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Manufacturing Indicators Remain Positive

For release: May 16, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for May. Responses from manufacturing firms indicate that the region's manufacturing sector is continuing its recovery, although several indicators were lower than their readings in the previous month. Employment indicators showed signs of improvement. In this month's special question, participants were asked about their expectations for finished goods inventories and capital spending over the next six months.

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

"Manufacturing activity in the region continues to improve in May. Most of the survey's indexes indicate a fifth consecutive month of expansion, although several indicators were slightly lower than their readings in the previous month. Even indicators of manufacturing employment showed signs of improvement this month. The region's manufacturing executives remain generally optimistic that business conditions will improve 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 June 20, 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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