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October Indexes Give Mixed Signals

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

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its 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:

"The national index of coincident indicators compiled by the Conference Board was unchanged in October. The same lull in activity is reflected in the current economic indexes for the tri-state region published by the Philadelphia Fed. Pennsylvania's index was flat, New Jersey's was up somewhat, and Delaware's was down slightly. The leading indexes for Pennsylvania and New Jersey were positive, indicating growth in the states' economies through the first half of 2003. Delaware's leading index was slightly negative, however, reflecting the lack of momentum in the state's economy in the last several months."

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. November's indexes are due for release in late December 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
(267) 254-4555 (cell)

Daneil Mazone E-mail
Media Relations Representative
(215) 574-7163
(267) 535-1808 (cell)