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Manufacturing Indicators Edge Higher

For release: April 18, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for April. For the fourth consecutive month, responses from manufacturing firms indicate growth in the region's manufacturing sector. Although employment is still in decline, job losses were smaller again this month. In this month's special question, participants were asked about their plans for capital expenditures.

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

"Manufacturing activity in the region continues to improve this month. Indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments have been positive for four consecutive months and the readings of these indicators were up in April from the previous month. Firms continue to be optimistic about growth over the next six months, and their employment forecasts continue to show improvement. Capital expenditure plans improved slightly this month, but many firms indicated that increases would not occur until the second half of the year."

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 May 16, 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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