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MONTHLY REVIEW
O f Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of October 30, 1931
J O H N S. W O O D ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent

FEDERAL

RESERVE

EN ERAL business in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District during the past thirty days
developed no marked change as constrasted
with the similar period immediately preceding.
While increases in volume in September over August
were achieved in some wholesaling and jobbing
classifications, the betterment was due entirely to
seasonal influences and in most cases its extent
was considerably below the average during the past
decade. In all lines investigated, the volume was
substantially smaller than the relatively low totals
of the corresponding period a year ago. Retail
distribution increased in September over August,
but in less than the usual seasonal amount, and
with all firms reporting to this bank the volume of
September sales fell below that of a year earlier.
Both wholesale and retail trade was adversely
affected by the unusually high temperatures prevail­
ing throughout the district during September.
While a better clearance than anticipated was
effected in warm weather goods, the movement of
seasonal merchandise was decidedly backward.

G

Except in a limited number of industries, pro­
duction failed to show the improvement which ordi­
narily takes place at this time of year. There was
a further recession in activities at foundries, mills
and other ferrous metal working plants. New busi­
ness with these interests was being sparingly placed,
and despite reduced shipments, the volume of unfin­
ished orders sustained further contraction. Reflect­
ing reduced requirements of industry and mild
weather, activities at bituminous coal mines in all
fields of the district continued at the low levels of
recent months. Building operations failed to expand,
and demand for all sorts of building materials, ex­
cept those used in highway construction and other
outdoor engineering projects, was quiet. The em­
ployment situation as a whole showed no notable
change as compared with the preceding thirty days,
increased demand for workers in certain seasonal
occupations being counterbalanced by reduced re­
quirements elsewhere.




C. M . STEW ART,
Assistant Federal Reserve Agent

BANK

OF

S T.

J. V I O N P A P IN ,
Statistician

LOUIS

Conditions prevailing through the district dur­
ing September and early October were in the main
favorable for agriculture. The U. S. Department of
Agriculture’s report as of October 1 confirmed the
earlier prospects for heavy yields of all crops. Be­
tween September 1 and October 1 improvement took
place in corn, cotton, tobacco, hay and some less
important crops. Clear, warm weather in Septem­
ber permitted of harvesting of late crops with mini­
mum impairment to quality. Some delay in plowing
and seeding of fall cereals was occasioned by the
dry soil conditions in September, but generally this
work has made good progress, and in most sections
is up to the seasonal schedule. Depression in prices
of farm products continued, with a number of im­
portant items recording new low levels on the pres­
ent downward movement and in many years. Uni­
versally a surplus of farm labor exists, with wages
the lowest in fifteen years.
As indicated by sales of department stores in
the principal cities of the district, the volume of
retail trade in September was 21.5 per cent smaller
than during the same month in 1930, but approxi­
mately one-fourth larger than in August this year;
for the first nine months this year the total was
smaller by 12.6 per cent than during the same period
a year ago. Combined sales of all wholesaling and
jobbing firms reporting to this bank were 23 per
cent smaller in September than for the same month
in 1930 and 5.5 per cent less than the August total
this year; for the first nine months this year the
aggregate was 15.5 per cent less than for the same
period in 1930. The value of permits for new build­
ings in the five largest cities of the district in Sep­
tember was 33.6 per cent larger than in August
and 42.8 per cent smaller than in September, 1930.
Construction contracts let in the Eighth District
in September were 28 per cent and 35 per cent
smaller, respectively, than a month and a year ear­
lier. Debits to individual accounts in September
were 7 per cent greater than in August, but 24 per
cent less than in September, 1930; for the first nine
months this year the total was approximately onefifth less than for the same period in 1930.

Reflecting a decrease of distribution of com ­
modities generally, and backwardness in the move­
ment of cotton and some other agricultural prod­
ucts, railroads operating in this district reported a
continued shrinkage in the volume of freight han­
dled as compared with the corresponding periods a
year and two years earlier. Unusually mild weather
during the early fall has served to curtail the move­
ment of coal and coke, particularly heavy decreases
being noted in this classification. For the country
as a whole, loadings of revenue freight during the
first 40 weeks this year, or to October 3, totaled
29,343,825 cars against 36,124,956 cars for the cor­
responding period in 1930, and 41,099,973 cars in
1929. The St. Louis Terminal Railway Association,
which handles interchanges for 28 connecting lines,
interchanged 144,843 loads in September, against
167,311 loads in August and 186,862 loads in Sep­
tember, 1930. During the first nine days of October
the interchange amounted to 46,993 loads, against
42,356 loads during the corresponding period in
September, and 57,676 loads during the first nine
days of October, 1930. Passenger traffic of the re­
porting roads decreased 20 per cent in September
as contrasted with the same month last year. Esti­
mated tonnage of the Federal Barge Line, between
St. Louis and New Orleans in September was
106,500 tons, against 104,266 tons in August, and
113,749 tons in October, 1930.
Collections as a whole during the past thirty
days were somewhat less satisfactory than in the
similar period immediately preceding. In the rural
areas and small towns results made a relatively
poorer showing than was the case in the larger cen­
ters of population. Farmers are disposed to hold
their products for higher prices in numerous in­
stances and are slow in taking up their indebtedness
to retail merchants, supply houses, etc. This back­
wardness is reflected in delayed settlements by
country retailers with wholesalers and banks. H ow ­
ever, wholesalers of boots and shoes, dry goods and
other lines with which October is an important set­
tlement month, report payments fully up to expecta­
tions, and comparing favorably with a year ago,
though actual losses from weak accounts were con­
siderably larger than in 1930. Generally through
the South liquidation has developed moderate bet­
terment in the immediate past, but is considerably
below the usual seasonal volume. Retailers in the
large cities report collections spotted and irregular.
Replies to questionnaires addressed to representa­
tive interests in the several lines scattered through
the district showed the following results:
E xcellent

