Economy in Philly on up for now

The Greater Philadelphia region’s economy continued its steady recovery in January and experts predict more good news for the next several months, according to a report released yesterday.

The report from Select Greater Philadelphia, an economic development organization that markets the region, and IHS Global Insight, indicates that the region’s leading index rose to 98.7, up from 98.5 in December and up from 97.7 in February 2010. And after remaining flat for four months last summer, the index has increased four times in the past five months.

“We’ve been growing gradually and in the private sector it’s been slow but moderate and steady growth over the last year,” said Phil Hopkins, vice president and director of research for Select Greater Philadelphia. “We’re basically back to where we were before the [recession].”

Hopkins said he is cautiously optimistic the region should continue to see job growth in the private sector as the U.S. economy as a whole gradually recovers from the recession.

The report, Hopkins said, is intended to help employers in the area or those considering relocating to determine the direction of the regional economy. It predicts that non-farm employment in Greater Philadelphia will return to pre-recession levels around the second half of 2013.

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