Business Week Index

The production index was up for the third week in a row. The unaveraged

index was also up, to 133.9 from 133.7. Seasonally adjusted output of electric

power rose a strong 1.2%, with an increase of 8.5% in the southeast and 7.6%

in the central industrial region. Autos, trucks, oil, and lumber also posted

gains. Steel production was down 2.3%, with a capacity utilization rate of

only 88.8%, the lowest it has been in nine weeks. Rail freight and coal

production also dipped.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                             LATEST        WEEK      YEARLY
                                              WEEK         AGO        % CHG
      STEEL (5/23) thous. of net tons         2,160        2,135 #     0.9
      AUTOS (5/23) units                    119,451      121,869 r#   -4.2
      TRUCKS (5/23) units                   127,648      153,666 r#    0.3
      ELECTRIC POWER (5/23)
        millions of kilowatt-hrs.             NA          60,832 #     NA
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (5/23)
        thous. of bbl./day                    NA          15,034 #     NA
      COAL (5/16) thous. of net tons         21,341 #     21,487      -1.4
      LUMBER (5/16) millions of ft.           467.6 #      459.5      -6.9
      RAIL FREIGHT (5/16)
        billions of ton-miles                  27.4 #       27.3       4.2
      
      LEADING INDICATORS
                                                  LATEST       WEEK      YEARLY
                                                   WEEK         AGO       % CHG
      STOCK PRICES (5/22) S&P 500                 1110.47      1108.73     31.1
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (5/22)               6.69 %       6.74 %  -12.0
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (5/11) billions           $4,154.3     $4,160.8 r    6.9
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (5/16) thous.      313          305 r   -2.5
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (5/22)        248.1        254.8     29.8
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (5/22)     1,049.0      1,138.7    222.7
      
      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 (5/27) $/troy oz.                 292.750    299.600    -14.6
      STEEL SCRAP (5/26) #1 heavy, $/ton      135.50     135.50      0.7
      COPPER (5/22)  cents/lb.                  78.6       81.6    -34.4
      ALUMINUM (5/22)  cents/lb.                65.8       66.5    -17.5
      COTTON (5/23) strict low
         middling 1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.       65.53      64.73     -5.7
      OIL (5/26) $/bbl.                        14.67      12.74    -28.3
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (5/26) 1967=100          239.11     240.35      0.7
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (5/26) 1967=100     304.51     305.35     -9.9
      
      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 (5/27)                    137.50    135.79      115.80
      GERMAN MARK (5/27)                       1.78      1.77        1.70
      BRITISH POUND (5/27)                     1.63      1.63        1.64
      FRENCH FRANC (5/27)                      5.98      5.94        5.76
      ITALIAN LIRA (5/27)                    1758.1    1746.0      1690.0
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (5/27                    1.46      1.45        1.38
      MEXICAN PESO (5/27)3                    8.870     8.640       7.904
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (5/27)      112.2     111.3       103.1
      
      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 (5/26)                    5.62 %    5.35 %   5.59 %
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (5/26) 3-month         5.50      5.51     5.67
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (5/27) 3-month  5.59      5.59     5.69
      FIXED MORTGAGE (5/22) 30-year           7.15      7.22     8.08
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (5/22) one-year     5.79      5.87     6.01
      PRIME (5/22)                            8.50      8.50     8.50
      
      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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