September,
August,
September,

1931............0%
1931............0
1930....... 0.1




G ood

Fair

P oor

13.8%
19.1
16.8

64.1%
59.1
57.7

22.1%
21.8
25.4

Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District in September, according to Dun’s,
numbered 102, involving liabilities of $2,621,575,
against 125 failures in August with liabilities of
$830,833, and 153 defaults for a total of $4,427,593
in September, 1930.
The average daily circulation in the United
States in September was $5,133,000,000, against
$4,947,000,000 in August, and $4,492,000,000 in Sep­
tember, 1930.
MANUFACTURING AND WHOLESALING
Boots and Shoes— In conformity with the usual
seasonal trend, sales of footwear in this district de­
clined in September from August. The extent of
the decrease this year was somewhat greater than
in recent seasons, due in part to the lower level of
prices. The warm weather in September was men­
tioned as another contributing factor to the smaller
volume of business. Orders booked since October
1 reflect a further decline, with returns from the
country and small towns making a particularly
poor showing. September sales of the reporting
firms were about one-fourth smaller than for the
same month in 1930, and 13 per cent less than the
August total this year. Stocks on October 1 were
smaller by 5 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively,
than thirty days and a year earlier. There was a
further reduction in factory operations, the average
being from 60 to 65 per cent of capacity.
Clothing — The unseasonably high tempera­
tures prevailing throughout the district during Sep­
tember resulted in a good clearance of summer and
early fall apparel, but had a tendency to hold down
the movement of seasonal goods. Ordering for
future delivery was in smaller volume than at any
like period in recent years, retail distributors pur­
chasing closely and only for actual requirements.
Adopting their policy to this general trend, manu­
facturers are carrying small inventories and are cut­
ting goods in close relationship to orders booked.
Demand for working clothes failed to expand, and
in all lines demand centers chiefly in cheap-priced
goods. There was no change in prices as compared
with the preceding thirty days, but the average was
from 10 to 15 per cent lower than a year ago. Sep­
tember sales of the reporting interests were about
two-thirds smaller than for the same month in 1930,
and 17 per cent less than the August total this year.
Drugs and Chemicals — September sales of the
reporting interests were 7 per cent smaller than for
the same month in 1930, but 9 per cent larger than
the August total this year. The increase from
August to September is seasonal in character, but
this year was slightly smaller than the average dur­
ing the past decade. The prolonged hot spell, ex­
tending through the first three weeks of September,

had a stimulating effect on certain lines, notably
soda fountain equipment and supplies, but tended
to hold down sales of other commodities. Some
improvement was noted in demand for heavy drugs
and chemicals for the manufacturing trade. Stocks
on October 1 were 2 per cent and 12 per cent small­
er, respectively, than thirty days and a year earlier.
Dry Goods — Unseasonably warm weather and
uncertainty relative to prices and the reduced pur­
chasing power in the agricultural areas were given
as reasons for a further decline in business in this
classification. September sales of the reporting
firms were 31 per cent smaller than for the same
month in 1930, and approximately 2 per cent less
than the August total this year. The decrease in
the month-to-month comparison is seasonal in char­
acter, having taken place every year during the past
decade, except 1930, when a slight increase was
recorded. Purchasing of cold weather goods of all
descriptions was in considerably smaller volume
than is ordinarily the case at this time of year. Ad­
vance business on October 1 was in smaller volume
than on any similar date in recent years. Inven­
tories continue downward, stocks on October 1 be­
ing 9 per cent smaller than a month earlier, and
about one-third less than on October 1, 1930.
Electrical Supplies— The usual seasonal better­
ment in this classification failed to appear in Sep­
tember, and sales of the reporting interests for that
month were 9 per cent below those of August, and
35 per cent less than in September, 1930. Stocks
declined moderately between September 1 to Octo­
ber 1 and on the latter date were 14 per cent less
than a year ago. Since October 1 there has been
some pick-up in demand for electric heaters and
other seasonal commodities.
Flour — Production at the twelve leading mills
of the district in September totaled 300,000 barrels,
against 311,440 barrels in August and 398,617 bar­
rels in September, 1930. Business through the last
half of September and the first week of October
continued dull, with demand confined chiefly to low
grade flours. The unstable condition of the cash
wheat market had a tendency to disturb confidence
in values, and dealers and ultimate consumers were
taking only enough for immediate requirements. Be­
ginning with the second week this month considera­
ble betterment has developed in demand, with sales
including a larger precentage of the higher grades
than has been the case in some time. Little change
worthy of note took place in prices as compared
with the preceding month. Mill operations were at
from 45 to 50 per cent of capacity.
Furniture — September sales of the reporting
firms were approximately one-third smaller than
for the corresponding period last year, and 6 per



