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MONTHLY REVIEW O f Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial Conditions in the Eighth Federal R e s e r v e District R e le a se d fo r P u b lic a tio n O n a n d A fte r th e M o rn in g o f O ctober 3 0 ,1 9 3 4 JOHN S. W O O D , C h a ir m a n a n d F e d e r a l R e s e rv e A g e n t FEDERAL RESERVE E N E R A L business in the Eighth District during the past thirty days continued the moderate improvement noted during the similar period immediately preceding. Relatively, in distribution of merchandise, goods for ordinary consumption made a more favorable showing than the more durable commodities. There was little, if any betterment in the movement of lumber, glass, certain iron and steel products and the general run of building materials. On the other hand, certain iron and steel specialties, notably stoves, heating apparatus, farm implements an d, household appli ances, have developed improvement, both as con trasted with a month and a year earlier. O f the wholesale lines investigated by this bank, decreases in sales from August to September were, with one exception, seasonal in character. In all lines, except fire clay products and furniture, September volume exceeded that o f the same month last year, the gains ranging from 1.3 per cent in the case of hard ware, to 62 per cent in clothing. Likewise, retail distribution made a favorable exhibit, September sales exceeding the totals o f A ugust and of Sep tember, 1933. Unusually mild weather in September and dur ing the first weeks o f O ctober militated against con sumption o f seasonal merchandise, and in a number of lines, notably apparel, shoes, hats, etc., sales fell below expectations. H ow ever, the weather con ditions, follow ing the abundant rainfall in late August and during September, were ideal for agri cultural operations o f all descriptions. Planting of fall grains made progress above the seasonal sched ule, and wheat and barley are generally up to good stands, with color and root growth exceptionally £ood. The clear, warm days were auspicious for maturing and harvesting late crops. W ith the ex ception of corn and oats, which were irreparably damaged by the spring and summer drouth, im provement was shown in practically all Eighth Dis trict crops during September, according to the U. S. Department o f Agriculture's report based on condi tions as o f O ctober 1. Purchasing power in the rural areas has been substantially increased by the G C. M . STEWART, S e c r e ta r y a n d A is't F J. VION PAPIN, e d e r a l R e s e rv e A g e n t BANK OF ST. S t a t is t ic ia n LO UIS high prices being realized on farm products and the substantial amounts paid by the Government in rental and benefit payments to farmers cooperat ing in the crop reduction programs. Retail trade in September, as reflected by de partment store sales in the principal cities was 31.7 per cent greater than in August and 21.6 per cent in excess of September, 1933; cumulative total for the first three quarters of the present year showed an increase o f 18.5 per cent over the comparable period in 1933. Combined sales of all wholesale and jobbing firms reporting to this bank in September fell 5 per cent below the August total, but were 9 per cent in excess of the aggregate for the same month last y e a r; cumulative total for the first nine months was 14.2 per cent greater than for the same period in 1933. The dollar value of permits let for new construction in the five largest cities o f the district in September was 5.5 per cent greater than in August and 53 per cent more than in September last y ea r; for the first nine months the total was 46 per cent below that of the corresponding period in 1933. Construction contracts let in the Eighth Dis trict in September were 7.4 per cent smaller than in August and 57.2 per cent less than the total for September last year; cumulative total for the first nine months this year was 43.0 per cent greater than for the first three-quarters of 1933. Debits to individual accounts in September were 4.-3 per cent and 7 per cent greater, respectively, than a month and a year earlier, and for the first nine months the total exceeded that o f the comparable period last year by 11.2 per cent. Freight traffic o f railroads operating in this district showed somewhat less than the usual sea sonal increase, but the cumulative total for the first nine months this year was well in excess o f the comparable periods a year and tw o years earlier. Relatively the best showing was made in the classi fications o f livestock, coal and coke, ore and mis cellaneous freight. The unusually heavy volume of livestock handled is attributable in large measure to the transfer o f Government purchased cattle in the drouth areas. For the country as a whole load ings o f revenue freight for the first 40 weeks this year, or to O ctober 6, totaled 23,940,117 cars, against 22,277,053 cars for the corresponding period in 1933, and 21,597,781 cars in 1932. T he St. Louis Terminal Railway Association, which handles interchanges for 28 connecting lines, interchanged 77,661 loads in September, against 78,733 loads in August, and 72,333 loads in September, 1933. During the first nine days o f O ctober the, interchange amounted to 20,981 loads, against 22,962 loads during the corre sponding period in September and 21,285 loads dur ing the first nine days of October, 1933. Passenger traffic o f the reporting lines in September increased 2.5 per cent over the same month in 1933. Esti mated tonnage o f the Federal Barge