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SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS
WEEKLY SUPPLEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCEBUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE
WASHINGTON, D. C, MARCH 16, 1939SUMMARY OF BUSINESS TRENDS
FLUCTUATIONS in business since February have been slight,-L the general situation still being characterized by a steadyvolume of operations. Signs of a quickening in the pace ofactivity in a number of individual lines are, however, apparent.A sizable buying movement in unfinished cotton cloths hasoccurred and prices have firmed. Quotations of industrial andrailroad shares advanced during the first 10 days of Marchrecovering the greater part of the losses incurred in the Januarydecline. At the week end, the Dow-Jones averages of industrial^and. railroad-shares were within 5 percent of the highest-figures-reached in the recovery movement that began in the middle of
1938.
Utility share quotations, moreover, have exceeded theprevious high points in the 1938 recovery.Retail sales during February were maintained at the improvedJevel of recent months, with changes in various lines of tradegenerally following a seasonal pattern. Total dollar sales wereabove those last year with the largest gains occurring in durablegoods lines, particularly in sales of new passenger cars. Salesof mail-order companies were more than 10 percent above thedollar volume last year. Variety-store sales were slightly higherthan a year ago though somewhat lower on an adjusted basisthan in January. Trade at department stores did not recordthe usual seasonal rise, the adjusted index declining two pointsto 86 (1923-25 =
100);
dollar sales for the month were 2 percentsmaller than in February 1938. For the week ended March
4,
however, department store sales were up 7 percent from ayear earlier.Aggregate awards of construction contracts receded furtherin February, according to the F. W. Dodge data for 37 EasternStates. The decline resulted from the continued falling off inpublicly-financed projects after a record volume of awards inDecember. Total daily awards in February were 5 percentbelow the January rate; privately-owned awards were up 12percent. Awards for residential buildings were moderatelyabove the daily rate in January and on seasonally adjusted basiswere near the recovery high point reached last fall.
SELECTED BUSINESS INDICATORS
STEEL INGOT PRODUCTION
(PERCENT OF MOOT CAPACITY)
AUTOMOBILE PRODUCTION
(THOUSANDS OF VEHICLES)
FREIGHT CAR LOADINGS
(THOUSANDS OF CARS)
CRUDE PETROLEUM PRODUCTION
{THOUSANDS OF BARRELS *• DAILY AVERAGE)
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AWARDED
(MILLIONS Or DOLLARS)
1936
133667—39
 
WEEKLY BUSINESS INDICATORS*
[Weekly average 1923-25-100]Business activity:!New York
Timesjcf-
Bamm'so"Business Week
Commodity prices, wholesale:Dept.
of
Labor, 1926=100:Combined index
(813)Farm products (67).Food (122)All other (624)Fisher's index, 1926*100:Combined index (120)-..Copper, electrolytic^Cotton, middling, spotConstruction contracts*Distribution: Carloadings
___
Employment: Detroit, factory...Finance:Failures, commercialBond yieldstStock pricesj1939Mar.80.279.733.863.464.6109.1Mar.
88.095.8
96.9
100.3 100.876.707.271.580.480.379.733.570.962.499.352.665.5
Feb.
2576.867.771.480.480.079.732.758.553.366.0106.9 104.1
Feb.
1888.896.999.8 101.376.666.971.380.479.779.732.755.860.5100.555.066.0
Feb.
89.496.7Mar.1276.666.771.180.479.579.733.1
60.5
64.166.2104.9 104.81938Mar.79.273.980.479.871.7
73.
82.982.871.033.145.958.175.370.573.391.3Mar.
79.6 106.
fi
80.979.871.173.882.957.71937106.7
111. 9
114.1llfl.787.293.687.385.492.93.071.0
111.6
107.233.553.350.477.7
87.7
43.766.2
63.972.495.0 144.7 144.2
Mar.
117.086.191.686.384.591.151.5
76.2
45.065.5
Finance—ContinuedBanking:Debits, outside N. Y. C.t~~Federal Reserve reportingmember banks:Loans, totalInterest rates:Call loans*
Time loanstCurrency in circulation JProdueting:Automobiles
_
Bituminous coal}Cotton consumption^Electric powerfLumberPetroleumtSteel ingots©....Receipts, primary markets:Cattle and calvesHogsCottonWheat1939Mar.