cent larger than the August total this year. Inven­
tories continued the sharp recession noted in recent
months, stocks on October 1 being 24 per cent and
41 per cent smaller, respectively, than thirty days
and a year earlier.
Groceries — Sales of the reporting firms in Sep­
tember were 4 per cent greater than during the pre­
ceding month, but 14 per cent smaller than for Sep­
tember, 1930. Reflecting the usual seasonal trend,
inventories increased between September 1 and
October 1, but on the latter date were 8 per cent
smaller than a year ago. The increase from Septem­
ber to October amounted to 22 per cent.
Hardware — September sales of the reporting
firms were 7 per cent smaller than for the same
month in 1930, but 8 per cent greater than the
August total this year. For the first nine months
this year the sales volume was approximately 19
per cent smaller than during the same period last
year. A substantial part of this decrease is accounted
for by lower prices. The increase in the month-tomonth comparison is seasonal in character, and
compares favorably with the average during the
past decade. Inventories continue to decrease,
stocks on October 1 being 3 per cent smaller than
on September 1, and 23 per cent less than on Octo­
ber 1, 1930. Sales decreases were general in all lines,
but most pronounced in builders’ tools and hard­
ware, and commodities consumed chiefly in the
rural areas.
Iron and Steel Products — The usual seasonal
acceleration in activities in the iron and steel indus­
try in this district failed to appear during the past
thirty days. The last half of September found opera­
tions at mills, foundries, machine shops and other
ferrous metal working plants at the lowest point of
the present depression. Unseasonably high temper­
atures in September militated against expansion of
operations, and a number of idle foundries which
had planned to resume on part time, postponed put­
ting these programs into effect. Since the first of
October there has been slight betterment in some
branches of the industry, confined chiefly to stoves,
furnaces and other typically seasonal goods. De­
mands for finished steel products continued at the
low level which characterized the two preceding
months. Purchasing by the railroads failed to ex­
pand, particularly with respect to new equipment,
which many of the most important iron and steel
plants in this district rely chiefly upon for business.
The volume of new orders coming from the auto­
motive industry was disappointing, as was, also,
specifying on materials previously engaged. Iron
and steel warehouse and jobbing interests reported
the volume of sales in September about on a parity
with the August total, but considerably smaller

than during the corresponding month last year.
Activities in the farm implement industry declined
further, a number of plants having closed down for
an indefinite period. Inquiry for structural steel de­
clined, and aside from concrete bars and other items
used in highway construction and other outdoor
engineering projects, demand for building materials
remained at the low levels of recent months. Order­
ing and inquiry for pig iron for fourth quarter deliv­
ery was almost entirely absent, melters following
the policy of purchasing such tonnages as they re­
quire in the open market. Pig iron prices remained
steady, but there was a further decline in scrap val­
ues, heavy melting steel making a new low on the
present recessionary movement. For the country
as a whole, production of pig iron in September was
1,164,646 tons, the smallest for any single month
since September, 1921 and comparing with 1,279,205
tons in August, and 2,276,781 tons in September,
1930. Steel ingot production in the United States
in September totaled 1,547,602 tons, against 1,719,462 tons in August, and 2,840,397 tons in September,
1930.
AUTOMOBILES
Following the usual seasonal trend, distribution
of automobiles in this district decreased from
August to September, with the decline this year
somewhat greater than the average, according to
dealers reporting to this bank. As contrasted with
a year ago, the September volume also showed a
sharp decrease. In both comparisons the decrease
was distributed generally through all classes of
vehicles, but was somewhat more marked in the
category of cheap-priced cars. Demand for trucks
continued fairly active, September sales of the re­
porting dealers being slightly larger than a month
earlier, though considerably less than a year ago.
New passenger car sales of these dealers in Sep­
tember were about one-fifth smaller than for the
same month in 1930, and 32 per cent less than the
August total this year. Almost without exception,
dealers are following the policy of purchasing close­
ly and only enough for well defined requirements,
with the result that inventories continue considera­
bly below the average at this period during the past
several years. Stocks of new cars in dealers’ hands
on October 1 were slightly larger than a month ear­
lier, but approximately one-third smaller than on
October 1, 1930. Sales of used cars showed smaller
declines in both the month-to-month and yearly
comparisons, the September total being 8 and 16
per cent smaller, respectively, than thirty days and
a year earlier. Stocks of salable secondhand cars in
dealers’ hands on October 1 were 7 per cent smaller