Line between St. Louis and New Orleans in September was 114,300 tons, against 120,131 tons in August and 119,340 tons in September, 1933. Reports relative to collections during the past thirty days -continued to reflect the satisfactory con ditions which have prevailed since last spring. Best results were obtained in sections least affected by the drouth, particularly in the typical cotton produc ing areas. In the principal distributing centers wholesalers reported September collections relative ly larger than a year ago, and O ctober settlements to date have mainly sustained the improvement. Generally through the south liquidation with coun try merchants and banks has been in considerable volume. Department stores and other retail estab lishments in the large urban centers early October payments as making a favorable showing as con trasted with the like period in 1933. Questionnaires addressed to representative interests in the several lines scattered through the district show the follow ing results: Excellent September, August, September, 1934....... 3.5% 1934.----- 3.4 1933....... 5.3 Good Fair Poor 40.2% 30.7 30.4 49.4% 56.8 49.0 6.9% 9.1 15.3 Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Reserve District, according to Dun and Bradstreet, numbered 33 in September, involving liabilities of $492,749 against 25 defaults in August with liabili ties o f $336,146, and 47 insolvencies for a total of $656,537 in September, 1933. M A N U F A C T U R IN G A N D W H O L E S A L IN G B oots and Shoes — September sales of the re porting firms were 8.6 per cent larger than for the same month in 1933 and 9 per cent below the August total this year. Stocks .decreased 11 per cent be tween September 1 and October 1, and on the latest date were more than three-fourths greater than a year ago. The decrease in the month-tomonth sales comparison is seasonal in character. Since October 1 there has been a general pickup in ordering, with especially good results in the south. Prices were mainly unchanged as contrasted with the preceding month, and the same was true rela tive to factory operations. Clothing — The mild fall to date has had a ten dency to hold down the movement o f seasonal apparel through retail channels, particularly men’s topcoats. Ordering for spring distribution has been on a fairly liberal scale, the volume of advance business as of October 1 being slightly ahead of a year ago. Comment is made by a number o f impor tant firms that a higher grade of goods is being taken was the case at this time a year and two years earlier. September sales of the reporting clothiers were 5 per cent below the August total, but 62 per cent larger than in September, 1933. Stocks on October 1, were 17 per cent smaller than a month earlier, but 17 per cent larger than a year ago. Drugs and Chemicals — Business in this classi fication continued the improvement noted during the preceding several months, with volume being still at higher levels than a year ago. A slowing down in purchasing of heavy chemicals and drugs by the manufacturing trade has been more than counterbalanced by increased sales in other lines. An especially favorable showing has been made in cosmetics, medicines and miscellaneous drugs. Sales of the reporting firms in September were 10 per cent larger than for the preceding month, and showed a gain of 15 per cent as compared with September last year. Inventories on October 1 were 2 per cent smaller than on September 1, and about one-fifth greater than a year ago. D ry Goods — Follow ing the usual seasonal trend, sales of the reporting firms in September de creased 9 per cent below the August total, but were 30 per cent greater than in September, 1933. Stocks on October 1 were 16 per cent smaller than on Sep tember 1, and 17 per cent larger than a year ago. The warm weather has tended to hold down sales of seasonal merchandise of all descriptions, and there has been some slowing down in orders for immediate shipment. Advance business, however, is above a year ago, and sales during the first half o f October indicate an increase of about 15 per cent over the same time in 1933. Electrical Supplies — For the seventeenth con secutive month, September sales in this classifica tion showed an increase over the corresponding period a year earlier. The outlet through the build ing industry has failed to broaden, but sales of other products, notably household appliances, radio, refrigeration, small motors, etc., have more than made up the reduced requirements for building in stallations. Sales in September of the reporting interests fell 3 per cent below the August aggregate, but were 40.6 per cent larger than in September last year. Stocks on O ctober 1 were 10 per cent larger than a month earlier and 42 per cent greater than a year ago. Flour — Production at the twelve leading mills of the district in September totaled 300,674 barrels, the largest since last January, and comparing with 248,471 barrels in A ugust and 259,458 barrels in September, 1933. Moderate improvement in pur chasing by domestic consumers was noted during late September and the first half o f October. Rela tive stability in the price of cash wheat served as an incentive to heavier takings by the large baking and jobbing interests. Chain stores also were pur chasing on a larger scale than heretofore. Prices showed little change as contrasted with the pre ceding two or three months. Mill operations were at approximately 56 per cent of capacity. Furniture — Reversing the ordinary seasonal trend, September sales o f the reporting firms fell 5.6 per