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Business Week Index

BusinessWeek Index

The production index continued to slip in the week ended Feb. 28. The unaveraged index also fell, from a revised Feb. 21 figure of 131.6, to 130.3. The monthly index for February was 131.1, down 1.5% from 133.1 in January. Continued rain and mud slides in Southern California as well as heavy winds and snow in the Powder River Basin, caused large declines in rail-freight traffic and coal output. Steel, autos, and electric production were also down. Trucks, oil, and lumber output posted small gains.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.PRODUCTION INDICATORS

LATEST WEEK YEARLY

WEEK AGO % CHG

STEEL (3/7) thous. of net tons 2,216 2,294 # 3.8

AUTOS (3/7) units 108,661 111,103 r# -17.8

TRUCKS (3/7) units 150,850 146,859 r# 7.8

ELECTRIC POWER (3/7) millions of kilowatt-hrs. 61,959 61,327 # 2.6

CRUDE-OIL REFINING (3/7) thous. of bbl./day 14,548 13,847 # 7.1

COAL (2/28) thous. of net tons 20,065 # 22,663 -9.1

LUMBER (2/28) millions of ft. 494.7 # 481.8 2.6

RAIL FREIGHT (2/28) billions of ton-miles 26.5 # 27.4 -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 (3/6) S&P 500 1055.69 1049.34 31.1

CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (3/6) 6.81 % 6.71 % -8.8

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS PRICES (3/6) 95.9 95.4 -11.4

MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (2/23) billions $4,105.8 $4,090.9 r 6.5

INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (2/28) thous. 304 320 -2.6

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (3/6) 221.1 217.3 25.6

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (3/6) 1,403.4 1,526.1 252.0

Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Journal of Commerce (Index: 1990=100),

Federal Reserve, Labor Dept., Mortgage Bankers Assn. (Index: March 16, 1990=100)

PRICES

LATEST WEEK YEARLY

WEEK AGO % CHG

GOLD (3/11) $/troy oz. 294.100 296.750 -16.3

STEEL SCRAP (3/3) #1 heavy, $/ton 135.50 140.50 -2.9

COPPER (3/6) cents/lb. 81.8 77.7 -31.0

ALUMINUM (3/6) cents/lb. 70.0 68.8 -14.1

COTTON (3/6) strict low

middling 1-1/16 in., cents/lb. 66.10 63.66 -7.7

OIL (3/10) $/bbl. 14.00 15.12 -29.1

CRB FOODSTUFFS (3/10) 1967=100 224.83 221.71 -9.2

CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (3/10) 1967=100 302.51 302.85 -11.4

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 (3/11) 129.14 126.75 122.43

GERMAN MARK (3/11) 1.83 1.82 1.70

BRITISH POUND (3/11) 1.65 1.65 1.60

FRENCH FRANC (3/11) 6.14 6.10 5.73

ITALIAN LIRA (3/11) 1803.5 1790.7 1693.0

CANADIAN DOLLAR (3/11) 1.41 1.42 1.36

MEXICAN PESO (3/11)3 8.660 8.581 7.975

TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (3/11) 109.9 109.3 104.8

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 (3/10) 5.44 % 5.51 % 5.21 %

COMMERCIAL PAPER (3/10) 3-month 5.49 5.45 5.46

CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (3/11) 3-month 5.58 5.59 5.44

FIXED MORTGAGE (3/6) 30-year 7.28 7.22 7.97

ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (3/6) one-year 5.78 5.76 5.78

PRIME (3/6) 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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