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Monthly Review
Volume X X X I

N O VEM B ER, 1949

Number 11

Financial Position of Eighth District Farmers
After a decade of rising prices and increasing
assets, farmers began this year to see profits and
equities decline. On the other hand, at the begin­
ning of the year, total assets— including land, live­
stock, equipment, cash and bonds— and total equi­
ties of American agriculture were largest on record.
And by the beginning of next year, the financial
position of farmers in general will still probably
be better than in any previous year except 1949
and possibly 1948.

Another question which naturally arises is
whether farmers in states within the Eighth Dis­
trict will fare better or worse than farmers in other
areas. Since agricultural assets are not broken
down on a regional or state basis, data for the
Eighth District cannot be given precisely. It is
possible, however, to use available data to indi­
cate the changes that have taken place in district
states.

The 1949 decline in assets thus is not large
enough to present a serious problem in itself.
But when a decline occurs after ten years of steady
increase a number of questions about the future
are bound to come up. Does agriculture face a
drop similar to that of the period 1921-1932, with
hardships like those which farmers had then? Or
will farmers be able to adjust to a lower profit
level and smaller incomes without pinched working
capital, distress sales and foreclosures?

The American agricultural plant was valued at
$127 billion in January, 1949; it had gained $6
billion in the previous year and $74 billion since
January, 1940. Slightly more than half of the $127
billion represented value of land, and $32 billion
of the increased assets since 1940 represented write­
ups in land valuation. Still, real estate assets in­
creased by a smaller percentage than non-real
estate items.

These questions are of particular concern to
bankers and other lenders who make loans to
farmers. For a general answer to them, the Janu­
ary 1 data indicate that farmers are in a sound
financial position and that they will be able to
make a substantial readjustment in prices, output
and income without suffering acute hardship. The
picture for agriculture looks far more favorable
today than in 1921.
The outline of farm assets and liabilities in this
article shows in some detail why this is true. It
thus gives an indication of how good a credit
risk the farmer is. Lenders must remember, though,
that in the final analysis each loan applicant must
be judged on his individual merits.




A SSE TS O F F A R M E R S

In the Eighth District states, real estate assets
apparently increased more than in the entire coun­
try. As of July, 1949 land values in the Eighth
Federal Reserve District were up 139 per cent over
the 1935-39 average compared with a 107 per cent
increase for the United States. Missouri was the
only district state in which the increase was smaller
than the national average. The price of land in
Kentucky and Tennessee increased more than in
other district states, largely because of the increas­
ing prices being paid for farms producing tobacco.
W hile land values in the district states increased
between July a year ago and July this year, they
declined (by 2 per cent) between March and July
of this year. Some observers believe that this
decline in value figures mainly reflects a shift in

figures, but those held as securities for crop sup­
port loans are included.)
The volume of crops stored on or off farms prob­
ably will be higher at the beginning of 1950. The
cotton crop is expected to be larger than in 1949,
and stocks of feed grains are expected to go up 8
per cent primarily as a result of a 15 per cent
larger supply of corn.
The livestock outlook also is for higher numbers.
The decline in livestock numbers probably has been
stopped as a result of record large feed supplies
and favorable feeding ratios. Indications in July
were for a 2 per cent increase in grain consuming
animal units for the year October, 1949 to Septem­
ber, 1950. But lower prices are likely to offset,
at least in part, the value of the added animal units
and the increase in volume of crop inventories.

C H A N G E IN V A L U E O F F A R M L A N D
E IG H T H D IS T R IC T ST A T E S
M arch to July, July, 1948 to
1935-39 to
1949
July, 1949
July, 1949
Arkansas ................ ..................
— 5%
+ 166%
— 1%
+ 131
+ 2
Indiana .....................................
— 3
+ 149
— 3
— 1
K entucky ................
+ 5
+ 189
Mississippi .............. ..................
— 4
+ 2
+ 146
Missouri ..................
+ 4
+ 106
Tennessee ................
+ 4
+ 170
Eighth D istrict ...
+ 2
+ 139
U . s.................
— 1
+ 107
S ou rce: Current D evelopm ents in the Farm R eal Estate M arket, B A E ,
September, 1949.

...........

sales to poorer grade land. But this shift itself
might indicate a weakening market. Either asking
values in good farming areas are such as to hold
sales down, or current potential buyers do not have
sufficient capital to make adequate down-payments
on higher priced land and are forced to buy cheaper
farms. Both conditions probably are showing their
effect on farm values. Dealers are reporting a
widening gap between asking and bid prices, vol­
ume of farm sales has declined for the past two
years, and a larger proportion of farms are being
purchased with the aid of credit.
This decline in land values will in all probability
be reflected in a lower valuation of real estate in
the January 1, 1950 Balance Sheet of Agriculture.
This means that the $32 billion write-up in land
values will be reduced, possibly by a sufficient
amount to wipe out the $2.3 billion increase which
came during 1948. Individuals who purchased farms
during 1948 may view declining land values with
some concern if the sale values become less than
original capital investments.
Livestock and Crops.— Nationally, the value of
crops and livestock on farms as of January 1, 1949
was $23.2 billion; $14.7 billion of this represented
livestock and $8.5 billion crops stored on or off
farms. (Farm products with title actually in a
Government agency are not included in these
BALANCE

SH EET

OF

E S T I M A T E D C R O P P R O D U C T I O N , 1949
E IG H T H D IS T R IC T A N D U N IT E D S T A T E S
Per cent change
Estim ated Production
from 1948
O ct. 1, 1949
8th D istrict
U . S.
( I n thousands)
15,446
C otton (b a le s )........ 3,780
Corn (bushels) ....444,183
3,476,986
W heat (bushels) .. 71,778
1,125,226
Oats (bushels) .... 64,544
1,321,075
T o b a cco (p ou n d s) ..375,124
2,004,214
S o u rce : C rop P rodu ction , U S D A .

8th D istrict
—
—

U . S.

22

+
4
—
5
— 13
—
11

8

+ 1

— 14
—
2

+ 1

The Eighth District probably will show a differ­
ent pattern. Although the livestock inventory of
the district should follow closely the national trend,
crop inventories here should be down appreciably,
and drop relative to national totals. The national
1949 cotton crop is up 4 per cent from 1948, but
the district cotton crop is off nearly 22 per cent.
The district corn crop is expected to decline 8
per cent as against the national crop’s 5 per cent
decrease. District tobacco production may be 2
per cent less, against a 1 per cent increase na­
tionally.

A G R IC U L T U R E , U N IT E D S T A T E S , J A N U A R Y
(D o lla r amounts in m illions)

1, 1940, 1948 A N D

1949

N et change
ASSETS

1940

1949

1948

1940-49
Per cent
A m ou n t

1948-49
P er cent
A m ou nt

Physical assets:
$33,642
N on-real estate:
L ivestock ...........................................
M achinery and equipment .........
C rops, stored on and off farms 1..
H ousehold equ ip m en t2 ................
Financial assets:
D eposits and cu rrency.............................
U nited States savings bonds................
Investm ent in cooperatives.................... ,
C L A IM S
L iabilities:
Real estate d ebt................... ..................................................................................
N on-real estate d eb t:
T o principal institutions:
E xclu d in g loans held or guaranteed by C om m odity Credit
C orporation ............................................................................
L oans held or guaranteed b y C om m odity Credit Corporation
T o others 8 .....................................................................................................

$ 62,813

$ 65,168

$31,526

5,133
3,118
2,645
4,275

13,384
9,069
8,789
5,415

14,697
11,114
8,475
6,000

9,564
7,996
5,830
1,725

3,900
249
826
$53,788

15,300
4,781
1,858
$121,409

14,800
5,024
2,036
$127,314

10,900
4,775
1,210
$73,526

$ 6,586

$

$

1,504
445
1,455
$ 9,990
$43,798

2,302
84
1,800
$ 9,068
$112,341

4,882

+

94

$2,355

+

4

+
+
+
+

186
256
220
40

1,313
2,045
—
314
585

+
+

10
23
4
11

+ 279
+ 1,918
146
+
137
+

5,108

— $ 1,478

—

22

2,724
1,152
2,200
$ 11,184
$116,130

1,220
707
745
$ 1,194
$72,332

+
+
+
+
+

81
159
51
12
165

S ou rce: Federal Reserve Bulletin, Septem ber, 1949
1 Includes all crops held on farms and crops held in bonded warehouses as security for C om m odity Credit C orporation loans.
totaled 804.2 m illion dollars.
2 Estimated valuation for 1940 plus purchases minus depreciation.
* Tentative. Includes individuals, m erchants, dealers, and other miscellaneous lenders.

Page 154




—

500
243
178
$5,905
$

226

422
1,068
400
$2,116
$3,789

—

+
—

+
+
+

3
5
10
5

+

5

+
18
+ 1,271
+
22
+
23
3
+

T he latter on Jan. 1, 1949

Machinery.— Value of machinery' on farms in­
creased during 1948 by 23 per cent, the largest per­
centage increase of any of the asset items. During
1949 machinery sales have held up well, according
to scattered reports from implement dealers. A l­
though shortages of equipment largely have dis­
appeared and seasonal patterns of sales returned,
the number of various machines sold compares
reasonably well with that of 1948. Thus the value
of machines on farms at the beginning of 1950
should be substantially higher than in 1949 and
the increase again probably will be the largest of
all asset items.
Rapid strides in mechanization are being made
in district states. Prior to 1940, this area was
far less mechanized than the rest of the country.
Percentagewise the increase here almost certainly
has been larger than for the nation as a whole.
The mechanical cotton picker is no longer a novelty
in the Delta and other labor-saving machinery is
being used in increasing amounts. However, the
dollar value of machinery per acre of farm land
in the Eighth District is low compared with that
of commercial farming areas in other parts of the
country.
During 1948 farmers purchased 417,000 tractors,
bringing the total to an estimated 3,250,000. Their
purchases of new cars (worth $600 million) carried
the total number on farms to 5,300,000. Trucks on
farms totaled 2,100,000, 40 per cent more than in
January, 1945.
Household Equipment.— Purchases of household
equipment in 1948 amounted to $585 million, making
a total value on farms of $6 billion. Substantial
additions of household equipment undoubtedly have
been made during 1949. The extension of rural
electric lines as well as the strong cash position
of agriculture and the availability of equipment,
all have encouraged thousands of farm families to
undertake a considerable amount of remodeling and
improvement.

1949. Prices received by farmers have dropped
substantially during 1949 compared with 1948, as
the chart shows. Prices paid, however, are off only
3 per cent. As a result, for the first nine months
of 1949 the ratio of prices received to prices paid
averaged 109, compared with 117 for the same
period in 1948. The estimated realized net farm in­
come for 1949— about $14.2 billion— would be 15
per cent less than the $16 billion income of 1948.
As can be noted from the Farm Income table which
appears each month in the Survey of Current Con­
ditions section of the Monthly Review, farm in­
come for the first eight months, in Missouri, Indi­
ana, Tennessee and Illinois, was respectively 15,
14, 9 and 8 per cent lower than a year earlier.
Deposits in country banks in the 20 leading
agricultural states were 3 per cent less in August,
1949 than in August, 1948, although they were
four times the 1940 level. Scattered reports indi­
cate that deposits of farmers may have declined
more than 3 per cent during this period. This de­
cline would reflect, partially at least, farmers’ trans­
ferring a portion of their deposits to merchants
through purchases of machinery and other equip­
ment.
In district states demand deposits of country
banks in August, 1949 were 1 per cent less than a
year earlier. This relatively favorable deposit posi­
tion for the district may have deteriorated subse-

P R tC E S

R E C E fV E D AND

PAID

BY

FARM ERS

1948 AND 1949
1910- 1914 HGO
Per Cent

Per C«f*f

Financial Assets.— Deposits and currency in the
hands of farmers declined $500 million during
1948, the first decline in liquid assets since 1940.
This was due partly to a decline in realized net
agricultural income during 1948 which resulted be­
cause prices received declined more than prices
paid. Partly it was due to large expenditures for
machinery, automobiles and household equipment.
Farmers apparently drew on demand deposits, as
their time deposits remained steady and their
holdings of savings bonds increased by $200 million.
Evidence indicates that the amount of liquid
assets held by farmers is continuing to decline in




Page 1S5

D E P O S IT S
8th

OF R U R A L

AN D

D IS T R IC T , AUGUST

Millions of Dollars
1800
GROSS DEMAND D EPO SITS
(Except Inter-bank)

URBAN
1948

MEM BER

AN D

BANKS

19 4 9
Millions of Dollars
1800

T IM E

D EP O SIT S

'6 0 0

1600

1400

1400

1200

1000

0
BANKS

" urban
BANKS

BANKS

19 48
* Non W eekly R e p o rtin g Country B o n k s
* * R e serve C it y A n d W eekly Rep orting Country Member B anks

quently, however. Most 1949 crops, except for
wheat, are not marketed until the last four months
of the year. Whereas demand deposits of country
banks in three Delta states—Arkansas, Mississippi
and Louisiana— were about 1 per cent higher A u­
gust, 1949 compared with a year earlier, in the
first half of September they were 3 per cent less
than the same period of 1948, and in all prob­
ability will continue running below 1948 totals dur­
ing the remainder of 1949 as a result of the poor
cotton crop in those areas. Deposits of country
banks in other district states may not reach Decem­
ber, 1948 totals because of somewhat lower crop
production and lower prices.

however, and only about half of that oustanding
in 1923.
The pattern of farm mortgage debt change during
and after the two world wars presents interesting
comparisons. Although land values increased dur­
ing both wars, and following the recent world war
exceeded those in the early twenties in most
states, farm mortgage indebtedness has followed
different patterns thus far. Whereas it climbed
steadily during and after W orld W ar I and reached
a high of $10.8 billion in 1923, it actually declined
during W orld W ar II and has turned upward only
since 1946.
The increase in farm real estate debt apparently
has continued during 1949. The value of farm
mortgages recorded during the first half of 1949
was exceeded only in the comparable period of the
three years 1946-48 and was twice that recorded
in the first half of 1939. Reports from the Federal
Land Banks and insurance companies indicate that
the volume of payoff has declined substantially from
the 1948 level during 1949. This was the primary
reason for the increase during 1948. The volume
of debt recorded in 1948 was somewhat smaller than
in 1947, but outstandings increased $226 million
during the year.
FARM

DEBT

L IA B IL IT IE S

The over-all position of agriculture is favorable.
At the beginning of 1949, against $127.3 billion in
assets there were just $11.2 billion in liabilities,
a ratio of 11 to 1. In 1940, the ratio was 5 to 1.
But this favorable picture has to be qualified some­
what. First, two-fifths of the increase in assets
since 1940 have been write-ups in the value of
land. Second, liabilities— although low in relation
to total assets— have increased in absolute terms
each year since 1946. W ith net farm income de­
clining and with debts increasing, the claims side
of the Balance Sheet takes on an added significance.
Farm Real Estate Debt.— In 1948 farm real estate
debt increased for the third year since 1946 (when
it was $4.7 billion) to $5.1 billion. At the beginning
of 1949 it was 5 per cent more than in January,
1948 and 9 per cent more than in January, 1946.
This total was 22 per cent lower than in 1940,
Page 156




Exclu des

C. C. C.

Loom

AFTER

TWO

WORLD

WARS

Outstanding farm mortgage debt in three district
states— Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee— in­
creased more than 25 per cent between January,
1946 and 1949, compared with a national average
of 9 per cent. The increase was less than the
national average in two states— Illinois and Mis­
souri. Outstandings in Illinois in 1949 were actu­
ally 13 per cent less than in 1946. Farm real estate
debt in 1948 also increased more than the national
average in all district states except Illinois and
Missouri. The percentage increase in Arkansas
during 1948 was double the national average.
Despite the fact that agriculture as a whole is
in a sound financial position, individual farmers are
finding themselves in a precarious financial posi­
tion. As noted earlier, land values have declined
so that farmers purchasing farms in recent years
may not be able to liquidate without capital loss.
More farmers apparently had to use credit in the
purchase of farms in 1948: 55 per cent of the farms
were purchased with the aid of credit, against 51
per cent in 1947 and only 40 per cent in 1945 and
1946. The average size of loans made has increased
steadily from the $2,270 average loan of 1939 to
the $4,430 loan of 1949.
The total amount of credit used has varied be­
tween 50 and 55 per cent of the total of sale prices
in recent years, indicating that on the average,
farmers were able to make adequate downpay­
ments. In 1948, however, about one-fifth of the
sales involved mortgages amounting to 75 per
cent or more of the sale price. This group would
be hit first in any protracted financial squeeze.
In fact a combined balance sheet for farmers in
debt would not appear nearly so favorable as the
one listed earlier. In many cases the proprietor’s
equity would be thin. W ith declining profits in
prospect, this group is apt to increase rather than
decrease. A census study of mortgaged farms in
1945, when outstanding farm debt was only 10 per
cent of the total land value, showed that the ratio
of debt to value of mortgaged farms was 30 per
cent. W ith a decline in pay-offs, increasing farm
mortgage debt, and more recently a decline in land
values, the ratio of debt to value of mortgaged
farms has turned upward.

Short-term debt.— Short-term debt declined $800
million from 1942 to 1946, accompanying the farm
mortgage debt decline of $1,700 million. Since
1946, short-term debt has increased 75 per cent to
$4.9 billion (at the outset of W orld War II it was
$3.6 billion). The increase during 1948 was $800
million, or 20 per cent. During W orld W ar I
short-term debt increased each year from 1915 and
reached a peak three years after the war in 1921.
As pointed out in the October Monthly Review,
of all short-term loans about two-fifths are held
by commercial banks; 15 per cent by Government
sponsored agencies; and 45 per cent by merchants,
dealers and others.
So
far the increase in short-term debt cannot be
termed alarming, even though the total was con­
siderably larger in January, 1949 than before the
war or at the peak following W orld War I. Re­
quirements under a system of mechanized produc­
tion are vastly different from those on the horsepowered farms of 1920. Inasmuch as the price level
is more than double that of the pre-war days, it
can be expected that normal short-term production
borrowings will increase. The increased loans prob­
ably have been obtained for purchase of livestock,
machinery, automobiles, trucks, tractors and electri­
cal equipment. Loans for current production as
well as for current living also have increased.
The fact remains, however, that those who have
borrowed probably had used most of their liquid
reserves. Scattered reports from bankers and other
IN C R E A S E

IN

JA NUA RY
Per Cent
♦30

O U T ST A N D IN G

FARM

1946 AND 1948 TO

MORTGAGE

JANUARY

DEBT

1949
Per Cent
-----

♦ 20

♦10

0

M O R T G A G E D F A R M S , 1940 A N D 1945
Per cent m ortgaged, ratio o f debt to value and debt per acre
Debt
Per cent o f farms
R atio of
per acre*
m ortgaged
debt to value*
1945

1940

1945

1940

1945

1940

Arkansas
Illinois
Indiana
K en tu cky
M ississippi ....
M issouri ™....
Tennessee

24%
25
37
19
28
34
18

34%
35
47
27
46
42
30

28%
24
25
30
33
35
31

35%
41
38
36
40
45
36

$13
31
23
18
14
16
16

$11
36
24
16
11
15
14

U .S ........... ........

29

39

30

42

13

14

10

-20

* M ortgaged farms only.




Page 157

LOANS

OF

8th

URBAN

D IS T R IC T ,

AND RURAL
AUGUST

1948

MEMBER

BANKS

AND 1949

TOTAL LOANS
(Millions of Dollars)

* N o n -x ttk ly Reporting Counlry Mwnbtr Banks
* * R « ( t r v t City And Wttkly Reporting Mcmfcor Bank*

credit agencies indicate that in some cases short­
term debts have been incurred in amounts that
cannot be repaid out of current earnings. Some
of these probably will be converted into long-term
real estate debt. This trend became evident in
1948.
Poor crops can reduce materially the ability to
retire debt. Many farmers in the wheat country
found that profits were reduced sharply as a result
of the wheat crop’s being smaller than a year
earlier. Reserves in most cases were sufficient to
carry them through, but another poor crop might
conceivably result in numerous distress cases. Some
cotton producers have been affected similarly. Pro­
duction expenses have been so high and the crop
so far below the 1948 average that returns were
not large enough to pay the production loan. In
some instances the production loan for one year’s
crop exceeds the normal limit for a farm mortgage
loan.
Short-term loans continued to increase in the
first half of 1949 and in July, 1949 were 11 per
cent more than a year earlier. The increase from
July, 1947 to July, 1948, however, was nearly 21
per cent. In district states total net loans of country
banks (the bulk of which are short-term) in August,
1949 were 5 per cent above those of a year earlier.
This figure includes business and other loans in

Page 158




addition to agricultural loans, however, and it is
likely that farm production loans at these banks
rose more than the over-all increase indicates.
SUMMARY
Farmers in the aggregate are in sound financial
position, but it is probable that their assets at the
outset of 1949 were higher than they will be, for
several years to come. Land values have declined
in 1949 and will be reflected in a lower valuation
on land. This will merely be writing down a part
of the write-up in value which took place during
the war. T o a few individuals who desire to liqui­
date farms purchased in 1948 the decline may mean
capital loss, however.
Farmers’ holdings of currency and demand de­
posits have declined during 1949 and are expected
to decline further as the profit margin narrows.
On the other hand, farmers are adding to the value
of machinery and household equipment on farms.
Farm mortgage debt increased in 1949 (•continu­
ing the trend begun in 1946) after reaching $5.1
billion at the outset of the year. Although the
amount of debt in relation to the value of the land
is not high, some individual farms are mortgaged
for more than they would bring a few years ago.
About a fifth of the mortgages recorded in 1948
were for 75 per cent or more of the purchase price.
Individual hardship cases probably will increase
because of high purchase prices, large loans to
service and declining profits.
Short-term debt increased 20 per cent in 1948.
The $4.9 billion outstanding in January, 1949 ex­
ceeded any previous amount. Outstandings con­
tinued to increase during 1949. Again the total
amount outstanding is not too alarming in view
of the fact that the amount of machinery (and the
price level) has increased substantially. However,
some individuals have had to renew loans and
convert into long-term debt.
Commercial bankers in general have become
aware of possible difficulties in the future and have
examined credit needs carefully. Although farm
profits are declining, they are sufficiently high
that farmers as a group will be able to pay produc­
tion costs, service their loans and still add to their
capital accounts for several years to come. Poor
crops or unsound planning, however, may put
some farmers under burdensome debts.
Donald L. Henry

Survey of Current Conditions
Total industrial production in the nation con­
tinued to increase in September. In a number of
industries the advance carried into October. But
because of the loss of production in the steel and
coal producing industries, total industrial output
in October was considerably smaller than in the
previous month. As a result, the statistical meas­
ures of industrial production will show that the
recovery which began in the third quarter has
been rather violently interrupted. They are also
likely to indicate an average level of output for
the entire fourth quarter somewhat lower than
had been anticipated earlier.
The strikes in steel and soft coal have had con­
siderably less effect on industrial operations in the
Eighth District than in other parts of the country.
Basic steel production in the St. Louis area was
not interrupted by the strikes. In the coal produc­
ing areas in this district, mines in Missouri and
Arkansas are in operation now, while in other
district states a sizable portion of the coal produced
comes from mines not involved in this labor dis­
pute. Industrial activity in a fairly large part of
the district was curtailed as a result of the
Missouri Pacific railroad strike. The net effect
of strikes on industrial production, however, prob­
ably has been less serious in this district so far
than in the nation as a whole.
At the national level the relatively high levels of
operations or advances have continued in industries
not directly affected by labor disputes. In part
these gains are seasonal in character, but in many
instances they also reflect something of a change in
business policy with respect to inventories. In the
first half of 1949 business in general was conducted
on a declining level of inventories. But consumers
continued to spend their money— supplementing
income with credit and savings in holding their
expenditures at a level higher than was anticipated
earlier. One result was a substantial reduction in
business inventories, since sustained consumer de­
mand was being met partly out of accumulated
stocks of goods.
In the third quarter there were indications that
retailers and others in the production-distribution
process were re-ordering to rebuild stocks. This
change in policy has been given much credit for
the recovery in production. Recent estimates of the
U. S. Department of Commerce, however, indicate




that at least through August and probably the
entire third quarter the net liquidation of business
inventories continued, although at a very much
lower rate, when allowance is made for normal
seasonal changes. W hile the evidence is not as
yet conclusive, it suggests that the major change
in buying so far is toward a policy of ordering to
meet current consumer demand and away from
the practice of supplying consumers’ needs from
inventories. However, the evidence to date indi­
cates that except in the steel and textile consuming
industries, outright accumulation of inventories per­
haps has played a much smaller part in the third
quarter recovery than has been credited to this
factor.
The short run outlook continues to be influenced
largely by consumers’ willingness and ability to
maintain their expenditures. Some light has been
thrown on this question by the mid-year survey
of consumers by the Federal Reserve Board. This
study indicates that at the time of the survey con­
sumers expected to continue buying fairly heavily
throughout this year. It may be significant, how­
ever, that many potential customers for durable
goods equipment— automobiles, major appliances
and the like— apparently hinge their prospective
purchases on price reductions. Yet these are the
items produced in industries directly affected by
work stoppages in the steel and aluminum in­
dustries— where supplies may be curtailed as a
result of these strikes. These conditions are not
conducive to price reductions.
PRICES
C O N S U M E R S ’ P R IC E IN D E X
Bureau of L abor
Sept. 15, 1949
Statistics
Sept. 15, June 15, Sept. 15,
com pared with
(1 935-39= 100) 1949
1949
1948
June 15,’ 49 Sept. 15,’ 48
United States....l69.6
169.6
174.5
0 -%
— 2.8 %
169.8
175.0
— 0.5
— 3.S
St. L ou is........168.9
Memphis ........172.7
173.5
177.1
— 0.5
— 2.5
R E T A IL F O O D
Bureau of L abor
Statistics
Sept. 15, A u g. 15, Sept. 15,
(193 5 -3 9= 1 0 0)
1949
1949
1948
U .S . (51 cities).. 204.2
202.6
215.2
St. L ou is.......... 211.6
210.6
223.0
Little R o ck ...... 201.4
201.6
212.0
Louisville ........ 194.3
192.4
207.2
Memphis ........ 213.0
214.3
227.8

Sept. 15, 1949
com pared with
A u g. 15,’49 Sept. 15,’ 48
+ 0 .8 %
— 5.1%
+ 0.5
— 5.1
— 0.1
— 5.0
4- 1.0
— 6.2
— 0.6
— 6.5

W H O L E S A L E P R I C E S IN T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S
Bureau of L abor
Sept.,’ 49
Statistics
com pared with
(1 9 2 6 = 1 0 0 )
S ept.,’ 49 A u g .,’49 Sept.,’ 48
A u g .,’ 49
Sept.,’ 48
A ll Comm odities .... 153.7
153.0
168.5
+ 0.5 %
— 8.8 %
Farm P roducts.... 163.1
162.3
189.1
+ 0.5
— 13.7
F oods ...................
162.0
160.6
186.3
+ 0.9
— 13.0
Other ................... 145.5
145.1
153.2
+ 0.3
— 5.0

Page 159

EMPLOYMENT

Most of the sizable gain in nonagricultural em­
ployment which occurred in the nation between
July and August was retained in September, ac­
cording to Bureau of the Census reports. The
small drop in September employment was due to
the withdrawal of summer workers from the labor
force, for there was a moderate increase in the
number of employed adult workers. In Septem­
ber— for the first time in six months—nonagri­
cultural employment was not substantially below
the corresponding month of 1948. The number
of persons actually at work increased, as fewer
persons were on vacation.
Although in September unemployment in the
nation was still 80 per cent higher than last year,
it showed a significant decline for the second con­
secutive month, dropping to the level of last May.
Although youths under 25 years of age accounted
for two-thirds of the drop in unemployment in
September, the reduction in the ranks of unem­
ployed older persons is significant.
On the darker side of the picture, the number
of persons job-hunting for relatively long periods
of time continued to increase. Approximately one
of every four unemployed persons had been jobless
for fifteen weeks or more in September.
The volume of insured unemployment declined
substantially in all the district states as well as
in the nation between August and September. The
largest percentage drop occurred in Indiana and
Mississippi, although all the district states had
decreases equal to or exceeding the national de­
cline of 12 per cent. The number of claimants is
materially larger than a year ago, with the increase
ranging from 10 per cent in Missouri to 116 per
cent in Illinois.
In four of the five district states for which data
are available (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Ten­
nessee), nonagricultural employment rose slightly
less than one per cent between July and August,
according to U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics esti­
mates. This was the first increase in most of these
states since early this year. In Missouri, however,
nonagricultural employment declined slightly less
WHOLESALING
N et Sales
Line o f Com m odities
September, 1949
Data furnished by
com pared with
Bureau o f Census,
A u g., 1949
Sept., 1948
U . S. D ept, o f Com m erce *
— 2%
— 16%
A utom otive Supplies ----+ 9
0
D rugs and Chem icals......
+ 2
— 1
D ry G oods .........................
+ 2
— 11
Groceries .......... ................
+ 4
— 17
H ardware ............................
+ 3
— 1
T ob a cco and its Products
— 3
— 12
Miscellaneous ..................
+ 3%
**T otal A ll L in es........
— 9%
* Preliminary.
**ln clu d es certain items not listed above.

