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MELLON BANK: LANCASTER INDEX RISES IN FIRST QUARTER

 MELLON BANK: LANCASTER INDEX RISES IN FIRST QUARTER
 PITTSBURGH, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon Index of Economic Performance for Lancaster County, which gauges the overall economic performance and vitality of the area, posted a small gain of 0.9 percent in the opening quarter of 1992, following six consecutive declines dating back to the summer of 1990, the bank said today.
 The increase in the latest reading reflects a stronger pace of home building, a slightly improved rate of car registrations and a firming of employment in the service-producing sector. Goods-producing jobs still decreased in the first quarter, but only marginally. The manufacturing work week increased in the January-to-March period, pointing to an upturn in factory output.
 Over the last year, the Mellon Index for Lancaster is down 2.8 percent. The decline over the last four quarters is largely the result of softness in commercial building and the accompanying loss of construction jobs. Other index components are level with, or slightly higher than, their year-earlier readings. Since the pre-recession peak set in the first half of 1990, the Mellon Index for Lancaster has slipped 10 percent. Despite the near two-year decline, the Lancaster index remains far above its decade-earlier level.
 Looking ahead, the pickup in the first quarter increases the probability of a sustainable 1992 recovery. While the lack of job growth to date remains a concern, the Lancaster economy seems to be returning to economic growth. Barring another false start nationally, the county should register improvement, perhaps unsteady at times, throughout the remainder of the year.
 The first quarter 1992 release of the Lancaster index includes recently announced revisions to employment data that date back to January 1990. These revisions showed a slightly lower level of employment than earlier estimates which in turn have resulted in a marginally lower index over the past year.
 The Mellon Index of Economic Performance for Lancaster stood at 147.9 in the first quarter, up from 146.5 in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 MELLON INDEX OF ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
 Lancaster, Pa.
 First Quarter
 (1980 equals 100)
 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
 125.5 138.2 149.0 155.2 164.8 152.2 147.9
 -0- 6/3/92
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/ CO: Mellon Bank ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO


DM -- PG003 -- 6547 06/03/92 10:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 3, 1992
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