Indicators of beef's economy recorded solid improvement last month. Cattle prices moved higher, with calves and stocker cattle leading the way. Fed cattle saw a 60-cent gain, but remained below the 3-month average. Analysts expect the coming weeks and months will find declining supplies of slaughter cattle and improving prices. Of beef's eight economic indicators measured in Drovers analysis, six saw arrows pointing higher during January, one lower and one sideways. Heavy slaughter weights and still large beef production keeps the arrow for production indicators pointing sideways. The arrow for competing meats is pointing down due to continued heavy production from pork and poultry producers. Production costs remain a positive factor.