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MONTHLY REVIEW
Of Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of May 31,1935
JOHN S. W O O D ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

FEDERAL

INDUSTRIAL LOANS AND
COMMITMENTS
In the April issue of this review, attention was
called to the provisions of Section 13b of the Federal
Reserve Act which authorize the Federal Reserve
banks to aid in providing working capital for estab­
lished industrial or commercial businesses for periods
of not exceeding five years.
Shortly after enactment of the new section, the
Federal Reserve Board stated in its announcement:
“ R ecogn izing the need of many small and medium
sized industrial and com m ercial businesses for additional
working capital to enable them to continue or resume
normal operations and to maintain em ploym ent or provide
additional em ploym ent, Congress has granted the Federal
Reserve banks very broad powers to enable them to p ro­
vide such w orking capital, either through the medium of
other banks, trust companies and other financing institu­
tions or, in exceptional circumstances, directly to such
commercial and industrial businesses. It is believed that
the facilities thus afforded will aid in the recovery o f
business, the increase of employm ent, and the general
betterm ent of conditions throughout the country.”

The following explanation of how this bank may
assist under the amendment was given in its circular
of March 4, 1935, to all banks in the district:
“ Assum e that a certain business several years ago
had adequate working capital, but, as a result of condi­
tions during the past few years, it has depleted its w ork­
ing capital to such an extent that it is handicapped in
taking care of prospective business. T he enterprise has
sufficient assets and profitable business in prospect to
justify a loan for the purpose of replenishing its working
capital. It is conceded that payment of the loan can not
be made in ninety days or six months, but, if the busi­
ness is to continue normal operations, it will require a
longer period for paym ent . . .
“ In such a case, the Federal Reserve bank is ready
and willing to cooperate with a bank or other financing
institution by reviewing the loan and, if found satisfactory,
by executing a com m itm ent agreeing to purchase or dis­
count the loan at any time during the life of the com m it­
ment. The com m itm ent stipulates the percentage of loss
on the loan which m ay be sustained by the financing insti­
tution (not less than 20 per cent) and the Federal Reserve
bank (up to 80 per cen t), if acquired by the latter . . .
“ In exceptional circumstances, when it appears to
the satisfaction of the Federal Feserve bank that an
established industrial or com m ercial business is unable to
obtain the requisite financial assistance on a reasonable
basis from the usual sources, the Federal R eserve bank
may make direct loans to, or purchase obligations of, such
business, or make commitments with respect thereto, on
a reasonable and sound basis, for the purpose of providing
it with w orking capital . .

The volume of industrial commitments outstand­
ing and the amount of working capital loans held by
this bank, as well as the rates thereon, are given on
page 7 of this review.
Additional information and application blanks will
be furnished gladly by the Federal Reserve Bank of
St. Louis.




C. M. STEW A R T,
Secretary and Ass’t Federal Reserve Agent

RESERVE

BANK

OF

ST.

J. V IO N PAPIN,
Statistician

LOUIS

N the Eighth District industry and commerce
through April and the first half of May was
marked by a considerable degree of unevenness.
In the main, changes from the similar period imme­
diately preceding were influenced by seasonal con ­
siderations, with the principal factor making for
decreased activities being the long spell of unsea­
sonably cold and wet weather. The movement of
all descriptions of spring merchandise through retail
channels was greatly restricted by the almost con­
tinuous rains, and this reacted adversely on the
wholesaling and jobbing trade and certain phases of
productive activities. In practically all manufactur­
ing lines investigated by this bank operations re­
ceded from March to April, and production as a
whole for the latest month was below that of the
corresponding period a year ago. Owing to lateness
of the season and price uncertainties, merchants
generally were disposed to purchase with more
caution and conservatism than was the case during
the past several months. In numerous instances
manufacturers were following the policy of using
up inventories of raw materials and acquiring only
such additional amounts as required for immediate
needs.
Of the wholesale lines investigated, April sales
of electrical supplies, packing and hardware showed
increases both as compared with the preceding
month and a year ago. Boots and shoes increased
contra-seasonally from March to April, but de­
creased slightly below a year ago, and decreases
in both the month-to-month and yearly compari­
sons were recorded in dry goods and drugs and
chemicals. Substantial gains were recorded in April
sales of furniture and groceries over that month
in 1934, but decreases under March this year. Sales
of automobiles increased sharply over the April,
1934, total and also showed a moderate increase over
the preceding month. While receding somewhat
from its peak for the year, the iron and steel indus­
try in this district continued at a high rate of activi­
ty. As has been the case for the past several months,
relatively the best showing was made by specialty
makers, notably of farm implements, stoves, house­

