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FEDE"

RESER v n

?UIS

MONTHLY Kc.vie.W
OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN
EIGHTH DISTRICT
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of November 30, 1927
WILLIAM McC. MARTIN
Chairman of the Board and Federal Reserve Agent

U SIN E SS in this district during the past
thirty days was influenced in an unusual de­
gree by weather conditions. Throughout
October and the opening days of this month temper­
atures were abnormally high over virtually the en­
tire Middle W est. These conditions had the effect
of limiting distribution of fall and winter merchan­
dise both at retail and wholesale, also of preventing
the expansion in trade which is ordinarily experi­
enced at this time of year. On the other hand the
mild, open weather was extremely beneficial to late
crops. Corn prospects, which earlier in the season
were poor, improved substantially in October. This
crop, as well as cotton, rice, tobacco and some less
important products were harvested under the most
ideal conditions which have attended these opera­
tions in recent years. Yields are turning out larger
than expected, and due to the auspicious harvesting
weather, quality in most instances is much higher
than had been looked for. This combination of cir­
cumstances has improved matters in the agricultural
areas and materially augmented purchasing power
in the farming community.
Reports from manufacturers and wholesalers in
the chief centers of population indicate a lagging
tendency and disposition to purchase with caution.
O f the lines investigated a large m ajority showed
decreases in the volume of October sales as com ­
pared with the same month last year, also as com ­
pared with the preceding month this year. A m ong
the lines showing losses in both comparisons were
hardware, groceries, dry goods, drugs and chemi­
cals, lumber, automobiles, furniture, electric supplies,
millinery and railroad supplies. Gains over last year
were recorded in clothing, boots and shoes, men’s
hats, fire clay products, explosives and some
branches of the iron and steel industry. Generally
the iron and steel industry, however, exhibited re­
cessionary tendencies, with a further shrinkage in
unfinished business and new orders booked. D e­
partment stores in the principal cities showed a

B




small aggregate gain in O ctober over a year ago,
and increases were reported by mail order houses
and five and ten-cent stores. There was a further
decrease in freight loadings of railroads operating
in this district, and a sharp recession in building
permits.
The employment situation, as reflected in re­
ports of the Employment Service of the U. S. D e­
partment of Labor, was less satisfactory than during
the preceding month and the corresponding period
in 1926. Fewer workers were employed in southern
textile and lumber mills, and there was the usual
seasonal falling off at cement plants and in the quar­
rying industry. Generally through the district there
was an increase of unemployment among com m on
laborers, most marked in the building industry. The
mild weather, permitting of uninterrupted w ork on
highways, gave employment to large numbers of
workers, and public works relieved the situation in
certain localities. Gains were reported in tobacco
warehouses and factories, cotton products plants,
glass factories and certain miscellaneous industries.
Mild weather through October and this month
adversely affected the coal market. Current con­
sumption was inadequate to take care of production,
and in all the chief coal sections of the district rail­
road tracks were burdened with loaded cars for
which no orders existed. Reports from the Illinois
and Indiana fields, in which the miners’ strike ter­
minated on October 1, indicate that operations are
on a relatively limited scale. Nevertheless output
is in excess of demand, and operators are experienc­
ing difficulty in disposing of the coal lifted. A s has
been the case for a number of weeks, steaming coal
is especially quiet and weak. Numerous industrial
concerns still have a considerable part of the reserve
stocks accumulated in the belief that the strike
would endure through this winter, and are burning
these supplies before arranging for additional ton­
nages. The W estern Kentucky fields are feeling the
effects of competition of the reopened union mines,

and of the increased rate differential on shipments
to Chicago and the Northwest, which recently went
into effect. The dom estic coal trade is in need of
cold weather to stimulate demand. Railroad buying
is disappointing. A ccording to mine operators, at­
tempts to curtail output have been complicated by
unevenness in demand as between different sizes of
coal. For the country as a whole, production of
bituminous coal for the year to Novem ber 5, ap­
proximately 262 w orking days, amounted to 445,208,000 net tons, against 472,182,000 tons for the cor­
responding period in 1926 and 425,193,000 tons in
1925.
A further decrease in freight traffic as con­
trasted with the same time last year was reported
by officials of railroads operating in this district.
For the country as a whole loadings of revenue
freight during the first 43 weeks of this year, or to
October 29, totaled 44,459,425 cars against 45,101,716
cars for the corresponding period last year and
43,430,103 cars in 1925. The St. Louis Terminal
Railway Association, which handles interchanges
for 28 connecting lines interchanged 224,460 loads
in October, against 211,615 loads in September and
241,339 loads in October, 1926. During the first
nine days o f N ovem ber the interchange amounted
to 60,566 loads, against 63,678 loads during the cor­
responding period in O ctober and 68,350 loads dur­
ing the first nine days of November, 1926. Passen­
ger traffic of the reporting roads in O ctober de­
creased 10 per cent as compared with the same
month last year. Estimated tonnage of the Federal
Barge Line between St. Louis and New Orleans
for October was 103,000 tons, against 89,396 tons in
September and 103,960 tons in October, 1926.
Collections generally through the district were
more satisfactory than during the tw o preceding
months, though about equal to those a year ago. In
the South where cotton has begun to move, both
merchants and bankers report improvement in liqui­
dation, and some betterment was noted in the rice
and tobacco areas. Elsewhere in the country, h ow ­
ever, spottiness was complained of, with backward­
ness in some parts of the grain belt and coal fields.
In the large cities retailers, except certain depart­
ment stores, reported payments less prompt than
heretofore, but wholesalers for the m ost part are
getting in their m oney satisfactorily. Answers to
questionnaires addressed to representative interests
in the several lines through the district showed the
follow ing results:
Excellent

