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MONTHLY REVIEW O f Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District R elea sed for P u b lic a tio n O n a n d A fte r th e A ftern o o n o f N o v em b er 3 0 ,1 9 3 4 JO H N S. W O O D , C hairm an and Federal Reserve A g en t FEDERAL RESERVE N D U S T R Y and trade in the Eighth District during O ctober and the first half o f N ovember continued the improvement noted earlier in the fall. The usual statistics and data em ployed in gauging conditions reflected some spotty and irregu lar trends, but on the whole indicated distinct bet terment in actual business and sentiment as con trasted with both the similar period immediately preceding and a year ago. Demand for commodities is still in large volume, particularly consumer goods. Production o f merchandise in this category was at relatively high levels, a number o f lines which ordinarily curtail output at this time of year show ing less than the usual contraction. W ith few exceptions, wholesale and jobbing lines investigated b y this bank reported sales in excess of the like periods during the four preceding years. In a num ber o f classifications October volume was greater than in Septem ber; where declines were recorded in this comparison they were mainly seasonal in character and smaller than the average during the past decade. A m on g the wholesale lines in this area which showed increases in both comparisons were boots and shoes, electrical supplies, hardware and stoves. The volum e o f retail trade was also in excess o f a year ago. These results were achieved in spite of the retarded movement o f seasonal merchandise caused b y the mildest autumn weather experienced in ten years. T he high temperatures also had the effect o f reducing activities in certain manufacturing lines. Operations at steel mills and certain grey-iron foun dries decreased, and smaller outputs were reported b y manufacturers of glass, lumber, fire-clay prod ucts and some other building materials. On the other hand, makers o f stoves, ranges, heating appa ratus and farm implements reported orders and prospects the most favorable since the fall of 1931. Production o f bituminous coal in fields o f this dis trict increased measurably from September to O ctober, and tonnage lifted was moderately in excess o f that in October, 1933. Consumption 6f electricity by industrial Users iii the five largest cities during O ctober declined slightly from Septem I C . M . STEW ART, Secretary and A ss't F ed eral R eserve A g en t BANK OF ST, J. V IO N P A P IN , Statistician LO U IS ber, but was approximately 2 per cent greater than in O ctober last year. W hile interfering to some extent with seasonal merchandising, the clear, mild October weather was ideal for agriculture. The condition of late crops developed marked improvement, and harvest ing was accomplished with a minimum of loss in quantity and quality. In the case of the most im portant productions, notably cotton, tobacco, pota toes, forage and pastures, marked betterment was indicated between O ctober 1 and N ovem ber 1, ac cording to the U . S. Department of Agriculture’s report based on conditions as of the latest date. Prices o f agricultural products were sustained at levels well above the average of the past several years, and farmers purchasing power was aug mented by rental and benefit payments. In states entirely or partly within the Eighth District the amount of these benefits paid to farmers cooperat ing in the cotton, wheat, tobacco, and corn-hog adjustment programs of the Agricultural A djust ment Administration, up to O ctober 1, was $72,468,443. This amount was exclusive o f payments by the Government for the removal of surplus com modities from the market. A s reflected by sales of department stores in the principal cities, retail trade in O ctober was 6.0 per cent less than in September and 5.6 per cent greater than in October, 1933; cumulative total for the first ten months this year was 16.8 per cent larger than for the comparable period in 1933. Com bined sales o f all wholesaling and jobbing firms reporting to this bank in O ctober were 2.7 per cent and 5*6 per cent greater, respectively, than a month and a year earlier; for the first ten months the total was 13.2 per cent above that of a year ago. T he dollar value of contracts let for new construction in the five largest cities in O ctober was 3.6 per cent more than in September, but 7.1 per cent less than? in October, 1933; cumulative total for the first ten months fell 43 per cent below that for the same time in 1933. Construction contracts let in the Eighth D istrict in O ctober were 40.9 per cent great er than in September and 2 2 per cent more than the October, 1933, tota l; for the first ten months the aggregate exceeded that o f the like period in 1933, by 36.8 per cent. Debits to checking accounts in October were 18 per cent greater than in September and 11.4 per cent in excess o f the October, 1933, tota l; for the cumulative total this year the aggre gate was 11.2 per cent above that for the same period in 1933. A ccording to officials of railroads operating in this district, the volum e of freight traffic decreased moderately as contrasted with the corresponding period a year ago. For the year to date, however, the volum e exceeded that for the similar periods in 1933 and 1932. For the country as a whole, loadings of revenue freight for the first 44 weeks this year, or to N ovem ber 3, totaled 26,452,745 cars, against 24,861,297 cars for the corresponding period in 1933, and 24,094,042 cars in 1932. The