I

Page 1

hold appliances, etc. Production of bituminous coal
in fields of the district decreased in somewhat larger
than the seasonal amount from March to April.
Activities in the lead and zinc mining fields in early
May were greatly curtailed by labor troubles.
Effects of the wet weather on distribution were
most acutely felt in the rural areas, and more partic­
ularly flooded sections. Purchasing of farm supplies
of all descriptions was deferred, sales of seeds,
plants, insecticides, and kindred commodities being
in measurably smaller volume than during the same
period a year ago. Planting of spring crops is from
two to three weeks behind the seasonal schedule,
and in many localities these operations will be fur­
ther held back by wet soggy fields. At mid-May
indications were that an unusually large amount
of replanting of tobacco, cotton and some other
crops would be necessary. As an offset to these
conditions, however, has been the beneficial effect
on soil conditions from the abundant moisture, fol­
lowing four years of deficient rainfall. The condi­
tion of the growing wheat crop is high, with indica­
tions for a yield in states of this district approxi­
mately 16 per cent above the five-year (1928-1932)
average. Pastures and the condition of livestock
have also undergone marked improvement.
According to officials of railroads operating in
this district, all classifications of freight handled,
with the exception of forest products, ore and mis­
cellaneous, continued the downward tendencies
noted during the preceding thirty days. Decline in
the movement of coal and coke was somewhat great­
er than the seasonal average. For the year to date,
total volume is slightly below that for the like
period in 1934, but measurably larger than in 1933.
For the country as a whole loadings of revenue
freight for the first 18 weeks this year, or to May 4,
totaled 10,382,849 cars, against 10,510,874 cars for
the like period in 1934 and 8,801,977 cars in 1933.
The St. Louis Terminal Railway Association, which
handles interchanges for 28 connecting lines, inter­
changed 75,298 loads in April, which compares with
75,939 loads in March and 73,693 loads in April,
1934. For the first nine days of May the interchange
amounted to 20,954 loads, against 21,720 loads dur­
ing the corresponding period in April, and 21,979
loads during the first nine days of May, 1934. Pas­
senger traffic of the reporting lines in April was 9
per cent smaller than for the same month last year.
Estimated tonnage of the Federal Barge Line be­
tween St. Louis and New Orleans in April was
153,900 tons, against 108,468 tons in March, and
90,489 tons in April, 1934.
The general status of collections in the district
during April and the first half of May was some­
Page 2




what less favorable than during the preceding sev­
eral months. In the main, April settlements with
wholesaling and jobbing interests compared favor­
ably with recent records and a year ago, the reces­
sionary tendencies being manifest principally in pay­
ments to retailers in the rural areas. This was
ascribed in large part to the continuous rains and
lateness of the planting season, also preoccupation
of farmers with spring work. Backwardness of the
season for early fruits and vegetables has militated
against collections in areas where these crops are
important. In the tobacco sections liquidations has
been in considerable volume, following completion
of marketing of the 1934 crop. Considerable spotti­
ness is reported in their collections by retail mer­
chants in the chief urban centers. Questionnaires
addressed to representative interests in the several
lines scattered through the district showed the fol­
lowing results:
E xcellent

Good

Fair

P oor

April,
1935............... 2.3% 36.8% 55.2%
5.7%
March, 1935............... 2.4
36.8
52.8
8.0
April,
1934............... 3.1
44.3
50.6
2.0
Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District in April, according to Dun and Bradstreet, numbered 42, with liabilities of $460,527,
against 44 defaults in March, with liabilities of
$590,762, and 24 failures for a total of $305,505 in
April, 1934.
MANUFACTURING AND WHOLESALING
STOCKS
ON H A N D
April, 1935
4 months ending Apr. 30, 1935
compared to
April 30, 1935
compared to
Apr. 1934 Mar. 1935 comp, to 1934
Apr. 30, 1934
— 3.8% 4- 6.7%
— 12.4%
4-60.5%
— 6.5
— 5.4
— 3.3
4-49.7
— 6.5
— 7.3
— 15.3
— 13.9
4-10.3
4-10.9
4- 9.4
4-11.1
— 14.1
+ 23.7
— 8.6
4-18.4
4-11.9
— 2.6
— 3.3
4- 4.6
— 2.9
4-15.3
4- 5.7
4- 2.9
N ET SALES C O M PA R ISO N

C O M M O D IT Y

Boots and Shoes.........
Drugs and Chemicals..
Dry Goods...................
Electrical Supplies......
Furniture................. .
Groceries.....................

— 0.2

4- 0.9

— 8.4

4 -11.2

Boots and Shoes — April sales of the reporting
interests increased from March contrary to the usual
seasonal experience, expectations being for a de­
crease of approximately 4 per cent. For the fourth
successive month the April total fell below that of
the corresponding month a year earlier. Invento­
ries decreased slightly during the month, but con­
tinued substantially larger than last year. Factory
operations declined in April, both as contrasted with
the preceding month and a year ago. There was
little change in the ratio of accounts outstanding
to net sales between March and April.
Clothing — Adverse weather conditions prevailing generally through the district have tended to
hold down the movement of apparel through retail
channels, and this has reacted upon the business of

producers, wholesalers and jobbers. April sales of
the reporting clothiers fell 4.5 per cent below the
preceding month and 11 per cent below a year ago.
Inventories decreased 11 per cent between April 1
and May 1 and on the latest date were 7 per cent
less than a year earlier. Manufacturers of certain
lines of women's and children’s clothing report
advance ordering in slightly smaller volume than
at this time in 1934.

Groceries — Lateness of the spring has adverse­
ly affected sales of farm supplies and other mer­
chandise consumed chiefly in the rural areas. Gen­
erally though the district purchasing of seeds and
kindred lines has been in smaller volume than a
year ago. Demand for canned goods has been stim­
ulated by the backward movement of early fruits
and truck crops. The trend of prices continued
upward.