83.766.7
24.228.6139.1
Mar.
96.2
65.5
24.228.6
94.634.6
26.:
110.2 103.282.6159.195.851.433.135.0
Feb.
25
85.065.5
24,228.6139.0 138.2 137.985.3134.7 133.6 135.0159.8
159.
6
157.41.6L59.892.254.536.131.527.6Feb.94.065.724.228.699.2 104.7 110.883.3109.8 106.5
37.0
94.154.639.833.123.9
Feb.
81.865.424.228.6137.684.1106.5136.136.891.752.532.645.430.4
1938
77.672.224.228.6
75.363.688.6120.937.6162.450.564.031.560.828.1Mar.94.671.524.228.671.435.066.333.942.332.9
1937Mar.13
Mar.91.2 113.774.1
24.228.6
130.5 130.8 131.6 131.962.7 110.6 108.786.3 134.6 134.1122.2 132.8 132.1
47.9
160.3 161.9 158.4143.471.244.477.319.9
73.0
24.228.6133.1 166.0
46.0
140.966.744.856.518.4
•Data do not cover calendar weeks in all cases. §Computed normal=l00. JDaily average. fWeekly average, 1928-30=100.® Index for week ended Mar. 18 is 95.7. cfFor description of these indexes, see p. 4 of the Dec. 16,1937, issue.ISeasonally adjusted.
WEEKLY BUSINESS STATISTICS
«
1939Mar.
11
Mar.
4
Feb.
25
Feb.
18
Feb.
11
Feb.
4
1938Mar.
12
Mar.
5
1937Mar.
13
Mar.
6
1936Mar. 14
COMMODITY
PRICES,
WHOLESALE
Copper,
electrolytic, New
York*
dol. per lb_.
Cotton,
middling,
spot,
New
York
__do.
Food index
(Bradstrett's)
do....
Iron
and steel,
composite
dol. per ton.
Wheat,
No. 2
hard winter/Kansas City)
..dol. per bu_.
FINANCE
Banking:Debits, New
York City
mil. of dolDebits,
outside
of New
York City
do_...
Federal Reserve
banks:
Keserve bank credit, total
do....U. S.
Government securities
do....
Member bank reserve balances
do...
Excess
reserves,
estimated
do...
Federal Reserve reporting member
banks:Deposits,
demand, adjusted
do
Deposits,
time
I
_do._.Investments, total§._
do
TJ. S.
Government direct obligations
..do..,!
Obligations fully guaranteed
by
U.
S.
Govern-ment
..
mil. of dol_.Loans,
total§
_
do....Commercial, industrial, and
agricultural loans
§mil. of dol..
Interest
rates,
call loanst percentInterest
rates,
time loanst
do
Exchange
rates:
French
franc}..-._ cents..
Pound
sterling! dollars..Failures,
commercial number
Se^rT/m^rfe^
10111
" -^.
of dol"
Bond sales
(N Y
.5,
#.)_._.thous. of dol. par value.Bond
yields (Moody's)
(120
bonds)* ..percentfetock sales
(N. Y. S.
E.)
thous of shares
Stock prices
<N.
Y
Ttmes)U-_--~-M
&£&
sto
sL
pr
sf
T
Td
statmcs)
(420)
sLssf
T
do
Public utilities (40)""
So*
Railroads
(32)......:::::.::::::::::::::::;do:
PRODUCTION, CONSTRUCTION, AND,_
^
DISTRIBUTION
Production:Automobiles numberBituminous coalt thous. of short tonsl"Electric power mil. of kw.-hr
.
Petroleum t-. thous. of bbl..Steel ingots®
pc
t. of capneity..Construction-contract awardst thous. of dol.Distribution:Freight-car loadings, total
carsCoal and coke
.
"
doForest products
" ""do
Grains and grain products
do"""
Livestock
" 'do
Merchandise,
1.
c.
1
do
Ore ~~"""~~doMiscellaneous
""" do"""
Receipts:Cattle and calves thousandsHogs
;;;_.
do-
*"
Cotton into sight thous. of balesWheat, at primary markets thous. of bu.!