St. Louis Terminal Railway Association, which handles inters changes for 28 connecting lines, interchanged 72,060 loads in October, against 77,661 loads in September and 74,384 loads in October, 1933. During the first nine days o f Novem ber the interchange amounted to 20,391 loads, which compares with 20,981 loads during the corresponding period in October, and 19,954 loads during the first nine days o f November, 1933. Passenger traffic revenue of the reporting lines in O ctober increased 3.14 per cent over the same month in 1933. Estimated tonnage o f the Federal Barge Line between St. Louis and New Orleans, in O ctober was 100,000 tons, against 112,860 tons in September, and 97,407 tons in O cto ber, 1933. Collections continue generally at the high levels which have characterized the past several months. Questionnaires addressed to representative interests in the several lines scattered through the district show the follow ing results: Excellent Good Fair Poor October, 1934........ 7.6% 39.2% 48.9% 4.3% 40.2 49.4 6.9 September, 1934....... 3.5 October, 1933....... 7.0 25.6 64.0 3.4 Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal D is trict in October, according to Dun and Bradstreet, numbered 36, involving liabilities o f $431,761, against 33 defaults in September with liabilities of $492,749, and 42 insolvencies for a total o f $ i ,019,098 in October, 1933. M A N U F A C T U R IN G AND W H O L E S A L IN G B oots and S h o es — O ctober sales o f the report ing firms were 3 per cent larger than for the same month in 1933, and 14 per cent in excess o f the September total this year. Inventories decreased 10.6 per cent between O ctober 1 and N ovem ber 1, but on the latter date were 68 per cent greater than a year earlier. T h e increase in the month-to-month sales comparison was contrary to the usual season al trend, and reflects largely expansion in demand in the rural areas, particularly in the south. W hile improvement was noted in all descriptions of foot wear, interest centered chiefly in medium grades and w orking shoes. Plants producing these goods were operating on relatively high schedules. Clothing — As contrasted with the same month a year ago, O ctober sales of the reporting firms showed a decrease of 22 per cent, but the total was 9 per cent greater than in September this year. Stocks decreased approximately one-third between O ctober 1 and N ovem ber 1, but on the latest date were 3 per cent larger than a year ago. T he unusu ally mild weather in O ctober served to hold down distribution of heavyweight apparel through retail channels. Demand for work clothing continued the steady increase noted during the tw o preceding months. Ordering for spring distribution is reported backward and somewhat smaller than at the corre sponding period last year. Drugs and Chemicals — Largely as a result of the mild fall, with consequent slack demand for seasonal goods, O ctober sales of the reporting interests reversed the usual seasonal trend and showed a decrease of 4 per cent under the preceding month. The total, however, was 15 per cent greater than in October, 1933. Inventories decreased slight ly during October, but on N ovem ber 1 were 8 per cent larger than a year earlier. Ordering of luxury and holiday goods was reported in excess of this time during the past three years. Increased sales in this category and of medicinals and proprietary preparations were offset by contracted purchasing of % lieavy drugs and chemicals, denatured alcohol, anti freeze mixtures, etc. D ry Goods — Sales o f the reporting firms in O ctober showed a gain o f 9 per cent over the same month in 1933, but were 9.5 per cent below the Sep tember total this year. Stocks on N ovem ber 1 were 12 per cent smaller than a month earlier, but 10 per cent greater than a year ago. The decrease in the month-to-month sales comparison follow ed the seasonal trend, and its extent was about equal to the average during the past decade. W arm weather has militated against the m ovement o f all seasonal lines, particularly w oolen blankets, outings and kin dred items. Reports covering the first half o f N ovem ber indicate som e betterment in demand for cold weather goods. E lectrical Supplies — Business in this classifi cation continued the improvement which has marked previous months this year, O ctober sales Showing an increase of 2 per cent over September and o f 32 per cent over the O ctober, 1933 total. Steady expansion in the demand for small m otors for a variety o f uses is reported, and the recent improvement in radio material, household appli ances and certain other lines was well sustained. Inventories on N ovem ber 1 were 8 per cent and 31 per cent greater, respectively, than a month and a year earlier. Furniture — A further decline in activities in this classification was indicated by the reporting firms, O ctober sales decreasing 2 per cent from Sep tember, and about one-third from October, last year. Inventories continued to recede, stocks on N ovem ber 1 being 2 per cent and 15 per cent small er, respectively, than a month and a year earlier. Ordering o f holiday goods is reported generally below expectations. Groceries — There was a slight falling off in business in this classification, contrary to the sea sonal trend, and attributable to the unusually warm weather throughout October. Since Novem ber 1 there has been a marked pick-up in purchasing by retailers and ultimate consumers, with indications that volum e for the entire month will exceed that o f a year ago by sizeable margin. Ordering o f holi day goods and specialties is