Pages 5 to 7
FINANCIAL AND CLASSIFIED
Stye gamflan gfctt
Part 4—8 Pages
WASHINGTON, D. C., SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 26, 1937.
D.C. STORE SALES
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
MEDICINAL TRADE GAINS.
Trade in medicinal products Is im
. proving In Germany.
Building and Loan
Payments to Hit
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
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
10 EASE DOUBTS
AS TRADE DROPS
Chamberlain Says Talk of
an “Oncoming Slump”
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
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
“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
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,
‘‘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.
RECORDS IN YEAR
Cotton, Power, Aviation, Oil
and Metals All Join
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
Groups topping all previous stand
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
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,
; Domestic gasoline consumption was
about 21,800,000,000 gallons. This
would be far above the closest prior
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
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
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
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 |
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
AH righto rttentd, Camlridgt Attedaitt, Bottom
Steel and Aircraft Issues
Boosted by Talk of Arms
WALL STREET CHEERED
BY INVENTORY CUTS
Situation in Steel and Other
Heavy Industries Reported
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, 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
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
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
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
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,
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.
Now, All Together, Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush.
’ 0*1rs. ’
wkw POES' J
.go .much J
GRAIN MEN LOOK
FOR EARLY RISE
Small Supply Leads Many to
Predict Advance After
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
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
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
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
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
In the main the provisions market
shows the effect of hog price Jumps.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Transportation Firms Held
More Speculative Than
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
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% %%
Stores in Many Cities Find
Holiday Sales Ahead of
IN ONLY A MINORITY
Middle Atlantic Section About
Holds Is Own, Despite Drop
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
“'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
‘ 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
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."
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
“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
“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
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
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