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MELLON: PITTSBURGH ECONOMIC INDEX SHOWS INCREASE FOR JANUARY

 PITTSBURGH, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region, which gauges the pace and momentum of overall economic activity, rose 1.3 percent in January following a revised drop of 0.6 percent in December.
 While the Index has fallen 10.8 percent since the peak in November 1990, it has risen 1.9 percent from its cyclical low point in September 1992.
 The trends of five of the six components moved up in January. These include housing permits, service-producing employment, goods-producing employment, average manufacturing work week and construction contract awards. By contrast, trends for car registrations declined slightly in January.
 During the past several months, economic conditions in the Pittsburgh region have firmed. Nonfarm payroll employment added over 6,000 jobs, with the biggest gain coming from the service sector. In January, goods-producing employment posted its first gain since March 1992, while housing permits jumped 15.3 percent, the highest monthly increase since December 1991. Retail sales for the fourth quarter of 1992 were solid, rising 0.2 percent from the third quarter and 2.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 1991.
 With help from a strengthening national economy, we expect Pittsburgh's nonfarm employment to rise modestly in 1993, led by gains in the service sector. Stronger employment growth this year should boost personal incomes and help to spur an increase in retail sales activity and single-family housing permits.
 In January, the Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region stood at 92.9, up from 91.0 in December.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX FOR PITTSBURGH (REVISED)
 January
 1986 equals 100
 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993
 88.8 85.7 89.6 100.0 100.0 101.5 94.9 92.2
 -0- 3/29/93
 /EDITORS: All data in the index have been changed due to revisions in seasonal factors and a change in the starting period of the index. The Economics Department is currently undertaking a review of the Mellon Index. The results, which will be available in the near future, will likely include new leading and coincident indices for the Pittsburgh area. Coincident indices are designed to move up and down in tandem with economic activity./
 /CONTACT: J.T. Tuskan of Mellon Bank, 412-234-0850/
 (MEL)


CO: Mellon Bank ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO

CD -- PG005 -- 0387 03/29/93 09:50 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993
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