reported in considerable volume. Prices as a w hole showed little change as contrasted with the preceding thirty days, increases about counterbalancing declines. O ctober sales of the reporting firms were 1 per cent less than in September, and 21.5 per cent greater than in O cto ber, 1933. Inventories on N ovem ber 1 were larger by 7 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively, than a month and a year earlier. Hardware — O ctober sales o f the reporting firms were the largest for any single month since September, 1933. Improvem ent in crop conditions follow ing the late August and September rains had a stimulating effect on demand for com modities used in the rural areas, the movement o f which as sumed large proportions. Purchasing o f paints and other supplies used in connection with the repair campaign, also, was a contributing factor in expand ing the sales volume. O ctober sales of the reporting firms were 3.5 per cent greater than in September, and 14 per cent in excess of the October, 1933, total. Stocks decreased 6 per cent between O ctober 1 and N ovem ber 1, and on the latest date were 7 per cent less than a year ago. Iron and Steel Products — The iron and steel industry in this general area during O ctober and the first half o f N ovem ber was marked by unusual spottiness. Relatively the best show ing in point o f melt was made by grey iron foundries, and more especially by makers of stoves, ranges and heating apparatus. Activities of farm implement manufac turers were well sustained, with a number of con cerns making up stock in anticipation o f calls for their products next spring. W hile the stove and range interests also produced some stock for inven tory, they were engaged chiefly on business actually booked. The character of their orders, com ing large ly from mail order houses and country distributors, indicates a revival of buying by ultimate consumers in the rural areas, especially in the south. M oder ate betterment was reported by certain makers of engines and miscellaneous machinery. Jobbing foundries report spotty conditions, some showing substantial gains while others reduced their working schedules. Steel mill activities underwent little change from the low levels which have obtained since the end of last summer. Purchasing by the railroads continued on a necessity basis, and while inquiries from the automotive industry have in creased in the immediate past, actual orders for castings and other finished materials were disap pointing. Outlet through the building industry showed no broadening tendencies. Fabricators of structural iron and steel are dependent chiefly on public works projects. October sales of iron and steel warehouse and jobbin g interests exceeded the September aggregate, but fell slightly below the October, 1933, volume. Deliveries of pig iron to melters during O ctober exceeded the total of the preceding month, and were the largest since last summer. The downturn in scrap iron and steel prices, which had been steadily in progress since the end o f July, was halted in October. For the country as a whole production of pig iron in O cto ber, according to the magazine “ Steer’, totaled 951.540 tons against 899,075 tons in September and 1.358.540 tons in October, 1933. Steel ingot produc tion in the United States in O ctober totaled 1,461,932 tons, against 1,251,630 tons in September, and 2,084,894 tons in October, 1933. A U T O M O B IL E S Combined passenger car, truck and taxicab pro duction in the United States in October, was 132,488, against 168,872 in September, and 138,485 in October, 1933. A s has been invariably the case during the past decade, distribution of automobiles in this district, according to dealers reporting to this bank, declined from September to October. T he extent of the de cline this year, however, was considerably smaller than the average during the period covered by the reports. The O ctober total showed a fair increase over the same month in 1933. Business was som e what spotty, with relatively the best results shown by dealers in the rural areas and larger centers of population in the south, reversing conditions exist ing a year earlier. Demand continues to center chiefly in the low priced field, approximately threefourths o f the O ctober aggregate sales being in that category. Demand for trucks holds up well and further into the season than usual. Requirements for highway construction and other outdoor engi neering projects continue in substantial volume. October sales of trucks fell slightly below a year ago, but were 2 per cent larger than in September. Sales o f new passenger cars by the reporting interests in O ctober were 4 per cent less than for the preceding month, but 12 per cent greater than a year ago. Conservative purchasing by dealers from the manufacturers has been emphasized by the nearness o f the season for new models. Stocks of new cars on dealers’ floors as of N ovem ber 1 were 8 per cent smaller than a month earlier, and 22 per cent larger than a year ago. Sales of used cars in O ctober fell 4 per cent and 7 per cent, respec tively, below a month and a year earlier. Stocks of salable secondhand cars held on N ovem ber 1 showed little change from the month before and were 6 per cent larger than on N ovem ber 1, 1933. A ccording to dealers reporting on that item, de ferred payment sales in O ctober constituted 48 per cent of their total sales, against SO per cent in Sep tember, and 46 per cent in O ctober, 1933. R E T A IL T R A D E T h e condition of retail trade is reflected in the follow ing comparative statements