cent below the August total, and were about one-third smaller than in September last year. Stocks on October 1 were 35 per cent and 8 per cent smaller respectively, than a month and a! year earlier. Some improvement was noted in specialties, such as office and hospital furniture and equipment, but demand for household furniture and furnishings remains quiet. Groceries — Somewhat less than the usual sea sonal increase in sales from August to September was indicated by the reporting firms. The total for September was 4 per cent larger than during the preceding month and 22 per cent in excess of a year ago. Inventories increased 2 per cent between Sep tember 1 and October 1, and on the latest date were 2 per cent less than a year ago. Purchasing of canned goods was in considerable volume, being stimulated by expectations o f higher prices because of short fruit and vegetable crops. Hardware — Repair materials, including paints, nails and a broad assortment o f other commodities, are reported as m oving more actively than in a number of months. In addition purchasing in the rural areas has picked up and advance ordering for spring distribution makes a favorable exhibit. A s a result of these factors and continued fair purchasing for routine requirements September sales o f the reporting interests increased 4 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively, as compared with a month and a year earlier. Inventories decreased further, stocks on October 1 being 9 per cent and 4 per cent smaller, respectively, than on September 1, and October 1 last year. Iron and Steel Products — Changes in the iron and steel industry in this district during September and the first half of October were in the form of moderate improvement, mainly seasonal in charac ter. The melt and shipments of pig iron and scrap during September showed a fair gain over the pre ceding month, and this betterment has been carried into October. Purchasing of pig iron during the past thirty days has been on a larger scale than since spring. Sales are mainly for prompt shipment, there being little contracting for future require ments. Stove and heating apparatus manufacturers increased their activities, and at the middle o f O cto ber averaged about five days per week, as against two to three days between August 15 and Septem ber 15. Activities at farm implement plants have also increased, and orders from all sections of the territory are in considerably larger volume than thought possible under the severe drought condi tions which prevailed during the summer. Mak ers of household appliances, including washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, etc., report a large volume of new orders, with a number of plants working full time. Purchasing by the auto motive industry is confined chiefly to materials for new models, and below the anticipated volume. Building materials continue quiet, except in the case of items for highway construction, river im provement work and other outdoor engineering projects. Iron and steel warehouse and jobbin g interests report September volume slightly greater than in August. W ith the exception of iron and steel scrap, which declined further, prices of fin ished and raw materials showed no marked changes. For the country as a whole, production of pig iron in September, according to the magazine “ Steel,” totaled 899,075 tons, the smallest for any month since May, 1933, and comparing with 1,060,187 tons in August and 1,507,931 tons in Septem ber/1933. Steel ingot production in the United States in Sep tember was 1,251,630 tons, against 1,363,359 tons in August, and 2,283,079 tons in September, 1933. A U T O M O B IL E S Combined passenger car, truck and taxicab pro duction in the United States in September, was 168,872, against 234,809 in August, and 196,082 in September, 1933. Conforming with the seasonal trend, distribu tion of automobiles in this district decreased from August to September, and, according to reporting dealers, the total for the latest month fell below that o f the corresponding period a year ago. The decrease in the month-to-month comparison was somewhat greater than the average during the past decade. A s was the case during the preceding sev eral months, relatively the best showing was made by dealers handling cars o f the three principal inter* ests in the cheap priced category. Sales of trucks in^September fell 8 per cent below August, but were approximately one-half greater than in September a year ago. Business in parts and accessories showed little change from the preceding month. September sales o f new passenger cars by re porting interests were 10 per cent smaller than for the same month in 1933, and about one-fourth less than the August total this year. Dealers continue to "purchase on a basis o f actual, or fairly certain prospective requirements, and indications are that* stocks o f present models will be well cleared up when new models are put out by the manufacturers. Stocks of new cars on dealers’ floors on October 1 were 12 per cent smaller than a month earlier, and 28 per cent greater than a year ago. Sales o f used cars in September fell 6 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, below a month and a year ago. Stocks o f salable secondhand cars increased slightly be tween September 1 and October 1, and on the latest date were larger by 4.5 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, than a month and a year earlier. A c cording to dealers reporting on that item, deferred payment sales in September constituted SO per cent of their total sales, against 50.5 per cent in August and 42 per cent in September, 1933. R E T A IL T R AD E The condition of retail trade is reflected in the follow in g comparative statements showing activi ties in the leading cities of the district: Department Stores Stocks Net sales comparison on hand Sept. 1934 9 months ended Sept. 30, 1934 comp, to Sept. 30, 1934 to comp, to Sept. 1933 same period 1933 Sept. 30, 1933 — +53.1% +41.4% + 6.5% „...