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Pages 5 to 7 4 FINANCIAL AND CLASSIFIED Stye gamflan gfctt Part Four Part 4—8 Pages WASHINGTON, D. C., SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 26, 1937. D.C. STORE SALES ADVANCESHARPLY ABOVE WEEK AGO Jump of 16.18 Per Cent Leaves Total Below Same 1936 Week. CHECKS AND BUILDING ALSO UNDER YEAR AGO Washington Merchants Favored by Ideal Shopping Weather Preceding Christmas. By EDWARD C. STONE. Christmas trade in Washington stores wound up the holiday season with a grand rush that has rarely been equaled, the Department of Commerce reporting an increase in sales of 16.18 per cent over the previous week. This report followed the sensational sales Rains In the Capital two and three weeks ago. The Commerce Department, how ever, reported a modest decrease in retail sales of 3.59 per cent from the corresponding week last year. Per centage figures for the entire holiday shopping season have not yet been as sembled by the department, so it is not known just how close they will ap proach the 1936 very high sales rec ords. Some merchants think last year’s marks will be exceeded, others are doubtful. All express general sat isfaction over the results. Bank clearings in Washington in the week under review totaled $24, 307,313, in comparison with $24,733. 453 in the corresponding period a year ago. a slight drop. The Commerce report also revealed a very quiet situa tion as to building permits, a total of $173,300, comparing with $507,200 In the like week a year ago. Fine Weather Aids Shoppers. Washington shoppers were aided throughout the holiday season by al most perfect weather every day. Mer chants expressed delight over this sit uation and said it had a great deal to do with the immense volume of trade. Much better luck, for example, than Cleveland experienced where the weather was the worst in years and In Chicago, where conditions were al most as bad. While trade in Washington was slightly lower than in the same week last year, the percentage slump was not as much as in Boston, where busi ness was off 9 per cent; in New York with a 6 per cent drop and Philadel phia where sales tumbled 8 per cent from last year. The throngs of-buyers in Washing ton stores told their own story of hol iday prosperity, regardless of the per centage figures. At the peak of the Yule rush it was difficult even to get Inside some of the stores. As trade for the first 11 months of this year in the Capital was ahead of the same months last year, the 12-month record will probably vary but little from the 1936 results. Fifth District Shows Gain. Aside from Washington most of the leading cities in the Fifth Reserve District disclosed a slight margin of Improvement in retail trade over last year, the Commerce survey states. Gains over the preceding week were substantial. The volume of retail trade in Bal timore is expected to show a small margin of improvement over that of 1936. Charleston, S. C„ reported trade 10 per cent better than last year. Nor folk found sales much better than in the previous week and also ahead of • year ago. The class of goods purchased in the stores in the fifth district has varied greatly. Some stores report high-priced, so-called luxury goods were in the best demand. Others said staple and low-priced merchandise was most popular. Practically all depart ments of retail distribution enjoyed excellent business, the Commerce De partment concludes. Along with the Commerce analysis of trade conditions in the Capital, came the announcement from Post master Vincent C. Burke that the flood of Christmas mail had been the heav iest in local history. Outgoing par cel post mail was 6.29 per cent ahead of last year and incoming parcel post packages were 11 per cent above the 1936 mark. letter mail, which is not such a good business barometer, was as high as 25 per cent above the 1936 figures. Rail Outlook Held Better. "The view of most competent ob servers, that the current business re cession will not be prolonged, is sup ported by the recent trend of freight loadings, which indicate that the de cline already has stopped,” says the Railway Age regarding the railway outlook in its current issue. “The decline of freight loadings be tween May and November was rela tively the greatest that ever occurred in the same length of time. Not only, however, did their decline stop in the week ending November 20, at least temporarily, but their trend has since been slowly upward. “If an actively friendly concern for the welfare of the industry on the part of an overwhelming majority of the articulate and responsible public means