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Manufacturing Indicators Mark Third Month of Growth

For release: March 21, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for March. For the third consecutive month, responses from manufacturing firms indicate growth in the region's manufacturing sector. However, levels of indicators were not as strong as in the previous month. In this month's special question, participants were asked to characterize their short-run production and employment situations.

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

"There are further signs of recovery in the region's manufacturing sector this month. Indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments remained positive for the third consecutive month, although their readings were not as high as in the previous month. Although employment losses continue, the survey suggests they are not as large as in recent months. Forecasts for the next six months improved, and over two-thirds of the firms expect to increase production over the next six months."

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 April 18, 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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