,464
—
882
*
Gross loans to others to purchase and
21,561
—
156
#
carry securities ................................
Gross real estate loans........................
160,896
—
430
*
Gross loans to banks............................
1,250
— 2,070
*
Gross other loans (largely consumer
credit loans) ...................................
209,963
— 4,206
*
Total .................................................
946,424
— 38,952
*
9,756
4146
*
Less reserve for losses..................
Net total loans.................................. $ 936,668 $— 39,098
$ + 21,630
28,115
+ 2,794
— 10,961
Treasury bills ...................................
Certificates of indebtedness..........
172,026 — 2,936
+ 59,117
Treasury notes ....................................
45,858
— 1,764
— 36,784
U. S. bonds and guaranteed obliga­
716,531
4. 14,111
-r- 7,903
tions .................................................
Other securities .................................
134,786
—
680
— 10,051
Total investments .......................... $1,097,31<> $4- 11,525
$— 6,582
4. 23,016
+ 47,030
Cash assets ........................................... 772,167
Other assets .......................................
23,772
4.
557
— 1,236
Total assets ......................................$2,829,923 $— 4,000
$4- 60,842
Liabilities
Demand deposits of individuals, part*
nerships and corporations...............$1,429,473 $4- 46,427
Interbank deposits .............................. 542,862
— 8,087
U. S. Government deposits.................
51,646
— 24,671
Other deposits
124,541
■ 12,028
Total demand deposits.................... $2,148,522 $ +
1,641
Time deposits ...................................... 481,909
4- 1,492
6,475
— 7,400
Borrowings .........................................
Other liabilities....................................
16,288
—
344
Total capital accounts..........................
176,729
+
611
Total liabilities and capital accounts.$*2^829^92? $— 4,000

$4—
44*
$44+
-j4$4-

42,506
7,424
10,192
183
45,457
7,102
1,475
1*429
5,379
60,842

Demand deposits, adjusted**.............. $1,352,273 '$4- 28,093
$4- 47,133
*Comparative data not available due to change in method of reporting.
**Other than interbank and government demand deposits, less cash
items on hand or in process of collection.

DEBITS TO DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS
Mar.,
Feb.,
Mar., Mar.,*49 comp, with
(In thousands
1948
of dollars)
_ 1949
1949
Feb.,*49 Mar.,*48
El Dorado, Ark......$ 23,393
18,651 $ 20,994
11 %
39,320
32,258
39,680 +22
Fort Smith, A rk...
— 1
7,982
7,159
7,747 +11
Helena, Ark*
-h 3
105,849
121,419 4-25
Little Rock, Ark. .. 132,089
4- 9
24,068
23,067 +19
28,643
+ 24
Pine Bluff, Ark......
11,142
8,721
10,660 +28
Texarkana, Ark.*..
+ 5
25,691 + 14
24,445
21,371
m u m , j .1*. ...............
Alton, III
— 5
E.St.L.-Nat.S.Y.,IH. 114,259
93,431
110,945 +22
4“ ^
29,868 +19
-0 24,932
Quincy, 111..............
29,784
-091,133
108,691 +19
Evansville, Ind......
108,467
507,579 + 6
-0 477,813
Louisville, Ky........
507,028
+ 19
29,302
25,973 + <
Owensboro, Ky......
31,012
5
— 2
15,081 +15
12^854
Paducah, Ky..........
14,724
18,418
20,108
+ 23
Greenville, Miss.....
22,692
+H
10,679 +16
+ 3
9,506
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
10,981
7,332 +25
6,276
Hannibal, Mo........
7,874
4- 7
— 8
39,609 — 9
40,021
Jefferson City, Mo.
36,562
— 2
1,299,750
1,576,993 +19
St. Louis, Mo........ 1,549,525
8,568
6,365 + 1 2
+ 51
Sedalia, Mo............
9,614
+ 2
53,126 +21
44,488
Springfield, Mo......
53,983
16,831 +20
15,32#
Jackson, Tenn........
18,310
4- 9
— 3
544,488 +14
464,858
Memphis, Tenn......
529,653
- 0 -%
Total....................$3,311,487 ‘ $2,856,437 $3,321,236 + 1 6 %
* These figures are for Texarkana, Arkansas only. Total debits for
banks in Texarkana, Texaa-Arkansas, including banks in the Eleventh
District, amounted to $25,435.

Page 83

nearly 50 million bushels less than the April 1 fore­
cast for the 1949 crop, favorable growing conditions
this spring might result in a record output.

income subsidy which would make up the difference
between market prices and prices which would be
determined equitable.