anything toward the solution of the difficulties the railroads face, the industry is headed for better times” bitumTnous* output SHOWS DROP IN WEEK 87 the Associated Press. Bittgninous coal production totaled 8.875.000 tons in the week ended De cember 18, the National Coal Associa tion estimates. This comparies with 10.014.000 tons the preceding week and 10.622.000 tons in the corresponding week last year. Production to December 18 totaled 427.167.000 tons, compared with 414, 971.000 tons in the similar period last ftear. MEDICINAL TRADE GAINS. Trade in medicinal products Is im . proving In Germany. Building and Loan Payments to Hit $104,000,000 Mark By the Associated Press. CHICAGO, Dec. 25.—The United States Building & Loan League an nounced an estimated $104,000,000 would be paid to 6,200,000 persons as dividends for the second half of the year on savings, building and loan investments. Morton Bodflsh, executive vice president of the league, said the re cent business recession had not been reflected in the six months’ profit and loss sheets. He said about 95 per cent of the invested capital would pay returns for the period. BRITAIN ATTEMPTS 10 EASE DOUBTS AS TRADE DROPS Chamberlain Says Talk of an “Oncoming Slump” Is Exaggerated. By the Associated Press. LONDON, Dec. 25.—A familiar cry —"business has no cause to fear a de pression"—again has been raised in Britain to reassure the people upon the appearance of the first Indication of a down-turn in the trade trend. Many indices of business volume have decline in recent weeks. Others currently are at the highest level in their history. Still others show a usual seasonal movement. Lumped together, there is no agree ment among business leaders on what the indices indicate—slum, boom or “business as usual." Most public statements have been guarded attempts to reassure the pub lic, to spread “confidence.” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons keynoted British optimism with the recent statement: “Talk of an oncoming slump is not only exaggerated but dangerous.” Others Take Cue. Other government officials took their cue and made similar declarations: business officials upheld the prime minister. Immediately after announcement of a sharp increase in unemployment in November, Reginald McKenna, former chancellor of the exchequer, said: “While we may not unreasonably anticipate a decline in American in dustry, we need not anticipate a sim ilar decline here.” “ That same feeling—declines else where but not here—is current in the stock market, where prices of common stocks, as measured by one index are down the comparatively small margin of 25 per cent from the highest point of the year. Steel Records Set. The most shining example of British prosperity is the iron and steel indus try, which is producing more material than ever before. Huge sums being poured into re armament have raised orders for iron and steel. The building construction industry and ship builders have been told flatly in many cases they can't have steel just now because steel is needed for guns. Steelmakers, however, have bluntly denied they are living on rearmament orders at the expense of regular cus tomers and have denied they fear a re cession when all the guns and tanks and warships have been built. Sir William Larke, director of the British Iron & Steel Federation, pow erful trade group for heavy industry, declared: ‘‘There are no signs of a recession in iron and steel. While I do not ex pect we shall go on making records, I see no reason why 1938 should not at least maintain the position.” ASSOCIATED OUTPUT DH0PS. NEW YORK. Dec. 25 (Special).— Bor the week ended December 17 As sociated Gas & Electric System re ports net electric output of 90,754,540 units (k.w.h.). This is a decrease of 2,016,439 units, or 2.2 per cent below the comparable figure a year ago. This is the largest net output reported since the week ended November 19, of this year. INDUSTRY BREAKS RECORDS IN YEAR Cotton, Power, Aviation, Oil and Metals All Join Procession. TEXTILE ACTIVITY SOARS ABOVE LEVELS OF 1927 Electric Refrigerator Sales and Air Conditioning March Into Unexplored Territory. \ By A. A. PATTON, Associated Press Statistician. NEW YORK, Dec. 25—Although widely labeled a year which brought renewed slump, 1937 saw several in dustries set new high production rec ords for the entire period and others touch historic peaks in one or more months. Groups topping all previous stand ards included: Cotton textile manufacturers, one of the Nation’s largest employers, who turned out an estimated 9,000,000,000 square yards of cloth. This overshad | ows the previous high-water mark I chalked up in 1927 by roughly 20.000, 000 square yards, a relatively narrow I margin. Cotton farmers, aided by ideal grow ! ing weather, also did a record-smash ing job. The 18,746,000-bale harvest forecast by the Department of Agri culture stands 770,000 bales above the prior banner year, 1926. Rides Over Precedent. The electric branch of the utility business continued to ride roughshod over all precedent. Purring hydro and steam generators sent approximately 119.000. 