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Manufacturing Survey Says Activity Weak

For release: March 20, 2003
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for March. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector declined. In the special questions, participants were asked about their employment and capital spending plans for the remainder of this year.

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

"Our region's manufacturing firms reported weaker activity this month. The survey's indexes for general activity, new orders, and employment fell from their readings in February, and most indicators have declined over the past two months. Firms reported increases in input prices but no accompanying increases in prices of manufactured goods. Despite the weakness in current conditions, firms' outlook for the next six months improved appreciably."

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 adviser, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released April 17, 2003, 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)