Drugs and Chemicals — A decrease in sales of
the reporting firms of 3.0 per cent from March to
April, was of about the usual seasonal proportions.
The late spring and continuous rains have had a
tendency to hold down the movement of a number
of lines, notably fertilizers and insecticides. Demand
for heavy drugs and chemicals from the general
manufacturing trade showed further slight contrac­
tion. Prices showed no appreciable change as com­
pared with the preceding sixty days.

Hardware — A contraseasonal increase of 3 per
cent in sales of the reporting interests from March
to April took place which contrasts with a decrease
of 15 per cent in the comparison a year earlier.
Despite the unfavorable weather, sales of hand im­
plements, repair materials and other farm supplies
were reported in considerable volume. Further
moderate betterment was noted in builders’ tools
and hardware.

Dry Goods — Price uncertainties and unfavora­
ble weather were the principal influences in declines
in April sales in this classification, both as compared
with the preceding month and a year ago. Retailers
generally are unwilling to augment their commit­
ments until a more definite estimate of probable
future values is possible. Reports covering the first
half of May indicate sales volume running behind
that of the comparable period in 1934.
Electrical Supplies— Demand for practically all
lines of electrical supplies continues the steady ex­
pansion of the past several months. The increase in
sales of the reporting firms from March to April, of
10 per cent was approximately double the usual sea­
sonal expectations. Some betterment in the move­
ment of pole and line hardware was noted, also
moderate gain in demand for electrical installations.
Flour — Production at the 12 leading mills of
the district in April totaled 200,569 barrels, against
203,764 barrels in March, and 224,482 barrels in
April, 1934. The market as a whole developed no
important changes as contrasted with the preceding
month. Prices fluctuated in a narrow range, and
purchasing by all classes of consumers was on a
hand-to-mouth basis. Mill operations were at from
45 to 50 per cent of capacity.
Furniture — New orders booked during April
by the reporting interests registered a decrease of
about the usual extent. Shipments continued the
steady expansion noted since January. Inventories
increased slightly between April 1 and May 1, and
on the latest date were 14 per cent smaller than a
year ago. There was no change in prices as com­
pared with the preceding three months.




Iron and Steel Products — Lessened new de­
mands from important consuming interests and a
tapering off of seasonal requirements were reflected
in a slight recession in activities in the iron and
steel industry in this district as contrasted with the
year’s high levels of February and March. The
slowing down was by no means general, some
branches having maintained the progress achieved
earlier in the year, and in the case of a number of
establishments, further progress was recorded. Ef­
fects of labor disturbances in the automotive indus­
try had only a moderately restraining effect, releases
on castings and other commodities continuing in
considerable volume. Operations at structural
iron and steel fabricating plants during April were
at approximately 30 per cent of capacity, a decrease
of about 2 per cent from the March average. Pur­
chasing by the railroads continued on a necessity
basis, material taken being chiefly for repair work.
Orders for new equipment were negligible. Jobbing
and warehouse interests reported April volume
slightly in excess of the March total, despite the
retarded movement of certain materials due to un­
seasonably cool and wet weather. Demand for wire
products in the rural areas showed less than the
ordinary seasonal expansion. In the face of a notice­
able slowing down in shipments of pig iron during
the final week of April, the total for the month was
measurably larger than during March and the heavi­
est since last summer. The movement was stimulated
by a desire on the part of melters to get in their
material prior to the effective date of the advance
in freight rates, April 18. Aside from the halting
in the decline in scrap iron and steel, prices showed
no change worthy of mention. For the country as a
whole, production of pig iron in April, according
Page 3

to the magazine “ Steel,” totaled 1,671,556 tons,
against 1,770,990 tons in March, and 1,736,217 tons
in April, 1934. Steel ingot production in the United
States in April was 2,606,311 tons, against 2,830,700
tons in March, and 2,897,808 tons in April, 1934.
RETAIL TRADE
The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statements showing activi­
ties in the leading cities of the district:
Department Stores
N et sales com parison
A pr. 1935
4 months ended
com p, to
A pr. 30, 1935 to
A pr. 1934 same period 1934
E l D orado, Ark....— 0.4%
+ 8.4%
— 16.0
Evansville, In d .....+ 9.0
+ 3.7
F ort Smith, A r k ....+ 6.5
— 5.1
Little R ock, A r k ..+ 8.7
+ 5.1
L ouisville, K y .....-j- 2.4
Memphis, T en n ......+ 9.2
—
0.2
St. Louis, M o ........— 3.7
— 0.7
Springfield, M o ......— 2.3
+ 0.2
A ll Other Cities....+ 10.4
+ 6.0
8th F. R. D istrict.. + 0.1
— 0.3

Stocks
on hand
A pr. 30, 1935
com p, to
A pr. 30, 1934
+ 4.3%
— 29.2
— 7.1
— 2.7
+ 6.4
+ 7.4
— 4.1
— 18.7
—
0.6
—
1.8

Stock
turnover
Jan. 1, to
A pr. 30,
1935 1934
.86
.81
.65
.58
.75
.72
.72
.74
1.20 1.13
.98 1.03
1.25 1.19
.71
.59
.89
.97
1.11 1.07