000.000 kilowatt hours of juice humming over the wires to homes and factories, compared with the 1936 rec ord of 109,685,000,000 kilowatt hours. This march into unexplored terri tory was materially aided by the rising star of another aggressive industry, electric refrigeration. Ten-month shipments of mechanical ice boxes to taled 2.107,991, according to the Na tional Electric Manufacturers’ Asso ciation, a level never before attained. Air conditioning, a blossoming in dustrial youngster, also contributed. Sales in the first 10 months were $56, 550.000, a new peak, against $37,260, 000 in 1936. Oil Industry Advances. The great petroleum industry counts 1937 a banner year. The crude oil estimated to have run from wells during the period is set In trade cir cles at 1,280,000,000 barrels. The pre vious year’s aggregate was only 1,098, 516,000 barrels. ; Domestic gasoline consumption was about 21,800,000,000 gallons. This would be far above the closest prior i record. Aviation, in many phases, pushed to new peaks. Cigarette consumption continued to show that new sources of smokers were still being tapped, each monthly production figure' setting a record through November, 1937. World gold and silver production at tained new peaks during the year. More than 37,500,000 ounces of the yellow metal are estimated to have been brought above ground, against 35,551,000 ounces the year before. Silver output, at 270,000,000 ounces, topped the 1929 high by 9,000,000 ounces. Also hanging up new records were Treasury gold stocks—at 12,804,000, 000; demand deposits in the country’s banks, $37,000,000,000 late in Decem ber, compared with $16,000,000,000 in 1929. Shoe Output Jumps. Shoe output, at 368,000,000 pairs, set another record, despite a sharp con traction in the final six months. Major industries establishing new peaks during the year, but not for the entire year, included: Automobile makers, whose October assemblies were the best for that month ever attained. This resulted mainly from the changed course of seasonal manufacturing trends. During the first five months of 1937 the steel industry turned out more in gots than it did at the crest of the greatest boom in history. Output for those months was 24,580,000 tons, against 24,133,000 tons in the com parable period of 1929. How Is Business? uKDiKKAL BUSINESS ACTIVITY for the country Indicated by Bonk Dobito outtiun r*. Y. City. Shaded areae show weak of activity above the corresponding week of the previous year. Black areas Indicate declines from same weeks twelve months earlier* ACTIVITY BY FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS Chock Transactions compared with the aam. week a year a*. Boston Atlanta *1 _-8.4% chioaio I Bt. Lottie Minneapolis 1 Baaaaa City ( Dallaa I B.Franaisoal -22.%\ I —17.3% -18.5% * I -n.3% T \ -8.8« I | LEADING BAROMETERS Showing Trend of Important Factora ^ Chang. Present Trend From Year Ago Business in Dollars (Checks Cashed) Upward — 16 3 Employment (Dept. ofLabor). Downward + 3.8 Wages (Dept, of Labor). Upward i 12 8 Cost of Living (Ind. Conf. Board)... Downward I 3 7 Wholesale Prices (Fisher’s Index)... Downward 39 Agricultural Prices (Bureau of Labor) Downward _ lg‘o Movement of Goods (Car Loadings). Downward — inn Retail Trade (Fed. Res. Board). Downward — ti Building Contracts (F. W. Dodge).. Downward — «« Failures (Dun’s)... Upward 4. S2*n Bond Price* (Dow-Jones).......... Downward I”, Stock Prices (Composite Dow-Jones) Downward ■■ 31 o ,^5^001^_^ g8*g AH righto rttentd, Camlridgt Attedaitt, Bottom Steel and Aircraft Issues Boosted by Talk of Arms Expansion. WALL STREET CHEERED BY INVENTORY CUTS ____________ Situation in Steel and Other Heavy Industries Reported Improving Steadily. By SMITH REAVIS, Associated Press Financial Writer. NEW YORK, Dec. 25.