showing activi ties in the leading cities of the district: D epartm ent S tores Stocks Net sales comparison on hand Oct. 1934 10 months ended Oct. 31, 1934 Oct. 31, 1934 to comp, to comp, to Oct. 1933 same period 1933 Oct. 31, 1933 El Dorado, Ark.., . + 6 .3% + 3 6 .5 % + 1&.2% — 11.7 + 7.9 Evansville, Ind.... - 9.5 + 2 3 .2 — 9.4 Fort Smith, Ark.. h 3.9 + 0.3 + 2 7 .7 Little Rock, Ark. - 2.5 — 4.8 + 7.8 Louisville, Ky....... - 0.3 + 2 2 .5 + 3.9 Memphis, Tenn..... -12.5 — 5.7 + 15.4 - 4.8 St. Louis, Mo. — 8.0 + 2 6 .8 h 14.5 Springfield, M -25.9 + 2 7 .7 — 2.0 + 16.8 — 3.6 b 5.6 Stock turnover Jan. 1, to Oct. 31, 1934 1933 2.15 1.70 1.56 1.47 1.85 1.64 1.94 1.79 2.61 2.51 2.67 2.41 2.98 2.82 1.59 1.29 2.39 2.06 2.70 2.53 Percentage of collections in O ctober to accounts and notes receivable first day o f O ctober, 1934. PERCENTAGE OF COLLECTIONS BY CITIES El Dorado, Ark-................... 39.2% Memphis, Tenn.......................46.1% Fort Smith, Ark................... 42.4 Springfield, Mo.......................26.1 Little Rock, Ark......... ..........37.5 St. Louis, Mo........................53.4 Louisville, K y .........................52.3 All Other Cities.....................33.9 8th F. R. District....................... 49.5% R e ta il Sto res Stocks Net sales comparison on hafad Oct. 1934 10 months ended Oct. 31, 1934 comp, to Oct. 31, 1934 to comp, to Oct. 1933 same period 1933 Oct. 31, 1933 Men’s — — — < — * Furnishings ......+ 1.8% + 2 1 .8 % + 1 7 .0 % Boots and Shoes ...____ _ + 2.2 _ — 2.5 — 7.5 Stock turnover Jan. 1, to Oct. 31, 1934 1933 1.94 2.05 2.48 2.34 B U IL D IN G T he dollar value o f permits issued for new con struction in the five largest cities of the district in October was 3.6 per cent greater than in September and 7.1 per cent less than in O ctober, 1933. A ccord ing to statistics com piled by the F. W . D odge Cor poration, construction contracts let in the Eighth Federal Reserve District in O ctober amounted to $10,734,338 which compares with $7,616,894 in Sep tember, and $10,507,619 in October, 1933. Building figures for October, fo llo w : ^ New Construction Permits 46>st 1934 1934 1933 1933 Evansville 1 150 25 $ 4 $ Little Ro< k 21 46 2 16 Louisville .. 37 29 137 177 Memphis ... 136 108 197 45 ... 195 179 370 563 »..~390 482 $ 754 728 Sept. 298 488 Aug. 318 475 690 *In thousands (000 omitted). $ 812 475 3,877 Repairs, etc. dost Permits 1934 1933 1S>34 1933 50 $ 146 $ 12 331 80 32 11 149 25 50 71 49 147 131 112 83 180 88 66 19* 869 1,044 ; 807 » 466 666 522 $ 428 $ 243 550 460 210 261 C O N SU M PT IO N O F E L E C T R IC IT Y Public utilities in the five largest cities of the district report consumption of electric current by selected industrial customers in October, as being about 1.7 per cent larger than in September, and 0.7 per cent less than in October, 1933. Detailed figures fo llo w : Sept., No. of O ct., Oct. 1934 Custom 1934 1934 comp, to ers * K .W .H . * K .W .H . Sept. 1934 1,590 1,851 — 14.1% Evansville .... 40 — 7.8 1,702 1,846 Little Rock... 35 + 1.3 7,047 6,956 Louisville .... 83** 1,867 + 10.8 Memphis ..... 31 1,685 16,428 + 3.8 17,056 Totals ....382 29,262 *In thousands (000 omitted). ••Revised figures. 28,766 + 1.7% Oct., 1933 *IQW .H'. 1,505 l;547 7,384 1,427 17,605 Oct. 1934 comp, to Oct. 1933 + 5.6% + 10.0 — 4.6 + 3 0 .8 — 3.1 29,4)68 — 0 .7 % A G R IC U L T U R E Generally throughout the E ighth4 District weather during O ctober and the early Jpart of N ovem ber was favorable for all description^ of agri cultural operations, including harvesting, 1 housing and m oving of late crops. Reflecting these condi tions, improvement in prospects, w hich commenced with the late August and September rainfc, was carried further, and final results for the district as a whole are expected to be considerably betted than was thought possible earlier in the season, when extensive areas were suffering under the record spring and summer drouth. Betterment extended to food and feed crops, excepting corn, and esti mates for the district’s tobacco and cotton crops increased between O ctober 1 and N ovem ber 1. Lateness o f the dates for killing frosts and freezes permitted o f unusually late development in the case o f certain fruit and vegetable crops, including white potatoes. Conditions for preparing the seed bed and planting winter wheat and other fall sown grains were almost ideal; stands and grow th o f wheat are in the main satisfactory. Improvement in pastures since the middle o f September has been remarkable. In Missouri, for example, the condi tion on N ovem ber 1 was 64 per cent o f normal, which compares with 48 per cent on O ctober 1, and only 18 per cent on September 1. T h e indicated acute shortage of feed, pasturage and forage has been measurably reduced, and in many sections the mild fall has permitted farmers to conserve supplies for winter use b y grazing their livestock further into the season than is ordinarily the case. Rainfall has been well distributed and abun dant, supplying all immediate needs for livestock water and grow ing crops, also, partially correcting the deficiency in subsoil moisture, caused b y suc cessive years o f subnormal precipitation. Though in much of the district, the year w ill be one of reduced crop yields, elsewhere, notably in the south, many crops will closely approximate, and in some instances, exceed average. Expressed as a percent age o f the ten-year (1921-1930) average, combined yield per acre o f 33 important crops in states of the Eighth District as of N ovem ber 1, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, was as fo llo