The nationn's money supply declined by $2.9 billion to $380.3 billion in the week ended Jan. 23, the Federal Reserve reported yesterday.

The drop was larger than analysts had expected, and put money growth well within the Fed's target range.

Beginning next week the money supply numbers, with new definitions, will be released on Friday instead of Thursday. The new and broader definitions will seek to encompass financial assets, such as deposits in money market funds against which checks may be written, that are not considered part of the money supply at present.

In addition, the Fed plans to make public data for all of the components of any of the definitions of money. With that information, any analysts who wishes will be able to construct his own version of the money supply and follow its movements over time.

M-1, which includes currency in circulation and checking account deposits at commercial banks, has risen 6 percent in the last year but a much slower 2.5 percent in the latest three-month period.

M-2, a broader measure that also includes time deposits at commercial banks other than large certificates of deposit, rose $2.5 billion in the week ended Jan. 23 to $958.1 billion, the Federal Reserve said.