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MELLON BANK: PHILADELPHIA INDEX SLIPS IN APRIL

 MELLON BANK: PHILADELPHIA INDEX SLIPS IN APRIL
 PHILADELPHIA, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon PSFS Index of


economic performance for the Philadelphia metro area, which gauges the overall economic vitality and momentum of the region, posted a 0.7 percent loss in April, following five consecutive monthly increases, the bank said today.
 April's setback resulted primarily from a large drop in housing permits and a continuing slide in goods-producing jobs. A reduction in the average factory work week also contributed to the April weakness.
 On a positive note, service-producing employment rebounded, recovering most of the March job losses. In addition, new car registrations have increased in recent months, suggesting some improvement in consumer sentiment.
 Compared to a year ago, the Mellon PSFS Index is down 4.8 percent despite the November to March gains. Sizable job loss has been the primary cause of the softness in the Index over the past year. Corporate downsizing and the reluctance of firms to take on permanent workers is restraining job growth in Philadelphia as well as nationally. In the meantime, housing permits have surpassed their year earlier levels while new car registrations have pulled even with readings from one year ago.
 Looking head, the local economic recovery is expected to continue despite the April setback. However, there is no indication that a robust upturn is at hand. A slow and uneven recovery seems likely at least for several more months. Ongoing factory jobs cuts and the prospect of a prolonged slowdown in commercial construction will restrain the economy's potential for some time to come.
 In April, the Mellon PSFS Index of Economic Performance for the Philadelphia area stood at 102.8, down from 103.5 in March.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX - PHILADELPHIA
 April
 (1980 equals 100)
 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
 117.9 123.3 131.8 125.6 121.2 108.0 102.8
 /delval/
 -0- 6/10/92
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/
 (MEL) CO: Mellon Bank Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO


CD -- PG003 -- 8730 06/10/92 10:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1992
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