w s : Indiana, 79.9; Illinois, 62; Missouri, 47.7; Kentucky, 104.1; Tennessee, 111.4; Mississippi, 108.8 and Arkansas, 92. F or the United States the percentage was 78.7. Rental and benefit payments in states includ ing the Eighth Federal Reserve District paid up to O ctober 1, to farmers cooperating in the cotton, wheat, tobacco and corn-hog adjustment programs of the Agricultural A djustm ent Administration w ere as fo llo w s: Arkansas, $15,368,771; Illinois, $8,847,124; Indiana, $10,385,217; Kentucky, $2,995,304; Mississippi, $14,745,384; Missouri, $13,980,032; Tennessee, $6,146,611; totaling $72,468,443. The total as o f O ctober 1, represents an increase of 26.1 per cent over the $57,460,366 paid up to September 1. C om — A notable exception to the late im provem ent in crop prospects was in the case of corn, the harvest of which appears m ore discouraging as husking progresses. Based on Novem ber 1, condi tions, the U. S. Department o f Agriculture esti mated the Eighth District yield at 159,780,000 bush els, a decrease of 5,944,000 bushels under the O cto ber 1, forecast, and com paring with 296,955,000 bushels harvested in 1933, and an 11-year average (1923-1933) o f 346,344,000 bushels. T h e greatly reduced yield resulted primarily from the prolonged drouth, which was supplemented by widespread dam age from ichinch bugs, ear-worm and other detrimental factors. A n unusual number of barren stalks and chaffy or poorly filled ears are com m on over a large part o f the m ost important producing sections. T he crop matured prior to the first killing frost, and under favorable weather conditions, con siderable progress has been made in husking and cribbing. A larger acreage than ever before in this district was cut for fodder, W in ter W heat — Eighth District production of all wheat in 1934 is estimated by the U. S. Depart ment o f A griculture at 44,855,000 bushels, against 38,556,000 bushels produced in 1933 and an 11-year average (1923-1933) o f 49,448,000 bushels. Under extremely favorable weather conditions during the fall, soil preparations and seeding o f the new crop made rapid headway, and these operations were completed somewhat in advance of the usual season-* al schedule. A lm ost universally the plant is up to a good stand, and in strong position for entering the cold weather. Fruits and Vegetables — Improvement in pros^ pects for fruits and vegetables in this district, indi+ cated in the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s re port based on conditions as o f O ctober 1, was con tinued during the month o f October. T h e rains in late August and September reversed conditions in many sections, converting virtual failures to fair yields, and permitting of the planting and maturing of certain late vegetable crops. In the district proper the estimated yield o f white potatoes as o f N ovem ber 1 was 9,499,000 bushels, an increase o f 516,000 bushels over the O ctober 1, forecast, and comparing with 9,107,000 bushels in 1933, and an 11-year aver age of 13,967,000 bushels. This crop escaped serious frost injury, and quality is turning out much better than was thought possible earlier in the season. Prospects for apples also bettered materially as a consequence of the moisture and mild fall. In states entirely or partly within the Eighth District the apple crop is estimated at 9,246,000 bushels, of which 3,956,000 bushels represent commercial pro duction, against 12,784,000 bushels in 1933, o f w hich 5.044.000 bushels were commercial crop, and a 5-year average (1927-1931) o f 15,181,000 bushels, with 6,653,000 bushels commercial crop. In these states the sweet potato crop is estimated at 17,975,000 bushels, an increase of 917,000 bushels over the October 1 forecast, and com paring with 15,960,000 bushels harvested in 1933 and a 5-year average of 15.873.000 bushels; pears, 2,067,000 bushels, against the virtual failure of 883,000 bushels in 1933, and a 5-year average of 1,706,000 bushels; grapes 36,101 tons, against 33,136 tons in 1933 and a 5-year aver age of 29,341 to n s; peanuts, 42,090,000 pounds, the largest on record, and com paring with 36,845,000 pounds in 1933 and a 5-year average o f 27,701,000 pounds. L ive Stock — Reflecting improved pastures and the mild fall weather, the condition o f herds gener ally through the district improved further from Sep tember to October. A ccordin g to the U. S. Depart ment of Agriculture’s N ovem ber 1 report, milk pro duction per milch cow on hand was slightly above that on the same date last year. M uch less grain was being fed per head, but low producers and dry cows have been drastically culled out, so that the number of milch cow s on hand is probably 3 to 4 per cent below a year ago. N ovem ber 1, eg g pro duction per hen was 9 per cent greater than the small production on that date in 1933, and 2 per cent greater than the S-year November 1, average. W hile tame hay production is short, the defici ency has been partly compensated for by late forage crops. In states of the district the yield of soybeans and cowpeas picked and threshed is placed at 13,564,000 bushels, against 9,783,000 bushels in 1933 and 8,634,000 bushels for the 5-year (1927-1931) average. Receipts and shipments, at St. Louis as reported by the National Stock Yards, were as follow s: _________Receipts________ Oct., Sept., Oct., 1934 1934 1933 Cattle and Calves......166,746 289,680 140,475 Hogs ..................... ....... 270,264 220,176 182,880 Horses and Mules.... 9,273 10,238 9,281 Sheep ........................... 