+ 3.8 + 10.4 — 13.3 Fort Smith, Ark,....+28.4 +27.3 — 13.1 Little Rock, Ark C...+47.3 +32.6 — 7.1 Louisville, Ky...,....+10.0 + 9.0 — 9.0 ....+20.4 +24.3 — 1.2 ,...+20.6 + 16.8 — 8.0 ....+20.6 +28.8 — 1.0 ;....+31.8 +28.0 + 1.9 :t.. 4-21.6 + 18.5 — 6.8 Stock turnover Jan. 1, to Sept,.30, 1934 1933 1.94 1.47 1.39 1.30 1.59 1.40 1.71 1.55 2.33 2.25 2.35 2.10 2.70 2.57 1.39 1.12 2.10 1.84 2.42 2.27 Percentage of collections in September to accounts and notes receiv able first day of September, 1934. (Percentage of collections by cities). El Dorado, Ark..................... 34.4% Memphis, Tenn.........„..„........37.‘9% Fort Smith, Ark................... 36.1 Springfield, Mo.....................;..24.5 Little Rock, Ark................... 33.9 St. Louis, Mo............„............46.5 Louisville, Ky........................ 46.8 All Other Cities......................28.5 8th F. R. District....................... 42.6% Retail Stores Stocks Net sales comparison on hand Sept. 1934 9 months ended! Sept. 30, 1934 comp, to Sept. 30, 1934 to comp, to Sept. 1933 same period 1933 Sept. 30, 1933 Men's ' Furnishings .......1-31.9% -|-25.6% + 12 .2 % Boots and — 3.1 — 8.0 Shoes ................ +15.6 Stock turnover Jan. 1, to Sept. 30, 1934 1933 -----1.71 1.78 2.23 2.11 PO STAL RECEIPTS Returns from the five largest cities of the dis trict show an increase in combined postal receipts for the third quarter this year, of 1.7 per cent over the corresponding period in 1933, and a decrease of 5.9 per cent under the quarter ended June 30, 1934. Detailed figures follow: Sept. 30, Tune 30, 1934 1934 Evansville ........$ 133,923 $ 133,937 167,554 160,085 Little Rock.___ 560,684 598,983 Louisville ____ Memphis ______ 449,545 . 461,360 St. Louis______ 2,136,137 2,311,177 Mar. 31, 1934 $ 141,196 182,751 605,216 499,219 2,320,894 Sept. 1934 Sept. 30, corap. to 1933 Sept. 1933 $ 139,549 — 4.0% 153,540 + 9.1 540,284 + 3.8 448,329 + 0.03 2,107,190 + 1.4 Totals $3,749,276 $3,388,892 ________ $3,447,843 $3,665,542 + 1.7% CONSUM PTION OF E LEC TR IC ITY Public utilities in the five largest cities of the district report consumption of electric current by selected industrial customers in September, as being about 13.5 per cent smaller than in August, and 7.5 per cent less than in September, 1933. Detailed figures follow: No. of Sept., Aug., Sept. 1934 Sept., Sept. 1934 Custom1934 1934 comp, to 1933 comp, to ers * K .W .H . *K .W .H . Aug. 1934*K.W .H . Sept. 1933 Evansville .... 40 1,8512,488 — 25.6% 1,656 +11.8% Little Rock... 35 1,8462,339 — 21.1 1,961 — 5.9 Louisville .... 84 6,9567,790 — 10.7 7,337 — 5.2 1,6851,798 — 0.3 1,262 +33.5 Memphis .... 31 St. Louis...... 193** 16,428 18,829 — 12.8 18,881** — 13.0 Totals ........3 I J 28,766 *In thousands (000 omitted). ••Revised figures. 33,244* — 13.5% 31,097 — 7.5% B U IL D IN G T he d o llar v alu e of perm its issued for new construction in the five larg e st cities of the district in Septem ber w as 5.5 per cent g re ate r than in A u gu st, and 53.3 per cent more than the Septem ber, 1933 total. A ccording to sta tistic s com piled b y the F . W . Dodge Corporation, construction contracts let in the E ighth F ederal R eserve D istrict in Sep tem ber am ounted to $ 7,616,894 w hich compares w ith $8,228,255 in A ugust, and $14,432,097 in Sep tem ber, 1933. B u ild in g figures for Septem ber, fol lo w : New Construction Permits *Cost 1934 1933 1934 1933 Evansville .. 4 150 $ 85 $ 26 Little Rock 8 14 7 5 Louisville .. 40 34 340 157 Memphis ... 95 142 52 39 St. Louis.... 151 148 244 248 Repairs, etc. Permits *Cost 1934 1933 1934 1933 337 47 $ 109 $ 10 145 63 31 8 63 33 21 17 135 127 68 71 364 396 321 354 Sept. totals 298 488 $ 728 $ 4751,044 666 Aug. “ 318 475 690 3,877 807 522 July V 281 476 481 3,615648 447 *In thousands of dollars (000 omitted). $ 550 $460 210 261 228 318 A G R IC U L T U R E Crop prospects as a w hole in the E ighth Dis tric t im proved d u rin g Septem ber, and the better m ent w as continued through the first h alf of Octo ber. A bundant rain s in late A u g u st and d u rin g the follow ing month w ere of im m ense benefit to late crops, n o tably potatoes, h ay, legum es, sorghums, apples and certain vegetab les. Pasture's in many sections effected record recovery, and m oisture was supplied for p lan tin g w in ter w h eat and rye, and bringing these crops up to a good stand. W ater for livestock, which in the worst affected drouth sections was practically exhausted, was replenished and the great deficiency of subsoil moisture partial ly restored. W hile the year in broad stretches of the district will be recorded as one o f extremely small production, the fall season to date has wrought surprising improvement in earlier pros pects. Expressed as a percentage of the 10-year (1921-1930) average, combined yield per. acre of 33 important crops indicated on O ctober 1, in states including the Eighth District, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, was as follow s: Indi ana, 81.7; Illinois, 65.7; Missouri, 46.1; Kentucky, 106.9; Tennessee, 108.3; Mississippi, 106.5, and A r kansas, 87.3. In all these states excepting Indiana and Illinois, there