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MELLON BANK: PITTSBURGH INDEX HOLDS STEADY IN SEPTEMBER

 MELLON BANK: PITTSBURGH INDEX HOLDS STEADY IN SEPTEMBER
 PITTSBURGH, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon Index of Economic


Performance for the Pittsburgh region was unchanged in September, the bank said today.
 The index, which gauges the strength of overall economic activity, has remained essentially flat for the past five months after dropping sharply in the first four months of the year.
 Employment rose in September due to an increase in both goods- and service-producing jobs. In addition, the manufacturing work week remained steady for the month. On the negative side, however, housing permits dropped again after a dramatic rise in August, while contract awards for commercial building continued their downward trend following a second quarter surge. Auto sales for the Pittsburgh area also remained sluggish.
 Compared to a year ago, the Mellon Index for Pittsburgh is down 2.4 percent, due primarily to a drop in industrial activity. The manufacturing work week is shorter and payrolls have been trimmed by approximately 6,000 jobs. Service-producing employment remained at the same level of one year ago despite a decline in retail jobs.
 The long-awaited upturn in the Pittsburgh economy may be delayed somewhat because of the lack of momentum in the national economy and the sharp setback in consumer confidence which has occurred since September. It does appear that a significant rebound in the area will begin over the next few months, bringing improvement in the labor market, stronger retail sales and faster housing starts throughout most of 1992.
 In September, the Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region stood at 104.8, unchanged from the downward revised August reading.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX FOR PITTSBURGH
 (1980 equals 100)
 September
 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
 88.3 85.2 89.8 98.2 101.2 107.4 104.8
 -0- 11/6/91
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/ CO: Mellon Bank ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO DM -- PG009 -- 1878 11/06/91 16:27 EST
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Date:Nov 6, 1991
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