83,011 68,941 49,438 Shipments Oct., Sept., Oct., 1934 1934 1933 102,061 178,078 69,880 166,348 115,410 134,481 10,022 9,204 9,327 28,417 18,744 10.259 Cotton — A s was the case with the country as a whole, Eighth District cotton prospects improved from September to October. In its report based on conditions as of November 1 the U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates production in this district at 2,036,000 bales, an increase of 79,000 bales over the October 1 forecast, and comparing with 2,554,000 bales harvested in 1933 and a 10-year average (1923-1932) of 2,705,000 bales. Weather was unusu ally auspicious during October and picking and gin ning progressed rapidly, with practically no losses of open cotton in the fields. Other contributing causes to the advanced harvest were early opening of bolls, an ample supply of labor, smaller acreage and balage that did not tax gin capacity. Since November 1 weather has continued favorable for picking the remnant of the crop, and little cotton remains in the fields. Killing frost occurred at a later date than usual, and practically all of the crop had matured prior to the low temperatures. Gin ning returns show a large amount of high grade staple. W ith considerable cotton stored in compress warehouses, shipments since August 1 are measura bly below those of the same period a year ago. M ore of the crop is going into the 12c loans by the Com modity Credit Corporation than into the market. Prices fluctuated within a relatively narrow range during October and the first half of November, but throughout the period continued well above a year and tw o years earlier. In the St. Louis market the middling grade ranged from 11.65c to 12.15c per pound between October 16 and November 15, clos ing at 12.15c on the latter date, which compared with 12c on O ctober 16, and 9.75c on November 15, 1933. Receipts at Arkansas compresses from August 1 to November 9 totaled 637,685 bales, against 711,799 bales in the corresponding period a year a g o ; shipments 243,123 bales against 352,011 bales last year. Stocks on hand as of November 9 totaled 652,404 bales, against 557,111 bales on October 12, and 614,307 bales on the corresponding date in 1933. Sales of fertilizer tags in states of the Eighth District for the period January-October, inclusive, this year, according to the National Fertilizer A sso ciation, totaled 577,506 tons, against 389,399 tons and 341,801 tons, respectively, for the corresponding periods in 1933 and 1932. Tobacco — Fall conditions have been excep tionally favorable for tobacco in this general area. Prospects since the end of August having bettered to the extent o f more than 7,000,000 pounds. In its report as of November 1 the U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates the Eighth District yield at 238,054,000 pounds, which compares with 277,750,000 pounds harvested in 1933 and an 11-year aver age (1923-1933) of 304,854,000 pounds. Seasonable weather has permitted tobacco of all types to cure satisfactorily, however, since the middle o f October stripping has been delayed by less auspicious mete orological conditions. Indications point to a gen erally high quality crop. Opening date for the burley and dark-fired markets is scheduled for December 3, and for the Green River market, November 27. CO M M O D ITY P R IC E S Range of prices in the St. Louis market be tween October 15, 1934, and November 15, 1934, with closing quotations on the latter date and on November 15, 1933, follow s: High Low Close Nov. 15, 1933 Nov. 15, 1934 Wheat ,per bu..$1.02 $ .94*£$ May .................. ... “ 1.02 .9354 No. 2 red winter “ 1.03 .97 No. 2 hard “ 1.08*4 1.02 Com •Dec...................... ... “ .83 .73*4 ... “ .84** .75*1 .75*6 .8 3 ^ *July ................... ... “ .80 No. 2 mixed .. ... " .86*4 No. 2 white ... ... “ .86 .93J4 Oats .55 No. 2 white .. ... " .57*4 Flour 6.50 Soft patent....... ..perbbl. 7.20 7.20 Spring “ ...... .. “ 7.65 Middling Cotton..per lb. .1215 .1165 2.00 Hogs on hoof......per cwt. 6.10 •Nominal quotations. 1.01 1.01 $ 1.00*4 .94 @ @ 1.01*4 1.07*4 .98*4 @ .82*4 @ .82 Vs .84 .83*4@ .83*4 .86*4 .93*4 , .47*4 .5 3 ?*@ .54 .5 5 *4 ® * 5 5 .# .43 .50*4 .57*4 6.70 7.40 3.00 @ 7 .0 0 @ 7.65 .1215 @ 6 .1 0 .89** .93 .94*4 .98*4 .37*4 6.45 6.45 3.60 @ 6.95 @ 6.95 .0975 @ 4.25 F IN A N C IA L Eighth District banking and financial conditions during the past thirty days were marked by a fur ther moderate improvement in demand for credit from general borrow ing sources. There was some increase in commitments of mercantile concerns, reflecting partly needs in connection with invento ries of holiday goods. Agricultural demand also broadened to some extent, particularly in the tobac co, rice and cotton sections. Deposits of the com mercial banks continued to mount, and at midNovem ber recorded a new high on the present up ward movement. Liquidation continued on a large scale, both at city and country banks. In the case; of country banks in the south a favorable develop ment was the paying-off entirely or reduction o f many loans o f long standing. These institutions for the most part continue to occupy a liquid posi tion, which will be augmented with the marketing o f tobacco. In some sections bankers report a fair demand for purchasing and conditioning livestock for market. Reporting member banks in the principal cities showed an increase in total loans of 2.7 per cent between O ctober 17 and Novem ber 14, but on the latter date the aggregate was still 6 per cent smaller than a year ago. Deposits increased 3.4 per cent, and at $574,756,000 on N ovem ber 14 recorded a new high for the year, an increase of