—Armament shares stemmed conflicting stock market currents for small gains this week, but most of the list drifted. Wall Street’s belief rearmament would be a major administration pol icy brought forth buying In the steel and aircraft Issues, especially. Ad ditionally, trade reviews were more hopeful that the bottom had been reached In steel mill operations and that an upturn was due. As is usual Christmas week, selling and buying for tax return purposes provided much of the activity. Tran sactions averaged better than 1,000, 000 shares daily. Bonds had an uneven week but in clined a little lower. United States Treasury and Government guaranteed issues flurried higher but lost most of their gains as institutions evened-up portfolios for the year-end. Commodities Uneven. Commodities, in their turn went through a period of mixed price changes. Cotton was bolstered by a revival in demand from spinners and foreign purchasing. Steel scrap prices increased in line with better prognosti cations for the industry after New Year Day. Grains and foodstuffs pointed downward. Cheering to Wall Street were in dications that overstuffed inventories in many lines had been dieted down to more normal proportions. This was true in some of the heavy industries, including steel, it was said, and in eotton textiles in wholesale and retail hands. Department store stocks were being worked off about in accord with expectations of several weeks ago. Dun & Bradstreet reported a last minute rush in Christmas buying had lifted dollar retail sales above last year’s figures. Distribution was bet ter, reports said, in the moderately priced groups, while luxuries failed to do so well. Steel Operations Down. Steel operation* declined for the 14th consecutive week, dropping 3.9 points to 23.5 per cent of capacity and touching the lowest since the week of October 15, 1934. Compared with the preceding period, however, and taking into consideration the Christ mas holiday, the recession was about seasonal. Railroad freight carloadings fell off slightly more than seasonally as re ported by the Association of American Railroads. Electric power output had a less than seasonal decline. No vember net operating income of the first 14 carriers to disclose figures showed a 46 per cent decrease under November, 1936. Secretary Perkins’ statement that factory employment had fallen off more than seasonally in November was noted in the financial community, as was the study of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, which found that recovery in the first half of 1938 would not be likely to be marked by any startling upswing. Congress adjourned without pass ing any "aid-to-business” legislation, but observers pointed out that the farm, housing and taxation measures in contemplation were in such shape that action could be taken early in the regular session. BALTIMORE TO GET BIG RADIO PLANT Entire Division of Westinghouse Chicopee Falls Factory to Be Shifted. By the Associated Press. SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Dec. 25.— The entire radio division of the West inghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.’s Chicopee Falls plant, normally employing about 325 persons with an average weekly pay roll of $11,000, will be moved to Baltimore, Md„ during the next 10 months, according to a statement by Walter C. Evans, man ager of the division. The removal will be to bring the di vision nearer its sources of materials and also nearer Its most important customer, the Bureau of Air Com merce of the Federal Government, Evans said. Probably 50 per cent of the employes affected will be taken to Baltimore, Evans said, and the remainder will be laid off, but because of the necessity of cleaning-up work now In process no layoffs are likely for about five months. The plant will move into a modem factory purchased by the company about 4 miles from the center of Bal timore on the Washington highway. A new office building will be constructed. BURLEY CROP BRINGS MORE THAN $4,000,000 Ey the Associated Press. KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 25 East Tennessee's burley tobacco grow ers have received more than $4,000, 000 since the markets opened in this section December 8. Unofficial figures released yesterday showed Greenville led in total sales with 6,107,276 pounds. The highest average was recorded at Morristown, $27.48 a hundred pounds. The markets, closed since Wednes day, will be reopened January 8. .Pounds,_Amount.. _Ay’ie. Greenville— Knoxville — Morristown ■Johnson City New TaeeWl Now, All Together, Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush. UurrySS we* KHWO'I HUiytY' TKEVfe* VVAYAWlkP ’ 0*1rs. ’ MYMY'] wkw POES' J Make thinc&I COST / .go .much J r 'fl r> /Sort I GRAIN MEN LOOK FOR EARLY RISE Small Supply Leads Many to Predict Advance After Holiday. B.v JOHN P. BOI GHAN, Associated Press Market Editor. CHICAGO, Dec. 25 —Myriad lights shining down from the Chics^go Board of Trade’s big