0.110.0922.3436.39
3,7553,882
2,5652,564
8,9853,407
16,086
5,224
13,4508,1762,030
8,3383,773
1.001.25
2.6514.690258
6,755
51,2203.736,561105.9495.0111.888.331.784,09555.12,0830.110.0912.3336.38
3,548
4,4622,5862,564
8,9423,382
15,965
5,202
13,408
8,1432,0198,1863,7731.001.252.6474.688
214
6,752
43,8E0
3.784,641
103.83
92.5108.9
86.
530.4
78,705
1,4072,2443.315
55.
S
11,376598,691136,
54b
24,44632,344
9,637
153,420
8,979
233,322
16321591
2,8200.110
.089
2.32
36.38
.71
2,6383,284
2,5922,5648,841
3,298
16,094
5,189
13,426
8,1841,9938,1803,766l.CO1.252.6494.689
217
6,711
26,500
3.813,365
101.05
89.6105.684.127.9
75,660
1,4532,226
53.7
11,144560,609
138,732
25,48428,885
9,935
133,965
7,884
215,724
17223482
2,1960.110
.089
2.312,8413,637
2,5872,5fi4
8,707
3,16615,9515,18113,4038,1821,975
8,205
3,761
1.001.25
2.6484.686224
6,697
25,8203.812,860101.8990.5106.984.227.979,8601,4182,249
3,324
54.8
8,967
580,071137,0S024,38728,58711,120148,250
8,944
221,703
1722580.110.0902.3036.36
3,3853,793
2,5842,5649,018
3,459
16,0775,18513,2808,1711,8078,179
3,745
1.001.25
2.6474.6862616,68130,5303.82
3,536
101.7391.1107.485.228.584,5001,4332,208
3,284
53.4579,918142,35823,53928,809
9,700
148,404
8,429
218,6791662111182,4160.110.0902.3136.35.70
3,362
4,0632,5822.564
9,0473,478
16,0486,18313,2098,1731,789
8,2333,767
1.001.25
2.6434.678255
6,676
32,6503.864,224100.8889.0105.381.827.778,4101,3462,287
3,442
52.80.098.0902.4938.83.923,1302,5942,5647,3111,467
14, 514
5,258
12,2428,0811,152
9,020
4,342
1.001.25
3.192
5.008
287
6,337
36,1804.23
3,445
88.6779.694.869.526.757,4381,0832,015
3,382
29.97,858
576,790140,77925,53829,54411.371146,138
9,C62
214,358
185234116
3,093
556,664110,40127,60731,42910,954150.669
8,682
216,922
202204158
2,2330.098
.091
2.47
38.84
3,5234,3872,5632,5647,2151,391
14,381
5,260
12,298
8,1371,1594,3571.001.253.2615.017
260
6,350
27,260
4.182,679
92.27
82.793.271.729.4
54,445
1,0682,0363,340
29.3
552,892112,59326,93233,03910,697151,498
6,805
211,328
210220110
2,6150.154
.145
2.99
4,121
4,2292,4542,430
6,749
1,380
15,649
5,147
13,541
9,024
1,203
9,260
1.001.254.5754.883
178
6,389
118,290
3.82
14,545140.48
132.4155.7106.864.3
101,563
1,8832,2133,373
87.3
8,085
744,499178,33038,66228,38711,487169,81710.12S307,688
2252S8201
1,5820.148
.140
2.96
39.47
1.385,2742,4572,430
6,660
1,310
15,501
5,167
13,597
9,067
1,2089,1211.001.254.6204.885
1S3
6,405
88,810
3.78
14,844140.07
131.5154.810S.061.2
126,643
1,8512,2003,299
85.8
730,329171,49036,20928,23011,437171,06310,717
301,183
2112911471,4640.090.1142.5933.08
1.09
4,3463,687
2,4732,430
5,786
3,01414,0414.93113,0541,244
8,272
.75
1.00
6.642
4.975229
5,859
70,0403.9414,281119.86108.7124.5102.849.690,6601,2941,9012,80855.87,800
616,937118,17031,29935,12312,189157,799
6,842
255,515
211282111
2.416
8Kn
 
£J?«?!ijE?*T
er calenda
*: ™*
ks
in
&u
^eS', tEaily average. 0Rate for week ended Mar.
18
is 55.7.
JNO
longer strictly comparable; for an explanation, see the corresponding data In the forthcoming April 1939 issue of the Survey.
