The production index rose during the week that ended Dec. 13. The unaveraged

index increased 1% to 129, from 127.7 a week ago. After seasonal adjustment,

truck production was up 5.3%. The sizzling full-size truck market spurred

General Motors into producing its first all-new truck in a decade. Output of

autos, electricity, and lumber also increased. Crude oil and steel production

was down, as was coal because of the shortage of railcars.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
      
                                             LATEST     WEEK        YEARLY
                                               WEEK      AGO        % CHG
      STEEL (12/20) thous. of net tons        2,183     2,158#         9.6
      AUTOS (12/20) units                   130,420    131,709 r#      5.1
      TRUCKS (12/20) units                  144,734    153,604 r#      9.2
      ELECTRIC POWER (12/20) millions of
         kilowatt-hrs.                       66,015     67,586#       -1.2
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (12/20) thous. of
         bbl./day                            14,928     14,977#        5.1
      COAL (12/13) thous. of net tons        21,832#    22,482         1.3
      LUMBER (12/13) millions of ft.          471.6#     456.0        -1.4
      RAIL FREIGHT (12/13) billions of
         ton-miles                             27.7#      28.7        -1.4
      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         YEAR
                                              WEEK        AGO          AGO
      STOCK PRICES (12/19) S&P 500           946.78     953.39        26.4
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (12/19)        6.74%      6.84%       -7.4
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (12/19)      98.8       96.9        -7.4
      BUSINESS FAILURES (12/12)               NA         NA           NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (12/10) billions      NA         NA           NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (12/8) billions     $4,009.8   $4,013.7 r       5.1
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (12/13)
         thous.                                 320        314        -8.0
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (index: 1990=100), 
      Federal Reserve, Labor Dept.
      
      PRICES
                                             LATEST     WEEK         YEARLY
                                             WEEK       AGO          % CHG
      
      GOLD (12/24) $/troy oz.               292.500    287.850       -20.7
      STEEL SCRAP (12/23) #1 heavy, $/ton    143.50     143.50        23.2
      COPPER (12/19)  cents/lb.                82.4       73.8       -21.2
      ALUMINUM (12/19)  cents/lb.              74.3       76.3         2.5
      COTTON (12/19) strict low middling
         1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.               63.62      64.50       -11.8
      OIL (12/23) $/bbl.                      18.13      18.02       -35.1
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (12/23) 1967=100        230.12     236.42        -1.0
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (12/23) 1967=100   308.31     307.57        -7.6
      Sources: London Wednesday final setting, Chicago market, Metals Week, Memphis 
      market, NYMEX, Commodity Research Bureau
      
      FOREIGN EXCHANGE
                                              LATEST     WEEK        YEARLY
                                              WEEK       AGO         % CHG
      JAPANESE YEN (12/24)                   129.81     126.83      114.48
      GERMAN MARK (12/24)                      1.78       1.77        1.56
      BRITISH POUND (12/24)                    1.67       1.65        1.67
      FRENCH FRANC (12/24)                     5.94       5.92        5.25
      ITALIAN LIRA (12/24)                   1735.4     1734.5      1528.5
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (12/24)                  1.44       1.42        1.37
      MEXICAN PESO (12/24)3                   8.185      8.105       7.836
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (12/24)     109.3      108.4        99.3
      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 (12/23)                    5.45%      5.56%       5.25%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (12/24) 3-month         5.75       5.70        5.60
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (12/24) 3-month  5.82       5.80        5.44
      FIXED MORTGAGE (12/19) 30-year           7.26       7.35        7.92
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (12/19) one-year     5.74       5.85        5.73
      PRIME (12/19)                            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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