Percentage of collections in April to accounts
and notes receivable first day of April, 1935.
P E R C E N T A G E O F C O L L E C T IO N S B Y C IT IE S
El Dorado, A rk ....................... 52.7%
M em phis, T en n ......................... 44.2%
F ort Smith, A rk ..................... 38.7
Springfield, M o ......................... 24.7
Little R ock, A rk ................*...37.6
St. Louis, M o ............................54.9
Louisville, K y ...........................47.4
A ll Other Cities........................34.1
8th F. R. D istrict..................... 49.2%

Retail Stores
N et sales com parison
Apr. 1935
4 months ended
com p, to
A pr. 30, 1935 to
A pr. 1934 same period 1934
M en’ s
Furnishings .......+ 4 6 .8 %
B oots and
Shoes .................. + 7.8

Stocks
on hand
A pr. 30, 1935
com p, to
Apr. 30, 1934

Stock
turnover
Jan. 1, to
A pr. 30,
1935 1934

3.2 +

—

6. 6 %

.82

.76

— 4.0

+

0.9

.92

.96

+

AUTOMOBILES
Combined passenger car, truck and taxicab pro­
duction in the United States in April was 477,716,
against 429,830 in March, and 354,745, revised figure,
in April, 1934.
Following the usual seasonal trend, distribu­
tion of automobiles in this district in April, accord­
ing to dealers reporting to this bank, increased
slightly over the preceding month, and the total
was substantially greater than a year ago, and inci­
dentally the largest for any April since 1930. The
increase from March to April wT considerably less
as
than the average in recent years, which fact is
ascribable in large measure to the unusually heavy
sales earlier in the year. As has been the case for
a number of months, interest centered mainly in
cheap priced cars, sales of dealers handling vehicles
of the two leading manufacturers in this field repre­
senting 62 per cent of the entire April business.
Demand for trucks was less active than heretofore,
April sales showing a decrease of 22 per cent and
8 per cent, respectively, as compared with a month
and a year earlier.
Page 4



April sales of new passenger cars by the report­
ing dealers were 1.2 per cent larger than during the
preceding month and approximately 60 per cent in
excess of the April, 1934, total. In response to the
broadening demand, dealers were purchasing some­
what more freely from the factories, their stocks as
of May 1, being 22 per cent and 18 per cent larger,
respectively, than a month and a year earlier. Sales
of secondhand ears in April showed a moderate gain
over March, and an increase of 36 per cent over
the April, 1934, volume. Owing to the marked ex­
pansion of new vehicle sales, dealers’ stocks of
trade-in cars have shown considerable rise. Inven­
tories of salable secondhand cars held on May 1
were greater by one-third than on April 1, and more
than double those a year ago. According to dealers
reporting on that item, deferred payment sales in
April constituted 46 per cent of their total sales,
the same as in March, and comparing with 48 per
cent in April, 1934.
BUILDING
The dollar value of permits issued for new con­
struction in the five largest cities of the district in
April was 29.9 per cent smaller than in March, and
39.6 per cent less than in April, 1934. According to
statistics compiled by the F. W . Dodge Corporation,
construction contracts let in the Eighth District in
April, amounted to $8,689,387, which compares with
$8,587,110 in March, and $7,983,325 in April, 1934.
Production of portland cement for the country as a
whole in April, totaled 6,136,000 barrels, against
4,299,000 barrels in March, and 6,544,000 barrels in
April, 1934. Building figures follow :
N ew construction
*C ost
Permits
1935
1934
1935
1934
..
46
3
$ 196 $
12
:k
7
12
8
70
Louisville ..
38
58
168
320
Memphis ... 193
160
127
69
... 225
165
458
1,114
Is
M arch
Feb.
*In thousands

529
378
506
353
227
369
(000 om itted)

957
1,365
510

1,585
338
251

Repairs, ets.
Permits
*C ost
1935
1934
1935 1934
115
188
$
44 $ 34
106
96
19
23
77
73
51
116
252
90
58
176
195
228
113
92
745
734
475

761
557
404

317
352
301

323
222
302

LIFE INSURANCE
Sales of new, paid-for, ordinary life insurance
in states including the Eighth District during April,
the preceding month, and a year ago, together with
the cumulative totals for the first four months this
year and the comparable period in 1934 are shown
in the following table:
A pr.,
1935
$ 12,561
, 44,255
.
14,949
6,390
5,526
2,228
3,022

M ar.,
1935
$ 11,258
45,829
16,718
5,895
5,390
2,466
2,418

. 88,931
U nited States..,. 540,280

89,974
545,450

( I n thousands
of dollars)

A pr.,
1934
$ 12,508
49,050
18,560
5,549
6,130
2,624
2,705

Jan.-A pr., In c.,
1935
1934
$ 48,795 $ 43,215
181,890
193,521
70,975
68,083
23,203
21,234
24,619
23,674
9,216
9,203
12,156
11,632

97,126
379,593
361,823
581,433 2,264,846 2,095,560

Cumul.
change
+ 12.9%
+ 6.4
— 4.1
+ 9.3
+ 4.0
+ 0.1
+ 4.5
+
+

4.9
8.1

CONSUMPTION OP ELECTRICITY
Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district report consumption of electric
current by selected industrial customers in April,
as being 3.7 per cent larger than in March, and 9.0
per cent more than in April, 1934. Detailed figures
fo llo w :
Mar.,
No. of
Apr. 1935
Apr.,
1935
comp, to
Custom­
1935
ers
*K .W .H . *K .W .H . Mar. 1935
— 10.2 %
Evansville .... 40
2,673
2,975
Little Rock.. 35
1,523
1,370
+ 11.2
+ 5.0
Louisville .... 83
7,679
7,312
Memphis ..... 31
1,728
1,829
— 5.5
16,629** + 6.0
St. Louis.
192** 17,625
Totals. .... 381** 31,228
*In thousands (000 omitted).
**Revised figures.

30,115**

+ 3.7

Apr.,
Apr. 1935
1934
comp, to
*K .W .H . Apr. 1934
2,400
+ 11.4%
1,375
+ 10.8
+ 13.6
6,757
1,761
— 1.9
16,363
+ 7.7
28,656

+ 9.0

AGRICULTURE
Spring weather conditions generally throughout
the Eighth District have been adverse to progress
of agricultural operations, preparations for and
planting of crops are much behind the seasonal
schedule. In practically all states, precipitation dur­
ing April and the first half of May was excessive and
temperatures below normal. In certain areas, ac­
cording to the U. S. Weather Bureau, April was
the coolest since 1928, and reports covering the first
half of May indicate a continuance of this condition.
In addition to delays occasioned by almost steady
rains, an appreciable amount of damage has been
wrought by overflowing of rivers and streams.
At mid-May indications were that an unusually
large amount of replanting of cotton, potatoes and
certain other crops would be necessary. On the
other hand the moisture has proved beneficial to
fall planted grains and pastures. Sub-soil condi­
tions are the best in a number of years, and wells,
water holes, creeks, and other sources of water
supply have been replenished after the cumulative
deficiency of several years of drouth. In the main
the condition of winter wheat is favorable, though
since the second week of May there has been an in­
creasing number of complaints of rank growth and
yellowing fields, due to lack of sunshine and ex­
cessive precipitation.
Pastures and meadow conditions are consider­
ably better than a year ago, but as an offset to this
favorable development, the shortage of feeds, occa­
sioned by last year’s severe drouth, is still being
acutely felt in many sections. Stocks of all hay on
farms in states of the district as of May 1, were 19
per cent smaller than on the same date in 1934, and
43 per cent below the 5-year (1928-1932) average.
Eighth District farm prices continued to hold the
gains achieved during recent months. Typical of
the entire area is Missouri, where out of 50 com­
modities surveyed in April, 42 were higher than last




year, and only 7 less. Comparing prices in April,
1935, with April, 1933, every one of the 50 commodi­
ties covered was higher, increases ranging from 25
to 200 per cent. Farm labor conditions showed lit­
tle change as contrasted with a month and a year
earlier. Demand for farms and farm values contin­
ues upward, particularly in the southern sections
of the district.
The following information relative to specific
crops is based on latest reports of the U. S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture, State agricultural departments,
trade associations, etc.
Winter Wheat — Based on the May 1 condition,
the U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates the
winter wheat yield in states entirely or partly within
the Eighth District at 96,086,000 bushels, a decrease
of 3.5 per cent from the April 1 forecast, and com­
paring with 90,493,000 bushels harvested in 1934,
and the 5-year (1928-1932) average of 82,742,000
bushels. Quite generally the crop is well rooted and
stands are good, though lack of sunshine, low tem­
peratures and too much rain have caused appearance
of rust and yellowing in many fields. While for the
country as a whole abandonment of acreage is
heavy, present Eighth District indications are that
relatively little of the acreage planted last fall will
not be harvested.
Corn — W et fields have seriously handicapped
seasonal farm work, with the result that relatively
little corn has been planted, which condition con­
trasts with a year ago when from 50 to 75 per cent
of the district corn acreage had been put in at midMay. In many sections, particularly in fertile river
and creek bottoms, standing water will further de­
lay breaking of the soil and seeding of the crop.
Stocks of old corn are light, particularly prime seed.
Fruits and Vegetables — The general condition
of fruits and vegetables in this district at the middle
of May was considerably more promising than at
the same time a year earlier, and somewhat above
the 10-year average. The outlook for apples is in
the main favorable, with a minimum of winter dam­
age reported. Excessive rains have caused a heavy
drop, and interfered with pollination. Peach pros­
pects are spotty, but in the main auspicious, practi­
cally all orchards having shown heavy bloom, with
injury from spring freezes unusually light. Curculio
infestation is reported present in many orchards
and threatens material damage unless favorable
weather intervenes for its eradication. The condi­
tion of the early potato crop as of May 1, was above
average in the south, but definite condition reports
on the northern tiers of the district were lacking,
and planting has been delayed by rains. The strawPage 5

berry yield will be below that of a year ago, plants
generally showing the effects of the drouth condi­
tions prevailing during the past several years. Farm
and home gardens are backward, due to the wet,
cold spring, but are being planted on a more exten­
sive scale than in the past.
Live Stock — Lateness of the spring has more
or less complicated the general shortage of feed.
On many farms in last year’s drouth area, hay sup­
plies were practically exhausted at the end of April.
In states of this district, according to the U. S. De­
partment of Agriculture, reserves of hay on farms
as of May 1 were 1,098,000 tons, the smallest in
recent years, and comparing with 1,353,000 tons on
that date in 1934, and the 5-year (1928-1932) aver­
age of 1,941,000 tons. The recent improvement in
the condition of pastures, however, has materially
helped the situation.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards were as follows:
_________Receipts________
A p r.,
M ar.,
A pr.,
1935
1935
1934
Cattle and Calves..... 100,804 84,619 90,891
H ogs ............................187,207 190,808 257,196
H orses and M u les.....
6,295
8,666
6,160
Sheep ............................ 61,935 54,480 36,825