 
MONTHLY
BUSINESS STATISTICS
Monthly statistics through December 1937,
to-
gether with explanatory notes
and
references
to
the sources
of
the data, may be found in the
193S
Supplement to the Survey1939Febru-ary
1938Febru-ary
MarchApril
May
June
July
AugustOctoberNovem-iber
I
Decem-ber
1939
Janu-
ary
COMMODITY PRICES
Page 12Retail prices:'Fairchild's Index:Combined index. Dec. 31,1930=100.,Apparel:
:
Infants* wear
_ ..
_do.-_Men's
- _ do—
Women's. _.do.__Home furnishings——
do
Piece goods
do...
CONSTRUCTION
AND
REAL ESTATE
Page 16Contract awards:
F.
W.
Dodge Corp. (37 States):Construction, total value thous.
of
dol_.Building, total value* do___.
DOMESTIC TRADE
Pages 27, 28,
29
Retail trade:Chain store sales:
T
"~~ Variety-store sales:Combined sales
of
7 chains:Unadjusted 1929-31=100.,Adjusted
do...
S.
S.
Kresge
Co.;
Sales thous.
of
dol.Stores operated number„.S.
H.
Kress
& Co.:
Sales thous.
of
doLStores operated number.McCrory Stores Corp.:Sales thous.
of
dol.Stores operated number.G.
C.
Murphy Co.:Sales thous.
of
dol.,Stores operated number..
F.
W.
Woolworth
Co.:
Sales thous.
of
doL.Stores operated number-Other chains:W.
T.
Grant
& Co.:
Sales
_
thous.
of
dol..Stores operated number..J.
C.
Penney
Co.:
Sales.
thous.
of
dol_.Stores operated number..Department stores:
Sales,
total
U.
S.
f
unadjusted. 1923-25=100..Atlanta—
-
do....
Boston...
- do
Chicago....
A
do
Cleveland—
; do—
Dallas
,
do...,
Kansas City .1925=*10Q_,Minneapolis 1929-31«100.New York 1923-25~100..Philadelphia
do...,
Bichmond
do___
St. Louis
do.._,
Ban Francisco
do—_
SftlCF, total
U. S.,
adjusted
do,.'.,
Atlanta
do...
Chicago
.
—do_._Cleveland—
_ do
Dallas
do...
Minneapolis 1929-31-100.New York-... __l?23-25=100_."Philadelphia.....,.—nni......TT.do.
_*_
St. Louis
_ do—.
San Francisco—
.
-do....
FINANCE
Pages 53, 70,
71,
72, 73, 74, 75, 76,
77
Banking:
:
Banking debits, total mil.
of
doL.New York City
do.
Outside
New
York City
...do....
Capital flotations:
Commercial
and
FinancialChronicle):
Securities issued
by
type
of
security, total(new capital and refunding).thous. of
dol..
New capital, total
_ do
Refunding, total
..do...
Securities issued
by
type
of
corporate
bor-
rower, total thous.
of
dol..New capital, total
do
Industrial-
~_
do.....
Public utilities
do____
Refunding, total
~
do....
Industrial
_ do—_
Public utilities
- do.-.
Security markets:Bonds:Prices:Average price
of all
listed bonds
N. Y.
.
8. E.)
dollars-Value, issues listed
on N. Y. S.
E.:
Par value,
all
issues mil.
of
dol..Domestic issues
do.
Foreign issues....