than on September 1, and 22 per cent less than on
October 1, 1930. Business in accessories and parts
continued to make a better showing than in the case
of automobiles proper. In both the cities and coun­
try, owners are endeavoring to prolong the useful­
ness of their cars by extensive reconditioning and
repairs. No change worthy of note took place in
the tire situation as compared with the preceding
thirty days. According to dealers reporting on that
item, deferred payment sales in September consti­
tuted 47 per cent of their entire sales, against 48
per cent in August, and 52.5 per cent in September,
1930.
RETAIL TRADE
The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statements showing activities
in the leading cities of the district:
Department Stores
Stocks on hand
N et sales com parison
Sept. 1931 9 months ending Sept. 30, 1931
com p, to
com p, to Sept. 30, 1931 to
Sept. 1930 same period 1930 Sept. 30, 1930
— 18.6%
— 22.6%
Evansville ....... .— 17.5%
— 9.4 .
— 14.5
Little R o ck .... .— 34.0
— 14.4
— 23.6
Louisville ....... ,— 18.5
— 24.0
— 24.6
— 18.6
— 17.3
— 19.4
.— 33.4
— 11.5
— 7.6
St. L ou is......... — 20.2
— 10.5
— 11.6
Springfield, Mo,.— 28.3
— 12.6
— 12.6
8th D istrict..... .— 21.5

Stock turnover
Jan. 1, to
Sept. 30,
1930
1931
1.48
1.36
1.78
1.89
2.02
1.98
2.14
2.24
1.84
1.91
2.82
2.75
1.23
1.19
2.45
2.45

Retail Stores
N et sales com parison
Stocks on hand
Sept. 1931 9 m onths ending Sept. 30, 1931
com p, to Sept. 30, 1931 to
com p, to
Sept. 1930 same period 1930 Sept. 30, 1930
M en’s
Furnishings — 16.1%
Boots
and Shoes......— 24.2

Stock turnover
Jan. 1, to
Sept. 30,
1931
1930

— 9 .7 %

— 10.5%

2.36

2.24

— 19.5

— 12.2

2.14

2.26

BUILDING
In point of dollar value, permits issued for new
construction in the five largest cities of the district
in September were 33.6 per cent larger than in
August, and smaller by approximately 42.8 per cent
than in September a year ago. According to statis­
tics combined by the F. W . Dodge Corporation, con­
tracts let in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
in September amounted to $11,790,867 which com­
pares with $16,457,113 in August, and $18,166,653
in September, 1930. Production of portland cement
for the country as a whole in September totaled
12,092,000 barrels against 13,549,000 barrels in
August and 16,124,000 barrels in September, 1930.
Building figures for September follow :

Evansville ..
L ittle R ock
Louisville ..
M em phis ....
St. Louis....

N ew Construction
Permits
*C ost
1931
1930
1931
1930
253
291
$
56 $ 489
32
92
92
32
82
80
143
271
123
130
944
636
1,271
1,163
327
375

Sept. totals 817 1,414
1,692
2,959
A u g. totals 678 1,237
2,080
1,266
J uly
totals 615 1,147
1,590
2,191
* In thousands o f dollars (000 om itted).

________ Repairs, etc.
Permits
♦Cost
1931
1930
1931
1930
$
13 $ 27
118
79
42
112
112
42
33
59
16
131
25
84
37
138
241
343
153
183
642
616
560

677
559
589

249
400
630

420
687
378

POSTAL RECEIPTS
Returns from the five largest cities of the dis­
trict show a decrease of 10.1 per cent in combined
postal receipts for the third quarter of this year
under the corresponding quarter in 1930, and a de­
crease of 12.8 per cent as compared with the quar­
ter ending June 30 this year. Detailed figures follow :
Sept. 30,
1931
Evansville ....$ 147,000
L ittle R ock....
189,000
Louisville ....
577,000
M emphis ........
440,000
St. L ouis........ 2,459,000
T otals

............ $3,812,000

June 30,
1931
$ 163,000
179,000
615,000
491,000
2,926,000
$4,374,000

M arch 31,
1931
$ 165,000
212,000
627,000
521,000
2,890,000
$4,415,000

Sept. 30,
1930
$ 157,000
234,000
612,000
541,000
2,735,000
$4,279,000

Sept. 1931
com p, to
Sept. 1930
— 6.4%
— 19.2
— 5.7
— 18.7
— 10.1
— 10.9

CONSUMPTION OF ELECTRICITY
Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district report consumption of electric
current by selected industrial customers in Septem­
ber as being about 9.1 per cent smaller than in
August and 6.7 per cent less than in September,
1930. Detailed figures follow :
N o. of
Sept.
Custom1931
ers * K .W .H .
Evansville .... 40
1,991
L ittle R ock.. 35
1,888
Louisville .... 85
6,587
M em phis ..... 30
1,617
St. L ou is......163
19,572

A ug.
1931
* K .W .H .
2,428
2,087
7,201
1,780
21,309

Sept. 1931
com p, to
A ug. 1931
-18.0%
— 9.5
— 8.5
— 9.2

Totals .......... 353
31,655
*In thousands (000 om itted).