more than one-fifth as contrasted with the corresponding re port date in 1933. Reserve balances also scored a new record high, the m id-N ovem ber total of $101,737,000 representing an increase o f 11.6 per cent and o f 88 per cent, respectively, over a month and a year earlier. Investments increased moderate ly, due entirely to heavier holdings of U. S. Govern ment securities. Borrowings of all member banks from the Federal Reserve bank showed little change during the four-week period, but continued meas urably under the corresponding time a year ago. The amount o f savings deposits held by selected banks on N ovem ber 7 was 2 per cent larger than on O ctober 3, and 19 per cent in excess o f the total on Novem ber 1, 1933. Interest rates continued at or around the low levels o f recent months. A t St. Louis banks, as of the week ended N ovem ber 15, current quotations were as fo llo w s : Customers’ prime commercial paper, 1 to 5y2 per cen t; loans secured by ware house receipts, 1J4 to 6 per cen t; collateral loans, 4 to 6 per cent and cattle loans 5 to 6 per cent. Condition o f Banks — Loans and discounts o f the reporting member banks on N ovem ber 14, 1934, showed an increase o f 2.7 per cent as contrasted with O ctober 17, 1934. Deposits increased 3.4 per cent between O ctober 17, 1934 and Novem ber 14, 1934 and on the latter date were 21.2 per cent great er than on N ovem ber 15, 1933. Composite state ment fo llo w s: •Nov. 14, 1934 19 Number of batiks reporting............ Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts) Secured by U . S. Govt, obligations and other stocks and bonds....$ 69,164 All other loans and discounts.... 155,508 Total loans and discounts.................$224,672 Investments U . S. Govt, securities...................$189,521 Other securities.............................. 115,965 •Oct. 17, 1934 19 $ 87,055 152,000 $218,830 $239,055 $184,515 115,196 $142,356 101,687 Total investments................................ $305,486 $299,711 $244,043 Reserve balance with F. R. Bank..$101,737 Cash in vault...................................... 8,906 Deposits Net demand deposits.................... ,$387,373 Time deposits.................................. 167,266 Government deposits..................... 20,117 $ 91,179 7,967 $ 54.112 8,993 $365,923 166,410 23,315 $289,714 158,694 25,700 Total deposits.......................................$574,756 $555,648 $474,108 Bills payable and rediscounts with ^Federal Reserve Bank................................... ............... 180 •In thousands (000 omitted). The total, resources of these, banks comprise approximately 62.0% of all member banks in this district. the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted for 10 member banks against 8 in September and 64 in October, 1933. Changes in the principal assets and liabilities of this institution appear in the fol lowing table: •Nov. 17, 1934 •Oct. 17, 1934 •Nov. 17, 1933 Bills discounted Bills bought ..... U . S. Securities.. Participation in Inv. Foreign 93,200 115 ” 93,200 Total Bills and Securities..... ..$ 93,783 $ 93,913 $ 94,978 ..$213,951 .. 158,393 .. 143,961 $206,813 151,772 141,594 $167,126 99,843 143,813 5,795 70.8% 70.5% 68 . 6 % 468 Total Reserves ........ ......................... Total deposits .................................... F. R. Notes in circulation.............. F. R. Bank Notes in circulation.. Ratio of reserve to deposits and F. R. Note Liabilities.. 1 59? 122 $ 1,381 242 93,200 155 •In thousands (000 omitted). Discount rates charged by this bank remain unchanged as follow s: 2 % per cent on advances to member banks on eligible paper and/or collateral, whether rediscounts or member bank promis sory notes, under Sections 13 and 13a. 4 Y* per cent on advances to member banks on their promis sory notes secured by ineligible paper and/or collateral, under Section 10b. 4 y2 per cent on advances to banks and other financing insti tutions on obligations of established industrial or commercial businesses, for working capital, under Section 13b. x i per cent flat for commitments not exceeding six months / on obligations of established industrial or commercial businesses, for working capital, under Section 13b. 5 Yi per cent on direct advances to established industrial or commercial businesses, for working capital, under Section 13b. 4 Y* per cent on direct advances to individuals, firms or cor porations (including nonmember banks), secured by direct obliga tions of the United States, under Section 13. S y per cent on direct advances to individuals, partnerships and corporations (excluding nonmember banks) on eligible paper, under Section 13. Debits to Individual A ccounts — T he follow ing table gives the total debits charged by banks to checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates o f deposit accounts and trust accounts o f individuals, firms, corporations and U. S. Government in leading cities o f the district. Charges to accounts of banks are not included. •Nov. 15, 1933 19 $ 70,085 148,745 Federal Reserve Operations — During O ctober •Oct., 1934 East St. Louis and Natl. Stock Yards, 111..$ 21,713 El Dorado, Ark..... 3,948 Evansville, Ind..... 16,857 Fort Smith, Ark.... 9,100 Greenville, Miss.... 5,257 Helena, Ark.......... 3,207 Little Rock, Ark.., 27,335 Louisville, K y........ 126,437 Memphis, Tenn..... 142,718 Owensboro, K y..... 3,560 Pine JBluff, Ark.... 8,684 Quincy, 111............. 5,908 St. Louis, Mo........ 458,700 Sedalia, M o............ 1,615 Springfield, M o..... 11,196 ••Texarkana. Ark-Tex........ 5,875 Totals .....................