The production index rose in the week ended Mar. 7, after three weeks of

declines. Before calculation of the four-week moving average, the index was up

1% to 131.6, from 130.3 a week ago. Thanks to sharp increases in loadings of

coal, motor vehicles, and metals, seasonally adjusted rail-freight traffic was

up 1.3%. Production of crude oil also posted a sharp increase of 6.5%, and

electric power was up 3.7%. Output of lumber was down 3.7%, and steel dropped

1.8%.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
      
                                             LATEST        WEEK      YEARLY
                                              WEEK          AGO       % CHG
      STEEL (3/14) thous. of net tons         2,102        2,216 #    -0.2
      AUTOS (3/14) units                    120,080      109,167 r#   -5.2
      TRUCKS (3/14) units                   141,860      149,784 r#    1.7
      ELECTRIC POWER (3/14)
        millions of kilowatt-hrs.            64,390       61,959 #     8.4
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (3/14)
        thous. of bbl./day                   14,581       14,548 #     6.3
      COAL (3/7) thous. of net tons          22,916 #     20,065       8.8
      LUMBER (3/7) millions of ft.            477.8 #      494.7      -6.4
      RAIL FREIGHT (3/7)
        billions of ton-miles                  27.5 #       26.5       3.8
      
      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 (3/13) S&P 500               1068.59      1055.69     34.7
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (3/13)             6.69 %       6.81 %  -11.0
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (3/13)           NA           NA        NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (3/2) billions          $4,116.3     $4,106.6 r    6.6
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (3/7) thous.     298          305 r   -3.6
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (3/13)      217.2        221.1     14.9
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (3/13)   1,337.9      1,403.4    221.5
      
      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 (3/18) $/troy oz.                 290.400    294.100    -16.8
      STEEL SCRAP (3/10) #1 heavy, $/ton      135.50     135.50     -0.7
      COPPER (3/13)  cents/lb.                  84.1       81.8    -28.1
      ALUMINUM (3/13)  cents/lb.                69.5       70.0    -13.7
      COTTON (3/14) strict low
          middling 1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.      64.42      66.10    -11.4
      OIL (3/17) $/bbl.                        12.99      14.00    -40.3
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (3/17) 1967=100          229.73     224.83     -5.6
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (3/17) 1967=100     305.07     302.51    -10.3
      
      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 (3/18)                130.22      129.14    122.72
      GERMAN MARK (3/18)                   1.83        1.83      1.68
      BRITISH POUND (3/18)                 1.67        1.65      1.60
      FRENCH FRANC (3/18)                  6.12        6.14      5.67
      ITALIAN LIRA (3/18)                1799.8      1803.5    1687.8
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (3/18)               1.42        1.41      1.38
      MEXICAN PESO (3/18)3                8.575       8.660     7.925
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (3/18)  110.2       109.9     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 (3/17)                    5.47 %     5.44 %    5.42 %
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (3/17) 3-month         5.47       5.49      5.53
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (3/18) 3-month  5.58       5.58      5.52
      FIXED MORTGAGE (3/13) 30-year           7.22       7.28      7.98
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (3/13) one-year     5.86       5.78      5.86
      PRIME (3/13)                            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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