Business Week Index

The production index slipped slightly in the week ended Apr. 12. Before

calculation of the four-week moving average, the index increased to 122.4, from

121.9. In the latest week, flooding and bad weather in the upper Midwest caused

rail-freight traffic to drop more than 3% from the same period of a year ago.

However, seasonally adjusted truck production was up strongly, and electric

power output also increased for the week.

BW production index copyright 1997 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                               LATEST     WEEK      YEARLY
                                                WEEK       AGO%       CHG
      STEEL (4/19) thous. of net tons           2,069      2,067#      3.4
      AUTOS (4/19) units                      133,770    114,645 r#   -3.2
      TRUCKS (4/19) units                     119,513    134,635 r#   -7.0
      ELECTRIC POWER (4/19) millions of
      kilowatt-hrs.                            56,998     56,543#      2.7
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (4/19) thous. of
      bbl./day                                 14,275     14,207#      2.2
      COAL (4/12) thous. of net tons           18,561#    17,978      -7.5
      LUMBER (4/12) millions of ft.             485.4#     487.5      10.1
      RAIL FREIGHT (4/12) billions of ton-miles  25.3#      25.5      -3.4
      
      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 (4/18) S&P 500              766.34     737.65      18.8
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (4/18)           7.73%      7.74%      3.1
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (4/18)        104.7      105.0      -5.2
      BUSINESS FAILURES (4/11)                     NA         NA        NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (4/9) billions             NA         NA        NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (4/7) billions        $3,897.2   $3,893.2 r     4.7
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (4/12)
      thous.                                     332          24      -8.0
      
      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 (4/23) $/troy oz.                 341.000     339.900     -12.7
      STEEL SCRAP (4/22) #1 heavy, $/ton      137.00      133.50      -1.8
      COPPER (4/18)  cents/lb.                 110.2       111.5     -11.0
      ALUMINUM (4/18)  cents/lb.                74.5        76.0      -0.4
      COTTON (4/19) strict low middling 1-1/16
      in.,  cents/lb.                          68.64         69.03   -18.5
      OIL (4/22) $/bbl.                        19.22         19.53   -21.2
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (4/22) 1967=100          239.86        242.98    -4.7
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (4/22) 1967=100     332.90        332.90    -0.7
      
      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 (4/23)                     126.19        125.70  106.73
      GERMAN MARK (4/23)                        1.71          1.73    1.53
      BRITISH POUND (4/23)                      1.62          1.62    1.51
      FRENCH FRANC (4/23)                       5.78          5.81    5.17
      ITALIAN LIRA (4/23)                     1702.5        1701.8  1563.4
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (4/23)                    1.39          1.40    1.36
      MEXICAN PESO (4/23)3                     7.873         7.893   7.525
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (4/23)       106.4         106.6   97.34
      
      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 (4/22)                      5.50%         5.61%   5.38%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (4/23) 3-month           5.70          5.71    5.38
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (4/23) 3-month    5.71          5.73    5.34
      FIXED MORTGAGE (4/18) 30-year             8.29          8.27    8.21
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (4/18) one-year       6.16          6.06    5.93
      PRIME (4/18)                              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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