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MELLON BANK: PITTSBURGH ECONOMIC INDEX STUMBLES IN JUNE

 MELLON BANK: PITTSBURGH ECONOMIC INDEX STUMBLES IN JUNE
 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region, which gauges the pace and momentum of overall economic activity, fell 1 percent in June, having dropped each month this year, the bank said today.
 The June decline was led by the ongoing slide in the trend of contract awards for commercial construction and the sixth consecutive drop in residential building permits. Meanwhile, both goods-producing and service-producing employment continued a downward slide which dates back to February.
 The pronounced weakness in the first half of 1992 has pushed the index back to its 1989 level. Moreover, as of June, there were no areas of strength among the index components.
 The Pittsburgh region is, at best, drifting sideways with no substantial upturn currently in sight. Indeed, this area is following a pattern very similar to the national economy, which is struggling to get a sustained recovery under way.
 The decline in mortgage rates in recent weeks will undoubtedly help stimulate the housing sector, but with consumer confidence low and income growth at a standstill, significant improvement in overall retail spending seems unlikely. Beyond the problems imposed by a weak national economy, Pittsburgh district car dealers, department stores, theaters, and various cultural and sporting events have been hurt by the absence of a widely distributed daily newspaper. Over the longer term, the strike's negative impact on the city's image as a place conducive to business could hurt efforts to recruit new firms into the area.
 In June, the Mellon Index of Economic Performance for the Pittsburgh region stood at 98.6, down from 99.6 in May.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX FOR PITTSBURGH
 June
 1980 equals 100
 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
 87.2 91.9 97.3 105.6 109.7 104.7 98.6
 -0- 8/24/92
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/
 (MEL) CO: Mellon Bank ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO


DM -- PG003 -- 2555 08/24/92 11:33 EDT
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Date:Aug 24, 1992
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