Commercials production slowed toward the end of 2002, according to the Creativity Production Index, the average number of spots produced each month by a sample of agency offices. After rising from August through October, the index slumped in November and December, falling to 9.4. But after all the year's ups and downs, the average for the year ended at almost exactly the same level as the year before. The annual index for 2002 was 11.6, compared to 11.7 in 2001. The Los Angeles Film Office likewise found 2002 to be virtually the same as the year before, clocking just 35 more production days than 2001 - a gain of slightly more than .5 percent. No news is good news, they say. At the very least, it's better than bad news.