34,805

— 9.1

—

8.2

Sept.
Sept. 1931
1930
com p, to
* K .W .H . Sept. 1930
1,850
+ 7.6%
2,208
— 14.5
6,882
— 4.3
996
+ 6 2 .3
21,988
— 11.0
33,924

— 6.7

AGRICULTURE
The very favorable prospects for crops in the
Eighth Federal Reserve District, which have ob­
tained since early in the present season, were well
maintained during the past thirty days. Weather
conditions, while not uniformly favorable, were on
the whole auspicious for the maturing and harvest­
ing of late crops, notably corn, tobacco, cotton, rice
and hay. On October 1 the general average of all
crops combined was somewhat higher than a month
earlier. In most sections of the district early Sep­
tember weather was dry, with temperatures above
the seasonal average. This permitted of rapid pro­
gress in garnering operations of all sorts, besides
proving favorable for the movement of farm prod­
ucts to market with a minimum of impairment to
quality. T o the middle of October no frost damage
occurred, and virtually all corn and cotton was past
danger from that source. Lack of moisture retarded
seeding of winter wheat to some extent during the
first three weeks of September, but precipitation
since that time has corrected this condition, and
considerable progress has been made, though quite
generally full planting intentions have not been car­
ried out. At the middle of October practically the
entire early rice crop had been threshed, and cutting
and housing of tobacco had made rapid headway.




Counterbalancing the favorable prospect for
bumper crop yields has been the continued depres­
sion in prices of all descriptions of farm products.
The index of farm prices fell off three points during
September and reached a new low record of 72, ac­
cording to statistics released by the U. S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture on October 2.
Corn — There was a further slight improve­
ment in corn prospects in this district during Sep­
tember. The U. S. Department of Agriculture in
its report as of October 1 places the yield at 402,867,000 bushels, an increase of 3,208,000 bushels over the
September forecast, and comparing with 183,245,000
bushels harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average
(1923-1930) of 342,534,000 bushels. In all the prin­
cipal producing areas September weather was fav­
orable for maturing the crop, though in some sec­
tions drying was too rapid, causing some reduction
in yield and quality. For the most part, however,
quality is high, with some bottom lands having the
heaviest yields per acre and best grade corn pro­
duced in recent years. There are many complaints
of earworm damage, and through the growing sea­
son more than the usual amount of injury was occa­
sioned by insect pests, notably grasshoppers and
chinch bugs. Husking has made good progress, with
considerable cribbing reported at the middle of
October.
Winter Wheat — Seeding of the new crop was
delayed by dry, hot weather over a large part of
the district during September. Recent rains, how­
ever, have permitted of extensive plowing and plant­
ing, though almost universally full intentions to
plant have not been carried out, and total acreage
for the district will be below that of a year and two
years ago. The Department of Agriculture esti­
mates total wheat production in the Eighth District
in 1931 at 65,546,000 bushels, against 44,241,000
bushels in 1930, and an 8-year average of 49,921,000
bushels.
Fruits and Vegetables — The bright prospects
of earlier in the season for fruits and vegetables
have continued unimpaired through the early fall;
except in the case of white potatoes, further im­
provement in condition of the principal crops took
place between September 1 and October 1. The hot,
dry weather during the first half of September re­
sulted in some damage to fall gardens in certain sec­
tions, but since that time moisture has relieved the
situation and substantially assisted late commercial
vegetable crops. The pecan crop is the heaviest in
five years, and quality is good in most sections of
the district. The U. S. Department of Agriculture

estimates the apple crop in states entirely or partly
within the Eighth District at 40,881,000 bushels, of
which 4,402,000 barrels represent commercial crop,
against the small crop of 12,935,000 bushels in 1930,
with 1,666,000 barrels commercial crop, and a 5-year
average of 21,349,000 bushels, of which 2,263,000
barrels were commercial crop. Owing to the size of
the assured crop, coupled with low prevailing prices
for both fresh fruit and cider stock, close culling and
abandonment of low grade fruit has been general in
all sections. In states of the district the peach crop
is estimated at 16,521,000 bushels, which compares
with 1,315,000 bushels in 1930, and a 5-year average
of 8,495,000 bushels. A crop of 2,477 tons of grapes
is forecast, against 1,008 tons in 1930 and a 5-year
average of 1,729 tons; the sweet potato crop is
estimated at 20,268,000 bushels, against 14,018,000
bushels in 1930 and a 5-year average of 18,188,000
bushels. In the district proper the white potato crop
is forecast at 13,074,000 bushels, a decrease of
235.000 bushels from the September 1 estimate, com­
paring with 12,724,000 bushels harvested in 1930,
and an 8-year average of 15,050,000 bushels.
Live Stock — No change worthy of note took
place in the condition of live stock during the past
thirty days. There were scattered reports of hog
cholera, but nothing of a wide-spread or serious
nature. Pastures have been improved by the recent
rains, and moderate temperatures permitted of un­
interrupted grazing of herds. Due to the low prices
of hay and cereals, farmers in many localities have
planned extensive feeding programs for the late
fall and winter.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture in its
October 1 report estimates the production of tame
hay in this district at 6,889,000 tons, against 5,033,000 tons produced in 1930, and an 8-year average of
7.616.000 tons.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follows:
R eceipts
Sept.
A u g.
Sept.
1931
1931
1930
Cattle and Calves..... 126,753 124,255 132,519
H ogs ............................205,040 190,104 238,241
H orses and M ules...... 2,349
2,358
1,567
Sheep ......................... 51,951 52,267 55,926

