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Manufacturers See Continued Expansion

For release: November 17, 2005 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released November’s Business Outlook Survey. The firms surveyed this month report continued growth in the region’s manufacturing sector. In the special questions, the participants were asked about their expectations for the costs of energy, raw materials, intermediate goods, wages, health benefits, and nonhealth benefits in 2006.

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

“Indicators from this month’s Business Outlook Survey reflect continued growth in the region’s manufacturing sector.  Indexes for general activity and new orders remained positive but declined slightly this month. Indexes for shipments and number of employees increased from their readings of last month. Responses from our manufacturing firms suggest that pressures remain on input prices, and over one-third of the firms reported higher prices for their final manufactured goods this month. The region’s manufacturing executives expect growth to continue over the next six months, and they were more optimistic about future conditions than they were in October.”

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 Katherine Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on Thursday, December 15, 2005, and will be made available on our web site at www.philadelphiafed.org and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site.

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

Daneil Mazone E-mail
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(267) 535-1808 (cell)