Page 160




Stocks
Sept. 30, 194V
compared
with
Sept. 30, 1948
%

....

— 22
— 3
— 1
— 17
— 3
— 11%

than one per cent because of a large drop in govern­
ment employment and smaller declines in trade
and service. Significant gains occurred in manu­
facturing employment in all states except Arkansas.
The increases generally were due to seasonal in­
fluences, but some could not be attributed to this
factor The national increase in both nonagricul­
tural and manufacturing employment between July
and August was a trifle higher, percentagewise,
than in any district state.
In the St. Louis area total nonagricultural
employment increased slightly between July and
September. However, if the number of railroad
employees affected by the railroad strike is de­
ducted from the September employment figure,
employment would show a small drop between July
and September. Employment increases in the
manufacturing, mining, construction, trade and fi­
nance industries in St. Louis more than offset
decreases in the service, government and public
utilities industries between July and September.
In the manufacturing group, employment in the
durable goods industries dropped slightly and in­
creased in the nondurable goods industries. Gains
in manufacturing were small but widespread as
eleven of the nineteen major industry groups in­
creased employment during the period. The four
industries to show a decline were primary metals,
transportation equipment, leather and non-electrical
machinery.
September employment in St. Louis was about
15,000 below the year ago level mainly because of
a 14,000 drop in manufacturing. Durable goods in­
dustries were responsible for 11,000 of the manu­
facturing employment decline. The construction
and trade industries also employed fewer persons
than last year, while the finance, service and gov­
ernment industries employed more.
Employment in the Louisville area edged upward
during the past two months after reaching the
year’s lowest level in June and July. All the in­
crease in employment between July and September
was concentrated in the manufacturing industries.
Nonmanufacturing industries showed a moderate
decline. In manufacturing, all major industries
except primary metals gained in employment dur­
ing the two-month period. In nonmanufacturing,
gains in the public utilities industry were more than
offset by declines in government and construction.
The Kentucky Department of Economic Security
has reported that further increases in employment
are expected by employers during the fall months.
Nonagricultural employment in the Memphis
area increased by more than 5,000 between July
and September because of general increases in both

manufacturing and nonmanufacturing industries.
In manufacturing, substantial gains occurred in the
tobacco, textile, apparel, furniture, chemical, petro­
leum and coal and electrical machinery industries.
The increase in nonmanufacturing employment, due
primarily to seasonal influences, occurred in the
mining, construction and trade industries. The
Tennessee Department of Employment Security
has reported that employment levels are expected to
remain high for the rest of the year, with most
industries forecasting slight increases due to sea­
sonal factors.
Employment in the Little Rock area increased
by almost a thousand between July and August
principally because of an increase in the construc­
tion industry. Manufacturing employment increased
very slightly as gains in the apparel and instrument
industries compensated for a loss in the electrical
equipment industry. August employment continued
below the year ago level, as almost all industries
employed either fewer or the same number of
persons as last year.
IN D U S T R Y

Divergent trends were apparent in the industrial
activity of the Eighth District in September. In­
creases over the previous month were indicated
generally in manufacturing operations.
Other industrial lines— on-site construction work
is typical— stayed about the same. Still others de­
clined : among them crude oil and coal production,
the latter by a considerable margin. Since part of
the decreases were due to strikes, the areas of the
district hardest hit have been the coal mining
regions and the towns in the district served ex­
clusively by the Missouri Pacific Railroad. How­
ever, the effect of the strikes has been relatively
less damaging in this district than in other steel
and coal producing areas in the nation.
Because of the shorter work month total indus­
trial power consumption in the district’s major
manufacturing centers in September was slightly
lower (by 3 per cent) than in August and about
the same as a year ago. On a daily average basis
consumption was up nearly 6 per cent. Total use
of industrial power declined from August in all
reporting cities except Little Rock and Pine Bluff.
Manufacturing.—Although on a daily average
basis activity in nearly all lines was higher in Sep­
tember than in August, the shorter work month
in September resulted in a slight decline in total
manufacturing activity. Increases over August in
total output were indicated in chemicals, rubber
products, textiles, lumber, meat packing and dis­
tilling. Output was lower in the manufacture of
automobiles, electric products, food and kindred




products, iron and steel products, stone, clay and
glass, transportation equipment, and in the brewing
industry. In some parts of the district gains were
registered in the food and stone, clay and glass
industries.
Steel.— The steel strike which has cut production
in most of the nation’s major steel centers has not
adversely affected the industry’s operations in the
St. Louis area. The union and companies are oper­
ating on an extension of old contracts. During
September operations of the open hearth furnaces
were scheduled at 75 per cent of capacity. This
was 4 points higher than in August but 8 points
below year ago levels. Schedules continued high
in the first three weeks of October.
Lumber.— Basic lumber operations in the district
in September were slightly higher than in August,
although in some areas operations were handi­
capped by bad weather. The market for softwood
and hardwood continues strong, reflecting the high
level of demand in the construction industry. The
hardwood market has been aided by improving
retail sales of furniture.
Southern pine operations in September were 3
per cent higher than in August and than a year
ago. Operations of reporting southern hardwood
producers were the same in September as in August
but 28 per cent below year ago levels.
C O N S T R U C T IO N
B U IL D IN G P E R M IT S
M onth o f September
Repairs, etc.
N ew Construction
Number
Cost
Num ber
Cost
(C ost in
1948
1949 1948 1949
1949 1948 1949
1948
thousands)
64 $
112
86 $
76
85
80 $ 130 $ 228
Evansville ......... ...
...
61
69
471
628
345
205
118
93
Little R o ck .........
83
202 1,015 1,614
93
108
57
Louisville ........ ... 199
630 3,112 2,433
196
176
128
196
Memphis ........... 2,321
256
292
279 2,800 4,280
St. L ou is............. ... 342
676
655
1,002
842 $1,094 $1,077
Sept. Totals... ...3.008 1,260 $7,528 $9,183
A ug. Totals... ...3,080 1,364 $9,374 $6,223
971
977 $1,094 $1,070

IN D U S T R Y
C O N S U M P T IO N O F E L E C T R IC IT Y
N o. of
A u g.,
Sept.,
CusSept.,
Sept., 1949
1949
1948
(K .W .H . tom1949
com pared with
in thous.) ers* K .W .H . K .W .H .
K .W .H .
A u g ., ’ 49
Sept., ’ 48
8,029
9,094
9,025
— 11.7%
— 11.0%
Evansville.. 40
5,439
5,159
5,549
+ 5.4
Little R o ck 35
— 2.0
70,317
70,471
Louisville.. 80
70,909 R
— 0.2
— 0.8
Memphis ..3 1
5,052
5,129
5,185
— 1.5
— 2.6
4,647
Pine Bluff.. 26
3,482
4,160
+ 11.7
+ 33.5
St. Louis... 139
83,980
89,593
84,708 R
— 6.3
— 0.9
Totals ..351
177,464
183,606
178,858 R
— 3.4%
— 0.8 %
‘ Selected industrial customers.
R — Revised.
L O A D S I N T E R C H A N G E D F O R 25 R A I L R O A D S A T S T . L O U I S
F irst N ine Days
Sept., 49 A u g., ’49 Sept., ’ 48 O ct., ’ 49 O ct., ’ 48 9 m os. ’49 9 mos. ’ 48
101,093
105,285
116,860
31,459
939,077
37,180
1,078,465
S ou rce: Term inal Railroad A ssociation o f St. Louis.
C RU D E O IL P R O D U C T IO N — D A IL Y
( I n thousands
o f bbls.)
Arkansas ......
Illinois ............
Indiana ..........
K entucky ......
T otal ..........

Sept.,
1949
71.6
179.2
28.1
23.3
302.2

A u g .,
1949
73.1
181.9
27.4
23.0
305.4

Sept.,
1948
82.4
180.4
23.8
25.2
311.8

AVERAGE
Sept., 1949
com pared with
A u g., 1949
Sept., 1948
— 13%
— 2%
— 1
— 1
+ 3
+ 18
— 8
+ 1
— 3%
— 1%

Page 161

RETAIL TRADE
D E P A R T M E N T STORES
Stocks
on Hand

N et Sales
Sept., 1949
com pared with
A u g .,’ 49 Sept.,’ 48

Stock
Turnover

9 fflos. ’ 49
to same Sept. 3 0 /4 9
Jan. 1 to
period com p, with
Sept. 30,
1948 Sept. 30,’48 1949
1948

8th F. R. D istrict..... + 11%
— 8%
— 6%
— 8%
2.90
2.88
Ft. Smith, A rk ..............+ 16
— 7
0 — 17
2.98
2.70
— 12
— 5
— 9
3.04
3.11
Little R ock, A rk ...... _ + 9
Q uincy, 111.....................+ 21
— 10
— 6
— 13
2.49
2.59
Evansville, In d ............ + 8
— 12
— 12
— 22
2.64
2.65
Louisville, K y .............. + 10
— 8
— 4
— 5
3.15
3.21
St. Louis Area 1........ + 11
— 8
— 7
— 10
2.88
2.87
St. Louis, M o ......... + 10
— 9
— 7
— 10
2.89
2.89
E. St. Louis, 111.....+ 13
+ 2
— 3
...............................................
Springfield, M o ............+ 10
— 8
— 14
— 13
2.46
2.58
M emphis, T enn........ _ + l 3
— 5
— 2
— 1
2.98
2.85
*A11 other cities.......... + 8
— 8
— 5
— 13
2.34
2.31
* E l D orado, Fayetteville,, Pine B luff, A r k .; Harrisburg, M t. Vernon,
111.; N ew A lbany, V incennes, I n d .;Danville, H opkinsville, Mayfield,
Paducah, K y . ; Chillicothe, M o .; Greenville, M is s .; and Jackson, Tenn.
1 Includes St. L ou is, M o .; A lton , Belleville, and East St. Louis, 111.
O utstanding orders o f reporting stores at the end of September, 1949,
were 3 per cent greater than on the corresponding date a year ago.
Percentage o f accounts and notes receivable outstanding September 1,
1949, collected during September, by cities:
Instalm ent E xcl. Instal.
A ccou n ts
A ccou n ts
F ort Smith ...... ....%
Little R o c k ......... 17
Louisville ........ ...22
M emphis ........ ... 23

4 9%
44
48
45

Instalment E xcl. Instal.
A ccounts
Accounts
Q u in cy ................ 18%
St. Louis .............20
O ther Cities .... 14
8th F. R . Dist. 20

55%
54
55
50

IN D E X E S O F D E P A R T M E N T S T O R E SALE S A N D STOCKS
8th Federal Reserve District
Sept.,
1949

July,
1949

280
326
288
264

Sales (daily a vera ge), unadjusted 2..................... .335
Sales (daily a vera ge), seasonally adjusted 2___332
S tocks, un ad ju sted 8 .................................................311
Stocks, seasonally adjusted 3....................................280
2 Daily A verage 1935-39 = 100.
3 End o f M onth A verage 1 9 3 5 -3 9= 100.

A ug.,
1949

Sept..
1948

254
325
278
267

366
362
336
302

S P E C IA L T Y STO RES
Stocks
on Hand

N et Sales________
9 m os. 1949
Sept., 1949
to same Sept. 30,’ 49
com pared with
period com p, with
A u g ., 1949 Sept., 1948
1948 Sept. 30,’48

Stock
Turnover
Jan. 1 to
Sept. 30,
1949
1948

M en’ s Furnishings....+ 3 8%
— 15%
— 4%
— 4%
1.90
1.98
- 0
— 1
+13
3.21
3.26
B oots and S hoes......+ 30
Percentage o f accounts and notes receivable outstanding September 1,
1949, collected during S eptem ber:
M en’ s Furnishings................... 4 2%
B oots and Shoes..................... 41%
T rad ing d a ys: September, 1949— 2 5 ; A ugust, 1949— 2 7 : September,
1948— 25.
R E T A IL

F U R N IT U R E

N et Sales

8th Dist. T o t a l 1- — 2 %
— 7%
+ 3 % — 11%
27%
30%
St. L ou is A r e a a. . + 7
+ 7
+ 1
— 4
56
52
St. L ou is.......... + 8
+ 8
+ 1 — 4
58
54
L ouisville A r e a 8..— 12
— 30
+ 6 — 18
15
17
Louisville ........ — 13
— 32
+ 5 — 19
15
17
Mem phis ............— 11
— 16
+ 3
+ 3
14
18
Little R o ck .......... — 5
— 7
+ 3
— 3
21
31
F ort Sm ith............ — 32
— 22
*
*
.•
* N ot shown separately due to insufficient coverage, but included in
E ighth D istrict totals.
1 In addition to follow ing cities, includes stores in Blytheville and Pine
B luff, A rkansas; H opkinsville, O w ensboro, K en tu ck y; Greenville, Green­
wood, M ississip p i; H annibal and Springfield, M issouri; and Evansville,
Indiana.
2 Includes St. L ou is, M issouri and A lton , Illinois.
3 Includes Louisville, Kentucky and N ew Albany, Indiana.
**39 stores reporting.
D IS T R IB U T IO N

OF

F U R N IT U R E

SALES

Sept., ’49
Cash Sales .....................................
Credit Sales .......... .........................
Total Sales ................................

Page 162




Shoes.— District shoe output in August totaled
8.4 million pairs, according to preliminary esti­
mates. Although this was about 1 per cent below
the output of last August, it was 22 per cent above
that of the previous month and was the highest
monthly total since March. U. S. production in
August was estimated at 36.2 million pairs, an 8
per cent increase over July but 12 per cent below
that of August, 1948.
Meat Packing.— Meat packing operations in the
St. Louis area in September were 9 per cent higher
than in August and 17 per cent above year ago
levels. In September 412,000 animals were slaugh­
tered under federal inspection, the largest monthly
total since March. The month-to-month increase
was due primarily to a 17 per cent increase in hog
killings, although slaughter of cattle and calves also
showed a gain. Sheep slaughter was off about 3
per cent.
Oil and Coal.— Crude oil production in the district
in September averaged 302,000 barrels daily. This
was a decline of about 1 per cent from August
and 3 per cent from a year ago. Compared with
last month, gains in Indiana and Kentucky were
slightly offset by declines in Illinois and Arkansas,
which are the district’s first and second ranking
producers. Only Indiana wells produced more oil
than in September of last year.