Shipments
Sept. A ug.
Sept.
1931 1931
1930
89,091 84,186
86,702
157,783 152,715 191,940
2,888 1,740
1,477
12,688 12,332
18,465

Cotton — The hot, fair weather of September
was exceptionally favorable for the maturing and
picking of the crop. Under the almost unbroken
sunshine, bolls opened rapidly, in some localities
more rapidly than the cotton could be picked. The
high temperatures were especially beneficial in Mis­
sissippi and parts of Arkansas where the plant was
rank and sappy. Due to the rapidity with which the




crop opened during the latter part of September,
field loss of seed cotton is expected to be somewhat
greater than usual. During the first half of October
moderate temperatures prevailed, practically plac­
ing the entire district out of danger of frost damage.
Due to low prices, farmers are employing as little
help as possible, and as a result the harvest has been
slow. A large portion of the crop is open, bolls are
generally large and the staple excellent. Based on
the October 1 condition, the Department of Agri­
culture estimates the yield of cotton in this district
at 3,509,000 bales, which compares with 2,289,000
bales harvested in 1930, and an 8-year average
(1923-1930) of 2,644,000 bales. Prices of raw cotton
continued downward, a new low record for the sea­
son and for more than thirty years being established
in early October. In the St. Louis market the midd­
ling grade ranged from 5.20c to 6.05c per pound be­
tween September 16 and October 15, closing at
5.75c on the latter date, which compares with 6.05c
on September 15, and 9.40c on October 15, 1930.
Stocks of cotton in Arkansas warehouses on Octo­
ber 16 totaled 319,836 bales, against 80,630 bales on
September 11, and 232,489 bales on the correspond­
ing date in 1930.
Tobacco — A slight betterment in prospects for
tobacco in this district took place in September.
Based on the October 1 condition, the U. S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture estimates the total output at
409,724,000 pounds, which was about 9,000,000
pounds more than the September 1 prediction, and
compares with 306,070,000 pounds harvested in 1930
and an 8-year average of 295,534,000 pounds. Weath­
er has been in the main favorable for cutting and
housing the crop, and considerable progress has
been made in these operations. At the middle of
October curing of the early crop was virtually com­
pleted.
Commodity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between September 15, 1931 and Octo­
ber 15, 1931, with closing quotations on the latter
date and on October 15, 1930, follow :
Close
W heat
H igh
L o w O ctober 15, 1931 O ctober 15, 1930
$ -48
$ .78
D e c ....................... per bu..$ A 9 H $ .4 2 ^
M ay ..................... “
.53^6 .46^6
.52
.83
N o. 2 red winter “
.50
.45$ .4 9 ^ @ .50 $ .88 @
.8 8 ^
N o. 2 hard.......... “
.49
.44
.48 @ .4 8 ^
.80 @
.8 0 ^
Corn
“
.3 8 ^ .325/8
.3 4 ^
.8 0 ^
D e c.........................
M ay ..................... “
.4 2 ^ .3 6 ^
.3 8 ^
.83
N o. 2 m ixed ........ “
.47^2 .36
.38 @ .38y> .85 @
.85^4
N o. 2 w hite........ “
.49
.39
.4 0 y2 @ .41
.92 @
.9 2 ^
Oats
N o. 2 w hite........ “
.24
.21 y2
.21 y @ .22
.3 7 ^ @
.38
Flour
Soft patent........per bbl. 4.00
3.25
3.25 @ 4 .0 0
4.50 @ 5.00
Spring patent.....
“
4.00
3.75
3.75 @ 4 .0 0
4.75 @ 4.85
M iddling cotton....per lb.
.0605 .052
.0575
.940
H ogs on h o o f........per cw t. 5.90
3.60
4.00 @ 5 .6 0
8.00 @10.15

FINANCIAL
The usual seasonal expansion in demand for
credits by mercantile and manufacturing interests
was less in evidence during the past thirty days than
has been the case in recent years. Small inventories
are the rule with wholesaling and jobbing concerns,
and in virtually all manufacturing lines, production
is being held to close relationship with orders
booked. Commitments for both raw and finished
goods are being cautiously made and numerous
firms which are ordinarily in the market for exten­
sive credit lines at this time of year are operating
largely on their own resources.
Demand for financing the harvesting and move­
ment of fall crops has been less urgent than at the
corresponding period in a number of years.
Throughout the south farmers are employing a
minimum of help for picking cotton and harvesting
tobacco and rice crops. Liquidation with country
banks in the winter wheat areas has been in satis­
factory volume as a whole, though somewhat spotty
in character. There is a general disposition on the
part of farmers to hold their products for more fav­
orable markets. Demand for credit to finance live­
stock for market continues active, particularly in
the northern tiers of the district.
Deposits of the reporting member banks contin­
ued the irregularly downward trend which started
last April, and in the second week of October re­
corded a new low point for the year. Loans of these
banks fluctuated within a narrow range, and after
recording a new low for the year in the second week
of October, reacted slightly upward in the third
week of that month. Investments declined further,
the total on October 15, $215,538,000, comparing
with $242,000,000, the high point of the year, reached
on May 28. Borrowings of all member banks from
the Federal reserve bank averaged slightly higher
than during the preceding thirty days.
Interest rates charged by the commercial banks
advanced slightly during early October. At the St.
Louis banks current rates were as f o l l o w s P r i m e
commercial paper, 3 to 5 per cent; collateral loans,
Zy2 to Sy2 per cent; loans secured by warehouse
receipts, 4 to Sy2 per cent; Inter-bank loans, 4 to
5y per cent, and cattle loans, 5 to 6 per cent.
Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
the reporting member banks on October 14, 1931,
showed a decrease of .6 per cent as contrasted with
September 16, 1931. Deposits decreased 2.4 per cent
between September 16, 1931 and October 14, 1931




and on the latter date were 4.6 per cent smaller than
on October 15, 1930. Composite statement follow s:
*Sept. 16,
1931
t25

*O ct. 15,
1930
t24

$160,654
240,786

$211,179
280,359

Total loans and discounts............... .$399,011
Investments
U. S. Governm ent securities.... . 83,349
Other securities............................ 132,189

$401,440

$491,538

83,807
138,146

34,809
126,021

T otal investments............................... .$215,538
Reserve balance with F. R. bank.„ 42,870
Cash in vault..................................... .
7,845
D eposits
N et demand deposits.................... , 336,209
Tim e deposits................................. . 228,046
Government deposits......................
6,859

$221,953
41,097
6,245

$160,830
45,051
5,765

339,488
234,029
11,575

361,475
235,878
1,208

*O ct. 14,
1931
t25
N um ber of banks reporting........... .
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured by U. S. Govt, obligations
and other stocks and bonds... .$158,550
All other loans and discounts... . 240,461

Total deposits..................................... .$571,114
$598,561
$585,092
Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal Reserve Bank...............
3,879
4,778
5,020
*In thousands (000 om itted).
tD ecrease due to consolidation. These banks are located in St. L ouis,
Louisville, Memphis, Little R ock, and Evansville, and their total re ­
sources comprise approxim ately 52.6 per cent o f all m ember banks in
this district.

Debits to Individual Accounts — The following
table gives the total debits charged by banks to
checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of
deposit accounts and trust accounts of individuals,
firms, corporations and U. S. Government in leading
cities of the district. Charges to accounts of banks
are not included.
*Sept
1931
East St. Louis & Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..$ 27,319
El Dorado, Ark.... .
4,003
Evansville, Ind,... . 21,099
Fort Smith, Ark... .
9,127
Greenville, Miss... .
2,372
Helena, A rk......... .
1,747
Little R ock, Ark. . 24,086
Louisville, K y ...... . 128,334
Memphis, T en n .... . 85,358
Owensboro, K y., ,.
4,140
Pine Bluff, Ark... .
5,149
Quincy, 111............. .
7,321
St. Louis, M o ...... . 531,121
Sedalia, M o ...........
3,281
Springfield, Mo,,.. . 12,006
* T exa rk an a,
A rk .-T e x ........ .
8,020

*A ug.
1931

*Sept.
1930

Sept. 1931 com p, to
A ug. 1931 Sept. 1930

$ 27,735
4,957
21,497
8,187
2,185
1,923
24,096
117,526
77,131
4,626
5,561
7,470
492,898
3,089
10,998

$ 38,128
6,472
24,348
12,158
3,425
3,711
41,357
204,913
126,709
5,739
8,018
10,921
617,263
4,126
14,996

—
—
—
+
+
—
—
+
+
—
—
—
+
+
+

1.5%
19.3
1.9
11.5
8.6
9.2
0.0
9.2
10.7
10.5
7.4
2.0
7.8
6.2
9.2

7,847

10,194

+

2.2

T otals.........$874,483
$817,726 $1,156,894
+ 6.9
* In thousands (000 om itted).
**Includes one bank in Texarkana, T exas not in Eighth District.

