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Manufacturing Survey Indicates Increased Activity

For release: December 18, 2003, at Noon
Contact: Kathy Woodbury at (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for December. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector continues to expand, with indexes for new orders, shipments, and employment showing noteworthy increases from their readings last month. Survey participants were asked about their expectations for growth in productivity next year.

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

"Manufacturing in the region is continuing to improve and this month's Philadelphia survey suggests that the pace of growth has increased as well. In particular, the indexes for new orders, shipments, and employment rose significantly this month. The survey also suggests that higher costs are more widespread, but there was no appreciable increase in the prices of respondents' final products. Manufacturing executives are still optimistic about growth over the next six months, although some future indicators fell from their recent high levels."

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 media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released January 15, 2004, 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.

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