October, 1927............... 1.3%
September, 1927......... 1.4
October, 1926............... 1.4




Good

38.5%
31.5
26.4

Fair

52.5%
54.8
62.5

Poor

77%
12.3
9.7

Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal R e­
serve District during September, according to Dun’s
numbered 63, involving liabilities of $1,345,463,
against 53 defaults in September with liabilities of
$184,910, and 67 failures for $801,234 in October,
1926.
The per capita circulation of the United States on
N ovember 1, 1927, was $41.25, against $41.35 on
O ctober 1, 1927, and $42.53 on November 1, 1926.
M A N U F A C T U R IN G A N D W H O L E S A L E
Autom obiles — Combined passenger car and
truck production in the United States during O cto­
ber totaled 221,292, which compares with 257,580
in September and 332,463 in October, 1926.
The decline in distribution of automobiles of the
past several months was continued during October
and the first half of this month. The shrinkage in
O ctober sales was too pronounced to be accounted
for by the usual seasonal considerations, and was
ascribed by dealers to a general disposition on the
part of prospective purchasers to await the ‘appear­
ance of new models. W hile losses were quite gener­
al through all classes of passenger cars, the heaviest
declines were in the low priced cars. Business in the
country was relatively less satisfactory than in the
large centers of population, there being a general
inclination among farmers to postpone filling re­
quirements until next spring. Handlers of the more
expensive makes in the large cities report lack of
interest on the part of their customers in renewals,
and universally owners are repairing and condition­
ing their cars to make them serviceable as long as
possible. This policy is reflected in relative activity
in parts and accessories. Demand for trucks and
business automobiles holds up well, and tractor
sales have shown improvement since the middle of
September. O ctober sales of passenger cars by 320
dealers scattered through the district were 22.0 per
cent less than during the same month in 1926, and
14.5 per cent under the September total this year.
Accessories and parts sales of the reporting dealers
in October were 4.2 per cent smaller than in Sep­
tember, and 0.5 per cent larger than in October,
1926. Stocks of new cars were larger than a month
and a year earlier, but a further slight reduction in
used car stocks was reported. O f the new cars
sold 50.3 per cent were on the deferred payment
plan, which compares with 52.2 per cent in Septem­
ber, and 58.3 per cent in October, 1926.
B oots and Shoes — October sales of the 5 re­
porting interests were 5.3 per cent larger than for
the corresponding month in 1926, and 0.8 per cent
smaller than the September total this year. Stocks
on N ovem ber 1 were 1.3 per cent larger than a

month earlier, but 5.3 per cent in excess of those on
N ovem ber 1, 1926. Demand generally through the
entire line continued satisfactory, but movement of
winter footwear through the retail trade was re­
tarded by the warm weather in October. Factory
operations were slightly reduced in October, but
were still above the average for that month during
the past five years.
Clothing — The movement into consumptive
channels of seasonal apparel has been generally dis­
appointing, due to warm weather through October.
Sales of both men’s and w om en’s clothing for spring,
however, developed improvement, particularly in
the south, and prices are reported firm. Demand for
work clothes has fallen off somewhat as compared
with the preceding thirty days, and is below that
of the corresponding period last year. Sales of the
5 reporting clothiers in O ctober were 17.5 p e rc e n t
larger than during the same month in 1926, and
171.1 per cent larger than the September total this
year. The gain in the month-to-month comparison
was accounted for by seasonal considerations.
Drugs and Chemicals — A s compared with the
corresponding month in 1926, O ctober sales of the
9 reporting firms showed a loss of 5.1 per cent, and
the total was 6.9 per cent smaller than that of Sep­
tember this year. Unusually warm weather in O cto­
ber held down the m ovement of seasonal goods, and
reduced industrial activity has adversely affected
demand for heavy drugs and chemicals from the
manufacturing trade. Demand for the general line
of drugs and miscellaneous items holds up well, and
ordering of holiday goods has picked up markedly
since the first of this month. Prices developed no
change worthy of note as contrasted with the pre­
ceding thirty days.
D ry Goods — October sales of the 8 reporting
firms were 0.1 per cent under those of the same
month in 1926, and 17.4 per cent below the Septem­
ber total this year. Stocks on N ovem ber 1 were 1.4
per cent less than on the same date in 1926, and 6.3
per cent below those on October 1 this year. Busi­
ness is reported uneven, with the movement of w in­
ter merchandise held down by unseasonable weath­
er. The response to showings of holiday goods has
been under expectations. In the immediate past
there has been some improvement in orders for
spring delivery, and January and February ship­
ments are expected to be large.
Electrical Supplies — A further recession in ac­
tivities in this classification was noted, October
sales of the 5 reporting interests being 6.8 per cent
less than for the same month last year and 6.4 per
cent under the September total this year. Stocks on
N ovem ber 1 were larger by 21.6 per cent than a