— 28.3%
— 38.1
— 13.3
— 24.9
— 30.7
— 52.9
— 41.8
— 37.4
— 32.6
— 27.9
— 35.8
— 33.0
— 14.0
— 20.5
— 19.9
— 21.3
-2 4 .4

Federal Reserve Operations — During Septem­
ber the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis dis­
counted for 215 member banks against 191 in
August and 208 in September, 1930. Effective Octo­
ber 22 the discount rate of this bank was increased
from 2y2 per cent to 3 y per cent on all classes and
maturities of paper. Changes in the principal assets
and liabilities of this institution appear in the fol­
lowing table:

U . S. Securities.....................................
Federal Inter. Cr. Bk. Debentures..

F. R. Notes in circulation....,
Total deposits............................
Ratio of reserve to deposits
and F. R. N ote Liabilitiei
* In thousands (000 om itted).

(Compiled October 22, 1931)

* O ct. 14,
1931
..$14,101
.. 33,842
.. 31,211
630
.. 1,103
..$80,887

♦Sept. 14, *Sept. 14,
1931
1930
$13,470
$15,525
1,097
8,494
30,708
23,899
40
1,124
.........39

.. 76,806

$46,439
76,382
75,677

$47,957
62,996
76,118

.. 53.5%

74.7%

72.3%

BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
PRODUCTION AND EMPLOYMENT — Industrial
production, as measured by the Board’s seasonally adjusted
index, declined from 79 per cent of the 1923-1925 average in
August to 76 per cent in September. Activity at steel mills
decreased from 31 per cent of capacity to 28 per cent; out­
put of automobiles was reduced substantially and lumber
production continued to decline. At cotton mills produc­
tion increased seasonally, while activity at woolen mills
and shoe factories declined contrary to the usual sea­
sonal tendency. Output of petroleum was smaller in Sep­
tember than in August but the rate of output prevailing at
the end of September was higher than at the end of August.

WHOLESALE PRICES—The general level of whole­
sale prices declined from 70.2 per cent of the 1926 average
in August to 69.1 per cent in September, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Decreases in the prices of live­
stock, meats, hides, woolen goods, cotton and cotton goods
were offset in part by increases in prices of dairy products,
petroleum, and petroleum products. Further declines in the
price of cotton during the first few days of October were
followed by substantial increases in subsequent days.
BANK CREDIT — During the four weeks following
the suspension of gold payments in England on September
20, $600,000,000 of gold was withdrawn from this country's
PERCENT

Index number of industrial production, adjusted for seasonal variation.
(1923-1925 average= 1 0 0 ) . Latest figure September, 76.

The number employed at factories showed little change
from the middle of August to the middle of September, a
period when employment usually increases. In iron and
steel mills, automobile factories and lumber mills, employ­
ment decreased further, contrary to the seasonal tendency.
In the clothing and silk industries there were substantial
increases in employment, partly of a seasonal character. In
mills producing cotton goods, employment increased less
than usual, and in woolen mills it declined from recent rela­
tively high levels. Data on value of building contracts
awarded for the period between the first of August and the
middle of October, as reported by the F. W. Dodge Cor­
poration, show a continuation of the downward movement
of recent months for residential as well as for other types
of construction.

1927

, 1928

1929

1930

Index o f United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (1 9 2 6 = 1 0 0 ).
Latest figure September, 69.1.

monetary stock in the form of exports and earmarkings.
Domestic demand for currency continued to increase, the
growth for the month ending in the middle of October be­
ing about $400,000,000. The growth in the amount of cur­
rency outstanding, however, slowed down after the first
few days in October. The demands for credit, arising from
gold movements and currency growth, were met by member
banks through the sale of acceptances to the reserve banks
and by rediscounts. Volume of reserve bank credit out­
standing consequently increased between the week ending
September 19 and the week ending October 17 by $904,000,000, and on October 17 stood at $2,169,000,000, the highest
level for ten years. Gold and currency withdrawals resulted
in a decrease of deposits at member banks in leading cities.
Loans and investments of these banks also declined, re­
flecting reductions in loans to security brokers, as well

1931

M onthly rates in the open m arket in N ew Y o r k : Commercial paper rate
on 4 to 6 m onth paper. A cceptance rate on 90-day bankers’ accept­
ances. Latest figures are averages of first 17 days in October.

Estimates by the Department of Agriculture, based on
October 1 conditions, indicated a cotton crop of 16,284,000
bales, the largest reported, except that of 1926; a total
wheat crop somewhat larger than usual, and a corn crop of
2,700,000,000 bushels, 29 per cent larger than last year, and
2 per cent smaller than the five year average.
DISTRIBUTION — Freight-car loading of merchan­
dise and sales by department stores increased in September,
but by less than the usual seasonal amount.



PERCENT

M onthly averages of daily figures. Latest figures are averages o f first
17 days in O ctober.

as sales of acceptances to the reserve banks, and sales of
United States securities. During this period there was a rise
in short-time money rates in the open market and in yields
on high grade bonds. On October 9 the Federal Reserve
Bank of New York advanced its discount rate from \
y2
to 2y2 per cent and on October 16 to 3 ^ per cent. Discount
rates were also advanced at the Boston, Philadelphia, Cleve­
land, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Fran­
cisco reserve banks.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102