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PHILADELPHIA PSFS INDEX SEES FIRST INCREASE SINCE MID 1990

 PHILADELPHIA PSFS INDEX SEES FIRST INCREASE SINCE MID 1990
 PITTSBURGH, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mellon PSFS Index of Economic Performance for the Philadelphia metro area, which gauges the overall economic health of the region, rose a solid 0.5 percent in October, its first increase since mid-1990, it was announced today.
 A jump in housing permits along with the second consecutive pickup in service-producing employment, were largely responsible for the improvement. For the first time in a year a small gain in goods-producing jobs made a positive contribution to the Index.
 The October readings for Index components support the view that the long recession in the Philadelphia region may be over. However, it is important to note that one month of improvement, following a prolonged slide, is not sufficient to establish a change in the trend. In light of renewed weakness in the national level in November, it would be premature to declare the Philadelphia recession over. Nonetheless, the tentative signs of a possible recovery are welcome.
 Over the past 12 months, the Mellon PSFS Index has fallen 12.5 percent. Total jobs are down by more than 30,000 during the period and car sales remain extremely soft. Commercial building starts have fallen by 50 percent in the past year and are still edging lower. With the national recovery sputtering, it appears unlikely that the Philadelphia area economy will stage a meaningful upturn before the second quarter of 1992.
 The Mellon PSFS Index for the region stood at 103.2, up 0.5 percent from its September reading.
 MELLON PERFORMANCE INDEX FOR PHILADELPHIA
 (1980 equals 100)
 (October)
 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
 115.6 123.3 131.7 133.8 129.4 118.1 103.2
 -0- 12/10/91
 /CONTACT: Debra DeCourcy of Mellon Bank, 412-234-5873/ CO: Mellon Bank Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU:


CD -- PG009 -- 1187 12/10/91 16:23 EST
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Date:Dec 10, 1991
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