______ Shipments________
A pr.,
M ar.,
A p r.,
1935
1935
1934
58,976 46,221 41,374
117,875 107,711 133,380
6,977
7,704
5,444
17,798
5,446
5,297

Cotton — Frequent rains, accompanied by un­
seasonably low temperatures through April and the
first half of May have greatly interfered with soil
preparation and planting, and generally the crop is
from two to three weeks late. In sections where
cotton is up, the cool weather has retarded germi­
nation. There are numerous reports of soil packing
and erosion caused by the heavy rains. In the
northern sections planting was hardly 50 per cent
completed at mid-May and in Arkansas and Missis­
sippi considerable replanting will be necessary. In­
dications are that acreage will be largely governed
by Bankhead controlled law restrictions. According
to statistics compiled by the National Fertilizer
Association, fertilizer tag sales in states including
the Eighth District in April were 34 per cent and
60 per cent larger, respectively, than for that month
a year and two years earlier; sales for the JanuaryApril period this year were 17 per cent larger than
for the comparable period in 1934, and more than
double those for the period in 1933. The trend of
prices was upward during the first half of May. In
the St. Louis market the middling grade ranged
from 11.40c to 12.05c per pound between April 16
and May 15, closing at 12.00c on the latest date,
which compares with 11.55c on April 16, and 11.20c
on May 15, 1934. Receipts at Arkansas compresses
from August 1, 1934, to May 3, 1935, totaled 813,507
bales, against 997,734 bales during the comparable
Page 6




period a year earlier. Stocks on hand as of May 4,
totaled 493,628 bales, against 514,580 bales on April
5, and 376,233 bales on the corresponding date in
1934.
Tobacco — Continuous heavy rains not only
seriously interfered with farm work, but in many
sections soil which had been cultivated has been
badly washed and packed so that further attention
will be necessary before the transplanting can be
accomplished. In parts of the burley district the
ground is too wet to work, while elsewhere some
progress has been made in cultivating, however,
not more than 25 per cent of the burley crop had
been planted as of May 18. In the air-cured section
planting has barely started and only a small per­
centage of the intended acreage has been put in.
Recent weather has been more favorable in the
eastern fired district, and it is estimated that from
25 to 30 per cent of the intended acreage has been
planted in the Springfield section. In the Clarks­
ville area 40 to 50 per cent of intended acreage has
been planted and in the Hopkinsville section from
50 to 60 per cent; whereas in the western fired dis­
trict rains have retarded work and according to
estimates not more than 15 to 20 per cent of the
intended acreage has been set. Plants are mainly
in good condition for transplanting.
There is but little trading in burley tobacco of
any description. Stocks of air-cured leaf in dealers’
hands are limited. Demands are steadily increasing
for dark-fired lugs both in old and new crops. Old
stocks of lugs and common leaf in independent
dealers’ hands are smaller than in a number of years.
Accumulation of old crops, plus receipts of the 1934
crop are giving the Marketing Association in both
the eastern and western districts a large stock of
dark-fired tobacco, which is held at firm prices.
COMMODITY PRICES
Range of prices in the St. Louis market between
April 15, 1935, and May 15, 1935, with closing quo­
tations on the latter date and on May 15, 1934,
follow :
H igh

L ow

__________ Close
M ay 15, 1935
M ay 15, 1934

W heat
M ay ..................... perbu..$1.00*£ $ .83*4 $
.99?A
.89 24
July
*Sept.........................
1.00*4
-9054
N o. 2 red winter
1.01
.92*4
N o. 2 hard “
1.09^2 1.03*4
C om
.93** .867/g
M ay .....................
.81
July .....................
.87*4
.83
*S ept........ ................
.75
.92^ .88
*N o. 2 m ixed ......
.91 *4
*N o, 2 white ......
.9 0 ^
.96*4
Oats
*N o. 2 white ......
.53 *4
.4554
Flour
5.95
Soft patent......... per bbl. 6.45
5.95
7.55
7.55
Spring
“ ........
“
7.75
M iddling C otton...per lb.
.1205 .1140
5.00
H o gs on h o o f......per cw t. 9.40
5.00
*Nominal quotations.

.6/
87 s

.88*4 I
.

