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MELLON: PITTSBURGH ECONOMIC INDEX RISES FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE MONTH

 PITTSBURGH, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region, which gauges the pace and momentum of overall economic activity, rose 0.5 percent in December, the third consecutive month the index increased.
 The trends of four of the six components -- car registrations, housing permits, service-producing employment and construction contract awards -- moved up in the latest month. By contrast, trends for goods- producing employment and average manufacturing work week declined slightly in December.
 During the fourth quarter, economic conditions in the Pittsburgh region firmed. Nonfarm payroll employment added 4,000 jobs, with the biggest gain coming from the service sector. Retail sales activity has held steady, with December data still to be reporter. Total housing permits rose 5.0 percent over the quarter, while single-family permits jumped 20.2 percent. Construction contract awards showed a healthy 13.0 percent increase. Also, November statistics were revised upward. The initial 1.5 percent jump in the index has been revised to 2.1 percent. The upward revision can be traced primarily to car registrations and housing permits.
 Pittsburgh's nonfarm employment is expected to rise modestly in 1993, led by gains in the service sector. Higher employment should boost personal incomes and help to spur an increase in retail sales activity and single-family housing permits.
 In December, the Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region stood at 98.8, up from 98.3 in November.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX FOR PITTSBURGH
 (December)
 1980 equals 100
 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
 91.0 87.8 92.6 104.5 104.1 109.2 103.6 98.8
 -0- 2/24/93
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/
 (MEL)


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

CD -- PG004 -- 9768 02/24/93 09:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 24, 1993
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