The acreage of winter wheat has increased 5 per
cent over last season. This has offset the decline
in the acreage of spring sown crops which, according
to farmers’ intentions to plant on March 1, will be
smaller than in any year since 1940. Cotton acreage
(an official estimate will not be made until July)
is expected to exceed that of 1948. Oats acreage,
up from 1948 25 per cent in Tennessee and 13 per
cent in Indiana, down 25 per cent in Mississippi and
11 per cent in Missouri, would remain unchanged
nationally, if weather permitted seeding. Soybean
acreage for the country will drop 4 per cent.

One result of the program, administration leaders
believe, would be to stimulate livestock production,
and increase acreage in hay and other soil conserv­
ing crops rather than wheat and cotton. At the
same time, however, the present system of storing
nonperishable grains would be maintained. Also
acreage controls and marketing quotas would con­
tinue to discourage overproduction of some crops.
Estimated annual cost of the subsidies and price
support program varies from $2 and $10 billion.

PROSPECTIVE ACREAGES, UNITED STATES FOR 1949,
WITH COMPARISONS
1949 compared with
Average
1948
1938-47
— 2%
— 6%
Spring wheat ................................ 20,300
+ 4
+ 8
*o Oats .««.—.......------------------------- 44,506
+ 5
— 19
— 11
Barley »—
— 3
+ 4
— 4
— 3
Soybeans ......... .IM U IH H IM 11,278
K H
IH H
IH I.H
H
-o Rice .................>................................ 1,753
+27
Potatoes........... ...
— 7
— 29
1,980
Hay ------- ------o *
-o •
Source: Crop Production. March 21, 1949. USDA.
Indicated
1949
(thousand acres)

Prices of agricultural products recovered to some
extent from their slump in early February. Hog
prices have declined since March 15, but lamb
prices, reflecting greatly reduced marketings, have
reached record levels. The index (1910-14 = 100)
of prices farmers received on March 15 had climbed
to 261, three points over that of February 15. Prices
paid, including interest and taxes, increased only one
point. So the parity ratio widened from 105 to 106.
Consumers as well as fanners have shown an
understandable interest in the farm program out­
lined on April 7 by Secretary of Agriculture Brannan. The plan would allow prices of meat, eggs,
poultry, fruit and vegetables to fall until, under
free market conditions, equilibrium w ould be
reached. The consumer would then receive the
benefits of large supplies of these perishable prod­
ucts at lower prices. Farmers would sell at these
prices. But the Government would provide an

Page 84




The new plan abandons the parity concept, in use
since the early days of the New Deal, for the idea
of an "income goal.” This goal would be set to
assure farmers the same buying power as in the first
ten years of the preceding twelve-year period. For
1950, if prices paid by farmers remain at present
levels, this would mean an income goal of $26 billion
compared with $31 billion in 1948 and $8 billion in
1939. The guarantee for an individual commodity
would be determined by multiplying the average
price of the product in the immediate past ten years
by the ratio of the minimum income goal to average
cash farm income in the same period.
For example, the ratio of 1950 income goal ($26
billion) to average cash receipts in 1940-49 ($21
billion) is 1.25. The income support price for wheat,
then, would be calculated by multiplying this ratio
by the average price of wheat in the past ten years,
which would result in a support price of wheat in
1950 of $1.88 (125 x $1.50 = $1.88).
AGRICULTURE
CASH FARM INCOME
(In thousands
Feb.,
of dollars)
1949
Arkansas ______$ 36,299
Illinois ------------ 120,778
Indiana ________ 61,837
Kentucky ........... 28,910
Mississippi _____ 49,785
Missouri ___ ,_
_ 64,853
Tennessee
29,307
Totals * — ......$J91,769
*

Feb.,’49 comp, with 2 mos. total Jan. to Feb.
Jan..
Feb.,
1949 oomp. with
1949
1948
1949
1948
1947
— 30% — 1% $ 87,844' + 42%' +27%
— 22
+ 4
275,725
— 5
— 2
— 11
— 2
131,453
— 9
— 1
— 71
+ 3
127,546
+ 14
— 22
—28
+47
119,284
+105
+85
— 19
— 1
144,538
— 3
— 5
— 37
— 3
76,000 — 4
— 15
— 31% + 5 # $962,390 +
'+ 1%

RECEIPTS AND 8HIPMKNTS AT NATIONAL STOCKYARDS
Receipts
Shipments
Mar., Mar.,*49, comp, with Mar., Mar.,*49, comp, with
Feb.,*49 Mar.,*48
1949
Feb„*49 Mar.,*48
1949
“
35,165
Cattle and calves 95,482
62,124
Hogs ...................254,178
Sheep ------------- 23,995
3,001
2,022
Horses .................. 2,022
Totals m im » im
h m 375,677
+ 1 5 % + 1% 102,312