Industrial Heating's monthly economic indicators reported their 18th consecutive month of economic growth in the thermal processing industries. Manufacturers of thermal processing equipment, supplies and components indicated that their business levels in January were better than their business levels in December 2004. All four of the indices reported numbers in excess of 50-a number above 50 indicates growth. Especially strong was the "Health of the thermal processing industry" index. This index asks respondents to predict business activity over the next 30 days. This index came in at a strong 59.4. January 2005 index numbers reflect the changes experienced by responding companies as they compare their January 2005 business levels to December 2004 levels. January 2005 Index Numbers: Change in number of Request for Proposals from December to January: 61.4 Change in the Number of Orders from December to January: 56.5 Change in Backlog from December to January: 56.7 Expected change in the Health of Thermal Processing Industry through February: 59.4 A number above 50.0 indicates increased activity or growth. A number below 50.0 indicates decreased activity or a decline in growth. Look for these numbers, along with historical values, on the editorial page of the March 2005 issue of Industrial Heating. Roughly 1,200 industry suppliers are contacted via e-mail to participate in a web-based survey the first full week of each month. If you are an industry supplier and would like to participate in this monthly survey, please contact Industrial Heating publisher Doug Glenn by phone: 412-306-4351 or by e-mail: