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Manufacturing Survey Indicates Improvement

For release: July 17, 2003, at noon.
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released July's Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector increased. Survey participants were asked a series of questions about their expectations for sales and their plans for hiring workers and for increasing capacity through the second quarter 2004.

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

"The region's manufacturing sector showed continued signs of improvement this month. For the second consecutive month, firms reported an increase in overall business activity. Indicators for new orders and shipments suggest growth for the first time since the first quarter. Instead of the usual declines in manufacturing employment, firms reported steady employment this month. The manufacturing executives polled 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 adviser, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released August 21, 2003, at noon and will be made available on this web site and over PR Newswire.

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