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MELLON BANK: PHILADELPHIA INDEX SLIPS IN SEPTEMBER

 MELLON BANK: PHILADELPHIA INDEX SLIPS IN SEPTEMBER
 PITTSBURGH, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon PSFS Index of Economic


Performance for the Philadelphia region edged lower in September, slipping 0.4 percent, the bank said today.
 The September loss was the smallest recorded so far in 1991, which has seen nine consecutive declines.
 Despite the overall decrease, the manufacturing work week increased and service-producing employment was higher for the month. Housing permits also were stronger in September. However, contract awards for commercial building declined and, for the 11th straight month, goods-producing jobs dropped.
 Although the Mellon PSFS Index dropped in September, there were some encouraging signs that the economy's sharp slide may be drawing to an end. September's loss of manufacturing and construction jobs was the smallest in 1991. In addition, the increase in service-producing employment should help to bring some stability to the area's economy. This is not to suggest that the economy is about to begin a significant upswing. In view of the recent concerns about the prospects for national recovery, it would be premature to conclude that the Philadelphia area will stage an early and vigorous upturn. Several more months of sluggish performance may be required before a meaningful turnaround can get under way.
 Compared to a year ago, the Mellon PSFS Index has declined by 13.6 percent. During this period, building activity and car sales have plummeted while total payrolls have fallen by 37,000 jobs.
 In September, the Mellon PSFS Index, which gauges the strength of overall economic performance, stood at 102.8, down from 103.2 in August.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX -- PHILADELPHIA
 (1980 equals 100)
 September
 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
 113.9 122.5 130.1 135.0 130.5 119.0 102.8
 /delval/
 -0- 11/6/91
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/ CO: Mellon Bank ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO DM -- PG010 -- 1890 11/06/91 16:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 6, 1991
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