Christmas tree are brilliantly typifying the exchange’s hopes of higher prices after the holi days. Most of the men in the grain pits have about quit expecting worth while market activity or decided up turns of values until then, but many are prompt to suggest that the turn of the year will bring real improve ment. In particular, some repre senative wheat specialists base such suggestions on unusual smallness of the Southern Hemisphere's wheat surplus supply as well as dearth of readily available wheat in Canada. Poorer Quality Used. A further reason assigned as likely to stimulate price gains is that the world trade has been figuring on more wheat in the United States than as a fact can be obtained. In this con nection personal reports from widely scattered areas are cited indicating that a surprising total of poorer quality wheat was fed on farms be fore new crop corn could be had with out stint. Compared to one week ago, present prices of Chicago wheat futures vary from 12 cent to 13S cents a bushel advance, with com l1* to 134 up; oats at >2 to 1 cent gain, rye showing 7a-l5s bulge and provisions 10 to 22 cents dearer. So far the only pressure of new wheat from the Southern Hemisphere has come about through shipments out of Australia. The bulk of clear ances of Argentint wheat have gone to Brazil, a situation that is expected to continue for some time—namely, until the big movement of wheat gets under way from the Province of Buenos Aires. Wheat in volume from that province, trade authorities say, will not reach European mills sooner than in February, and then only with favorable weather. Argentine Yields Low. There is still considerable question as to the size of the Argentine wheat crop, and some private estimates have been received of late indicating a yield as low as 170,000,000 bushels, 22,000,000 bushels under the recent official returns. In the past the first official crop figures from Argentina have been comparatively close to the final estimate. Last year's Argentine wheat harvest was 248,000,000 bushels, about an average crop. Farmers continue to hold com for 50 cents a bushel at country loading stations. Oats and rye take their cue largely from com rather than from wheat. In the main the provisions market shows the effect of hog price Jumps. LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT WILL ENLARGE PLANTS Special Dispatch to The Star. LOS ANGELES, Dec. 25.—With cur rent backlog of unfilled orders stand ing at $6,125,000, the highest figure in the company’s history, officials of the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. an nounced plans for immediate construc tion of additional plant units designed to increase the present factory floor space by 25,000 square feet. Upon completion of these improve ments, total floor space of the factory will be 240,000 square feet. Largest of the new units will be a finished parts stockroom adjoining the main assembly hangar. Finished parts for the three types of Lockheed transports will be stored here, within easy access of tbs major assembly lines. Nunn-Bush Nets Profit of 8250,077 For Fiscal Year by the Associated Preas. MILWAUKEE. Dec. 25.—The Nunn Bush Shoe Co. reported net profit of 1 $250,077 for the fiscal year ended Oc tober 31. This compared with $360,494 for the previous year. Officials said the last year's showing would have been higher if the concern had not provided $242,000 for write downs of inventories and possible fu ture markdown of unfinished shoes. BRITAIN IS LEADING U. S. COTTON BUYER Japan Drops From First Place to Sixth During Year, Bureau Reveals. By the Associated Press. The Bureau of Agricultural Eco nomics said today Japan had dropped this season from first to sixth place as a foreign market for American cotton. Great Britain became the No. 1 pur chaser. Japanese purchases during the Au gust-October quarter this season, total ing only 73,000 bales, dropped 386,000 bales from the corresponding quarter last year, whereas British purchases rose 145,000 bales. Combined exports from principal cotton-producing countries totaled 2.862.000 bales during the quarter, compared with 2,911,000 last year. The United States exported 1,757.000 bales, or 61 per cent, compared with 1,689, 000, or 58 per cent, last year, the bu reau said. The bureau reported that latest of ficial estimates place India's cotton crop at 4,547,000 bales, compared with a crop ofc 5,278.000 last year. Chinese production, forecast earlier at 4.393, 000 pales, is now estimated at about 3.556.000 bales. FRUIT SUPPLY LARGE, PRICES HOLD STEADY The orange crop available for use this winter is about 8 per