.. do. __
Market value,
all
issues
do
Domestic issues
do
Foreign issues
do
96.288.590.584.3220,197
148,66479.294.89,0586815,1632382,7382,75220120,6862,0115,74848914,6131,540»1O2
*55
»65»706»70»51*74»69»7986»11627,49012,38015,110540,723377,500163,173159,68623,571
20,170
2,475
136,11512111,02991.8551,46646,8624,60447,27144,524
2,748
91.297.190.792.294.686.1118,94588,46378.694.18,9146815,3582342,6412012,489••20020,0542,007' 5,52248113.4381,524709954687091666474557669768811285851078791819025,54710,91514,633199,18882,072117,116103,02740,802105
40,17062,225
21561,83089.4847,89543,1244,77042,85539,8622,99290.697.190.291.494.285.6226,918167,21981.797.210,0536816,0542363,0052012,78220022,0552,0126,53048117,0431,5267710167g67697869377599778818610995881049890"'
69
8432,12014,74617,373245,178
126, 260
118,91881,63823,995
8
t
660
12,30067,64345,2111,26585.7148,36043,6014,76041,45038,6772,77390.297.189.990.893.585.4222,016155,01295.292.911,9656316,6712363,4932013,65220125,9262,0128,06148120,3711,527861107887891008497110859083105827999
'
61
829131,169
14,
572
16,597
352,020197,448
154,
57278,81312,313
6,1392,250
66,500
6,000
60,50087.8248,27943,559
4,720
42,39939,671
2,828
89.597.089.692.784.9283,156160,924CO. 790.710,253681
6,507
239
2,909
201
3,160
20122,714
2,0117,214
48018,853
1,528
107678079103798581619977877810679741038284617790
28,84112,82816,013
216,
724156,64060,084
61,62635,93518,40516,80525,692
2,002
23,57087.7848,24443,551
4,693
42,34739,548
2,799
89.296.989.489.391.984.9251,006167,48560.995.710,643680
6,235
239
3,200
200
3,294
20123,149
2,010
7,608
48320.322
1,531
7994748275907292856310369SO82104S478101938963759032,79715,63717,160505,517345,257160,260293,900198,866141,76150,77595,03475094,28488.9849,17744,489
4,687
43,75740,919
2,838
89.096.888.989.091.584.8239,799160,5418S.098.910,004681
5,822
239
2,946
199
3,301
10122.733
2,0106,971
48418,258
1,530
687946605972616862467258738311383781039688
— -65
8530,50513,82816,677464,920389,89675,024180,606129,061119,250
9,604
51,545
1,500
46,04590.1949,40944,657
4,752
44,56141,674
2,887
89.096.689.089.491.384.5313,141187,04885.296.310,179682
0,33fi
238
2,900
200
3,087
20122,566
2,011
6,834
4S419,068
1,533
6510055726583748164488163868312587781089386
-
62
839028,27012,24716,023415, 474ISO.228235,247335,837124,69667,23249,965
211,14141,659169,38289.4049,42444,676
4,748
44,18341,339
2,844
89.096.588.789.491.184.5
300,900191,571
94.198.5
11,125
685
6,179
238
2,055
200
3,308
201
23.491
2,0137,653
484
22,381
1,537
911207311788107946711093828612793861059890
-
68"
8779
29,52513,08516.440196,697120,36276,335110,02360.88756,838
2,562
49,136
180
41,82450,33145,649
4,682
44,83742,041
2,796
89.096.488.789.490.984.5
357,698243,693
98.296.7
12,353
685
6,827
238
3,294
200
3,811
201
26,774
2,0178,970
4S7
26,820
1,538
92126869187113921099875127929184106828210092856S81
33,23515,14018,096762,948164,682598,266337,15963.92240,56120,441273,23714,458258,65990.6750,22545,546
4,679
45,53942,675
2,864
88.996.488.789.290.484.4
301,679211,261
102.2100.2
11,072
6,613
238
3,186
200201
25,295
2,0188,635
27,196
1,539
1268696931188996106821189510289111
88
891059689
«8
829629,40612,42516
t
9813S8,5S8218,907169,6S0145,43943,07117,30021,819102,36844,65657,71290.3450,30145,640
4,661
45,44242,597
2,844
88.996.388.789.090.484.3389,439231,052193.6104.924,11468714,429
7,003
200
7,222
20150,379
2,017
17,99649138,928
1,539
156203138157152182151147164'127209143••16289119'94'931059792
—^70
879539,93018,87921,050452,677218,478234,199243,69347,18136,801
6,348
196,511
2,779
139,43891.2751,55446,920
4,634
47,05344,268
2,785
89.196.388.789.090.584.3251,673165,16273.6
8,801
5,055
238
2,535
202
2,685
20119,653
2,0145,531
16,523
1,539
'91'6469'67'8767'75'6849'77'69'7788'115'86'88'114'9186
68-
'87
32,34014,53317,806276,216219,65856,65915,563
5,427
1,027
77010,136
3,986
30091.0351,58746,933
4,654
46,95844,233
2,725
'Revised.p Preliminary.•New series. Monthly data beginning 1925 will
be
shown In an early issue
of
the Survey.

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