PRODUCTION INDEX

The production index edged up slightly in the week ended Dec. 19. Before calculation of the four-week moving average, the index increased to 142.9, from a revised 142.2 in the week ended Dec. 12 and 142.1 in the week of Dec. 5. In the latest week, all the seasonally adjusted components of the index posted gains except for rail-freight traffic. The production index has been revised for the last two years to reflect revisions to Federal Reserve data.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                                        LATEST    WEEK        YEARLY
                                                        WEEK      AGO         % CHG
      STEEL (12/26) thous. of net tons                  NA        1,924#      NA
      AUTOS (12/26) units                               70,442    129,546r#   76.1
      TRUCKS (12/26) units                              87,361    156,168r#   61.5
      ELECTRIC POWER (12/26) millions of kilowatt-hrs.  NA        65,135#     NA
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (12/26) thous. of bbl./day     NA        14,639#     NA
      COAL (12/19) thous. of net tons                   NA        23,175      NA
      LUMBER (12/19) millions of ft.                    489.4#    473.0       4.2
      RAIL FREIGHT (12/19) billions of ton-miles        28.0#     28.4        2.2
      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 (12/24) S&P 500                      1226.27   1188.03     30.9
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (12/24)                 6.37%     6.18%       -4.8
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (12/14) billions                 $4,405.4  $4,394.4r   9.1
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (12/18) thous.       287       300r        -5.9
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (12/25)           NA        268.5       NA
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (12/25)          NA        1,569.0     NA
      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 (12/29) $/troy oz.                           286.950   285.800     -1.1
      STEEL SCRAP (12/28) #1 heavy, $/ton               85.50     85.50       -40.4
      COPPER (12/25)  cents/lb.                         68.6      69.2        -16.1
      ALUMINUM (12/25)  cents/lb.                       59.5      59.5        -19.6
      COTTON (12/25) strict low middling
       1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.                           59.67     61.85       -7.3
      OIL (12/28) $/bbl.                                11.25     10.75       -35.3
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (12/28) 1967=100                   194.40    188.17      -15.0
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (12/28) 1967=100              263.49    266.96      -14.1
      Sources: London Wednesday final setting, Chicago market, Metals Week, Memphis
      market, NYMEX, Commodity Research Bureau
      
      INTEREST RATES
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEAR
                                                        WEEK      AGO       AGO
      FEDERAL FUNDS (12/28)                             4.88%     4.63%       6.07%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (12/28) 3-month                  5.03      5.00        5.65
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (12/29) 3-month           5.20      5.19        5.72
      FIXED MORTGAGE (12/25) 30-year                    6.91      6.92        7.23
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (12/25) one-year              5.73      5.80        5.74
      PRIME (12/25)                                     7.75      7.75        8.50
      Sources: Federal Reserve, HSH Associates, Bloomberg Financial Markets
      
      FOREIGN EXCHANGE
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEAR
                                                        WEEK      AGO       AGO
      JAPANESE YEN (12/29)                              115.47    115.98      130.57
      GERMAN MARK (12/29)                               1.67      1.67        1.80
      BRITISH POUND (12/29)                             1.68      1.68        1.65
      FRENCH FRANC (12/29)                              5.61      5.61        6.01
      ITALIAN LIRA (12/29)                              1654.3    1658.3      1768.0
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (12/29)                           1.55      1.55        1.49
      MEXICAN PESO (12/29)3                             9.870     9.815       8.070
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (12/29)               106.3     106.6       110.0
      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.
      
      #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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