90%

.84 *4
.85**

.91 Vs
92*4
1.03&

.85*4
.86*4
.46*4

.83

A
87A

88
@ .91 *4

.50*4
.52
.53

.77*4

.45*4

.35

<3)6.45
@ 7 .7 0
.1200
@ 9 .3 5

6.30
6.30
1.75

@

.35*4

@ 6 .7 0
@ 6 .6 0
.1120
@ 3 .5 5

FINANCIAL
The banking and financial situation in the
Eighth District, insofar as reflected by figures of the
reporting member banks, underwent no changes of
moment during the past thirty days as contrasted
with the similar period immediately preceding. De­
mand for credit from commercial and industrial
groups remained quiet, and the late spring has held
back borrowing in the rural areas. Liquidation by
mercantile customers of the large city banks was
in considerable volume, the total of settlements
being in excess of new loans and renewals.
Deposits continued the upward trend of recent
months, reaching a new high for the year in the
second week of May. Borrowings of country banks
from their city correspondents receded further. In
rural sections of the south there are continued
evidences of banks reducing or discontinuing the
payment of interest on time deposits. Investments
of individuals in Government and other high grade
securities have materially increased.

of the week ended May 15, quotations were as fol­
lows: Customers’ prime commercial paper, \y2 to
5}^ per cent; collateral loans, 2 to 6 per cent; loans
secured by warehouse receipts, 2 to 5 per cent, and
cattle loans, 4 to 6 per cent.
Federal Reserve Operations — The volume of
credit outstanding at the Federal Reserve Bank of
St. Louis, as of May 18, was practically unchanged
from a month earlier, but continued approximately
16 per cent greater than on the corresponding date
in 1934.
Changes in the principal assets and liabilities
of this bank appear in the following table:
May 18,
1935
(In thousands of dollars)
Industrial advances under Sec. 13b...... .$
558
14
Other advances and rediscounts............
Bills bought (including participations)
81
U. S. Securities........................................ , 108,200

Apr. 18,
1935
$
543
7
99
108,200

Total earning assets............................ .. 108,853

108,849

93,452

.. 162,391
Total deposits ........................................... 126,063
F. R. Notes in circulation..................... ... 138,683
F. R. Bank Notes— liability.............. .

184,517
145,244
140,448

196,109
148,115
134,362
269

Industrial commitments under Sec. 13b

Commercial Banking — Between April 10 and
May 8, total loans and investments of reporting
banks in the leading cities increased 5 per cent, the
expansion being due entirely to heavier holdings of
securities, loans having decreased by 4.6 per cent.
Deposits increased 3.2 per cent during the period,
and at $610,357,000 on May 8 were 15.3 per cent
larger than a year ago.

1,650

1,492

Ratio of total reserves to deposit and
F. R. note liabilities.......................... v

61.3%

64.6%

April 10,
1935
$ 64,047
154,264

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

$ 73,615
135,151

May 9,
1934

Total loans and discounts............... 208,376

218,311

208,766

Investments
U. S. Gov’ t securities................. 251,924
Other securities............................ 128,505

219,901
122,402

193,991
94,452

investments........................... 380,429

342,303

288,443

Reserve balance with F. R. Bank.. 62,307
8,856
Cash in vault...................................
Deposits
Net demand deposits................... 424,276
Time deposits................................ 167,481
Government deposits................... 18,600

72,561
8,435

85,585
8,049

403,190
166,227
21,746

340,860
163,864
24,821

deposits................................ ... 610,357

591,163

529,545

Total

Total

Bills payable and rediscounts with
prvp "Ratitr____
19
19
19
Number of banks reporting...........
The total resources of these banks comprise approximately 60.0%
of all member, banks in this district.

The amount of savings deposits held by selected
banks on May 1, was 1.5 per cent greater than on
April 3, and 14.4 per cent in excess of the total on
May 2, 1934.
Interest rates continued at or about the low
levels prevailing in recent months. At St. Louis as




(Completed May

69.4%

Rates charged by the Federal Reserve Bank of
St. Louis remain unchanged as follow s:

A composite statement of the principal resource
and liability items of the reporting member banks
is given in the following comparative table:
May 8,
1935
(In thousands of dollars)
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured by U. S. Govt, obligations
and other stocks and bonds....$ 58,801
All other loans and discounts.... 149,575

May 18,
1934
$ ...........
131
121
93,200

Debits to Individual Accounts — The following
comparative table of debits to individual accounts
reflects spending trends in this district:
(Tn thousands
Apr.,
of dollars)
1935
East St. Louis and Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..$ 24,712
El Dorado, Ark.... .
3,962
Evansville, Ind.... . 19,594
Fort Smith, Ark... .
8,287
Greenville, Miss...
3,489
Helena, Ark.........
1,531
Little Rock. Ark.,.. 27,901
Louisville, K y......„ 140,802
Memphis, Tenn...,„ 94,187
Owensboro, Kv....
3,929
Pine Bluff, Ark..,..
5,023
Quincy, 111............„
6,676
St. Louis. M o......, 474,828
Sedalia. M o..........
1,808
Snringfield, Mo...,.. 12,235
•Texarkana, Ark.-Tex. 5,252

Mar.,
1935

Apr.,
1934

$ 23,698
3,709
19,180
8,361
4,044
1,474
28,423
139,467
100,643
4,532
5,886
5,641
497,981
1,756
11,610
4,700

$ 18,833
3,847
15,728
7,092
2,521
1,386
20,683
128,939
93,086
3,006
4,509
6,067
429,966
1,495
10,444
5,122

. 834,216

861,105

752,724

Apr. 1935 comp, to
Mar. 1935 Apr. 1934
+ 4.3%
+ 6.8
+ 2.2
— 0.9
— 13.7
+ 3.9
— 1.8
+ 1.0
— 6.4
— 13.3
— 14.7
+ 18.3
— 4.6
+ 3.0
+ 5.4
+ 11.7

+ 31.2%
+ 3.0
+ 24.6
+ 16.8
+ 38.4
+ 10.5
+34.9
+ 9.2
+ 1.2
+ 30.7
+ 11.4
+ 10.0
+ 10.4
+20.9
+ 17.1
+ 2.5

— 3.1

+ 10.8

•Includes on bank in Texarkana, Texas, not in Eighth District.
Note — Above figures include total debits charged by banks to
checking accounts, ^savings accounts, certificates of deposit accounts, and
trust accounts, of individuals, firms, corporations and TJ. S. Government.
Charges to accounts of banks, debits in settlement of clearing house
balances, payments of cashiers’ checks, charges to expense and miscel­
laneous accounts, corrections and similar charges, are not included.

22,

1935)

Page 7

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
Factory production and employment showed little change in
April, while output at mines declined. Residential construction
showed a further increase.
PRODUCTION AND EM PLOYM ENT— Combined output
of factories and mines, as measured by the Federal Reserve
Board’s seasonally adjusted index of industrial production, de­
clined from 88 per cent of the 1923-25 average in March to 86
per cent in April. This downward movement reflected chiefly
decreases in the output of steel, cotton and silk textiles, and
bituminous coal, offset in part by increased mill consumption of

of a large decrease in shipments of bituminous coal. Department
store sales, which had shown a sharp increase in March, increased
by considerably less than the estimated seasonal amount in April.
COM M ODITY PRICES — The general level of wholesale
commodity prices, as measured by the index of the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, has shown little change since the middle of April,
following an increase in the early part of the month, and in the
week ending May 18 was at 80.0 per cent of the average as com­
pared with 79.9 per cent in the week ending April 13. For this
period the prices of cotton, hogs, hides, and non-ferrous metals

Index number of industrial production, adjusted for seasonal variation.
(1923-1925 averages 100.) Latest figure, April, preliminary 86.

Indexes of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1926=100.)
By months 1929 to 1931; by weeks 1932 to date. Latest figures for week ended
May 18, farm products, 80.9; foods, 83.8; other commodities, 77.6.

wool, and larger output of anthracite. At steel mills output de­
clined from 49 per cent of capacity in March to 45 per cent in
April and, according to trade reports, showed a further slight
decline in the first three weeks of May. In the automobile indus­
try there was a further increase in production during April, fol­
lowed by a decline in the early part of May, partly as a conse­
quence of labor disputes. In the tobacco industry activity was
maintained at recent high levels. Output of bituminous coal
declined sharply at the beginning of April, following a period of
relatively high production earlier in the year. The total number
employed in factories was about the same in the middle of April
as a month earlier and factory payrolls also showed little change.

increased somewhat, while grains and butter declined. In the fol­
lowing week there were further increases in the prices of hogs
and of lead, while prices of wheat decreased further.
BANK CREDIT — During the five weeks ended May 22
member bank balances with the Federal Reserve banks increased
to $4,820,000,000, the highest figure on record, and excess reserves
rose to a new high level of over $2,350,000,000. The principal
factors in the increase of member bank reserve balances were the
disbursement by the Treasury of $240,000,000 of funds previously
held in the form of cash or on deposit with the Federal Reserve

PER CENT

120

110

r\

120

I-A C T O R rEM PLC)YMENT AND PAfR O L L S *

110
100

100
90
o
3

C
D

90
Emp

80

80
\

70
\
Payrolls

60

A_ /

\a

70
60

i

50
40

/ v

T
.j

50

■v
J

40
30

30
1929

1930

1931

1932

1933

1934

1935

Indexes of factory employment and payrolls, without adjustment for seasonal
variation. (1923-1925 average = 100.) Latest figures April, factory employment,
82.4, payrolls, 70.7, March, revised, 70.7.

Three-month moving averages of F. W . Dodge data for 37 Eastern States,
adjusted for seasonal variation. Latest figures April, preliminary total, 107.8;
residential, 32.6; all other, 75.2.

Declines in employment ^were reported for railroad repair shops
and textile mills, while in the machinery industries employment
continued to increase and in the men’s clothing industry it showed
none of the usual seasonal decline. In agriculture and in the
building industry employment increased seasonally. Total value
of construction contracts of all kinds, as reported by the F. W.
Dodge Corporation, showed little change from March to April.
A further increase in residential projects was offset in the total
by a decline in contracts for other types of construction.
D ISTRIBU TION — Total freight-car loadings declined in
April, contrary to seasonal tendency, chiefly as a consequence

Deposits of reporting banks in leading cities increased fur­
ther during the four-week period ended May 15, reflecting chiefly
disbursements by the United States Treasury. Yields on short­
term Government securities declined slightly further during this
period, while other short-term open-market money rates remained
at low levels. The discount rate was reduced from 2 per cent to
1-1/2 per cent at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and
from 2-1/2 per cent to 2 per cent at the Richmond, Minneapolis,
Kansas City and Dallas banks. Rates are now 1-1/2 per cent at
New York and Cleveland, and 2 per cent at all the other Reserve
banks.

Page 8