was improvement from Septem ber to October, ranging from 1 per cent in Missouri to 8.4 per cent in Arkansas. Since the end of September weather generally has been mild and clear, which constituted ideal conditions for maturing and garnering late crops. Husking of corn has made considerable progress, and greater than the usual portion o f the crop had been cribbed at the middle of October. T he cotton, rice and tobacco harvests have proceeded with prac tically no interruption, and in this district prospec tive yields of these crops increased during Septem ber. Em ergency forage crops in the main under went betterment, and estimates o f tame hay produc tion increased somewhat, under intensive efforts of farmers to save late production because of the shortage and war-time prices being paid for hay in some sections. Pastures made an almose phenomenal recovery between September 1 and October 1; Mis souri, for example rising from 18 per cent to 48 per cent of the 1922-1931 average during the period, and Illinois.from 47 per cent to 68 per cent. A total of $57,460,366 has been added to 19331934 farm income in states of the Eighth District by rental and benefit payments up to September 1 to farmers cooperating in the adjustment programs of wheat, cotton, tobacco, corn and hogs, according to the Agricultural Adjustm ent Administration’s report issued October 10. Since September 1 addi tional disbursements of considerable size have been made. The follow ing table analyzes the payments by state and com m odity up to September 1: Cotton Wheat 1,94J> Ar.k. ... ...$14,783,697 $ Ill........ 1,805,527 Ind. ... 1,409,467 Ky....... 186,548 Miss. . .... 14,521,429 Mo....... ... 2,471,770 1,131,699 Tenn. ... 4,683,260 90,949 Totals ...$36,524,607* $ 4,626,135 Tobacco 180 268 72,246 2,537,251 Com-Hogs $ 231,236 1,050,833 4,845,419 309 49,941 624,293 * ’*6,8347707 62,942 Totals $15,017,058 2,856,627' 6,327,132 2,788,559 14,521,429 10,488,117 5,461,444 $ 3,284,179 $13,025,446 $57,460,366 $ ♦These figures do not include transactions in distribution, of profits or advances on cotton, options, either exercised or through participation in the cotton pool. Corn — A s in other sections of the country, Eighth District corn is showing disappointing yields, and much grain of inferior quality. In its report as of October 1, the U. S. Department o f Agriculture estimates production in this district at 165.724.000 bushels, a decrease of 9,058,000 bushels from the September 1 forecast, and comparing with 296.955.000 bushels harvested in 1933 and an 11-year average (1923-1933) of 346,344,000 bushels. This estimate not only includes corn for grain, but the grain equivalent o f corn to be utilized for forage, silage, and pasturage. In Missouri the indicated yield of 4 bushels to the acre is the lowest on record and compares with the 1933 average of 22.5 bushels, while in Illinois the crop is the smallest since 1873. Drouth accounted for the principal part o f the fail ure, but heavy inroads were also made by chinch bugs, ear-worms and other insect pests. One of the largest acreages of corn that has ever been so util ized is being harvested for silage and fodder this year. The carry-over of old corn is universally light, and much of the sealed corn was taken out to carry livestock through the drought period, or to sell because of favorable prices. W inter W heat — The Government's October 1 report makes no change in Eighth District produc tion of winter wheat, the output being placed at 44.813.000 bushels, against 38,434,000 bushels har vested in 1933, and an 11-year average (1923-1933) of 49,096,000 bushels. In a number of sections, notably in Missouri where tlie wheat crop for the first time on record exceeds the corn yield, farmers are holding considerable wheat for feeding livestock. A good seedbed, abundant rains at the right time and warm weather for germination and growth have served to put the crop planted this fall ahead of the usual schedule. Fruits and Vegetables — Late fruits and vege tables were materially benefited by the late August and September rains. This was true particularly o f apples, the precipitation having helped to size late varieties. W hite potato prospects in the district proper improved slightly between September 1 and October 1, the forecast on the latter date being for 8.983.000 bushels, against 9,107,000 bushels har vested in 1933 and an 11-year average of 13,967,000 bushels. In states entirely or partly within the Eighth District the sweet potato crop is estimated by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, on a basis o f October 1 conditions, at 17,058,000 bushels, an increase o f approximately 2 per cent over the Sep tember 1 forecast and comparing with 15,960,000 bushels harvested in 1933 and a 5-year (1927-1931) average o f 15,873,000 bushels. In these states the apple crop is forecast at 8,676,000 bushels, o f which 3.716.000 bushels represent commercial crop; against 12,784,000 bushels in 1933, with 5,044,000 bushels commercial production and a 5-year average of 15,181,000 bushels o f which 6,653,000 bushels were commercial production; pears, 2,021,000 bush els,sagainst 883,000 bushels last year and a 5-year average of 1,706,000 bushels; grapes, 34,022 tons, against 33,136 tons in 1933 and a 5-year average of 29,341 tons. Production o f peanuts in these states promise to be the largest of record, 42,300,000 pounds, against 36,845,000 pounds in 1933 and a 5-year average o f 27,701,000 pounds. T h e A gricul tural Adjustment Administration estimates prices for the 1934 peanut crop above $59 a