Industrial Heating Magazine's monthly Economic Indicators reported improving economic conditions in January. Index numbers released today (February 13, 2003), also include a new forward-looking index: Expected Health of the Thermal Processing Industry. The first three indices reflect the changes experienced by responding companies from December 2002 to January 2003. The final/new index (Expected Health of the Thermal Processing Industry) reports the future health of the thermal processing industry over the next 30 days as predicted by respondents. Request for Proposal Index is 56.6 in January, indicating significant growth of RFQ activity in January. Number of Orders Index registered 50.1 in January, showing a slight increase in the number of orders taken in January compared to December. Size of Backlog Index came in at 50.0, indicating no substantial change in backlogs from December. Looking forward, the Expected Health of the Thermal Processing Industry came in at 53.2, indicating that most respondents expected general economic conditions to improve in February. A number above 50.0 indicates increased activity or growth. 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 These results are also published monthly on the editorial page of Industrial Heating.