cent larger than last year and about 25 per cent above average (1931-35), according to the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in its current summary of the fruit situation. Total production of all va rieties of oranges, except California Valencias, is placed at 41,500,000 boxes. Preliminary reports indicate that citrus crops in Florida were not seri ously damaged by the low tempera tures in early December. Orange prices have been running about like last year, California navels in early December being slightly low er, but Florida oranges slightly higher than a year ago. Grapefruit prices are above last year, although they have been declining some, as is usual in the late fall and early winter. Apple prices have been fairly steady during the past month. Stocks of apples in cold storage on December 1 were the largest on record, being a third larger than the stocks of a year ago. Transportation Firms Held More Speculative Than Other Branches. By tiie Associated Press. NEW YORK. Dec. 25.—In a com prehensive study of the American aviation industry, Charles D. Barney * Co., members of the New York Stock Exchange, made public “eight con clusions” as to investments. Among the conclusions were these: That transportation companies are “highly speculative,” that manufac turing concerns are mose predictable, that engine manufacturing is rela tively stable and that military pro curement policies are a vital factor In the manufacturing picture. William Barclay Harding, a mem ber of the firm, said that to his knowl edge the study, issued in book form, was the only one of its kind ever I prepared. Potentialities Seen. Harding warned that “the reader should recognize that, because of the rapidity with which changes in the industry occur, an aviation study, like an airplane, is in danger of becoming obsolete by the time it has been com pleted. • • * “The aviation industry is young, hopeful, groping, potentially great.” On transportation investments, the company observed: “Many unpre dictable variables in air transporta tion make airline securities extremely speculative. Given favorable weather conditions, a friendly attitude on the part of the Government, a good acci dent record, satisfactory competitive conditions and good judgment on the part of the management in purchasing equipment to suit the requirements of traffic, an airline operation might be very profitable.” Engine Field Stable. Among the manufacturers, those making engines were found to have the greatest stability of earnings. “The Army and the Navy," went on the study, “are tlje (manufactur ing') industry’s principal customers. Profits of military aircraft and engine manufacturers are, therefore, largely dependent on the procurement poli cies of the Army and Navy. “Army business is generallly more profitable than Navy business, but the Army method of procurement involves financial risks to manufacturers com peting for orders, * * * frequently out of proportion to potential profits. Changes in procurement programs of both services favorable to the indus try are expected.” He looked on transoceanic trans portation a- having a “promising out look,” with the “greatest expansion possibilities of any division of the in dustry, both from the standpoint of the potential volume of traffic and production of equipment to handle it.” Other conclusions were: Companies catering to private flying are generally unattractive; the export business cur rently is most profitable, and a short term viewpoint is desirable. Weekly Financial High Lights By the Associated Press. This week. Prev. week. Year ago. Brokers’ loans_ _ $714,000 $732,000 $1,067,000 Holdings U. S. securities_ 2.564,015 2,564,015 2,430,227 Qold reserve __ 9,120,390 9,121,907 8.851,876 Rediscounts ___- 16.121 15,772 8,882 Bank clearings _ 6,645,524 5,474,706 7,762,668 Electric output (kilowatt hours) week ending December 18_ 2,202,200 2,196,105 2,278,303 (Final three ciphers omitted in above.) Carloadings, week ending December 18 603,292 622,131 730,048 Crude Oil Prod., bbls—..... 3,439,850 3,414,450 3,145,700 Stock sales, N. Y. Stock Exchange_ 5,723,513 5,170,364 6,893,858 Bond sales, N. Y. Stock Exchange_ 40,286,025 39,849,400 52,258,000 New financing___— 11,032,269 31,403,467 87,761,000 Federal Reserve ratio_ 79.6% 79.8% 79.8% Steel output rate.—._ 23.5% 27.4% 77.0% Call money rate_........ 