The production index slipped slightly during the week ended May 24. But before

calculation of the four-week moving average, the index jumped up to 121.9, from

120.6 in the previous week. The latest increase reflected a gain in the

seasonally adjusted output of steel, trucks, autos, and electric power as well

as rail-freight traffic. Coal output was down slightly. The sharp advance in

the latest week suggests that the production index may be coming out of its

recent slump.

BW production index copyright 1997 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                            LATEST        WEEK        YEARLY
                                             WEEK          AGO%         CHG
      STEEL (5/31) thous. of net tons        2,138        2,154#        6.4
      AUTOS (5/31) units                   102,817      124,854 r#     -2.2
      TRUCKS (5/31) units                  104,207      127,108 r#     20.3
      ELECTRIC POWER (5/31) millions of
        kilowatt-hrs.                           NA       58,640#         NA
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (5/31) thous. of
         bbl./day                           15,209       14,928#        5.1
      COAL (5/24) thous. of net tons        21,362#      21,199         7.7
      LUMBER (5/24) millions of ft.          500.5#       502.0         9.9
      RAIL FREIGHT (5/24) billions of
         ton-miles                            26.8#        26.3         2.3
      
      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 (5/30) S&P 500           848.28       847.03        26.8
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (5/30)        7.64%        7.60%        0.4
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (5/30)     106.7        106.3        -1.6
      BUSINESS FAILURES (5/23)                  NA           NA          NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (5/21) billions         NA           NA          NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (5/19) billions    $3,901.1     $3,892.6r        4.7
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (5/24)
         thous.                                322          322        -4.9
      
      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 (6/4) $/troy oz.                341.750      342.800       -11.8
      STEEL SCRAP (6/3)#1 heavy, $/ton      134.50       134.50        -4.9
      COPPER (5/30)  cents/lb.               120.4        119.9        -1.7
      ALUMINUM (5/30)  cents/lb.              78.8         79.8         6.8
      COTTON (5/31) strict low middling
         1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.              69.76        69.46       -14.1
      OIL (6/3) $/bbl.                       19.96        20.46        -1.9
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (6/3) 1967=100         241.49       237.50        -9.5
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (6/3) 1967=100    338.12       337.98         0.8
      
      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 (6/4)                    116.30       115.80      108.77
      GERMAN MARK (6/4)                       1.73         1.70        1.53
      BRITISH POUND (6/4)                     1.63         1.64        1.55
      FRENCH FRANC (6/4)                      5.84         5.76        5.18
      ITALIAN LIRA (6/4)                    1699.0       1690.0      1544.6
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (6/4)                   1.38         1.38        1.37
      MEXICAN PESO (6/4)3                    7.919        7.904       7.485
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (6/4)      103.9        103.1        98.0
      
      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 (6/3)                     5.42%        5.59%       5.23%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (6/4) 3-month          5.67         5.67        5.42
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (6/4) 3-month   5.67         5.69        5.40
      FIXED MORTGAGE (5/30) 30-year           8.12         8.08        8.31
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (5/30) one-year     6.06         6.01        5.96
      PRIME (5/30)                            8.50         8.50        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.    3=Free market value   NA=Not available   r=revised   NM=Not 
      meaningful
      
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