month earlier and 24.7 per cent greater than a year
ago. Buying by the building industry was less ac­
tive than heretofore, and demand from utility com ­
panies was in smaller volume than during the past
several months.
Flour — Production at the 12 leading mills of
the district in October was 376,675 barrels, against
370,450 barrels in September and 411,049 barrels in
October, 1926. Stocks of flour in St. Louis on
N ovem ber 1 were 0.3 per cent less than on October
1, and 5.1 per cent below the total on November 1,
1926. The last half of October was marked by a
broadening in the domestic demand, particularly for
soft wheat flours in the South. Since the first week
of this month, however, a slowing down in new busi­
ness was noted, but shipping directions continue
good. Some sales for export to Latin-American
countries were made, but bids from Europe were
generally out of line, and aside from a limited quan­
tity of clears and low grade flours, little business
was booked. Mill operation was at from 55 to 60
per cent of capacity.
Furniture — October sales of the 14 reporting
interests showed a decrease of 4.3 per cent under the
same month in 1926, and of 5.1 per cent under the
September total this year. Stocks on N ovem ber 1
were 9.0 per cent smaller than thirty days earlier
and 35.8 per cent less than on October 1, 1926. R e­
tail merchants in both the city and country are pur­
chasing closely and holding inventories unusually
low. Sales of holiday goods have been generally be­
low expectations, though some improvement in this
respect has taken place since the middle of October.
Prices showed no change w orthy of note as com ­
pared with the preceding thirty days.
Groceries — Extremely conservative buying by
retailers and competition from chain stores were
mentioned as factors in a decline in October sales
b f the 11 reporting interests of 11.7 per cent as com ­
pared with the same month in 1926 and 2.4 per cent
under the September total this year. Stocks on
N ovember 1 were 6.1 per cent smaller than on the
same date last year but 19.9 per cent greater than
those on October 1 this year. Since the first of this
month there has been improvement in demand for
holiday goods, but sales in that category are below
those at this time a year ago.
Hardware — October sales of the 10 reporting
firms showed a loss of 1.7 per cent under those of
the same month in 1926 and of 18.5 per cent under
the September total this year. Stocks on November
1 were smaller by 23.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent,
respectively, than a month and a year earlier. A
slowing down in purchasing of staple goods was
noted, and seasonal merchandise is quiet, due to the

late fall. Prices showed little change worthy of note
as contrasted with the preceding thirty days. Sales
of sporting goods, hunters supplies and holiday
specialties were reported in satisfactory volume.
Iron and Steel Products — Conditions in the
iron and steel industry developed no special change
as contrasted with the preceding thirty days. Busi­
ness is extremely spotted, with total volumes slight­
ly below that of the month before, and rather sharp­
ly below that of the corresponding period last year.
A further reduction in unfinished orders was re­
ported by a number of important interests, and steel
mills are still handicapped by lack of purchasing by
the railroads. The outlet for ferrous materials
through the building and automotive industries was
not as broad as heretofore, and competition in virtu­
ally all com m odities has gained in intensity. On the
other hand certain specialty makers report an im­
proved demand for their goods, and have been oper­
ating at, or close to capacity. Manufacturers of
stoves and heating apparatus have booked a satis­
factory volum e of new orders, and their shipments
have compared well with the average at this sea­
son for the past five years. Farm implements inter­
ests also report improvement in both actual sales
and prospects for late fall and winter trade. Fenc­
ing, roofing materials, galvanized sheets, hoops,
bands, cotton ties and other goods used extensively
in the country are m oving in good volume. Rein­
forcing material has also sustained the activity
noted in the past several months. Contracting for
structural steel has fallen off, and fabricators in a
number of instances have curtailed their working
forces. Purchasing of bars, shapes, plates, and
sheets was in smaller volum e than a year ago. The
general trend of prices was lower, and in all quar­
ters there was a disposition to meet competition.
P ig iron declined in price and purchasing was light,
both of steel-making and foundry grades. Further
sharp declines were noted in scrap iron and steel,
many of the most important items touching the
lowest levels since the war. Production of pig iron
for the country as a whole in O ctober continued the
descent which has marked the past six months.
W hile the total of 2,810,231 tons was 27,731 tons
more than in September, the daily average produc­
tion was 90,652 tons, a drop of 2,098 tons per day
from the 92,750-ton rate of September. This output
was the lowest for any month since August, 1925,
when the daily rate was 87,328 tons. Production of
steel ingots in the United States gained in October,
the total for that month being 3,289,013 tons, against
3,232,108 tons reported in September, and 4,074,544
tons in O ctober, 1926.




