The production index edged lower during the week ended Mar. 23. Before

calculation of the four-week moving average, the index dropped sharply to

125.4, from 126.7, as the strike at General Motors Corp. continued to hammer

seasonally adjusted auto and truck output.

The leading index was unchanged in the latest week. The unaveraged index fell

to 257.8, from 259, pulled down by falling stock prices.

BW production index copyright 1996 Bloomberg L.P.

BW leading index copyright 1996 by CIBCR

PRODUCTION AND LEADING INDEXES

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                             LATEST    WEEK       YEARLY
                                             WEEK      AGO        % CHG
      STEEL (3/23) thous. of net tons        2,098     2,042#     2.7
      AUTOS (3/23) units                     79,763    78,486r#   -47.1
      TRUCKS (3/23) units                    90,620    99,722r#   -24.7
      ELECTRIC POWER (3/23) millions
      of kilowatt-hrs.                       57,876    59,338#    5.1
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (3/23)
       thous. of bbl./day                    13,834    13,677#    3.2
      COAL (3/16) thous. of net tons         21,256#   21,102     0.0
      PAPERBOARD (3/16) thous. of tons       NA#       890.6      NA
      PAPER (3/16) thous. of tons            NA#       832.0      NA
      LUMBER (3/16) millions of ft.          447.4#    448.3      0.2
      RAIL FREIGHT (3/16) billions
       of ton-miles                          25.3#     25.3       0.8
      Sources: American Iron & Steel Institute, Ward's Automotive Reports, Edison 
      Electric Institute, American Petroleum Institute, Energy Dept., American Forest 
      & Paper Association, WWPAsuperscript1, SFPAsuperscript2, Association of 
      American Railroads
      
      LEADING INDICATORS
                                                LATEST    WEEK      YEARLY
                                                WEEK      AGO       % CHG
      STOCK PRICES (3/22) S&P 500               650.83    639.59    31.0
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (3/22)          7.41%     7.42%     -8.5
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (3/22)        109.8     108.6     -4.0
      BUSINESS FAILURES (3/15)                  NA        NA        NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (3/13) billions         $508.7    $508.7    8.6
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (3/11) billions          $3,684.0  $3,683.4r 2.6
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (3/9) thous. 352       363       2.6
      Sources: Center for International Business Cycle Research (CIBCR), Standard & 
      Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (index: 1990=100), Dun & Bradstreet 
      (failures of large companies), Federal Reserve, Labor Dept. CIBCR seasonally 
      adjusts data on business failures and real estate loans.
      
      PRICES
                                             LATEST    WEEK       YEARLY
                                             WEEK      AGO        % CHG
      GOLD (3/27) $/troy oz.                 400.350   394.900    4.6
      STEEL SCRAP (3/26) #1 heavy, $/ton     139.00    139.00     1.1
      COPPER (3/23)  cents/lb.               121.0     123.1      -16.7
      ALUMINUM (3/23)  cents/lb.             76.5      76.0       -12.1
      COTTON (3/23) strict low
      middling 1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.        82.18     80.61      -21.5
      OIL (3/26) $/bbl.                      22.26     24.34      17.6
      Sources: London Wednesday final setting, Chicago market, Metals Week, Memphis 
      market, NYMEX
      
      INTEREST RATES
                                             LATEST    WEEK       YEAR
                                             WEEK      AGO        AGO
      FEDERAL FUNDS (3/26)                   5.23%     5.20%      6.06%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (3/27) 3-month        5.37      5.36       6.15
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (3/27) 3-month 5.34      5.33       6.15
      FIXED MORTGAGE (3/22) 30-year          8.05      8.06       8.63
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (3/22) one-year    5.77      5.82       6.40
      PRIME (3/27)                           8.25      8.25       9.00
      Sources: Federal Reserve, HSH Associates, Bloomberg Financial Markets
      
      FOREIGN EXCHANGE
                                             LATEST    WEEK       YEAR
                                             WEEK      AGO        AGO
      JAPANESE YEN (3/27)                    106.61    106.44     87.05
      GERMAN MARK (3/27)                     1.49      1.47       1.38
      BRITISH POUND (3/27)                   1.52      1.54       1.61
      FRENCH FRANC (3/27)                    5.07      5.05       4.84
      ITALIAN LIRA (3/27)                    1579.5    1556.5     1706.3
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (3/27)                 1.36      1.36       1.40
      MEXICAN PESO (3/27)3              7.540     7.528      6.680
      Sources: Major New York banks. Currencies expressed in units per U.S. dollar, 
      except for British pound in dollars
      
      #Raw data in the production indicators are seasonally adjusted in computing the 
      BW index (chart); other components (estimated and not listed) include machinery 
      and defense equipment. 1=Western Wood Products Assn. 2=Southern Forest Products 
      Assn. 3=Free market value NA=Not available r=revised NM=Not meaningful
      
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE