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SOME POSITIVE SIGNS SEEN FOR CONSUMER AND CAPITAL SPENDING

 SOME POSITIVE SIGNS SEEN FOR CONSUMER AND CAPITAL SPENDING
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Scattered positive signs point to higher consumer spending and capital spending in 1992, analysts at PNC Financial Corp (NYSE: PNC) said today.
 In their Investment Policy Statement for February, the PNC Investment Research analysts said consumer spending should grow slightly faster than the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1992. They cited four reasons for this forecast: lower interest rates, stabilization or even growth in employment, a turnaround in consumer confidence, and real income growth.
 The analysts said capital spending, especially spending on equipment, has been relatively strong as firms have attempted to boost competitiveness by improving productivity. The lower cost of capital, improving cash flow and likely passage of an investment tax allowance should result in an inflation-adjusted 4 percent increase in equipment spending in 1992.
 The PNC analysts' outlook for the economy remained unchanged from their January policy statement: GDP will grow at a sluggish rate of 1 to 2 percent during the first half of the year but will strengthen during the second half -- expanding at an annualized rate of 3 to 3.5 percent.
 The analysts also said:
 -- Weakness in the dollar should contribute to nearly 5 percent growth in exports this year, but a 5.5 percent advance in imports should cause the trade deficit to widen to $28 billion, $5 billion more than last year.
 -- Upward pressure on short-term interest rates should begin near mid-year as the economy starts to recover.
 -- 1992 will remain good for stocks, with a 2,800 to 3,400 trading range on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. "Given appropriate portfolio construction, we believe 10 to 20 percent returns are still available in equities in 1992," the analysts said.
 PNC Financial Corp, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is the nation's 15th-largest bank holding company, with assets of $44.9 billion. It operates approximately 500 community banking offices in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Delaware and conducts business through additional offices in 16 states. PNC's principal banking affiliates include: Pittsburgh National Bank, Pittsburgh; Provident National Bank, Philadelphia; Citizens Fidelity Bank, Louisville, Ky.; Central Trust, Cincinnati; Bank of Delaware, Wilmington, Del.; Northeastern Bank, Scranton, Pa.; Marine Bank, Erie, Pa.; PNC National Bank, Wilmington, Del.; Hershey Bank, Hershey, Pa.; and The First Bank and Trust Company, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/31/92
 /CONTACT: Linda Wolohan of Provident National Bank, 215-585-5453/
 (PNC) CO: PNC Financial Corp ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO


MK-CC -- PH031 -- 5772 01/31/92 16:30 EST
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Date:Jan 31, 1992
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