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Business Week Index

BusinessWeek Index

PRODUCTION INDEX

The production index edged up slightly in the week ended Dec. 19. Before calculation of the four-week moving average, the index increased to 142.9, from a revised 142.2 in the week ended Dec. 12 and 142.1 in the week of Dec. 5. In the latest week, all the seasonally adjusted components of the index posted gains except for rail-freight traffic. The production index has been revised for the last two years to reflect revisions to Federal Reserve data.

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

LATEST WEEK YEARLY

WEEK AGO % CHG

STEEL (12/26) thous. of net tons NA 1,924# NA

AUTOS (12/26) units 70,442 129,546r# 76.1

TRUCKS (12/26) units 87,361 156,168r# 61.5

ELECTRIC POWER (12/26) millions of kilowatt-hrs. NA 65,135# NA

CRUDE-OIL REFINING (12/26) thous. of bbl./day NA 14,639# NA

COAL (12/19) thous. of net tons NA 23,175 NA

LUMBER (12/19) millions of ft. 489.4# 473.0 4.2

RAIL FREIGHT (12/19) billions of ton-miles 28.0# 28.4 2.2

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 (12/24) S&P 500 1226.27 1188.03 30.9

CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (12/24) 6.37% 6.18% -4.8

MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (12/14) billions $4,405.4 $4,394.4r 9.1

INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (12/18) thous. 287 300r -5.9

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (12/25) NA 268.5 NA

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (12/25) NA 1,569.0 NA

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 (12/29) $/troy oz. 286.950 285.800 -1.1

STEEL SCRAP (12/28) #1 heavy, $/ton 85.50 85.50 -40.4

COPPER (12/25) cents/lb. 68.6 69.2 -16.1

ALUMINUM (12/25) cents/lb. 59.5 59.5 -19.6

COTTON (12/25) strict low middling

1-1/16 in., cents/lb. 59.67 61.85 -7.3

OIL (12/28) $/bbl. 11.25 10.75 -35.3

CRB FOODSTUFFS (12/28) 1967=100 194.40 188.17 -15.0

CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (12/28) 1967=100 263.49 266.96 -14.1

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 (12/28) 4.88% 4.63% 6.07%

COMMERCIAL PAPER (12/28) 3-month 5.03 5.00 5.65

CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (12/29) 3-month 5.20 5.19 5.72

FIXED MORTGAGE (12/25) 30-year 6.91 6.92 7.23

ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (12/25) one-year 5.73 5.80 5.74

PRIME (12/25) 7.75 7.75 8.50

Sources: Federal Reserve, HSH Associates, Bloomberg Financial Markets

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

LATEST WEEK YEAR

WEEK AGO AGO

JAPANESE YEN (12/29) 115.47 115.98 130.57

GERMAN MARK (12/29) 1.67 1.67 1.80

BRITISH POUND (12/29) 1.68 1.68 1.65

FRENCH FRANC (12/29) 5.61 5.61 6.01

ITALIAN LIRA (12/29) 1654.3 1658.3 1768.0

CANADIAN DOLLAR (12/29) 1.55 1.55 1.49

MEXICAN PESO (12/29)3 9.870 9.815 8.070

TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (12/29) 106.3 106.6 110.0

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. 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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