ton for Spanish peanuts, $56 a ton for Virginias and $50 a ton for runners, as a result of the recently announced pea nut program. A ll producers will benefit from these prices, and in addition producers w ho sign and carry out agreements to adjust the 1935 peanut acreage will receive $8 on each ton o f peanuts harvested in 1934. Livestock — The past month-has been marked by considerable improvement in condition of live stock in the northern stretches o f the district. The betterment is attributable almost entirely to the late A ugust and September rains, which restored deficient water supplies and greatly improved pas tures. Milk production showed a marked increase over the preceding month due to greatly improved pastures. E g g production was slightly lower than last year. Eighth District hay production on O cto ber 1 was estimated at 4,219,000 tons, an increase of 469.000 tons over the September 1 forecast and com paring with 5,249,000 tons harvested in 1933 and an 11-year average (1923-1933) of 6,832,000 tons. Receipts and shipments, at St. Louis as reported by the National Stock Yards, were as follow s: Receipts Sept., Aug., Sept., 1934 1934 1933 Cattle and Calves___289,680 339,350 111,650 Hogs ______________ 220,176 170,745 543,720 Horses and Mules.... 10,238 6,281 6,372 Sheep ......................... 68,941 52,276 47,461 Shipments Sept., Sept., Aug., 1934 1934_________ 1933 178,078 210,898 57,820 115,410 125,139 266,344 9,204 6,548 6,264 18,744 18,877 8,780 Cotton — Eighth District cotton prospects in creased during September under generally favora ble weather conditions. In its report as of October 1 the U. S. Department o f Agriculture estimates the yield at 1,957,000 bales, which is 156,000 bales more than the September 1 forecast, and compares with 2.554.000 bales harvested in 1933, and a 10-year average (1923-1932) o f 2,705,000 bales. The crop in many sections was greatly improved by the fall rains and the clear, warm weather which followed the precipitation. The past few weeks have Been auspicious for harvesting and ginning the crop. Labor has been plentiful for the harvest ow ing to the largely rcduced acreage. During early October prices declined slightly, but continued well ahead of the corresponding period a year and two years earlier. In the St. Louis market the middling grade ranged from 11.80c to 12.50c between September 17 and October 15, closing at 11.85c on the latter date, which compares with 12.50c on September 17 and 8.45c on October 16, 1933. Receipts at Arkansas compresses from August 1, to October 12 totaled 423,951 bales against 345,363 bales in the corre sponding period a year ago. Stocks on hand as of October 12 totaled 557,11 bales, against 329,315 bales on September 14 and 392,905 bales on the corresponding date in 1933. Tobacco — Prospects bettered to the extent of 4,108,000 pounds in this district during September. Based on October 1 conditions the U. S. Depart ment of Agriculture estimate Eighth District pro duction at 234,951,000 pounds, against 277,750,000 pounds harvested in 1933 and an 11-year average (1923-1933) of 304,854,000 pounds. The season thus far has been one of the most favorable experienced for curing tobacco. Burley leaf is curing slowly but thoroughly and in some sections stripping is in full progress. The crop gives indications of being a desirable one, especially in the case of cigarette and smoking grades. No definite date for opening the tobacco markets has been determined, but it is like ly that selling will begin in late November or early December. In the dark tobacco districts, the air-cured crop is reported curing satisfactorily; being of high qual ity and free of houseburn. In the dark-fired districts tributary to Clarksville, Springfield, Hopkinsville and the western district, cutting and housing is also practically completed. Late tobacco improved noticeably under favorable weather in August and September and gives every indication of high quality. C O M M O D ITY PRICES Range of prices in the St. Louis Market between September 15, 1934 and October 15, 1934, with clos ing quotations on the latter date, and October 16, 1933, follows: High Low Wheat Dec...................... perbu..$1.04f$$ .96 May ---------------- “ 1.05J4 .95 No. 2 red winter 4 4 1.04*4 .9 6 # No. 2 hard “ 4 4 1.12 1.03 Com .79** .72*4 *pec....................... " ♦May .................... “ .80% .75 ♦July ..........------ ;; .80*4 .72H No. 2 mixed ..... “ .79J£ .79J4 No. 2 white ...... 4 4 .88 .83 Oats No. 2 white ..... u .60 .53*4 Flour Soft patent........ perbbl. 7.30 6.50 Spring ” ........ “ 7.30 7.65 Middling Cotton..per lb. .1250 .1180 3.00 Hogs on hoof..... per cwt. 7.40 •Nominal quotations. Close Oct. 15, 1934 Oct. 16,1933 ------------------------------------$ 1.00 $ .70# 1.00 .74# 1.03 .76J4@ .76# 1.08J4 .74J4@ .74# .76*4 .37*4® .38 .7 8 # @ .78*1 .44*4 @ .44# .79 .46 @ .46$ .79$4 .3 7 # ® .37# .85*4 .39 @ .39V * .58 6.70 @7.00 7.40 @7.65 .1185 5.85 @3.00 .29 @ .29# 5.75 @6.25 6.60 @6.75 .0845 3.50 @4.S5 F IN A N C IA L Demand for credit expanded slightly in the Eighth District during the past thirty days the betterment being confined largely to the southern sections of the area. Requirements for financing the tobacco and cotton crops have expanded, but less than is ordinarily the case at this season. Some banks in the tobacco region have increased their borrowings from city correspondents. Commit ments of grain and flour milling interests, though somewhat reduced from the preceding thirty days, are still substantially larger than a year and tw o years ago. In the principal