EXPENDITURES FOR PUBLIC NECESSITIES
That trade and financial conditions in this country are progressing in the right direction with a very favorable degree of activity has been shown during the past week or so in a number of ways, serving to afford encouragement to municipalities that have contemplated the purchase of fire department and water system equipment and demonstrating again that there is no occasion for cities and towns to curtail expenditures for such necessities. The weekly bank statement last week showed that progressive improvement is going on in the banking position, both in New York and elsewhere in the country. The reduction in the deficit was much the largest that has taken place siner the reserve fell below the legal limit. This result was brought about by a decrease of $24,500,000 in loans in conjunction with an increase of $9,000,000 in cash holdings Several special factors undoubtedly influenced the figures. The increase in cash despite the shipment to Ottawa indicates an extraordinary inflow of cash from the interior. Export business received an impetus by a statement issued by the State Department, containing the administration’s interpretation of the law regarding shipments of goods front this country to countries now at war in Europe. It is to the effect that citizens of this country may sell anything to belligerent nations, even contraband of war, without violating American neutrality, and that it rests with foreign governments to prevent contraband shipments reaching their enemy and not the duty of the neutral nation to bar these shipments in the beginning or at all. American citizens have the right to take orders from any of the belligerents for armored automobiles, firearms, foodstuffs, or any kind of articles, and sell these products to belligerents, but all such goods when shipped, if contraband, will be shipped at the risk of tho who sell them. Foreign buying agents continue to arrive in New York for the purpose of securing supplies not only for their respective governments, but also for private consumption. The war having drawn thousands of factory workers to the front, the production of many articles, as underwear, blankets and clothing, lias fallen off to such an extent that importations from this country are imperative. Added confidence in the opening of American markets for the consumption of goods made in America in preference to imports has become apparent in practically every line of business. Houses in various lines report largely increased demands and some report they have, in consequence, increased their working forces. According to a statement issued by the “Made in America” Products Association, the activities of the association have so far been confined to New York City and vicinity and the directors hope to start opera mis in the territory outside of New York at an early date. An easier tone in the money market showed its principal effect in some resumption of buying of commercial paper by local institutions in New York. The week – aw commercial paper sold in better volume than since the European war tied up credit.