Lum ber — The past thirty days have developed
no change w orthy of note from the dull conditions
obtaining during the preceding two or three months.
W hile the open weather of October stimulated de­
mand from the building industry and the rural areas,
the volume of buying from those sources was not
sufficient to affect the general situation. In this
district some improvement developed in purchasing
o f southern pine, but this was offset by smaller buy­
ing in other sections of the country, and values
failed to advance. Southern hardwoods, with the
exception of a limited number of items, continue
dull, and prices have declined during the past sev­
eral weeks. Production has been curtailed some­
what, but further additions were made to stocks.
The outlet through the automotive industry and
manufacturers of railroad equipment continues
narrow.
R E T A IL T R A D E
The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
follow ing comparative statement showing activity
at department stores in leading cities of the district:
N et sales com parison
O ct. 1927 10 m onths ending
com p, to
O ct. 31, 1927 to
O ct. 1926 same period 1926
E vansville .........+ 3 2 .4 %
+ 18.9%
L ittle R o ck .....
1.9
— 4.1
— 0.3
Louisville ....... . + 1.5
. + 2.9
— 4.1
— 8.3
Q u in cy ........... .— 9.8
— 2.3
. + 0.8
— 8.4
Springfield, M o. 4- 1.9
— 2.4
8th D istrict.... . + 1.2

M en’ s

S tock on hand
O ct. 31, 1927
com p, to
O ct. 31, 1926
+ 15.6%
— 0.2
— 11.3
— 12.0
— 8.1
— 3.5
+ 6.0
— 5.2

N et sales com parison
O ct. 1927 com pared to
O ct. 1926
Sept. 192 7
1.0%
+ 1 6 .3 %
furnishings...........
,.+ 0.2
+ 3 2 .8

S tock turnover
Jan. 1 to
O ct. 31,
1927
1926
T73
1.87
1.96
1.95
2.43
2.65
2.30
2.24
1.80
1.72
2.73
2.75
1.30
1.39
2.50
2.55

Stocks on hand
O ct. 1927 com pared to
O ct. 1926
Sept. 1927
+ 2 .1 %
+ 9.6 %
+ 3 4 .5
— 4.9

C O N S U M P T IO N O F E L E C T R IC IT Y
Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district reported consumption of elec­
tric power by selected customers in O ctober as
being 0.1 per cent less than in September, but 5.0
per cent greater than in October, 1926. T he de­
crease from September to October was attributed
to the seasonal reduction in requirements of refrig­
eration plants. In the yearly comparison heavy
gains were shown by cement, glass and some furni­
ture factories. Smaller loads were taken by iron
and steel plants. Detailed figures fo llo w :
O ct.
O ct.
Sept.
O ct. 1927
1927
1927
com p, to
1926
Custom* K .W .H , * K .W .H . Sept. 1927 * K .W .H .
ers
1,290
— 6.3 %T
1,192
1,272'
Evansville .....40
1,622
— 9.4
1,487
1,843
L ittle R o ck ....35
5,724
+ 2.3
6,127
6,266
Louisville ......83
1,555
+ 2 4 .3
1,459
1,813
M em phis ........31
16,950
— 0.4
17,797
17,728
St. L ou is......110
28,486
T ota ls......299
____
* I n thousands (000 om itted ).

28,498

— 0.1

27,141

O ct. 1927
com p, to
O ct. 1926
— 7.6^o
— 8.4
+ 9.5
+ 1 6 .6
+ 4.6
+

5.0

T he follow ing figures com plied by the Depart­
ment o f the Interior show kilowatt production for
lighting and industrial purposes for the country as
a w h ole:
B y water pow er
September, 1927.................2,223,254,000
A ugust, 1927....................... 2,411,562,000
Septem ber, 1926................ 2,074,147,000

B y fuels
4,336,586,000
4,249,728,000
4,092,444,000

Totals
6,559,840,000
6,661,290,000
6,166,591,000

B U IL D IN G
The dollar value of building permits issued for
new construction in the five largest cities of the
district during O ctober was 41.1 per cent less than
in the preceding month, and 31.9 per cent under the
total for October, 1926. A ccordin g to figures com ­
piled by the F. W . D odge Corporation, building
contracts let in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
in O ctober totaled $41,404,547, which compares
with $32,572,662 in September and $40,981,236
in October, 1926. There was no change w orthy of
note in labor wages or the price of materials during
the past thirty days, but the average cost of build­
ing is approximately 3 per cent lower than a year
ago. Production of portland cement for the country
as a whole during O ctober totaled 17,174,000 bar­
rels, against 17,505,000 barrels in September, and
16,596,000 barrels in October, 1926. Building fig­
ures for October, fo llo w :

E vansville ..
L ittle R ock
L ouisville ...
M em phis ....
St. Louis....

N ew Construction
Perm its
4Cost
'
1927
1926
1927
1926
522 ' 463
$ 221 $1,205
52
52
86
186
142
264
801
1,671
290
446
803
964
570
800
1,590
1,640

O ct. totals 1,576 2,025
$3,682
Sept. totals 1,502 1,885
6,253
A u g. totals 1,800 H.965
8,381
* I n thousands (000 om itted ).

$5,405
6,716
5,835

_______ Repairs, etc.
*Cost
Permits
1927
1926
1927
1926
97
98
$
27 $ 27
91
92
29
28
125
71
99
84
164
110
120
70
938
414
1,672
468
1,415
873
862

785
887
1,148

$1,947
571
763

$677
956
1,244

A G R IC U L T U R E
W eather throughout O ctober was mild and
ideal for maturing fall crops, and indicated yields
on Novem ber 1 of virtually all the principal pro­
ducts were above those a month earlier. Freezes
and killing frosts were delayed considerably beyond
their usual date, and in only a limited number of
localities was precipitation sufficiently heavy to
seriously hamper harvesting operations. A m ong
the crops especially benefitted by the auspicious
weather conditions were corn, potatoes, sweet pota­
toes, rice, grain sorghums, tobacco, peanuts, cotton
and some late fruits and vegetables. In addition to
specific betterment to crops, the fine weather per­
mitted of excellent progress in the matter of fall
farm w ork o f all kinds. Breaking of land for next
year’s crops has progressed rapidly, and seeding of
winter wheat was com pleted under the most favor­
able conditions in recent years. Pasturage and




forage are abundant, and reports from all sections of
the district indicate that live stock is doing well.
A ccording to the U. S. Department of A gricul­
ture, on November 1 the com posite of crop yields in
states entirely or partly within the Eighth Federal
Reserve District was 95.9 per cent. This indicates
that, considering all important crops, yields per
acre are expected to be 4.1 per cent below the aver­
age yields during the past ten years. This com ­
posite of yields is 4.9 per cent above the com posite
of crop yields and condition on O ctober 1, but 14.6
per cent below the com posite of yields per acre last
year. The supply of farm labor was universally ade­
quate to demand, and in some sections where public
work has slowed down, an excess of farm help was
reported.
C orn — Based on the N ovember 1 condition, the
yield of corn in this district is estimated at 337,972,000 bushels, which compares with an indicated
yield of 316,160,000 bushels on October 1, and
393,007,000 bushels harvested in 1926. In addition
to increasing the prospective yield, the ideal weather
of October will result in much higher quality than
had been expected earlier in the season. Practically
all the crop matured in October and the first week
of this month, which was prior to the first general
killing frost, which occurred on N ovem ber 6. The
grain has dried out well, and an unusually small
quantity of soft corn will be included in the late
crop. Husking is well under way and cribbing has
begun in some sections. For the country as a whole
the corn crop is estimated at 2,753,249,000 bushels,
which compares with 2,646,853,000 bushels har­
vested in 1926 and a 5-year average of 2,766,561,000
bushels.
W inter W heat — Open weather for field work
through October permitted of excellent progress
in seeding the winter wheat crop, and brought out
considerably more of the intended acreage than had
been thought possible six weeks or two months ago.
Planting was in progress in scattered areas up to
November 1. Generally soil conditions are all that
could be desired, and seldom in recent years have
prospects been more promising at this particular
season. Early seeded wheat is up to a good stand,
and rains since the first of this month have material­
ly assisted germination and growth of late planted
grain. Indications are for a heavier acreage than
was planted last fall. The total output of all wheat
in this district in 1927 is estimated at 66,600,000
bushels, against 69,715,000 bushels harvested the
year before.

Fruits and Vegetables — W hile some improve­
ment in prospects for certain late fruits and vege­
tables took place during October, general results
with these crops in 1927 were below those of the
preceding year and the 5-year average. Unfavorable
weather conditions during the crucial periods of the
grow ing season, coupled with the presence of insect
and fungus pests in unusually large numbers, are
being reflected in quantity and quality of yields.
Prospects for apples deteriorated further in October,
due to heavy drop and failure of fruit to reach the
expected size. In states w holly or partly within this
district the apple crop is estimated at 10,967,000
bushels, a decrease of 623,000 bushels from the
October 1 prospect, and comparing with 33,532,000
bushels in 1926. The commercial crop this year is
estimated at 1,472,000 barrels, against 2,949,000 bar­
rels in 1926. Sweet potatoes bettered their condition
in October, and the indicated yield in these states
is 21,958,000 bushels, against 20,949,000 bushels in
1926, and a 5-year average of 17,650,000 bushels.
Peaches, pears, grapes and a number of other fruits
show heavily reduced yields as compared with the
preceding year and a 5-year average. In the Eighth
Federal Reserve District the output of white pota­
toes is estimated at 14,071,000 bushels, against
13.239.000 bushels a month earlier and 13,003,000
bushels harvested in 1927. Gardens throughout the
district underwent surprising improvement under
influence of the mild weather.
Live Stock -— Reports from scattered sections
of the district indicate that pasturage and forage
are abundant, and that live stock is doing well,
there being unusually little disease among herds.
Slightly fewer cattle are on feed than last year, but
the improved corn propsects have resulted in an in­
crease of the number of hogs fattening in many
localities. Milk production showed the usual fall
decline, and output of eggs continued the downward
trend of the preceding thirty days.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follow s:
O ct.
1927
Cattle and Calves......159,738
H ogs .............................248,161
Horses and Mules.... 11,134
Sheep ............................ 42,013

