Beef's economic health showed improvement in January, but certain segments still have a long way to go, according to Drovers' analysis of eight economic indicators. Three indicators were positive, four negative and one earned a sideways arrow. Greatest improvements were found in feedyard profitability-but the sector continued to lose $122 per head during January. December losses were pegged at $175 per head. The beef market, competitive meats and packing and processing also earned down arrows. Positive arrows were found for key cattle prices, production indicators and production costs. Inventory earned a steady arrow, but will likely turn positive in February after the new USDA inventory report, which indicates supplies of feeder cattle will remain tight this year, supporting cattle prices.