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Monthly Indexes Indicate Slow Start to Recovery, Modest Growth

For release: June 25, 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 weathered the national recession rather well, the first several months of this year have revealed some delayed weakness in the economies of the two states. Payrolls have declined in New Jersey, and the unemployment rate is up in Delaware this year. Of the three states in the region, Pennsylvania suffered most from the recent recession, but job levels seem to have stabilized in May. Economic growth in all three states should be modest through the rest of the year with momentum building as the year progresses."

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 several traditional leading indicators: 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, please contact Kathy Woodbury, the Bank's assistant media representative, at (215) 574-4119. June's indexes are due to be released July 24 and will be made available on our web site at www.philadelphiafed.org.

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