Receipts
Sept.
O ct.
1927
1926
152,045 163,112
243,684 286,357
7,231
4,631
53,320 67,303

Shipments
Oct.
Sept.
Oct.
1927
1927
1926
110,530 109,988 109,530
183,620 186,967 213,262
9,186
7,174
4,569
17,032
23,085 40,902

Cotton — The indicated yield of cotton in this
district, based on the November 1 condition is
2.295.000 bales, an increase of 71,000 bales over the
October 1 estimate, and comparing with 3,349,000
bales harvested in 1926. W eather was rarely more
favorable for harvesting than during all of October
and the first few days of this month. Rapid progress
was made in gathering the crop, and these opera­




tions were attended with much less than usual loss
in yield and quality. The movement to market is in
satisfactory volume, and prices, while falling below
the high point of the season, averaged well above
those at the corresponding period last year. Stocks
of cotton in Arkansas warehouses on November 11
were 322,442 bales, against 212,414 bales a month
earlier and 575,437 bales at the corresponding time
last year. For the country as a whole the crop is
estimated at 12,842,000 bales, against 17,977,000
bales produced in 1926.
T obacco — The loose-leaf tobacco markets are
scheduled to open between the fifth and tenth of
December. Ideal curing weather has prevailed and
tobacco has been in good handling order. Farmers
have taken advantage of these conditions to prepare
their stock for market and considerable quantity will
be ready for delivery on opening dates. Reports in­
dicate a wide variation in quality of this year’s crop,
due to unseasonable weather for late planting. H o w ­
ever little damage was caused by frost, the greatest
injury being from premature cutting. Buying of the
dark fired crop continues in the Clarksville, Spring­
field and western districts, with a reduction of quan­
tity purchased, but prices, quality considered, are
as high as at the opening of the season. The output
of tobacco in this district, based on the November 1
condition, is 187,641,000 pounds, a betterment for
the month of 2,162,000 pounds, and comparing with
304,603,000 pounds in 1926.
Rice — The rice harvest was conducted under
ideal weather conditions, and as a result large quan­
tities are being threshed and offered to the mills.
Pressure of offerings has caused a slight recession
in prices during the past thirty days. Quality of rice
in Arkansas is the best in many years, and yields
larger than looked for earlier in the season. The
1927 output in Arkansas and Missouri is estimated
at 7,664,000 bushels, against 10,062,700 bushels in
1926, and a 5-year average of 7,751,000 bushels.
Com m odity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between October 15, 1927 and N ovem ­
ber 15, 1927, with closing quotations on the latter
date and on November 15, 1926.
Close
H igh
L ow
N ov. 15, 1927
N ov. 15, 1926
...per bu.$1.29?6$1.21 56
$1.28*6
$1.35*6
.... "
1.35
1.41
1.345*
1.26*4
N o. 2 red winter
1.48
1.39
$1.42@ 1.45 $1.34*4 @ 1.35
N o. 2 hard...... .... "
1.32
1.25%
1.31 @ 1.32
1.37 @ 1.38
Corn
.... “
.8654
.84%
.68*6
.80%
.... “
.93
.87%
.78%
.9256
N o. 2 mixed.... ,, “
.87
.80%
...........
.8 3 @ .85
N o. 2 white.... .... “
.91
.80
.69
.8 4 @ .8 5 %
.68 @
Oats
N o. 2 white....,.... "
.5354
.48
.53
.4554
Flour
Soft patent..... ...per bbl. 7,25
6.25 @ 7 .0 0
6.75
@ 7.50
6.20
Spring patent.. .... “
6.80
6.4 0 @ 6 .6 5
6.90 @ 7.10
6.25
M iddling cotton.. ..per lb.
.20%
.19 J4
.1954
.1254
H o g s on h o o f...... ..per cwt.11.85
8 .0 0 @ 9 .5 0 10.50 @ 12.05
7.90
W heat

