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Region's Economy Slows in November

For release: December 30, 2002
Contact: Marilyn Wimp (215) 574-4197

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released month's 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 current economic activity indexes for Pennsylvania and Delaware declined in November. Of the three states in the region, only New Jersey continued to have an increase in overall economic activity. The leading indexes for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey remained positive, however, indicating continued growth through the middle of next year. But Pennsylvania's leading index suggests growth in that state will be relatively slow in the coming months. The negative reading of Delaware's leading index in November signals continued weakness in the state's economy through the middle of next year."

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 Marilyn Wimp, the Bank's media advisor, at (215) 574-4197. December's indexes are due to be released in late January 2003 and will be made available on our web site at www.philadelphiafed.org.

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