1% 1% 1% Tima money rate................... 1%-1%% 1%-1V4% 1%% Commercial paper_1% 1% %% YULE BUSINESS TOPS ESTIMATES, SOUIJJNIEAD Stores in Many Cities Find Holiday Sales Ahead of 1936 Season. DECREASES REGISTERED IN ONLY A MINORITY Middle Atlantic Section About Holds Is Own, Despite Drop at Philadelphia. By the Associated Press. NEW YORK, Dec. 27—Christmas business generally over the country was better than had been expected, the Women’s Wear Daily said, with the South leading other sections of the country. “'Warned by the last few months’ business recession,” the paper said, “'merchants throughout the country had trimmed their expectations some what as to the usual Christmas gift trade harvest, and so the results, as they are now being tabulated, are generally better than had been ex pected. ‘ Reports wired by out-of-town cor respondents to Fairchild publications in the last few days of Christmas trading indicate that gift volume did pretty well, considering all things. Stores in many cities reported in creases. others reporting sales on a par with last year's period, while only a minority actually reported de creases. New Orleans Trade Good. “New Orleans retaildom, for ex ample. came through in fine shape, with department an (^specialty stores registering increases of 20 to 30 per cent over last year. Tampa stores • * • recorded increases up to 31 per cent. Other centers in the South * * * reported good gains, with the exception of Birmingham, where de creases of 5 to 15 per cent were noted. “The Middle Atlantic section just about held its own, though Phila delphia dropped behind with decreases of 3 to 12 per cent. , “The Southwest did a little better, with Fort Worth and Dallas show ing gains up to 30 per cent. “The West, Northwest and the Coast, on the other hand, showed results about on a par with the Middle Atlantic section, Seattle regis tering a decline of 5 per cent, Lor Angeles a decline of 6.1 per cent, while San Francisco store reports varied from a drop of 5 per cent to an in cerase of 5 per cent. New England Lags. “The weak sister section was the New England area, where the decline in textile mill pay rolls, particularly in Fall River and New Bedford, took the toll. A 10 per cent decline marked the Christmas trade at Providence, as well as in the two aforementioned mill towns. Worcester reported a drop 1 of 6 per cent and Boston a drop of j 2.5 per cent. New Haven, however, | came through with increase of 4 to ! 5 per cent, while Hartford sales also j advanced slightly. | “The inventory situation, as to the j smoke of the battle from Christmas trade is clearing, is proving to be a healthy one, with most inventories lower than last year and some sub stantially cut, A certain amount of caution is indicated in the commit ments for the next season, many stores stating they are waiting to see how the new year will begin, particularly as regards price developments." INDUSTRIAL RATE WELL BELOW PEAK 1 Activity Now About 30 Per Cent I Under March Level, According to Standard Statistics. Special Dispatch to The Star. NEW YORK, Dec. 25.—In its weekly summary of the general business situ ation, the Standard Statistics Co. of New York currently comments as follows: “Industrial activity is now about 30 per cent below the recovery peak es tablished last March. At no time dur ing the 1929-1932 decline was there so great a drop in so short a period. All of the recovery which took place after the autumn months of 1935 has been completely erased, wiping out in nine months the gains scored over a period of a year and a half. Present levels of industrial production are only slightly above the average for 1935. “The velocity of the recession, how ever, now shows signs of slowing, and it is expected that at least a tempo rary low will be witnessed some time within the first quarter of the new year. This forecast is based on the prospect that excess inventories will be worked off some time within the next few months and that price re adjustments willj have been largely completed. The Standard Statistics Co. production index for the first quarter is expected to average around 77, a decline of about 25 per cent as compared with the corresponding 1937 months.” ALLIED KID REPORTS SHARP DROP IN SALES Special Dispatch to The Star. NEW YORK. Dee. 25 —Allied Kid Co. reports a sharp drop in November sales, with some improvement now in dicated during December. Dollar sales in November were $485,153, or about 55 per cent of the total for the corre sponding month of 1936. Sales in dozens of 35,155 were just under 50 per cent of the total for No vember last year. The company observes that sales for December are running about 33 per cent ahead of November. Com parison with a year ago will be In fluenced by the fact that volume in December, 1936, was the largest for any month last year, because of buy ing la anticipation of higher prloe levels.