Business Week Index

The production index fell slightly during the week ended Feb. 22. But before

calculation of the four-week moving average, the index increased to 136.7, from

135.5. In the latest week, the seasonally adjusted level of truck output and

rail-freight traffic rebounded strongly, while auto and coal production also

increased. Electric power output declined sharply as unseasonably warm weather

swept across parts of the nation.

BW production index copyright 1997 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                                  LATEST     WEEK      YEARLY
                                                   WEEK       AGO      % CHG
      STEEL (3/1) thous. of net tons               2,115      2,115#     1.1
      AUTOS (3/1) units                          136,500    134,271 r#  10.3
      TRUCKS (3/1) units                         140,649    132,137 r#  10.9
      ELECTRIC POWER (3/1) millions of
       kilowatt-hrs.                              61,225     61,026#     1.1
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (3/1) thous. of
      bbl./day                                    13,391     13,422#    -2.9
      COAL (2/22) thous. of net tons              21,269#    20,817      1.4
      LUMBER (2/22) millions of ft.                498.8#     513.6     10.8
      RAIL FREIGHT (2/22) billions of ton-miles     27.2#      27.1      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 (2/28) S&P 500                 790.82     801.77     22.5
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (2/28)              7.38%      7.23%     2.5
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (2/28)           108.4      108.2     -1.0
      BUSINESS FAILURES (2/21)                        NA         NA       NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (2/19) billions               NA         NA       NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (2/17) billions          $3,867.5   $3,862.1 r    4.7
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (2/22) thous.     316        305 r  -11.5
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (index: 1990=100), Dun 
      & Bradstreet (failures of large companies), Federal Reserve, Labor Dept.
      
      PRICES
                                                  LATEST     WEEK     YEARLY
                                                   WEEK       AGO      % CHG
      GOLD (3/5) $/troy oz.                      354.500    354.800    -9.9
      STEEL SCRAP (2/28)#1 heavy, $/ton           146.00     145.50     1.0
      COPPER (2/28)  cents/lb.                     117.0      115.4    -2.5
      ALUMINUM (2/28)  cents/lb.                    79.3       76.0     6.7
      COTTON (3/1) strict low middling 1-1/16
        in.,  cents/lb.                            71.38      69.75   -11.1
      OIL (3/4) $/bbl.                             20.28      20.45     3.8
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (3/4) 1967=100               244.39     241.98     5.5
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (3/4) 1967=100          344.31     345.06     4.4
      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 (3/5)                          121.43    122.61   105.32
      GERMAN MARK (3/5)                             1.71      1.69     1.48
      BRITISH POUND (3/5)                           1.61      1.63     1.53
      FRENCH FRANC (3/5)                            5.78      5.71     5.05
      ITALIAN LIRA (3/5)                          1703.8    1681.5   1557.1
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (3/5)                         1.37      1.37     1.37
      MEXICAN PESO (3/5)***                        8.040     7.782    7.593
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (3/5)            104.8     104.3    96.48
      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 (3/4)                           5.16%   5.28%   5.13%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (3/5) 3-month                5.46    5.39    5.19
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (3/5) 3-month         5.43    5.35    5.17
      FIXED MORTGAGE (2/28) 30-year                 7.86    7.74    7.69
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (2/28) one-year           5.73    5.65    5.50
      PRIME (2/25)                                  8.25    8.25    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.   ***=Free market value   NA=Not available   r=revised   NM=Not 
      meaningful
      
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