The production index declined in the week ended Feb. 21, the

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

the index fell slightly to 132.1, from 132.2 in the previous week. In the

latest week, the index was dragged down by declines in seasonally-adjusted

truck output and crude-oil refinery runs. Production of steel, autos, electric

power, lumber, and rail-freight traffic posted gains, while coal output was

unchanged.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                                 LATEST        WEEK        YEARLY
                                                  WEEK          AGO       % CHG
      
      STEEL (2/28) thous. of net tons             2,294        2,282#        8.5
      AUTOS (2/28) units                        113,454       121,685r#    -14.7
      TRUCKS (2/28) units                       146,115       140,426r#      5.3
      ELECTRIC POWER (2/28) millions of
        kilowatt-hrs.                            61,327        62,699#       0.2
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (2/28) thous. of
        bbl./day                                 13,847        13,805#       3.4
      COAL (2/21) thous. of net tons             22,663#       22,423        2.4
      LUMBER (2/21) millions of ft.               481.8#        479.9       -3.4
      RAIL FREIGHT (2/21) billions of ton-miles    27.4#         27.6        1.9
      
      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 (2/27) S&P 500               1049.34       1034.21       32.7
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (2/27)             6.71%        6.71%       -9.1
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (2/27)           95.4          95.4      -12.1
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (2/16) billions         $4,090.1      $4,082.9r       6.1
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (2/21) thous.    320           310r       1.3
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (2/27)      217.3         250.8       16.6
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (2/27)   1,526.1       2,005.6      231.1
      
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (Index: 1990=100), 
      Federal Reserve, Labor Dept., Mortgage Bankers Assn. (Index: March 16, 
      1990=100)
      
      PRICES
                                                 LATEST         WEEK       YEARLY
                                                  WEEK          AGO%         CHG
      
      GOLD (3/4) $/troy oz.                     296.750       292.250      -16.3
      STEEL SCRAP (2/24)#1 heavy, $/ton         140.50        140.50        -3.8
      COPPER (2/27)  cents/lb.                     77.7          78.0      -33.6
      ALUMINUM (2/27)  cents/lb.                   68.8          70.3      -13.3
      COTTON (2/27) strict low middling 1-1/16
         in.,  cents/lb.                          63.66         62.89      -10.8
      OIL (3/3) $/bbl.                            15.12         15.01r     -25.4
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (3/3) 1967=100              221.71        220.51       -9.3
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (3/3) 1967=100         302.85        299.18      -12.0
      
      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 (3/4)                         126.75        128.65     121.43
      GERMAN MARK (3/4)                            1.82          1.82       1.71
      BRITISH POUND (3/4)                          1.65          1.64       1.61
      FRENCH FRANC (3/4)                           6.10          6.09       5.78
      ITALIAN LIRA (3/4)                         1790.7        1793.5     1703.8
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (3/4)                        1.42          1.42       1.37
      MEXICAN PESO (3/4)3                         8.581         8.573      8.040
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (3/4)           109.3         109.6      104.8
      
      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 (3/3)                          5.51%        5.49%      5.16%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (3/3) 3-month               5.45          5.45       5.46
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (3/4) 3-month        5.59          5.56       5.43
      FIXED MORTGAGE (2/27) 30-year                7.22          7.10       7.86
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (2/27) one-year          5.76          5.71       5.73
      PRIME (2/27)                                 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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