STO R E S**

Inventories

Sept., 1949
Sept., 1949
Ratio. o f
com pared with com pared with
Collections
A u g .,’49 Sept.,’ 48
A u g .,’49 Sept.,’48 Sept.,’49 Sept..’ 48

PERCENTAGE

Whiskey.— There was a seasonal pickup in whis­
key operations in Kentucky in September. At the
end of the month 26 of the state’s 63 distilleries
were in operation—one less than a year ago but 8
more than at the end of August. In August whis­
key production in Kentucky was the same as in
July, 2.8 million gallons and nearly 2 million gallons
less than a year ago.

A u g., ’ 49

Sept., *48

11%
89
100%

13%
87
100%

13%
87
100%

Daily output in the district in the third quarter
averaged 303,000 barrels— nearly 2,000 barrels less
than in the third quarter of last year and 800 barrels
fewer than in the previous quarter of this year.
Coal production in the district’s mines fell off
again, reflecting the strike in U.M .W mines. Sep­
tember output was estimated at 5.1 million tons,
the lowest total since the strike in the spring of
1946. Production was 28 per cent lower than in
August and 48 per cent below year ago levels. All
states registered month-to-month decreases rang­
ing from 3 per cent in Missouri to 60 per cent in
Arkansas. Compared with September of last year
declines ranged from 23 per cent in Western Ken­
tucky to 70 per cent in Arkansas. U. S. production
was 37 per cent below August and 58 per cent below
September of last year.

Nationally, coal stocks (industrial and retail) in
August remained at a high level in spite of de­
creased production during the past few months.
The recent low output in September is not reflected
in these figures, however. According to preliminary
figures stocks were estimated to be about 69 million
tons— only fractionally below July and higher than
a year ago. This is estimated to be a 63 day supply,
but only a 16 day supply in retail yards.
Construction.— Building permits awarded in the
major district cities in September were considerably
lower than in August and than in September, 1948,
largely because of decreases in nonresidential
awards. Permits totaling $8.6 million were author­
ized, compared with $10.5 in August and $10.3 in
September, 1948. In St. Louis awards increased 51
per cent over August, but this gain was offset by
decreases in all other reporting cities. Permits
authorized for new residential building totaled $4.5
million, a decline of only 4 per cent from August
and an increase of 21 per cent over year ago totals.
St. Louis permits nearly doubled the previous
month total, and slight gains were also registered
in Memphis and Little Rock. New nonresidential
authorizations were off 36 per cent compared with
August.
TRADE
In the nation expenditures at retail stores in Sep­
tember were fractionally larger than in August,
after seasonal adjustment, but were off 2 per cent
from September, 1948. Motor vehicle dealers, with
an increase of 22 per cent, were the only major
group with volume larger than a year ago. Lumber
and building materials dealers suffered a decline of
14 per cent from last September’s level. Homefurnishings sales were off 5 per cent from last year.
Reporting department stores in the Eighth Dis­
trict also had a larger volume of sales than in
August. Average daily sales increased more than
seasonally for the third consecutive month and in
September were 332 per cent of the 1935-1939 aver­
age. W hile total volume was off 8 per cent from
last September as compared with a 5 per cent
decline nationally, average daily sales on a sea­
sonally adjusted basis increased 2 per cent from
August both in the district and nationally.
Furniture stores in the district report a smaller
volume of sales in September than in August as
compared with an increase nationally. Reporting
stores in this district did 2 per cent less business
during the month while nationally sales were up
4 per cent. Volume was closer to last year’s level
nationally than in the district— being off only 5
per cent as against 7 per cent for the district.




BANKING
P R IN C IP A L A SSE T S A N D L IA B IL IT IE S
F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K O F ST. L O U IS
Change from
O ct. 19,
Sept. 21,
O ct. 20,
(I n thousands o f dollars)
1949________ 1949________1948
............. $
............
Industrial advances under Sec. 13b.......... $ ............... $
Other advances and rediscounts...............
5,751 —
53 —
5,971
U .S . Securities ................................................ 954,686 + 27,645 — 277,566
Total earning assets...................................$960,437 $ + 27,592 $— 283,537
Total reserves .................................................. $ 760,792 $ +
Total deposits ................................................
644,169 +
F .R . notes in circulation............................... 1,076,025
+

4,174 $ + 58,469
23,701 — 185,351
8,053 — 39,347

Industrial commitments under Sec. 13b....$ ............... $ ................. $ .................
P R IN C IP A L A SSE T S A N D L IA B IL IT IE S
W E E K L Y R E P O R T IN G M E M B E R B A N K S
E IG H T H F E D E R A L R E S E R V E D IS T R IC T
(I n thousands o f dollars)
34 Banks R eporting
Change from
O ct. 19,
Sept. 21,
O ct. 20,
ASSETS
1949________ 1949________ 1948
Gross com m ercial, industrial and agri­
cultural loans and open m arket paper..$ 523,797
Gross loans to brokers and dealers in
securities .......................................................
5,674
Gross loans to others to purchase and
carry securities ............................................
20,872
Gross real estate loans...................................
184,054
1,411
Gross loans to banks.....................................
Gross other loans (largely consum er
credit loans) ................................................
213,542
Total .............................................................
949,350
Less reserve for losses.......................
9,568
N et total loans............................................$ 939,782
Treasury bills ..................................................
48,480
Certificates o f indebtedness..........................
263,046
Treasury notes ................................................
40,273
U. S. bonds and guaranteed obligations
767,975
Other securities ..............................................
168,312
Total investments ..................................... $1,288,086
Cash assets .......................................................
754,075
Other assets ....................................................
25,414
Total assets .................................................. $3,007,357

$+

53,058

—

977

—
+
—

115
5,248
2,404

$— 74,181
—

—
1,051
+
7,515
+ 53,759
— 51,457
+
24
+
2,101
$ + 53,735 $— 53,558
—
4,212
— 36,286
+ 13,823
+ 116,423
—
4,138
— 27,262
— 10,196
+ 11 9 ,4 9 2
+
4,908
+ 28,580
$+
185 $ + 200,947
+ 47,349
— 81,934
+
100
+
383
$ + 101,369 $ + 65,838

L IA B IL IT IE S
Demand deposits o f individuals, partner­
ships, and corporations............................ $1,507,615 $ + 50,985 $ +
Interbank deposits .......................................
624,449 + 51,303
+
U . S. Governm ent deposits........................
57,764 +
5,659
+
121,873 —
5,483
—
Other deposits ................................................
Total demand deposits.............................. $2,311,701 $ + 102,464 $ +
Tim e deposits ..................................................
485,929 +
369
+
B orrow ings .......................................................
5,200 — 4,050
+
23,622 +
1,945
+
Other liabilities ..............................................
Total capital accounts...................................
180,905
+
641
+
Total liabilities and capital accounts..$3,007,357 $ + 1 0 1 ,3 6 9 $ +
Demand deposits,

adjusted * .................... $1,405,888 $ +

* Other than interbank and governm ent
items on hand or in process of collection.