$852,110 •Sept., 1934 $ 21,816 3,609 15,751 7,630 3,844 2,341 22,342 115,491 103,037 3,668 6,853 5,431 392,720 1,541 10,789 •Oct., 1933 $ 20,230 3,375 14,124 8,326 4,063 2,115 18,596 115,144 130,252 2,634 6,695 5,036 418,292 1,300 9,165 Oct., 1934 comp, to Sept. 1934 Oct. 1933 — 0 .5 % + 9.4 + 7.0 + 19.3 + 3 6 .8 + 3 7 .0 + 2 2 .3 + 9.5 + 3 8 .5 — 2.9 + 2 6 .7 + 8.8 + 16.8 + 4.8 + 3.8 5,281 5,225 + 11.2 + 12.4 $722,144 $764,572 + 18.0 + 11.4 •In thousands (000 omitted). ••Includes one bank in Texarkana, Texas not in Eighth District. (Com piled November 23, 1934) h 7.3% hi 7.0 K19.4 b 9.3 h-29.4 1-51.6 [-47.0 h 9.8 h 9.6 -35.2 -29.7 -17.3 - 9.7 -24.2 -22.2 BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN T H E U N IT E D STA TES Volume of industrial production and factory employment, which usually shows little change at this season, increased in October, reflecting chiefly the resumption of activity at textile mills. Wholesale commodity prices, after declining in September and October, advanced in the first half of November. IND USTRIAL PRODUCTION AND EM PLOYM ENT — Activity at industrial establishments, as measured by the Board’s seasonally adjusted index, showed an increase from 71 per cent D ISTRIBU TIO N — The number of freight cars loaded per working day decreased from September to October. Department store sales showed a seasonal increase and were at about the same level, on a seasonally adjusted basis, as in most other months since March. Rural sales of general merchandise, as reported by the Department o f Commerce, increased by less than the usual seasonal amount following an unusually lar,ge increase in Sep tember. o f the 1923-1925 average in September to 73 per cent in October. A m ong the industries producing durable manufactures, output at steel mills increased from 23 per cent of capacity for the month o f September to 25 per cent for October, while output of automo biles and lumber declined. In November activity at steel mills continued to increase and in the week ending November 24 was at about 28 per cent of capacity. Automobile production has declined further in connection with the preparation of new models. The production of non-durable manufactures in the aggregate showed a considerable growth in October, reflecting sharp in creases at cotton, woolen, and silk mills, offset in part by a decline in activity at meatpacking establishments. The increase in output at textile mills after the strike in September brought output to a higher level than in August. Am ong the minerals, daily output of crude petroleum declined in October and that of anthracite increased by an amount smaller than is usual at this season. CO M M ODITY PRICES — Wholesale commodity prices, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics* weekly index, declined from 77.8 per cent of the 1926 average in the week end ing September 8 to 76.0 per cent in the week ending November 3 and then rose in the following two weeks to 76.7 per cent. The decline was largely in prices of farm products and foods but there were also some decreases in the prices of textiles and build ing materials. Increases in the first half of November were large ly in the prices of farm products. The price o f scrap steel also advanced, while lead and zinc declined. BANK CREDIT — Excess reserves o f member banks were about $1,910,000,000 on November 21, showing an increase of $150,000,000 in the preceding five weeks. The increase in reserves held was $200,000,000, of which $50,000,000 covered a growth in required reserves. Additions to reserves resulted mainly from Federal Reserve Board's index of factory employment adjusted for seasonal variation. (1923*1925 averager; 100). Latest figure, October, preliminary 77. Wednesday figures for reporting member banks in 90 leading cities. Latest figures are for November 14. Factory employment and payrolls in the country as a whole increased considerably between the middle of September and the middle o f October. Sharp increases were reported at mills pro ducing textile fabrics, while in the automobile, shoe, and canning industries there were declines of a seasonal nature. The value o f construction contracts awarded was somewhat larger in October than in any other recent month. There was an increase in residential work as well as in publicly-financed projects. AG RICULTURE — Department of Agriculture estimates, based on November 1 conditions, indicate a cotton crop of 9,634,000 bales, 26 per cent smaller than the 1933 crop, and a corn crop of 1,372,000,000 bushels, 41 per cent smaller than last season and 45 per cent smaller than the 1927-1931 average. The tobacco crop is also considerably smaller than usual, while the white potato crop is also slightly above the five-year average. Loans and investments of reporting member banks in leading cities declined somewhat in the four weeks ending November 14, following an increase in the previous month. Substantial declines were shown in loans on securities and in holdings o f securities other than those o f the United States Government. Other loans, which had increased considerably in previous months, also showed some decline, while holdings o f direct obligations o f the United States Government and o f securities fully guaranteed by the Government increased considerably. Customers’ deposits contin ued to increase, while Government deposits declined. There was a further decline in open-market rates on bankers’ acceptances at the end o f October to an offering rate o f % per cent. Yields on short-term Government securities and other short-term open-market money rates showed little change.