The production index rose for the fourth week in a row, while the unaveraged

index fell to 131.5, from 132.8. After seasonal adjustment, lumber output and

rail-freight traffic were up. Steel production was down 1.9%, with a capacity

utilization rate of only 89.4%, the lowest it has been in months. Coal output

was down by 2.8%, with large decreases in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Production of autos, trucks, electricity, and oil were also down.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                            LATEST       WEEK        YEARLY
                                               WEEK        AGO         % CHG
      STEEL (4/25) thous. of net tons         2,200      2,148 #      6.9
      AUTOS (4/25) units                    120,096    105,753 r#    -9.0
      TRUCKS (4/25) units                   147,322    121,104 r#    37.0
      ELECTRIC POWER (4/25)
        millions of kilowatt-hrs.            56,527     56,175 #      0.1
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (4/25)
        thous. of bbl./day                   14,895     15,157 #      4.3
      COAL (4/18) thous. of net tons         20,156 #   20,623       -3.6
      LUMBER (4/18) millions of ft.           498.4 #    482.1       -1.3
      RAIL FREIGHT (4/18)
        billions of ton-miles                  26.5 #     26.1        1.1
      
      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 (4/24) S&P 500                1107.90      1122.72     44.8
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (4/24)              6.72 %       6.67 %  -13.3
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (4/13) billions          $4,146.2     $4,146.7 r    6.6
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (4/18) thous.     317          288 r   -0.3
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (4/24)       241.4        227.3     28.6
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (4/24)    1,157.0      1,087.0    323.5
      
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Federal Reserve, Labor Dept., Mortgage 
      Bankers Assn. (Index: March 16, 1990=100)
      
      PRICES
                                              LATEST         WEEK      YEARLY
                                               WEEK          AGO       % CHG
      GOLD (4/29) $/troy oz.                  308.250       312.800     -9.4
      STEEL SCRAP (4/28) #1 heavy, $/ton       133.50        133.50      0.0
      COPPER (4/24)  cents/lb.                   87.6          86.8    -24.1
      ALUMINUM (4/24)  cents/lb.                 69.8          69.8     -8.2
      COTTON (4/25) strict low
        middling 1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.         61.62         61.05    -10.9
      OIL (4/28) $/bbl.                         15.49         15.13    -23.1
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (4/28) 1967=100           233.24        231.85     -1.8
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (4/28) 1967=100      306.21        300.33     -8.1
      
      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 (4/29)                   132.05     130.76      126.95
      GERMAN MARK (4/29)                      1.79       1.79        1.73
      BRITISH POUND (4/29)                    1.67       1.67        1.62
      FRENCH FRANC (4/29)                     6.01       6.01        5.84
      ITALIAN LIRA (4/29)                   1773.0     1771.9      1712.2
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (4/29)                  1.44       1.43        1.40
      MEXICAN PESO (4/29)3                   8.499      8.459       7.944
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (4/29)     110.4      109.9       107.1
      
      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 (4/28)                    5.28 %     5.37 %     5.53 %
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (4/28) 3-month         5.51       5.47       5.72
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (4/29) 3-month  5.61       5.58       5.72
      FIXED MORTGAGE (4/24) 30-year           7.19       7.06       8.22
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (4/24) one-year     5.77       5.84       6.05
      PRIME (4/24)                            8.50       8.50       8.50
      
      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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