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Survey Indicates Decrease in Manufacturing Activity

For release: April 17, 2003
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for April. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector declined for the second consecutive month. The index of general activity decreased from -8.0 in March to -8.8. In the special questions, survey participants were asked about prices for non-energy materials since the beginning of the year and about the impact of the war on new orders.

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

"The region's manufacturers reported weaker activity this month, and most of the survey's indicators suggest declines over the past two months. One-quarter of the firms surveyed in April indicated some decline in new orders because of the war in Iraq. Despite the current weakness in manufacturing conditions, expectations held steady this month, and manufacturers continue to anticipate increases 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 adviser, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released May 15, 2003, 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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