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Manufacturing Firms Report Slower Pace of Growth

For release: January 20, 2005 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released January’s Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region’s manufacturing sector continued to expand, but at a slower rate than at the end of last year. This month the participants were asked about their plans for spending on new plant and equipment over the next year, relative to actual spending this past year.

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

"Respondents to this month’s Business Outlook Survey reported that growth in the region’s manufacturing sector is continuing, but at a slower pace than last month. Indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments fell from their readings in December but remained positive. Firms continue to report higher costs for inputs as well as higher prices for finished goods this month. While manufacturing executives remain optimistic about continued growth, expectations declined for the second consecutive month."

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 Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on February 17, 2005, and will be made available on our web site at www.philadelphiafed.org and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site.

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