urban centers banks report a fair volume o f mercantile and industrial loans, but with liquidation o f prior loans still in larger volum e than new commitments and renewals. Taken as a whole available funds held by banks, both in the city and country, are considerably in excess o f credit requirements. Between September 12 and October 10, total loans of reporting member banks in the chief cities increased 3.5 per cent and on the latest date were 8.3 per cent smaller than a year ago. Total invest ments o f these banks during the four-week period increased by 1.6 per cent and were 10.1 per cent in excess o f the total on O ctober 11, 1933. Deposits continued to m ove upward, and at $548,131,000 on October 10 were 0.6 per cent and 19 per cent greater, respectively, than a month and a year earlier. There was a fair-increase in borrowings of all member banks from the Federal Reserve bank be tween September 17 and O ctober 17. Industrial loans and commitments granted by this bank under Section 13b o f the Federal Reserve A ct, approved June 19, 1934, continue in substantial volume. A s of October 17, advances amounted to $363,000 and commitments to $530,000, as compared with $67,000 and $132,000, respectively, a month earlier. The amount o f savings deposits held by selected banks as o f O ctober 3 was slightly larger than on September 5, and 16.7 per cent greater than on October 4, 1933. Changes in interests rates were negligible, but the trend was slightly firmer. A t St. Louis banks, as of the week ended O ctober 15, current rates were as follow s: Customers prime commercial paper, 2 to 5j^ per cen t; collateral loans, 4 to 6 per cent; loans secured by warehouse receipts, 2 to 6 per ce n t; interbank loans, 5 to 6 per cent and cattle loans 5 to 6 per cent. Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of the reporting member banks on O ctober 10, 1934, showed an increase o f 3.5 per cent as contrasted with September 12,1934. Deposits increased 0.6 per cent between September 12, 1934 and October 10, 1934 and on the latter date were 19.0 per cent great er than on October \l% 1933. Composite statement fo llo w s : ♦Oct. 10, 1934 Number of banks reporting........... 19 Loans and discounts (inch rediscounts) Secured by U. S. Govt, obligations and other stocks and bonds....$ 70,905 All other loans and discounts.... 146,345 Total loans and discounts.. Investments U. S. Govt, securities.... Other securities.............. ♦Oct. 11, m$ 19 19 $ 71,473 138,507 $ 88,958 148,072 — 4217,250 $209,980.. $237,030 .......$181,453 ___ _ 116,578 $182,580 114,455 $128,967 102,12S Total investments............................ $298,031 $297,035 $231,092 Reserve balance with F. R. Bank..$ 86,294 Cash in vault...................................... 8,072 Deposits Net demand deposits....................$352,816 Time deposits................................ 165,560 Government deposits.......*............ 29,755 $ 84,866 8,691 $ *9,505 8,822 $349,393 165,807 29,770 $277,199 159,355 24,014 $544,970 $460,568 Total deposits.............. .................... $548,131 Bills payable and rediscounts with Federal Reserve Bank.............................. .............. .............. *In thousands (000 omitted). The total resources of these banks comprise approximately 62.0% • of all member banks in this district. Federal Reserve Operations — During Septem ber, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis dis counted for 8 member banks against 8 in August and 65 in September, 1933. The discount rate of this bank remained unchanged at 2 per cent. Changes in the principal assets and liabilities of this institution appear in the follow ing table: ♦Oct. 19, 1934 ♦Sept. 19, 1934 $ 352 ♦Oct. 19, 1933 $ 1,877 93,200 122 ’*93*200 122 ***90i499 172 Total Bills and Securities................. ..$ 93,898 $ 93,674 $ 92,548 ... 147,802 ... 142,444 $189,230 141,696 135,439 $156,765 92,166 139,793 4,747 68.3% 67.6% Bills bought ...... U. S. Securities.. ... Ratio of reserve to deposits and F. R. Note Liabilities..... #In thousands (000 ommitted). ... 70.0% Debits to Individual Accounts — The follow ing table gives the total debits charged by banks to checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates o f deposit accounts and trust accounts of individuals, firms, corporations and U. S. Government in leading cities o f the district. Charges to accounts of Banks are not included. ♦Sept., 1934 East St. Louis and NatT Stock Yards, 111. 21,816 ..$ El Dorado, Ark...... 3,609 Evansville, Ind...... 15,751 Fort Smith, Ark..... 7,630 3,844 Greenville, Miss..... Helena, Ark........... 2,341 Little Rock, Ark.... 22,342 Louisville, Ky........ 115,491 Memphis, Tenn...... 103,037 Owensboro, Ky...... 3,668 6,853 Pine Bluff, Ark..... Quincy, %111.............. 5,431 St. Louis, Mo......... 392,720 Sedalia, Mo............. 1,541 Springfield, Mo...... 10,789. ♦♦Texarkana. Ark.-Tex.......... .. 5,281 ..$722,144 ♦Aug., 1934 $ 21,996 *3,251 16,560 6,930 2,617 1,441 22,344 116,112 79,601 3,275 4,323 5,695 390,897 1,576 10,889 ♦Sept., 1933 $ 23,194 3,057 13,849 7,511 2,927 1,401 19,468 107,079 88,040 2,494 5,399 4,890 379,600 1,295 9,386 Sept., 1934 comp, to Aug., 1934 Sept. 1933 — 0.8% +11.0 — 4.9 + 10.1 +46.9 +62.5 — 0.5 +29.4 +12.0 +58.5 — 4.6 + 0.5 — 2.2 — 0.9 — 5.9% +18.1 +13.7 + 1.6 +31.3 +67.1 +14.8 + 7.9 +17.0 +47.1 +26.9 +11.1 + 3.5 +19.0 + 14.9 ......... 4,773 5,098 + 10.6 + 3.6 $692,280 $674,688 + 4.3 + ‘ *In thousands (000 omitted). "♦Includes one bank m Texarkana, Texas not in Eighth District. (Compiled October 22, 1934) 7.0 BUSINESS CO N DITIONS IN T H E U N ITED STATES PRODUCTION AN D EM PLO YM ENT — Volume of in dustrial production, as measured by the Board’s seasonally ad justed index, declined from 73 per cent of the 1923-1925 average in August to 71 per cent in September. There were substantial declines in activity at cotton and woolen mills, reflecting the influ ence of the textile strike, and in the output of shoes, automobiles, and lumber. After the termination of the strike, textile produc tion increased. Steel mill operations, which had declined sharply DISTRIBUTION — Daily average railroad freight-carloadings increased from August to September by about the usual seasonal amount, but declined slightly in the first half of October. Sales at department stores increased from August to September by somewhat less than the estimated seasonal amount, w hile retail sales of general merchandise in rural districts, as shown by reports of mail order houses and chain stores to the Department of Commerce, increased considerably. Indexes of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. By months X929 to 1931; by weeks 1932 to date. (1926=100). Latest figures October 13, farm products 71.0, foods 74.8, other commodities 78.1. during the summer, have been at a higher level in recent weeks than in the early part of September. Production of beef and lamb increased further in September, reflecting in part the disposal of animals bought in the drouth areas by the Federal Government. Wheat flour production and sugar meltings also were larger in September. Output of anthracite and bituminous coal showed a larger than seasonal increase. Factory employment and payrolls declined considerably in September, largely as a result of the textile strike. The number of workers employed was substantially reduced in the automobile, iron and steel, and shoe industries, as well as in the basic textile industries. There was a larger than seasonal increase in employ ment in clothing industries, while in the nonferrous metals, build ing materials, food products, and paper and printing industries, employment was sustained. Among non-manufacturing lines, em ployment increased seasonally from August to September; at coal mines and in retail trade. There was also a substantial increase in the number of persons provided with work by the emergency work program of the Federal Relief Administration, while employ ment on public works decreased somewhat. PR E PER CENT 120 B ILLIONS OF DOLLARS B i ll io n s o f d o lla rs 7 120 FrA C T 0 R Y EMPLOY!*4E N T AND►PAYROLL S 10 1 110 \ 100 100 90 90 Employment 60 \ 70 \ r \ V 00 \ 70 \ Payrolls 60 7 _ _ V s AO 1929 1930 1931 / t A 50 30 CO M M ODITY PRICES — Wholesale prices of farm prod ucts and foods, which had advanced sharply in August and the first week of September, subsequently declined somewhat. The weekly index of wholesale prices of the Bureau of Labor Statis tics, which had advanced, from 74 per cent of the 1926 average at the beginning of June to 78 per cent early in September, stood at 76 per cent in the second week of October. Recent declines occurred principally in those products which had increased most rapidly in preceding weeks, such as wheat, cotton, livestock, and meats. Prices of commodities other than farm products an d foods have in general shown little change since last January, but within recent weeks prices of textile products and scrap steel declined slightly and gasoline prices showed a considerable de crease. The open market price of silver advanced sharply in th e first half of October. BANK CREDIT — Excess reserves of member banks have shown no material change during the past month and on October 17 amounted to about $1,750,000,000. A reduction in treasury cash and deposits with the Federal Reserve banks somewhat more than offset a seasonal growth of $57,000,000 in the volume ^ 60 50 ' U ) V 30 1932 1933 193^ X&dexes of United States Bureau of Labor Statistical without adjustment for seasonal variation. (1923-1905 averages? 100). Latest figures September, preliminary, factory employment 75.8, payrolls, preliminary 57.9* The value of construction contracts awarded, as reported by the F. W . Dodge Corporation, continued in about the same vol ume during September as in other recent months. Department of Agriculture crop report for October 1, indicated a cotton crop of 9,443,000 bales as compared with a yield of 13,047,000 bales last year. The corn crop, which averaged 2,516,000,000 bushels from 1927 to 1931, is estimated at 1,417,000,000 bushels this year. Hay and pasture conditions improved in September and weather in the first salf of October was generally favorable for forage crops. The yield of white potatoes is estimated at 362,000,000 bushels, about equal to the average for 1927-1931. Wednesday figures for reporting member banks in 90 leading cities. Latest figures are for October 17. of money in circulation and a continued growth in required r * e serves arising from a growth in deposits. Volume of Reserve bank credit outstanding showed little change. At reporting member banks in leading cities there was a further growth in deposits and loans and investments. Between September 19, and Octo ber 17, total deposits of the banks increased by about $500,000,0$ Commercial loans to customers and member banks’ holdings o i': United States Government securities increased further, whfr security loans declined. Short-term money rates continued at l * o-» levels during September and the first three weeks of Octobc' Yields on Government securities declined in October, follo\vi:« an increase in August and September.