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Monthly Indexes Indicate Slow Start to Recovery, Modest Growth Through the Year

For release: July 26, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released the monthly leading and economic activity indexes for Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Vice President and Economist Ted Crone summarized the information from the indexes:

"While New Jersey and Delaware fared relatively well during the national recession, the economies of the two states are having some difficulty regaining their footing this year. Pennsylvania's economy showed considerable improvement in June, but it experienced a steeper decline than the other two states in the recession. The leading indexes for Pennsylvania and New Jersey are solidly positive, suggesting growth through the rest of the year. The recent negative readings for Delaware's leading index suggest the rebound in that state's economy may be delayed."

The indexes, compiled by the Bank since 1994, present comprehensive measures of the economies of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The economic activity index is a composite indicator based on nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing, and real wage and salary disbursements. The leading index, which is a forecast of the growth of the economic activity index, is based on the recent pattern of the activity index, as well as traditional leading indicators including housing permits, interest rates, delivery times, and initial unemployment claims.

The economic activity index is an indicator of the current economic climate, and the leading index forecasts the growth rate of the activity indexes nine months into the future.

To arrange an interview, contact Kathy Woodbury, the Bank's assistant media representative, at (215) 574-4119. July's indexes are due to be released in late August and will be made available on this web site.

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Marilyn Wimp, ABC E-mail
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(215) 574-4197
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Daneil Mazone E-mail
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(267) 535-1808 (cell)