Industrial Heating Economic Indicators reported that orders continued to improve for the second straight month. The Request for Proposals index also marked its second straight month of gains. Respondents, all of whom replied before President Bush's speech on March 17, indicated that they felt the Health of the Thermal Processing Industry would improve over the next 30 days. The only indicator that declined was the Backlog Indicator.

February 2003 index numbers, released yesterday, indicate the changes experienced by responding companies from January 2003 to February 2003. Change in number of Request for Proposals from January to February: 50.7; Change in the Number of Orders from January to February: 50.9; Change in Backlog from January to February: 48.6; Expected change in the Health of the Thermal Processing Industry through March: 50.1.

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 historic figures, on the editorial page of the next issue of Industrial Heating.

Roughly 375 industry suppliers are surveyed 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 at 412-531-3370 or by e-mail