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Manufacturing Survey Suggests Weaker Conditions

For release: October 17, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for October. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector weakened this month, according to the firms surveyed. In the special questions, participants were asked about their expectations and production plans for the rest of this year.

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

"Survey indicators this month suggest weaker conditions in the region's manufacturing sector. Surveyed firms report deterioration in general activity and employment this month. New orders and shipments are essentially flat. Firms remain optimistic about growth in manufacturing over the next six months but expect little or no increase in production levels in the current quarter."

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 November 21, 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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