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Manufacturing Indicators Show Marked Improvement

For release: January 17, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for January. For the first time in over a year, responses from manufacturing firms indicate an increase in activity. However, employment is still reported to be in decline. In this month's special question, participants were asked to describe their employment plans for this year.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Senior Economic Analyst Mike Trebing summarized the survey:

"Manufacturers in the region reported growth in their business this month. For the first time in over a year, more firms reported increases in general activity, new orders, and shipments than reported decreases. One month's increase in activity does not guarantee a sustained improvement in manufacturing. But the firms in the survey are more optimistic about manufacturing growth over the next six months than they were last month."

This survey, which was started in 1968, gathers information on the manufacturing industry in the Third Federal Reserve District covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Participation in the survey is limited to manufacturing firms with plants in the area with more than 100 employees. The survey asks about the current pace of business in the participants' plants and their future expectations of business.

To arrange an interview, please contact Kathy Woodbury, the Bank's assistant media representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released February 21, 2002, at noon and will be made available on this web site and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available at http://www.philadelphiafed.org/econ/bos/boshistory.html.

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Media Contacts

Marilyn Wimp, ABC E-mail
Manager of Media Relations
(215) 574-4197
(267) 254-4555 (cell)

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