Business Week Index

PRODUCTION INDEX

The production index rose in the week ended Dec. 27. Before calculation of the

four-week moving average, the index was up 1%, to 131.6, from 130.3 in the

previous week. After seasonal adjustment, most of the components showed strong

increases during this holiday-shortened week. Output of steel and oil were up

over 5% each, trucks, electricity, and lumber, were up over 4% each, and coal

posted a 3.2% gain. Auto production was down 1.5%, and rail-freight traffic

fell 4.5%.

BW production index copyright 1997 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                                      LATEST     WEEK    YEARLY
                                                       WEEK      AGO     % CHG
      
      STEEL (1/3) thous. of net tons                   2,254     2,164 #   12.8
      AUTOS (1/3) units                                    0    42,816 r#    NM
      TRUCKS (1/3) units                                   0    52,848 r#    NM
      ELECTRIC POWER (1/3) millions of kilowatt-hrs.  61,946    60,720 #    7.0
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (1/3) thous. of bbl./day     14,861    15,061 #    5.5
      COAL (12/27) thous. of net tons                 17,566 #  22,896     16.0
      LUMBER (12/27) millions of ft.                   288.8 #   469.8      9.6
      RAIL FREIGHT (12/27) billions of ton-miles        20.7 #    28.0      9.5
      
      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 (1/2) S&P 500                      975.00      936.46    30.3
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (1/2)                   6.70 %      6.69 %  -8.1
      INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (1/2)                 97.6        98.7    -9.7
      BUSINESS FAILURES (12/26)                         NA           NA      NA
      REAL ESTATE LOANS (12/25) billions                NA           NA      NA
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (12/22) billions             $4,023.8    $4,008.2 r   5.3
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (12/27) thous.        318         305   -14.3
      
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (index: 1990=100), 
      Federal Reserve, Labor Dept.
      
      PRICES
                                             LATEST      WEEK      YEARLY
                                              WEEK       AGO       % CHG
      
      GOLD (1/7) $/troy oz.                  281.600    290.200     -21.0
      STEEL SCRAP (1/6) #1 heavy, $/ton       143.50     143.50      23.2
      COPPER (1/2)  cents/lb.                   80.0       81.8     -24.9
      ALUMINUM (1/2)  cents/lb.                 73.5       74.0       0.0
      COTTON (1/2) strict low
          middling 1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.      63.80      64.34     -10.3
      OIL (1/6) $/bbl.                         16.64      17.40     -36.5
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (1/6) 1967=100           231.01     228.83      -0.1
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (1/6) 1967=100      304.05     306.88      -9.4
      
      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 (1/7)                   131.63     130.57    115.91
      GERMAN MARK (1/7)                      1.82       1.80      1.58
      BRITISH POUND (1/7)                    1.63       1.65      1.69
      FRENCH FRANC (1/7)                     6.10       6.01      5.32
      ITALIAN LIRA (1/7)                   1789.5     1768.0    1542.7
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (1/7)                  1.43       1.49      1.35
      MEXICAN PESO (1/7)3                   8.055      8.070     7.812
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (1/7)     111.0      110.0     99.8
      
      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 (1/6)                     5.35 %       6.07 %      5.20 %
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (1/6) 3-month          5.51         5.65        5.45
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (1/7) 3-month   5.58         5.72        5.41
      FIXED MORTGAGE (1/2) 30-year            7.26         7.23        7.68
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (1/2) one-year      5.75         5.74        5.76
      PRIME (1/2)                             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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