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August Manufacturing Survey Indicates Drop in Activity

For release: August 15, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for August. For the first time this year, manufacturing firms' responses indicate a slight decrease in activity. In the special question, participants were asked about the impact the decline in the value of the dollar would have on exports of their products and their imports of raw materials.

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

"Survey indicators over the last two months suggest a slowing in the region's manufacturing sector. This month, indicators of general activity, new orders, and shipments recorded negative readings for the first time since December 2001. Although indicators of expectations fell this month, executives polled remain generally optimistic, and few firms expect further declines in activity 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 September 19, 2002, at noon and will be made available on this web site and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site: www.philadelphiafed.org/econ/bos/boshistory.html.

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