F IN A N C IA L
The general banking and financial status in this
district during the past thirty days developed no
important change as contrasted with the similar
period immediately preceding. A s contrasted with
the same time last year, the principal change was in
loans of reporting member banks, which moved up­
ward to a new high in the week of N ovem ber 12,
while in 1926 there was a sharp downward m ove­
ment beginning in the middle of November, and
continuing through December. Deposits of these
banks declined during the final weeks of October,
but recovered the loss early this month, and on
November 16 reached the high point of the year.
Demand for credit for general commercial and in­
dustrial purposes has been well sustained as a
whole, but is spotted, both with reference to the
various lines and localities.
Through the south requirements for financing
the cotton, tobacco, rice and some lesser crops
showed the usual seasonal increase, but in the im­
mediate past there has been good liquidation in the
cotton sections, and country banks have substantial­
ly reduced their borrow ing from correspondents and
the Federal Reserve Bank. In the grain and live
stock areas settlements have also been large, but
new borrow ing has also been of sizeable propor­
tions, being stimulated by purchasing of animals to
fatten incident to the improved corn prospects.
Flour millers have reduced their commitments, and
due to high premiums of wheat, are carrying rela­
tively small stocks. Grain loans showed little varia­
tions as compared with a month earlier, but the vol­
ume is below that of a year ago. There was little
variation in the volum e of loans based on stocks
and bonds, the total at the middle of Novem ber be­
ing approximately the same as thirty days earlier.
B orrow ing from the Federal Reserve Bank by
member banks decreased during the period under
review and reached the lowest point since the end
of last April. Federal reserve notes in circulation
increased sharply, and attained a new high for the
year early this month. Interest rates averaged about
the same as during the month before, but the trend
was slightly easier. A t the St. Louis banks current
rates were as follow s: Prime commercial loans, 4
to 5 per ce n t; interbank loans 4J4 to 5 per ce n t; col­
lateral loans, Ay2 to 5 per cent; loans secured by
warehouse receipts, 4 % to 5 per cent and cattle
loans, SV2 to 6 per cent.

for 109 member banks, against 198 in September
and 232 in October, 1926. The discount rate re­
mained unchanged at 3y2 per cent. Changes in the
principal assets and liabilities of this institution as
compared with the preceding month and a year ago
appear in the follow ing ta b le:
1927
.$16,238
, 5,340
. 42,717

66,290
46,492
81,534

57.5%

53.7%

Debits to Individual Accounts — The follow ing
comparative table gives the total debits charged by
banks to checking accounts, savings accounts, cer­
tificates of deposit accounts, and trust accounts of
individuals, firms, corporations and U. S. Govern­
ment in leading cities o f the district. Charges to
accounts of banks are not included.
*Oct.
1927

*Sept.
1927

*O ct.
1926

$ 50,267
9,285
47,857
14,022
3,670
5,083
82,316
185,510
180,208
5,366
13,119
12,600
700,930
4,825
14,922

$ 50,924
11,807
43,671
16,031
5,681
6,306
102,616
199,840
182,049
4,801
17,050
12,834
801,380
5,184
15,862

,478,132 $1,329,980
om itted).

$1,476,036

E. St. Louis & N at’ l.
i.
Stock Yards, 111..1 49,475
&
El Dorado, Ark.... 10,104
Evansville, In d ...... 47,706
F ort Smith, Ark.... 17,838
Greenville, Miss....
4,233
6,684
Helena, A rk ...........
Little R ock, Ark.. 99,742
Louisville, K y ........ 195,450
Memphis, T en n ...... 218,819
5,351
Owensboro, K y .....
Pine Bluff, Ark.... 18,796
Quincy, 111.............. 12,556
St. Louis, M o ........ 770,389
Sedalia, M o ............
4,873
Springfield, M o ..... 16,116

Oct. 1927 comp, to
Sept. 1927 O ct. 1926
— 1.6%
4- 8.8
— 0.3
+ 2 7 .2
+ 15.3
+ 3 1 .5
+ 2 1 .2
+ 5.4
+ 2 1 .4
— 0.3
+ 4 3 .3
— 0.3
+ 9.9
+ 1.0
+ 8.0

— 2.8%
— 14.4
+ 9.2
+ 11.3
— 25.5
+ 6.0
— 2.8
— 2.2
+ 2 0 .2
+ 11.5
+ 10.2
— 2.2
— 3.9
— 6.0
+ 1.6

+ 11.1

+

0.1

Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
reporting member banks on November 16 showed
an increase of 0.3 per cent compared with October
19, and an increase of 0.02 per cent as contrasted
with November 17, 1926. Deposits increased 3.7
per cent between October 19 and November 16, and
on the latter date were 9.1 per cent larger than on
November 17, 1926. Composite statement follow s:
Number o f banks reporting........................
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured b y U . S. G ov’ t obligations....

*N ov. 16, *O ct. 19, *N ov. 17,
1927
1927
1926
31
31
31
6,791
194,842
313,980

...$515,712

$514,319

$515,613

... 126,416

75,585
126,049

62.170
117,874

$201,634
48,613
7,715

$180,044
48,510
7,750

407,177
237,689
5,968

399,221
218,019
1,480

$650,834

Investment
U. S. Gc
Other se<

4,233
207,656
302,430

$618,720

15,700
527

9,932
14,852

...$

4,996

Reserve balance with F. R.
Cash in vault.....................'........ .
Deposits
... 430,232
Tim e deposi
Government

...

