Business Week Index

PRODUCTION INDEX

The production index was up fractionally in the week ended Sept. 19, while the

unaveraged index fell 1%, to 136.1, from 137.5. After seasonal adjustment,

steel production was down 10.4%, and the rate of capacity utilization was only

79%, the lowest it has been since June. Auto, truck, coal, and oil production

was also down. Gains in loadings of motor vehicles, equipment, and crushed

stone, sand, and gravel helped push up the rail-freight figure this week.

Electric output was up 3.1%, and lumber was up 5%.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
      
                                                        LATEST    WEEK       YEARLY
                                                        WEEK      AGO        % CHG
      STEEL (9/26) thous. of net tons                   1,929     1,899#     -13.6
      AUTOS (9/26) units                                127,412   128,526r#    1.3
      TRUCKS (9/26) units                               135,311   137,003r#   -6.5
      ELECTRIC POWER (9/26) millions of kilowatt-hrs.   68,881    71,953#      7.6
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (9/26) thous. of bbl./day      14,815    15,051#     -3.1
      COAL (9/19) thous. of net tons                    22,087#   21,785       1.8
      LUMBER (9/19) millions of ft.                     490.4#    418.0        1.6
      RAIL FREIGHT (9/19) billions of ton-miles         27.4#     25.5         3.4
      
      Sources: American Iron & Steel Institute, Ward's Automotive Reports, Edison 
      Electric Institute, American Petroleum Institute, Energy Dept., WWPA*, SFPA**, 
      Association of American Railroads
      
      LEADING INDICATORS
      
                                                        LATEST    WEEK       YEARLY
                                                        WEEK      AGO        % CHG
      STOCK PRICES (9/25) S&P 500                       1044.75   1020.09     10.5
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (9/25)                  6.35%     6.37%       -9.7
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (9/14) billions                  $4,288.4  $4,277.6r    8.0
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (9/18) thous.        292       300r        -5.2
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (9/25)            283.6     278.3       30.7
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (9/25)           2,682.7   2,269.9    288.0
      
      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 (9/30) $/troy oz.                           293.850   288.900     -12.8
      STEEL SCRAP (9/29) #1 heavy, $/ton                85.50     85.50      -37.8
      COPPER (9/25)  cents/lb.                          78.7      79.4       -19.0
      ALUMINUM (9/25)  cents/lb.                        63.5      64.8       -19.6
      COTTON (9/26) strict low middling
       1-1/16 in.,  cents/lb.                           70.90     71.88       -0.2
      OIL (9/29) $/bbl.                                 15.81     15.54      -25.0
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (9/29) 1967=100                   225.10    223.22       -6.6
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (9/29) 1967=100              281.79    277.85      -16.3
      
      Sources: London Wednesday final setting, Chicago market, Metals Week, Memphis 
      market, NYMEX, Commodity Research Bureau
      
      INTEREST RATES
      
                                                        LATEST    WEEK       YEAR
                                                        WEEK      AGO        AGO
      FEDERAL FUNDS (9/29)                              5.44%     5.38%      5.81%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (9/29) 3-month                   5.08      5.31       5.53
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (9/30) 3-month            5.25      5.42       5.63
      FIXED MORTGAGE (9/25) 30-year                     6.81      6.84       7.46
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (9/25) one-year               5.65      5.73       5.67
      PRIME (9/25)                                      8.50      8.50       8.50
      
      Sources: Federal Reserve, HSH Associates, Bloomberg Financial Markets
      
      FOREIGN EXCHANGE
      
                                                        LATEST    WEEK       YEAR
                                                        WEEK      AGO        AGO
      JAPANESE YEN (9/30)                               136.43    136.55     121.02
      GERMAN MARK (9/30)                                1.67      1.69       1.77
      BRITISH POUND (9/30)                              1.70      1.68       1.61
      FRENCH FRANC (9/30)                               5.60      5.66       5.96
      ITALIAN LIRA (9/30)                               1651.0    1666.0     1740.2
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (9/30)                            1.53      1.53       1.38
      MEXICAN PESO (9/30)***                            10.190    10.123     7.748
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (9/30)                110.9     111.4      105.9
      
      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.
      
      #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. *=Western Wood Products Assn.   **=Southern 
      Forest Products Assn. ***=Free market value   NA=Not available   r=revised   
      NM=Not meaningful
      
      
      
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