Business Week Index

PRODUCTION INDEX

The production index gained ground during the week ended Sept. 13. Before

calculation of the four-week moving average, the index climbed to 127.2, from

125.9 a week ago. Sharp gains were noted in rail-freight traffic as railroads

reported increases in U.S. loadings of grain, grain-mill products, petroleum

products, trailers, and containers. Production of steel, electric power, coal,

and lumber were also up after seasonal adjustment. Car and truck output fell.

BW production index copyright 1997 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                             LATEST         WEEK       YEARLY
                                              WEEK          AGO        % CHG
      
      STEEL (9/20) thous. of net tons         2,155        2,175 #       10.3
      AUTOS (9/20) units                    124,761      112,359 r#      -3.7
      TRUCKS (9/20) units                   132,713      126,775 r#       9.9
      ELECTRIC POWER (9/20)
        millions of kilowatt-hrs.            69,830       68,226 #       12.5
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (9/20)
        thous. of bbl./day                   15,090       15,257 #        3.9
      COAL (9/13) thous. of net tons         21,718 #     19,906          5.5
      LUMBER (9/13) millions of ft.           489.9 #      393.6         -2.5
      RAIL FREIGHT (9/13)
        billions of ton-miles                  27.3 #       24.6          2.6
      
      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 (9/19) S&P 500             950.51     923.91       38.4
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (9/19)          7.09 %     7.28 %     -7.1
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (9/19)       106.1      106.9       -2.8
      BUSINESS FAILURES (9/12)                   NA         NA          NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (9/10) billions          NA         NA          NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (9/8) billions       $3,976.5   $3,989.0 r      5.2
      INITIAL CLAIMS,
        UNEMPLOYMENT (9/13) thous.               306        311 r     -7.3
      
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (index: 1990=100), 
      Federal Reserve, Labor Dept.
      
      PRICES
                                              LATEST      WEEK      YEARLY
                                               WEEK       AGO       % CHG
      
      GOLD (9/24) $/troy oz.                  322.700    320.450     -15.6
      STEEL SCRAP (9/23) #1 heavy, $/ton       137.50     137.50       1.1
      COPPER (9/19)  cents/lb.                   97.6       98.6       5.2
      ALUMINUM (9/19)  cents/lb.                 77.3       76.8      16.2
      COTTON (9/20) strict
        low middling 1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.     71.02      70.76      -5.4
      OIL (9/23) $/bbl.                         19.71      19.43     -20.1
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (9/23) 1967=100           239.68     240.60      -9.3
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (9/23) 1967=100      339.08     336.08      -0.2
      
      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 (9/24)                   120.13      120.85      110.38
      GERMAN MARK (9/24)                      1.77        1.77        1.51
      BRITISH POUND (9/24)                    1.61        1.60        1.56
      FRENCH FRANC (9/24)                     5.96        5.95        5.11
      ITALIAN LIRA (9/24)                   1732.3      1729.8      1514.0
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (9/24)                  1.39        1.39        1.37
      MEXICAN PESO (9/24)3                   7.816       7.752       7.525
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (9/24)     106.0       106.2        97.9
      
      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 (9/23)                    5.45 %     5.52 %    5.28 %
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (9/23) 3-month         5.52       5.51      5.48
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (9/24) 3-month  5.59       5.58      5.44
      FIXED MORTGAGE (9/19) 30-year           7.52       7.71      8.33
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (9/19) one-year     5.66       5.79      6.04
      PRIME (9/19)                            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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