6,413

$

$

... 303,244

Bills payable and rediscounts with
with F. R. Bank

Federal Reserve Operations — D uring October
A ll other................................. .
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted
* In thousands (000 om itted).
(Compiled Nov. 21, 1927)




68,860
51,225
86,182

59.5%

Ratio of reserves to deposits and
F. R. N ote liabilities..........................
* In thousands (000 om itted ).

1926
$37,077
9,415
19,798

, 64,295
, 53,348
, 90,470

Bills

u. s,

1927
$28,260
3,700
36,900

3,905

B U SIN E SS C O N D IT IO N S IN T H E U N IT E D S T A T E S
Industry and trade w ere less active in October than in
the preceding m onth and were in smaller volume than a
year ago. T h e general level o f wholesale com m odity
prices show ed a further slight advance.
P R O D U C T IO N — Production o f manufacturers de­
clined in O ctober contrary to the usual seasonal tendency,
while the output o f minerals remained in practically the
same volum e as in September. In O ctober and Novem ber
activity o f iron and steel mills and of automobile plants
was smaller than at any previous period of the year. There
were also decreases during O ctober in cotton consumption
and in the production o f building materials, crude petroleum

in sales that usually occurs in N ovem ber and D ecem ber,
but at the end o f the month they w ere no larger than a year
ago. Freight car loadings declined in O ctober and the
first part o f N ovem ber and were smaller than in the cor­
responding period of last year for all classes o f freight
except grain and grain products.
PR IC E S — W holesale com m odity prices increased
slightly in O ctober continuing the advance which began
early in the summer, and the Bureau o f Labor Statistics
index for O ctober was higher than for any previous month
o f this year. The advance in the average was higher than
for anv previous month o f this year. T h e advance in the

Ind ex o f U nited States Bureau of L abor Statistics (1 9 2 6 = 1 0 0 , base
adopted b y Bureau). Latest figures, O ctober 97.0.
Latest figures, O c to b e r:

manufacturers, 102;

minerals, 105.

and boots and shoes. The output o f bituminous coal and
the number of hogs and cattle slaughtered increased by
less than the usual seasonal amount. Production of flour,
copper and anthracite coal show ed increases in October.
Building contracts awarded increased considerably
ow ing to unusual large awards in N ew Y ork and Chicago
in the last w eek o f the month. The increases were largest
in contracts for residential and com m ercial buildings. Un­
usually favorable weather during O ctober in agricultural
states resulted in increased yield for late fall crops. The
indicated production o f corn, according to the N ovem ber
crop report o f the D epartm ent o f Agriculture, was placed
at 2,753,000,000 bushels, an increase of 150,000,000 bushels,
over the estimate o f the previous month and 106,000,000
bushels over the yield a year ago. Larger yields as com ­
pared with the previous m onth’s estimates were also indi­
cated for cotton, tobacco, and potatoes.

M onthly averages of daily figures for 12 Federal Reserve Banks.
Latest figures are averages for first 23 days of Novem ber,

than the usual seasonal increase in O ctober compared with
O ctober a year ago. W holesale trade in all leading lines,
except meats and drugs, was smaller.
Departm ent store sales were approximately 3 per cent
smaller than in O ctober, 1926, while those o f mail order
houses and chain stores w ere som ewhat larger. Inven­
tories o f merchandise carried by wholesale firms were
smaller in all reporting lines at the end o f the month than
in Septem ber. Com pared with a year ago, stocks were
smaller^ in all lines except drugs. Stocks o f department
stores increased in O ctober in anticipation o f the growth




average for all com m odities from September to O ctober re­
flected increases in the prices o f livestock, meats and dairy
products. Prices o f corn, cotton, coal, metals, paint mater­
ials and autom obile tires, on the other hand, declined. D ur­
ing the first three weeks in N ovem ber, there w ere increases
in the prices o f grains, cattle, copper, hides and rubber, and
decreases in hogs, cotton, silk, coal, petroleum and iron
and steel.
B A N K C R E D IT S — T otal loans and investments o f
mem ber banks in leading cities increased by nearly $300,000,000 during the latter part o f O ctober and the first half
o f N ovem ber and on N ovem ber 16 w ere the highest ever
reported.
Investm ents increased b y m ore than $200,000,000, re­
flecting in large part purchases o f Treasury certificates is­
sued on N ovem ber 15, and loans on securities increased by
about $125,000,000. Loans chiefly for com m ercial and agri­
cultural purposes declined during the period from the sea­
sonal peak reached early in O ctober. T here was a con-

M onthly averages o f w eekly figures fo r banks in 101 leading cities.
Latest figures are averages ifor $rst!i
^ e £ k ly report dates
in N ovem ber.

tinued increase in the dem and f o f reserve bank credit
between O ctober 19 and N ovem ber 23, aris^n$ chiefly out o f
further exports o f gold. D iscounts from m em ber banks
declined somewhat, while acceptances and holdings o f
United States Governm ent securities increased. Conditions
in the m oney market remained m oderately easy in N ovem ­
ber.
Call loan rates remained at the level reached in the
latter part o f O ctober, and rates on prime com m ercial paper
and bankers’ acceptances w ere unchanged.