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Manufacturers Report Continued Expansion

For release: May 20, 2004 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released May's Business Outlook Survey. Current indicators suggest growth in the region's manufacturing sector is continuing. This month, participants were asked about the impact of increased prices for raw materials on their prices for final goods over the next three months. They were also asked if they had experienced any shortages or slowed delivery of raw materials.

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

"This month’s current indicators of overall activity suggest that growth in the region’s manufacturing sector is continuing, but at a somewhat slower pace. However, the employment index, which was positive for the eighth consecutive month, increased substantially from April’s reading. Higher prices for raw materials and other inputs were reported again this month, and a larger share of firms reported price increases for their own manufactured goods. Expectations for overall manufacturing growth over the next six months remain high."

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, contact Kathy Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released Thursday, June 17, 2004, at noon and will be made available on this web site and over PR Newswire. The annual revisions of historical data can be found at http://www.philadelphiafed.org/econ/bos/boshistory.html.

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