1,604

—
6,217
+ 28,047
—
5,017

demand

34,280

$+

deposits,

26,225
17,952
1,404
3,519
42,062
10,845
800
6,224
5,907
65,838
46,976
less cash

DEBITS TO DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS
( I n thousands
o f dollars)

Sept.,
1949

A u g .,
1949

Sept.,
1948

Sept.. 1949
com pared with
A u g .,’ 49 S ept.,’48

20,766 $
20,806 $
E l D orado, A rk .....$
23,614 - 0 -%
— 12%
F ort Smith, A rk...
39,206
36,749
39,077 + 7
■0 Helena, A rk ...........
8,191
5,777
7,055
+ 42
+ 16
Little R ock , A rk...
114,708
108,766
123,853
+ 5
— 7
Pine B luff, A rk .....
31,966
22,248
33,864 + 4 4
— 6
Texarkana, A rk.*..
10,572
9,505
11,625
— 9
+ 11
A lton, 111..................
22,351
22,420
24,499 • 0 — 9
E .S t.L .-N a t.S .Y .,Ill. 115,301
113,014
120,068
+ 2
— 4
Quincy, 111..............
28,768
26,540
28,606 + 8
+ 1
Evansville, In d .......
124,797
117,919
+ 12
111,255 + 6
Louisville, K y .........
468,238
— 3
479,288
480,848 — 2
O w ensboro, K y .......
31,196
30,147
28,133
+ 3
+ 11
Paducah, K y ...........
13,139
12,605
— 8
14,218 + 4
Greenville, M iss.....
21,560
22,231
15,372
+40
— 3
Cape Girardeau, M o.
11,242
10,876 — 4
+ 3
11,701
H annibal, M o .........
8,069
7,808
8,000 + 3
+ 1
Jefferson City, M o.
53,209
47,014
43,878 + 13
+ 21
St. Louis, M o ....... 1,422,609
— 6
1,453,767
1,515,939 — 2
Sedalia, M o ..............
9,491
10,203 — 1
— 7
9,546
Springfield, M o .......
55,500
54,769
60,363
— 8
+ 1
Jackson, T enn.........
16,534
+ 3
19,475
18,959 + 18
Memphis, T enn.......
538,294
426,315
485,996 + 26
+ 11
Totals .................$3,168,648 $3,048,610 $3,223,160 + 4 %
— 2%
•These figures are for Texarkana, Arkansas, only
Total debits for
banks in Texarkana, Texas-Arkansas, including banks in the Eleventh
District, amounted to $24,862.

Page 163

The value of inventories held by reporting de­
partment stores increased in September on a sea­
sonally adjusted basis for the first time since March.
The total value of stocks was up 8 per cent from
the end of August. This more than seasonal in­
crease lifted the adjusted index to 280 per cent
of 1935-1939. A month earlier the index was 264
per cent and at the peak on March 31 this year
it was 323 per cent. Inventories continued at a
level below last year’s, however— down 8 per cent
from the end of September, 1948 when the ad­
justed index was 292 per cent of the base years.
Outstanding orders increased 26 per cent in value
during September and were up 3 per cent from the
value of orders on September 30, 1948.
Credit sales in department stores again accounted
for a larger proportion of total volume than they
did a year ago. In September 54 per cent of total
sales volume represented some form of credit sales.
A year ago the ratio was 53 per cent and two
years ago it was 49 per cent. Some of the increase
since last September is in open credit (charge ac­
count) sales, which represented 45 per cent of
total sales in September or fractionally more than
a year ago. The proportionate increase in instal­
ment credit sales is considerably greater. In Sep­
tember these sales were equal to 9 per cent of the
total sales; a year ago they accounted for 8 per
cent.
B A N K IN G

Gross demand deposits were not significantly
changed from a year ago, according to reports from
all district member banks at the end of September.
Time deposits were 2 per cent above last year’s
level. This gain came in the first half of 1949;
since June the trend has been slightly down. Total
loans were 3 per cent below September, 1948, while
U. S. Government securities were 14 per cent and
other securities 5 per cent above a year ago. The
loan decline— occasioned principally by the business
recession that took place in the first half of the
year— was slightly offset by the September, 1949
expansion which was greater than that in Septem­
ber, 1948. The expansion in Government holdings
reflected the easing of reserve requirements and
the return of the Federal deficit.
The variation in the year’s change as between
the city banks and the rural banks should also be
noted. The smaller country banks, as a group,
showed a slight loss in demand deposits, although
their time deposit volume grew in the same pro­
portion as that at the other member banks. And
total loans at the rural banks were above a year
ago (3 per cent) ; they had leveled off, however,
and since April, 1949 had not repeated the growth
Page 164




of the previous two years. Loan volume, on the
other hand, was reduced 6 per cent below a year
ago at the end of September, 1949 by the city banks.
Likewise, the percentage growth in U. S. Govern
ment securities held was only IV2 per cent as com­
pared with 25 per cent at other member banks.
The picture developing at the country banks in
the district is somewhat different from that develop­
ing at the city banks. The reduction of farm
income, in substantial amounts for portions of this
district, may tend to reduce deposit volumes in
some rural areas.
Data from the weekly reporting member banks,
which are representative of the city bank rather
than the smaller rural bank group, is available to
October 19, 1949 and indicates that business and
agricultural loan expansion has continued at a pace
similar to last year’s.
A G R IC U L T U R E

The cotton crop improved slightly during Sep­
tember in Arkansas and Mississippi, where indi­
cated production on October 1 was 70,000 bales—
10,000 more than a month earlier. The Missouri
crop prospects declined by 15,000 bales, however.
For district states the crop still is 23 per cent
smaller than that of 1948. Nationally it will be
4 per cent larger primarily as a result of the fact
that the cotton crop in Texas is 2.3 million bales
larger than in 1948.
Conditions were generally favorable for other
crops. The corn crop was estimated October 1 at
3,477 million bushels, a decline of 49 million bushels
during the month. Much of the decrease occurred,
however, in the western Corn Belt. The national
crop is expected to be 5 per cent smaller than the
1948 record crop. The decline in Indiana, Missouri
and Kentucky compared with 1948 is expected to
be 6, 11 and 13 per cent respectively.
A G R IC U L T U R E
CASH

IN C O M E

Arkansas ....$ 22,553
Illinois ........ 115,730
Indiana ...... 76,990
K en tu cky .... 37,715
M ississippi.... 16,483
M issouri .... 79,006
Tennessee .. 27,697
T otals ....$376,174

8 m onth

— 2%

— 5%

— 4

— 7
— 4
— 31
— 23

$ 243,716
1,058,155
564,002
304,665
255,547
573,888
237,205
$3,237,178

+ 24%
— 8
— 14
+ 2
+ 35
— 15
— 9
— 5%

S H IP M E N T S A T N A T I O N A L

(I n thousands A u g .,
o f dollars)
1949

R E C E IP T S A N D

FARM

A u g. 1949
com pared with
A u g.,
July,
1948
1949

STOCK

—2
1
—

1

— 7

—1
1
—1
0
— 11%

—1
2
—1
1

— 14%

1949

_________ Receipts__________
Sept., 1949
Sept.,
com pared with
1949 A u g .,’ 49 S ept.,*48
Cattle and calves....163,252
H o e s ........................210,996
Sheep ........................ 73,014
T otals ................... 447,262

+ 6%
— 4
— 16
— 3%

+15%
+26
+17
+20%

total Jan. to A u g.
1949
com pared with
1948
1947
+ 2 7%
— 7

—1
0
—1
0

+ 43
— 7
— 8
— 3%

YARDS

Shipments__________
Sept., 1949
Sept.,
com pared with
1949 A u g .,’ 49 Sept.,*48
76,154
66,602
26,718
169,474

+31%
— 18
— 25
— 3%

+36%
+33
+73
+39%