The production index edged slightly higher during the week ended Mar. 8, as the

index continues to show little movement in the first quarter after its runup in

the fourth. Before calculation of the four-week moving average, the index

increased to 136.1, from 135.4. On a seasonally adjusted basis, increases in

output of lumber, steel, electric power, and crude-oil refining offset drops in

auto, truck and coal production as well as in rail-freight traffic.

BW production index copyright 1997 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                                LATEST    WEEK      YEARLY
                                                 WEEK      AGO %      CHG
      STEEL (3/15) thous. of net tons            2,102    2,138 #     2.1
      AUTOS (3/15) units                       123,233  131,876 r#   56.2
      TRUCKS (3/15) units                      140,185  139,822 r#   40.4
      ELECTRIC POWER (3/15) millions of
      kilowatt-hrs.                             59,387   60,388 #     0.1
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (3/15) thous.
      of bbl./day                               13,715   13,578 #     0.3
      COAL (3/8) thous. of net tons             20,443 # 21,245      -3.2
      LUMBER (3/8) millions of ft.               510.6 #  482.1      13.9
      RAIL FREIGHT (3/8) billions of ton-miles    26.9 #   27.6       1.5
      
      Sources: American Iron & Steel Institute, Ward's Automotive Reports, Edison 
      Electric Institute, American Petroleum Institute, Energy Dept., WWPA1, SFPA2, 
      Association of American Railroads
      
      LEADING INDICATORS
                                                LATEST    WEEK     YEARLY
                                                 WEEK     AGO       % CHG
      STOCK PRICES (3/14) S&P 500               793.17   804.97      24.0
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (3/14)           7.42%     7.47%     -1.3
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (3/14)        108.3     108.2      -0.3
      BUSINESS FAILURES (3/7)                      NA        NA        NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (3/5) billions             NA        NA        NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (3/3) billions        $3,871.4  $3,869.3  r    4.5
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (3/8)
      thous.                                      307       312     -12.8
      
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (index: 1990=100), Dun 
      & Bradstreet (failures of large companies), Federal Reserve, Labor Dept.
      
      PRICES
                                              LATEST      WEEK     YEARLY
                                               WEEK        AGO      % CHG
      GOLD (3/19) $/troy oz.                  349.100   351.400     -11.6
      STEEL SCRAP (3/14) #1 heavy, $/ton       136.50    139.50      -1.8
      COPPER (3/14)  cents/lb.                  117.0     118.5      -5.0
      ALUMINUM (3/14)  cents/lb.                 80.5      81.5       5.9
      COTTON (3/15) strict low middling 1-1/16
      in.,  cents/lb.                           72.74     71.65      -9.8
      OIL (3/18) $/bbl.                         21.77     19.75     -10.6
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (3/18) 1967=100           243.36    247.61       4.5
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (3/18) 1967=100      339.92    341.60       3.0
      
      Sources: London Wednesday final setting, Chicago market, Metals Week, Memphis 
      market, NYMEX, Commodity Research Bureau
      
      FOREIGN EXCHANGE
      
                                                LATEST    WEEK     YEAR
                                                 WEEK      AGO      AGO
      JAPANESE YEN (3/19)                      122.72    122.43    106.77
      GERMAN MARK (3/19)                         1.68      1.70      1.48
      BRITISH POUND (3/19)                       1.60      1.60      1.53
      FRENCH FRANC (3/19)                        5.67      5.73      5.07
      ITALIAN LIRA (3/19)                      1687.8    1693.0    1566.2
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (3/19)                     1.38      1.36      1.32
      MEXICAN PESO (3/19)***                    7.925     7.975     7.550
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (3/19)        104.8     104.8     96.44
      
      Sources: Major New York banks. Currencies expressed in units per U.S. dollar, 
      except for British pound in dollars. Trade-weighted dollar via J.P. Morgan.
      
      INTEREST RATES
                                                LATEST    WEEK      YEAR
                                                 WEEK      AGO       AGO
      FEDERAL FUNDS (3/18)                       5.42%     5.21%     5.20%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (3/19) 3-month            5.53      5.46      5.36
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (3/19) 3-month     5.52      5.44      5.33
      FIXED MORTGAGE (3/14) 30-year              7.98      7.97      8.06
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (3/14) one-year        5.86      5.78      5.82
      PRIME (3/14)                               8.25      8.25      8.25
      
      Sources: Federal Reserve, HSH Associates, Bloomberg Financial Markets
      
      #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.  ***=Free market value   NA=Not available   r=revised   NM=Not 
      meaningful
      
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