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PHILADELPHIA COINCIDENT INDEX ADVANCES IN JULY

 PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia economy continued to show signs of stabilization following the severe l990-92 recession, according to the latest reading of the Mellon PSFS economic index.
 The Mellon PSFS coincident index -- which tracks monthly civilian employment, industrial electric power sales, retail sales and nonfarm wages for the Philadelphia metro area -- increased 0.2 percent in July following a revised gain of 0.2 percent in June.
 "Conditions appear to be improving in Philadelphia," said Richard Berner, senior vice president and chief economist, Mellon Bank. "With four consecutive months of increase, the Mellon PSFS index may be marking a definite turning point for the metro area."
 Three of the four indicators advanced in the latest month. Industrial power sales led the gainers -- up nearly 3 percent from a year ago. Civilian employment and wages and salaries both inched up slightly in July. Retail sales, although 3 percent above last year's reading, dipped 0.8 percent.
 The unemployment rate fluctuated around 7 percent for the past few months as civilian jobs rose 28,000. Philadelphia construction markets have improved and manufacturing steadied of late. "These results offer promise that next year will see stability turn into actual progress for the region," Berner said.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For technical information on the Mellon coincident index, contact Cheryl O'Brien, regional specialist, at 412-234-1529. Statistical information is available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Jim Dever of Mellon Bank, 215-553-4684/
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CO: Mellon Bank ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO

CD -- PG008 -- 1613 10/13/93 11:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1993
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